Gittisham Gazette November 2023 Edition 27

A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council 

What’s On? 

Pierre’s Café  
Sunday 12th Nov  
Community Kitchen  Every Thurs, village hall  6.30pm. All welcome to  
enjoy a free meal and  good company 
Act of Remembrance  at the Lych gate Sunday  Nov 12th 10.50 followed  by Eucharist in Church 
Ember Pizza 
Pizza van by the church 1st Wednesday of the month 
07751 532843 
Coffee Together 
18th Nov 10.30-12  
at the Parish Room inc  double 200 club Nov &  Dec draw 
ready for Advent’ 
Sun Nov 26 th 
11am at the  
Saturday evening  
2nd December  
Quizmaster Hamish 
Christmas Swap Shop  2nd December 
Come and join us in our  
beautiful church as we begin  
the lead up to Christmas.
are presenting a lovely festive  
concert suitable for all ages  
with professional singers. Join  
us in our carol singing and 
enjoy a drink and a mince pie.  
There will also be a prize draw  
with a splendid lunch for two to  
be won at The Pig’s Folly. Book  
early to avoid disappointment!  
The proceeds will be shared  
between Force Cancer Charity  
and St Michael’s Church,  
Trick or Treating 
Lots of treats and quite a few tricks this year. A big crowd ventured out into the rain after gathering at the village hall. Those of us waiting at home could  definitely hear them coming. Many of houses had treats for the little darlings  but some houses had tricks in store, much to their amusement. Definitely not  just an event for the children. Thanks to all those who helped at the hall and in  herding the monsters around the village. And thanks to everyone who  supplied the various treats. Far too much sugar and not enough hidden  sprouts!

Christmas Swap Shop Saturday 2nd December 3-6pm at the Hall 

“For a more sustainable Christmas” 

Swap toys, decorations and lights. 

One gift donation entitles the giver to one free gift.  Donations from 10am at the hall. Good quality only. 

Mulled wine, mince pies and cream teas from 3pm 

Quiz Night 

At the village hall Saturday 2nd December  

Quizmaster Hamish 

Combe Farm Shop 

Its nearly time to start thinking about Christmas. Here at  the Farm shop we are looking forward to a busy festive  season. 

We have lots of lovely things planned including our late  night Christmas shopping event, where you can meet  some of our suppliers, enjoy some free samples, listen to  a local choir and even meet Santa. There will be hot  drinks, mulled wine and turkey baps available in the  Café. We will also have some great deals on, so it could  be a chance to get some Christmas present shopping  done. This is going to be on December 2nd

We will be hosting our popular wreath making workshops  again with a local florist and using locally sourced  greenery. We will be running them on November  29th and December 13th in the evening. Mulled wine and  nibbles are included. If this interests you, please let us  know to book your spot as numbers are limited. We also  have capacity to run private wreath workshops for small  groups. 

We also have our diary open for Christmas orders. We  have Local Turkeys from near Exeter (Rosamond Farm),  Turkey breast rolls, in house cured Gammon ( using local  free range pork from Prestige Pork), Pigs in Blankets,  Carvery Rib, Rolled Sirloin, Ducks, Chicken and so much  more. We also offer our Christmas Meat Hampers. All  information can be found on our Facebook page or pop  by the shop to speak to one of the team. 

Look forward to seeing you soon, 

Joanna and the Farm Shop Team. 

01404 519093 

Community Theatre 4All  presents  

An evening of 2 short plays Gentle comedy from a bygone era. The Laboratory by David Campton The Bear by Anton Chekov 

Talaton Parish Hall Thurs 16th, Fri 17th and Sat 18th November 

 Tickets £6 from 07867 791093

Auction of Promises Saturday 10th February 7 pm at the Hall 

Do you have a service or skill you could  donate as a lot? This would be placed in  a catalogue for Auction in February in  the village hall, bar and nibbles  available on the night  

It’s raining cats and dogs 

Our wonderful Devon village lies at the bottom of a pretty steep valley and when it rains heavily, we know it. Large rivers with big catchments, like the Exe, cause problems after prolonged and extensive rainfall – for example, a flood can take several days to reach Exeter after the rain has started. The River Gitt, however, has a tiny catchment area to the centre of the village, just a few square kilometres. This small area, coupled with the steep nature of the catchment  – means we are less susceptible to low-intensity prolonged rainfall, but are far more sensitive to short-duration, high-intensity rainfall.


