2022-02 Gittisham Gazette Feb 2022

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

February 2022 Edition 240

Gittisham Cabaret

After two years of Covid misery and a very long time since the last staged entertainment event we are very pleased to invite performers and singers, plus of course backstage crew, to work towards delivering the Gittisham Cabaret. If you would like to get involved either supporting or performing there will be an informal meeting on 6th of February between 4:00 and 6:00 PM in the Village Hall, email Sarah Agg Manning, our celebrated Director at or just come along to the hall between 4.00 and 6.00pm.

If you can’t get to the hall on the 6th please let Sarah know of your interest. We will hold a series of rehearsals on Sunday evenings during February and March. Much of the material has already been written by Robert Baker, who has seen phenomenal success with similar ventures in the nearby parishes of Talaton and Awliscombe. Robert has also performed further afield at the Honiton Beehive!

The grand event will take place on 1st and 2nd April 2022 in the Village Hall and will comprise a light-hearted series of songs, sketches and even a spot of dancing. The tickets will also go on sale soon so keep an eye out to book your table for this year’s must-attend event which is being run by the Village Hall Committee and all proceeds will be invested back into the Hall.

Coffee Morning with bring & buy cake stall

St Michael’s are arranging a first coffee get together with cake stall in the Village Hall (as the Parish room is a bit small just now) on Saturday 26th February from 10.00am to 12.00noon hopefully lots of you will bring a cake or similar and buy a cake to take home. This is a fund raiser for the church to make up for all the time and fellowship we have missed over the last two years. I hope it won’t be too long before we can have coffee in church after either the Eucharist or the Morning Worship service. Do please tell your friends and neighbours and come along to Gittisham on 26th, there is plenty of parking.

Pierre’s pop-up Sunday cafe 

Pierre’s next pop-up café will be on Sunday 13th February, where he’ll be cooking beef provençale for lunch and mini burgers for the vegetarians / vegans. As usual there will be a selection of tempting home-made croissants and pains au chocolat in the morning, to go with your freshly brewed coffee or tea. Cakes available in the afternoon. Drop in any time to Gittisham Village Hall between 10 and 4, although booking in advance is advised for lunch. Take-away also available for most items. Call or message Pierre on 07545 214940.

Quiz night

Right then – it’s finally quiz time. In the Village Hall and virtually (if you’re worried about be in the hall). The date is Saturday 12th February, the time is 7pm doors open for 7:30 prompt start and Hamish will be the quizmaster. Teams of 1-6 welcomed with open arms.
It’s a BYO drink and BYO food – this avoids the committee having to handle your dinner (reducing a bit of Covid risk) and allows you to eat and drink exactly what you want. We’ll even show you how to use the new dishwasher afterwards. The usual raffle, huge winning prizes and family fun – all for the modest price £2 to cover the prizes and excessive heating bill. We’d love to see you back in the Hall – or online. If you are planning to attend in person – please let me know ()
Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 862 7237 7799 Passcode 016128 from 7.15pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86272377799?pwd=c3JIaG5DeWU2Z3d0SVVsZkhvWHY4UT09

From Grain to Cream – Russell Hayman

We are now well into our winter routine with the added excitement of our assurance inspections in the last two weeks. So a bit of a tidy up as it is a good excuse to make a bit more effort, got to leave a minor on compliance though, as it makes them feel wanted! This we achieved to great success, just an extra safety sticker on the spray shed door.

Not much going on in the fields at the moment. January can be a dead month. We do have some beans to put in this year, but it takes a long time for the ground to dry at the moment. These will replace some of our wheat area so I don’t need to buy as much fertiliser. With beans fixing their own nitrogen I do not have to apply any; still need other nutrients though. With fertiliser cost tripling over the last 12 months and availability questionable even if we find the money, it is a way of reducing our requirement. Beans are also high in protein, so will hopefully reduce the need to buy in as much. All sounds good, so why didn’t we do this before? Well they can be a “sorry” crop. (Sorry I planted so many or sorry I hadn’t planted more.) We will see which side is to be the case this season.

All the animals are in now and we can see the effect of the poorer quality our grass silage made last spring on them. ( The weather was against us in May.) They are performing just about OK, but need a higher feed rate of concentrate to compensate, so yields are down on last year and costing more to produce. We are not the only ones, as the whole country is down on production and with higher grain prices restricting usage the whole of Europe is down. World demand is still rising, so this means our prices are slowly increasing. We have yet to see the full effect in the shops. I know this will be hard for many, but in 2020 we were only getting a penny a litre more for milk than we did in 1995. I think agriculture is due some inflation and we need it, as the kind of price increases we are getting just can’t be absorbed. It is interesting to note my milk buyer is now exporting nearly half of its output, with France the biggest market. They know good cheese and are willing to pay. In fact
they export to roughly 160 countries and this means they are more able to stand up to the strong arm tactics that can prevail in the UK retail sector.

