2021-10 Gittisham Gazette Oct 2021

A monthly Community Newsletter published by St. Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council

October 2021 Edition 236

Cars – The Modern Apocalypse by Daphne Hall

Transport: we can’t live without it. Whether you take the bus, the train, or you drive to work, you are indefinitely contributing to the close to irreversible climate crisis that is happening all around us.

In the year 2014, the average UK household released 8.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 34% of which was from transport, meaning transport is responsible for over a quarter of all emissions, making it the largest emitting sector in the UK.

Road traffic is one of the UK’s biggest killers, responsible for approximately 36,000 premature deaths every year. This is a result of the pollution that road traffic causes. Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lung’s lining and reduces immunity to lung and breathing related diseases. The UK government has made benchmarks for acceptable levels of pollution; however, these are often breached, leading to them losing twice already in court, for failing to handle the situation. There is no doubt that our governments are overlooking this problem.

It is clear that in order to combat the growing problem of climate change, and to stop thousands of inevitable deaths, something needs to change within the transport sector. So, if the government isn’t going to do anything about the crisis, what can you as an individual do to help tackle this issue?

  • Public transport is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint from transport – the more people travelling in a vehicle, the smaller the carbon footprint of each person. Travelling at peak times is another more environmentally sustainable option that you could consider. The bus from Gittisham can take you to Honiton, Ottery, Exeter and right to Honiton railway station which goes all the way to London. There is always a better way to travel than by car.
  • Electric cars are another of the best ways to travel, especially for people living in rural areas. However, this, being a big investment, is not always a viable option for everyone. Another option is routine car maintenance to make your car as fuel-efficient as possible. Believe it or not, keeping your tyres properly inflated can go a long way in lowering emissions over time.
  • You can also simply remove excess weight from your car, remove roof boxes and bike racks, and plan your journey better to avoid traffic. Just something as straightforward as refraining from using the air con and sticking to the speed limits is enough to drastically reduce your fuel consumption, hence carbon footprint.

Please consider these options as every action counts, and it is up to us to make this change before it’s too late.

Daphne is at Exeter College and this is part of her coursework.  Well done, I look forward to having another article in the future,  –  Carol McCann 

People in the News


A belated warm Gittisham welcome to the Wolsley family, Will, Florence and their children Scarlett and Wolfie.  Flo used to live in Gittisham as a child so it is like a home coming for her, but to a different house.

Congratulations to Chris (Gittisham Farm’s herdsman) and wife Naomi on the birth of baby Lillie.

Also to Alice and Jamie Burridge on the birth of second daughter Isla Charlotte Lily, a sister for Sophie. Another grand-daughter for Frances and Charles Holme.

A new family have moved to the bungalow where Hazel lived, at Church Mead we welcome them and look forward to meeting them.


It was sad to learn that Doreen Wensley lost two of her sisters within nine days of each other: younger sister Joyce and older one Peg.  Both were in Wonford. Doreen has one remaining sister and we pray they and their families have many happy memories to cherish.

Lady Mary Ann Denham, a previous Gittisham resident who lived at both Curlditch and Crabbs Cottage, died on the 27th September in Amesbury.  Her late husband Colonel John Denham is in our churchyard. I have not heard if Lady Mary Ann will come to join him.  We wish daughter Lucy and son Francis and their families peace to grieve and many happy memories.

Both Bert Whitmore (August) and Ron Kallmieir (September) passed away.  Both were supporters of the parish.  I attended Ron’s funeral on 23rd and he has now joined his late wife in St. Michael’s Honiton churchyard.  Happily reunited. We wish Beattie (Bert’s wife) and her family along with Ron’s family peace and lots of happy memories to cherish.


Doreen Cooper – a regular member of our congregation and a stalwart of the Sunday telephone service when she enjoyed participating in the readings etc. – is  currently in Wonford.  We understand she will be going into a nursing home when discharged from hospital.  We wish her well.