This means when we have heavy rain it reaches the village in minutes! All the floods that have affected the village over the years have followed this pattern  – where there is so much rain it cannot soak in and often exceeds the capacity of drains and sometimes the river too. The event that recently caused a lot of surface water flooding, followed this pattern. The graph, from a rain gauge in Honiton, shows just how heavy the rainfall was. The event in the early hours of the  2nd of November did not last for long but had a peak rainfall intensity of over 60mm an hour – which is a lot!  Even though the event only lasted a few hours – enough rainfall landed to overwhelm the soil’s ability to infiltrate water and the drainage system’s ability to convey water adequately. 

Forecasting really intense rainfall is difficult as the weather systems that create them can be small and intense and predicting where and when they will travel and how heavy the rain will be is hard. For somewhere like Gittisham, with a catchment that reacts very quickly to rainfall, it is also then hard to give a flood forecast. So, working out if the village or nearby roads will flood has to be made based on a combination of weather forecasts, with their inherent uncertainty and observing how heavy the rain is. An online rain & river level gauge in the village could help us better understand the relationship between rainfall and flooding. I’d be happy to chat with anyone who wants to know more about flooding, forecasting flooding and how to manage risk. Hamish (

St Michael’s Church and Honiton Mission Community 

Advent and Christmas Services 

Advent Sunday Christmas Concert Dec 3 rd 4pm 

2 nd Sunday Eucharist Dec 10 th 11am 

St Michael’s Carol Service Sun Dec 17 th 4.45pm mince pies and festive drinks 

‘Carols on the Green Fri Dec 22 nd 5pm sausages and mulled wine’ 

Sunday Dec 24 th Midnight Eucharist 11.30pm 

Monday Dec 25 th Christmas Day Eucharist 11am 

Around the Parishes – for events and news see copies in Church or visit Rev’d Tracey Voysey – licensing service as Team Vicar changed to Mon Dec 4 th 7pm at St Paul’s. 

Blue Foodbank Box Church Porch – donations gratefully received


Six councillors met for the November meeting. One member of the public was also present. 

Flooding. Councillors discussed the flooding in the parish which had occurred in the early hours of Thursday  morning, 2nd November. The member of the public, who works for a flood risk organisation, advised the parish  council that when serious flooding occurs, getting involved in mitigating its effects during the event can be  dangerous and it is often best to wait until the worst has passed. For example inspection covers often lift in floods  and can’t be seen under water or in the dark. Flood risk is best dealt with proactively, he said, and the parish  council is not in a position to advise individuals. All agreed that with climate change bringing about more extreme  weather events, people would have to adapt their behaviour and take further precautions to try to minimise flood  damage. 

Parish emergency plan. Given the recent weather, councillors were reminded that there are various locations marked on the emergency plan where sandbags are stored. (A copy of the emergency plan can be found on the  Gittisham website click on the ‘parish council’ tab.) Additional sand for the sandbags will be  ordered. In the event of a dangerous flood, those affected should call the emergency services. Carol Hall (Chair)  thanked Alex Rowe for clearing the drain under the railway bridge by the Forge. 

Highways. In his report sent to the council in his absence, Phil Twiss said Devon’s Highways teams have taken an  absolute battering this year where climate change, and flooding events in particular, have decimated planned  maintenance. But despite that, Highways are pressing on with as much of the programme as possible when not  dealing with ’risk to life’ events or clearing up after flooding, fallen trees and damaged buildings. He asked for  understanding that they must prioritise workload for those ‘risk to life’ events, while not diminishing the necessity of  alerting them to issues on the parish’s roads. Peter Orchard reported that the internal channel of the balancing  pond has filled with rubble, so it needs to be cleared out. Alex Rowe said the broken grit bin on the road heading west out of the village had been reported. 

Residential development. In his report sent to the council in his absence, Alasdair Bruce said he was somewhat encouraged by the statements that have come out of EDDC’s latest Strategic Planning Committee meeting. If  implemented in full, they could offer an element of protection from the scourge of never ending developer-led  mass housing applications, he said. The Government will be issuing a new National Planning Policy Framework in  the near future. This should help empower EDDC’s planning committee to make a stand against inappropriate  development, he said. A case in point was last week’s refusal of the application for 63 houses to the south of Ottery  St Mary. Despite officer recommendation, the committee decided to refuse. Alasdair Bruce said it remains to be seen if the council lawyers come back with reasons why these grounds will fail, something he described as an  unfortunately familiar scenario. 

Finance. Members agreed the finances. 

Crimes. Due to an error on the Police UK website, it was not possible to report the crime statistics for August and  September 2023. 

Casual vacancy. Carol Hall encouraged all councillors to speak to people who might be interested in joining the  parish council to represent the Vale ward. People can also contact the clerk for further information by emailing  The deadline for applications is 3rd December. 

Next meeting. Thursday 7 th December at 7.30pm in the parish room. 

Parish Council links Who’s who 

Emergency Plan Parish Council Clerk Email: Tel: 01404 851442