We went up to see Edmund before Christmas he is working in south Yorkshire on an old dairy farm now growing crops for an A.D. plant which is pumping gas into the grid. This is part of his degree course having to do a year in the industry. He was giving the job of cutting the hedges as he has done a bit here. His remark to them was what hedges? The ones they have are just a few little bushes in a line, not like the proper ones in Devon!

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

St. Michael’s Gittisham

February services 6th Telephone, 13th Eucharist, 20th no service; 27th lay-led morning worship, all at 11am.  At our recent PCC it was decided to change our lay-led from the 3rd to the 4th Sunday. Our Christingle service this year had to be cancelled as Candlemass was held on 30th January when we were not scheduled to have any services. As numbers are less restricted now, bookings would still be very helpful as the service sheets still have to be printed, (we are hoping to uncover our hymn books and service sheets soon) and it will save too many pages being wasted.  Ring 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. To receive details for ongoing worship, Eucharistic and lay-led please contact me, Carol on 01404 851113 or email or Julia by email on or for those without internet ring her on 07763 111367 or
01404 850680.  It will be lovely when we can have our beautiful kneelers out on display again and as soon as we have a lovely sunny day or two we can get them out to air and check that they haven’t come to any harm over the 2 years they have been covered up. The church is open three or four days in the week and as the weather is cool the door will be closed but unlocked.  If you find it closed (it is quite hard to open but keep trying) but if definitely locked and you would like to view or have prayer space please ring me Carol on 01404 851113 or Julia on 01404 850680 and hopefully one of us will be home to unlock.

Telephone Service on first Sunday of the month

This is a free service starting at 11am all you need to do is, a little before 11.00 dial 0800 651
0080 you will be asked for the code 3299789 and press the hash # key (they call it the £ sign), you will then be asked to say your name and press the hash # key again, you will then be in the ‘congregation’. Julia usually delegates participants to join in with some of the components (collect, affirmation, readings etc.) If you would like to join the service please let either Julia – 01404 850680 / 07763 111367 or Carol know on 01404 851113 / 07746 409142 so we can deliver the service sheet to you. If you press the speakerphone button, you don’t have to hold the phone to your ear.

Honiton Mission Community

Honiton St Paul’s weekly services continue at 11.00am.  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 is being live streamed. If you would like to join this service do please contact Rev’d Sue  or the Parish Office by emailing or  and the link will be  forwarded.  Alternatively, ring the Parish office to book your place in person, on 01404 44035.  Messages will be replied to when someone is available.  Mollie the Church administrator is there on Tuesdays.  The ‘virtual’ Eucharist is at 6.30pm; details from Rev’d Sue.

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 or church funds. 

St Nicholas Combe Raleigh ‘Snowdrop Tea’

With the partial relaxation of covid restrictions we have decided to reinstate our annual Snowdrop Tea which has unavoidably been absent from the calendar since 2019. The date – Sunday 13th February; the time – 2.00 – 4.00pm Snowdrop plants will be on sale as will tea and cake. The Combe Raleigh snowdrop ‘carpet is something to behold and gets better each year.

200 Club

March is the time to renew your subscriptions for the season 2022/2023 April to March.  Numbers are available if you would like to join the church’s 200 club which is one way of funding the upkeep so necessary with this old church which takes a lot to keep it heated and watertight, keeping the churchyard in good order and kind to nature, please ring me, Carol on 01404 851113. I can send an application form. The cost is £12 per number per year. The draw takes place at the beginning of each month with 5 prizes of £40.00, £20.00, £15.00, £10.00 and £5.00. Twice a year there is a 6-monthly prize of £48 (March and September). Payment can be made by cheque or cash or Standing Order, there is a form for your bank. I can email both the application and Standing order forms if required, please let me know 01404 851113 /  

February 2022 200 Club Results

1st  Steve Howe                   2nd  Bill Griffiths               3rd   Michael Hawkins                
4th  Owen Morgan              5th   Jayne Bramley            

Vale News

The Parish Council is looking at making the area around the balancing pond and down towards the emergency gate to Hayne Lane a more environmental and aesthetically pleasing area for the use of residents.  This includes clearing out the grill which is already in hand, clearing the pond and planting around the area. We are looking to providing furniture such as a bench and picnic table.  Tree and/or hedge planting across the whole of the Vale area is being considered and we have surveyed the area for suitable locations. We are able to access grants and community schemes to make this happen.