Combe Garden Centre

Lots of interesting bulbs for planting now, are available, plus winter and spring bedding.  Kiln dried logs and kindling an be ordered.  The Christmas decorations and lighting are now also on display as are the gift ideas in Velvet and Parade, the gift and lifestyle shop within the centre.  The Kitchen is fully up and running for breakfasts, morning coffees, lunches and afternoon teas daily.

Honiton Citizens Advice Centre

The Honiton Citizens Advice Centre (HCAS) is now open on Mondays in the lower offices of the Library offering advice and help with many types of benefit applications.  Open from 9.30am, our advisers are all trained.  There is no need to book, just turn up and we will give you as much help as we can.

Sidmouth Junction Ploughing Match

There was a splendid array of vintage tractors taking part in the ploughing match plus a pair of shire horses giving demonstrations. 

Parish Council – September / October report

Six councillors met for both meetings. Phil Twiss (DCC) was also present; Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) attended the Oct meeting; Jake Bonetta (EDDC) attended the Sept meeting.


Members discussed recent flooding in Gittisham village, following concerns from some residents and councillors over the state of the drains.  It was agreed that the way forward in future would involve a combination of work by residents and the lengthsman, as well as frequent reporting on DCC’s website.  The Chair said that although it’s unlikely there’ll be funding available, awareness that the village in particular is vulnerable to flash storms might give Gittisham higher priority for drain cleaning. 


Councillors noted the finances.


July 2021: 1 x anti-social behaviour, Laburnum Close
1 x criminal damage & arson, Cypress Close

Road closures.

12 October Exeter Road/Heathpark Way closed for resurfacing for 3 nights.

11-12 November Road closure for Western Power – Road past Shermans Farm.

22-24 November Road closure for Jurassic Fibre – Ironbridge to Eveleigh’s Farm.

Traffic speeds.
David Valentine reported that the speed monitoring box has been installed at the west end of the village.  Peter Orchard and Janet Twist reported they had carried out a traffic survey on Hayne Lane.  They said although the perception was that traffic numbers had increased, the numbers from the survey did not bear this out. 

Planning applications.

  1. Bakery Cottage Gittisham – Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Creation of courtyard and parking bay with EV charging point and erection of maximum 1.8m wall/fence. Alteration of workshop/store to form garden room. (amended plans concerning revision to extension).  No objection.
  2. Combe Garden Centre Hayne Lane – Regularisation of laying of hardstanding and use as overflow parking area for staff and construction of building for storage of stock for Combe Garden Centre.  No objection in principle; however, councillors said they would like to see an additional passing place and give way signs for motorists leaving the centre. Provision for surface water drainage also needs to be addressed to prevent it flowing onto the highway.
  3. Goldcombe Farmhouse Gittisham – Change of use of holiday let to dwelling.  No objection.  Parish councillors fully support the application, and welcome having additional rented properties in the village.

Play area.    

Maggie Walker thanked Cllrs Orchard & Rowe for installing the replacement swing seats.

Old Elm Road gate.   

Peter Orchard explained that disabled access via the gate at the end of Old Elm Road may be resolved by the end of November. 

Councillor vacancy, Gittisham Vale.  

The clerk said anyone interested in becoming a parish councillor should contact the clerk for further information by emailing before 31st Oct.

Scam awareness. 

Janet Twist said a new number 159 is being trialled for a year by a group of banks and telephone firms.  Contacting this number will automatically connect you to your bank’s fraud prevention service.  Not all banks are signed up currently, although that may change.

Next meeting. 

This will be on 4th November at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Pierre’s Sunday pop-up cafe

Come and enjoy a delicious Ploughman’s lunch, French-style, at Pierre’s cafe on Sunday 10th October in Gittisham Village Hall.  There will also be home-made croissants and pains au chocolat from 10am (these sell out quickly!) to go with your morning coffee or tea.  Dessert will be a pear and almond tart or strawberry tart.  Bring your own alcoholic drinks.  Vegans and vegetarians welcome.  Booking: tel. 07545 214940.  Last orders at 4pm. Cards and cash accepted for payment.