The bus stop on Old Elm Road has been earmarked for improvement, this will include the
provision of solar powered lighting and painting.  With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee coming up, there will be a party at Gittisham Village Hall over the special bank holiday weekend and if Vale residents wish to hold their own party the parish council will support this also. The ideal venue would be in the green area by the balancing pond. Please let us know if you would like to get involved.  If residents have any ideas for other improvements we would welcome
them. Please contact your councillors.  https://gittisham.org.uk/parish-council/

Parish Council February 2022 report

Seven councillors met for the February meeting. Phil Twiss (DCC) and Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) were also present.


Phil Twiss said Jurassic Fibre’s work was hampered by blocked Openreach ducting, which they can access to run their fibre optic cable through. However, road closure notices are in
place to enable this work to be done.


Members agreed the finances.


Dec 2021: 1 x anti-social behaviour, Parsonage Lane.

Planning applications.

a) Blamphayne Sawmill – Extension to existing machinery store. No
b) Westgate, Gittisham – Change of use of part of paddock to habitable use and construction of 3 x bay garage/ outbuilding. No objection.
c) 7 Ferndale Close Honiton – T1, T2 : Inspect and crown clean of 2 x Oak trees, crown lifting the Oak trees to approximately 6 m. above the public footpath pruning back to the main branch collar the 3 lowest limbs make 1 x 100 mm cut and 2 x 75 mm cuts pruning the branch tips by no more than 10% volume and making natural target pruning cuts of approximately 25 mm. in diameter. No objection.
d) 2 Drillers Cottages, Gittisham – Replacement windows & replacement porch on south elevation, façade repairs on north & south elevation, new internal floor finish. No objection. Members said they would prefer to see double glazing, so it is in accordance with East Devon’s and national policies regarding measures to deal with climate change.

Development in the parish.

Carol Hall voiced members’ concerns over the possibility of additional housing and other development in the parish, particularly west of Hayne Farm, which is under discussion as part of EDDC’s draft Local Plan. Developers and land owners have been promoting possible development opportunities before EDDC’s Strategic Planning committee. David Valentine
said it was important for GPC to raise the issue of development encroaching into the Gitt valley at every opportunity.

Old Elm Road emergency gate, Gittisham Vale.

Phil Twiss reported that a contractor would be removing one of the narrower, restricted access points at the emergency gate, which will allow motorised buggies and large prams to pass through easily. He was optimistic this could be done by the end of the current financial year.

Road closures.
9th Feb – Road to Catshayes Farm for BT pole installation
28th Feb–2nd March Hayne Lane for pot hole repairs
2nd–3rd March (inc) road from Gittisham Farm to Eveleigh’s for gully works (overnight)

Play areas.

Maggie Walker said she had given the village play area a general tidy and removed
some of the brambles. Janet Twist reported that work had begun on the Hayne Farm play area.


Janet Twist said criminals are targeting parents by pretending to be a child in need of
financial help, particularly on Instagram. She added that Devon Trading Standards has produced a guide to scams, rogue traders and doorstep crime.

Bridge barrier, Riverside.

David Valentine said the barrier on the Curlditch side of the bridge by Riverside Cottages was rotten and therefore unsafe. It will be reported to the appropriate authority as a safety issue.

Next meeting is on Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Gittisham Gazette distribution

There was a leaflet drop in the Hayne Farm and Gittisham Vale estates, asking if residents would like to receive the Gazette by email or if they have no internet access they could be posted. I have had a few requests so far, it does not matter how many are emailed and several households have 2 copies. I put 25 copies in the Vale bus shelter and 10 copies in the Hayne Farm sales office.

I apologise to those who do not get the Gazette and do my best to print as many as I can on my own printer. If you have a neighbour who doesn’t have access to the internet and you could print off a copy, then many more could receive this publication. I do hope more residents from both the Vale and Hayne Farm will let me have their email addresses – you won’t be bombarded with other information other than the Gazette, unless there is something that needs your attention from the Parish Council.

Did you know?

At Branscombe Church there is a section where all the kneelers depict the Kings and Queens of our Nation. Julia Barratt gave me this information and said it is worth a visit to see them. I thought it might be interesting for the children to see, especially if they are interested in history, and of course adults as well.

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 March edition is 21st February please.  I hope to send out the next gazette on 4th or 5th March.