Autumn get-together

Whilst the Village Hall Committee would love to organise an autumnal quiz and welcome everyone into the hall, we have decided to opt for outdoor events for the time being. Instead, please join us in the play park on Sunday 7th November for soup and sparklers from 5.30pm. No fireworks or bonfire due to the proximity of thatch properties, but plenty of sparkling conversation and warming food. We hope to see you there. 

Book swaps in bus shelters

The Parish Council is very happy for the bus shelters to be used for book swaps, but please keep donations within the plastic tray or box provided.  Anything more will be removed. The bus shelters must have room for people to wait for their buses and maintain social distancing. There needs to be seating on both sides please. Charities will be very grateful for donations of books and CDs too. Recycling in Ottery has parking outside.

Mighty Hike

We have finally gotten round to totalling up our sponsorship monies. With the help of everyone who supported us we have managed to raise £1,100.54 for Macmillan, we have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity considering the uncertain times that we all live in.

We completed the walk in just under 5 hours and came in 50, 51 and 52 out of 395 which was totally unexpected due to our post lockdown fitness levels.  We had an amazing day. The weather was kind, the people involved were brilliant and the walk itself was challenging in places but visually stunning.
As this was our first attempt at anything of this nature we are proposing to give one of next year’s Mighty Hikes a go and hopefully raise even more money by investing our time in organising further fund raising events prior to the walk and involving our newly found community.

We will be keeping our fund raising page open for another month just in case there are any further donations in the pipeline.  This can be found by using the link https://gofund.me/c8f082e1

St Michael’s Church, Honiton Mission Community and 200 Club

St. Michael’s Gittisham

On 10th October there will be a telephone service and our next monthly 11.00am Eucharist (Communion) service will be held on Sunday 17th October and will include a Baptism.  The November one will revert back to the second Sunday 14th which will be Remembrance Sunday.  We will start at the Lych-gate with a short service of reflection, before going in to the church to continue with the communion.   Numbers are less restricted but bookings would be very helpful as the service sheets still have to be printed and it will save too many pages being wasted.  Telephone Carol on 01404 851113.

Obviously until told otherwise, social distancing and masks should preferably be worn, but if you want to sing you must wear masks. Usually when there is a five-Sunday month there will not be a service in the village, as pre-Covid we would have gone to St. Paul’s.  Our services are all at 11.00am  To receive details for ongoing worship,  Eucharistic and lay-led, please email me Carol     or Julia on or for those without internet ring her on 07763 111367 or 01404 850680.

Our Harvest Festival was held in church on Sunday 3rd October as the weather was not good enough to erect the marquee. There was a good collection of non-perishable food for the Honiton Food Bank, and the vegetables and fruit were taken to the fresh food bank in Queen Street.  Thanks to all who donated goods.  

We are continuing to have the church open three or four days in the week, and as the weather is cooler now the door will be closed but unlocked.  If you find it closed and would like to view or have prayer space, please ring me (Carol on 01404 851113) and hopefully I will be home to unlock.

Honiton Mission Community

Rev’d Sue is on leave during October. The website (honitoncofe.org) is updated regularly and has news about  services and the latest guidelines on the Covid regulations.  There is also a link to the Gittisham website.  The monthly Mission Community newsletter Around the Parishes is available by email or post from the Parish Office see below for details.  As our MC churches are now having their own services,  Sunday Morning Eucharistic Worship at 11.00am, in St. Paul’s will be live-streamed. If you would like to join this service do please contact Rev’d Sue  or the Parish Office , /  and the link will be  forwarded.  Or ring the Parish office to book your place in person, 01404 44035  messages will be replied to when someone is available.  Mollie the Church administrator is there on Tuesdays.  The ‘virtual’ Eucharist at 6.30pm will continue, from November when Rev’d Sue returns, you can also get that link from her then.

At St Paul’s, coffee and biscuits  are served in church on  Tuesdays and Saturdays.  They are currently free of charge but donations are welcomed for Vaccine Aid.  Their Harvest Festival on the 12th September on the forecourt was well attended although a little chilly.  With Rev’d Sue’s leave the All Souls service this year will be held on the first Sunday in November.


The Harvest was held despite having had a large fall of plasterwork from the ceiling.  Their September week of festivities went well and a lot of fun was had by all.


The fete on Saturday 4th September at the Otter Inn was also a success.  They were able to have a harvest supper attended by about 50, their service was also well attended.

October 2021 200 Club Results

1st  Paul Wakely                      2nd  Muriel Pearl               3rd   Peter Orchard                  
4th  Stephanie King                           5th   Nigel Blackmore             

Gazette printing is still not possible with the ongoing restrictions, as the Parish Office in Honiton remains closed. If you would like a copy by email, please let me (Carol McCann) have your email details or if you have no internet it can be posted to you until things get back to order.  Some help with 2nd class postage would be appreciated, Carol McCann 3 School Cottages, Gittisham, Honiton, EX14 3AH. Telephone 01404 851113. I will leave a few copies in the Vale bus shelter and Hayne Farm Estate Sales Office again until such time as the whole print run can be delivered by Peter and Ann again.  Do let me have your email as I am hopefully trying to save on printing costs and looking after our lovely planet. Thank you.  

Carol McCann  01404 851113/07946409142     .

If you have events or news items including pictures, for inclusion in the gazette from the village, the Vale or Hayne Farm Estate,  do please email it to Carol as early as possible.  Copy date for the November edition is 25th October please.  I hope to send out on 5th November.

Police newsletter – summary

Plant and vehicle theft costs the UK millions of pounds each year, and in some cases the stolen vehicles will be used to commit further offences. Thefts are often linked to organised crime groups and often equipment is taken out of the UK for sale.

Basic Prevention Advice 

Remove GPS systems when not in use and PIN enable StarFire Systems.  

  • Record accurately your vehicle and machinery VIN, engine & chassis numbers.  
  • Register your equipment and vehicles with the free national property register: Immobilise – https://www.immobolise.com and The Equipment Register, which is Europe’s largest database of plant and equipment.  
  • Photograph your equipment and vehicles as well as property marking including CASAR (data tag).
  • Remove keys from the vehicles when not in use and if possible, keep vehicles and machinery in a lockable shed, garage or building.  
  • Join Farm Watch and other local social media/ community groups to keep  in touch with what is happening locally. 
  • Join the Farm No Cold Caller Scheme.

 Fuel Theft – Tanks and Heating Oil

With the colder months approaching, tanks are likely to be full and with shorter days, it is more common for thefts to occur.   If you are able to, position the tank close to a house or somewhere it is overlooked. Switches that control the flow of oil should be turned off and electricity supplies isolated when the tank is not in use.   Consider installing an oil level gauge as they set off audible alarms if the level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. Try to protect tanks and cylinders where you can by installing cages and use ‘defensive planting’.   Signage may act as a deterrent – please contact your local Police team who may be able to assist with this.

Rural Home Security Check

  • Is your house name or number clearly identifiable from the road?
  • This will help Police find you if called to your home address!
  • Have you got any prevention signage displayed?
  • Consider installing signage which tells you have CCTV, alarms or a dog.
  • Is the outside of your home, garden and driveway well lit?
  • Have you got visible alarms installed?
  • Are ladders and tools locked away?
  • Has your home and/ or business got adequate insurance cover?
  • Have you ensured your valuables, house and car keys out of sight?

Report any suspicious behaviour to Police, taking note of descriptions and vehicle VRM’s if it is safe to do so. Over the summer months Devon & Cornwall Police were kindly loaned a CLAAS ATOS 350 tractor by Hamblys as an engagement tool to raise awareness of rural crime. Members of the Rural East Devon neighbourhood team took the tractor to a number of shows and other local events in East & Mid Devon and were able to engage and provide prevention advice to both local residents and visitors to the area. A big thank you to Hambly’s!

If you would like a visit or advice regarding Farm Security or to discuss any other rural crime issues, please contact PCSO 30017 Darren ENGLAND: