Gittisham Gazette March 2024

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

What’s On?  

Tufty Tots Every Thursday at the village hall  

Pierre’s Cafe Sunday 10th March              at the village hall

Mothering Sunday Sunday 10th March 11am the church Family Eucharist with distribution of posies

Palm Sunday March 24th 11am Morning Worship with procession of palms starting at the Lychgate  

Good Friday March 29th 10.30am ‘Stations of the Cross’ starting at the Lychgate followed by Hot Cross Buns in the Parish Room.  

Easter Day 11am Eucharist followed by Easter Egg Hunt in the old Churchyard  

Live music at The Beehive Baskery – the queens of banjo punk. Sat 16th March  

Quiz Night At the village hall               on 20th April with Nick  

Gittisham Fete Saturday 31st August

Auction of Promises! Helen Hayman   What a fun, entertaining evening with an amazing gathering of people of all ages participating under the expert eye of Graham Barton who was brilliant in persuading us all to part with our money!
With so many great lots from a celebration cake, baby sitting , villa in Crete, holiday getaways to flying high beside The Spitfire ! All going towards our community church which the total looks to be around £3,000.00 !  A huge thankyou must go to so many of you for donating lots, funds and helping to run this event. Also to those who attended, making it a memorable evening!

Your Village Hall Your village hall needs you. As you might be aware the village hall committee is trying to source funding in order to maintain and breathe new life into our community space! To do this we need feedback from the users to explain why the village hall is important to them and what they would like to see updated/improved. Without this, we cannot move forward with any grant request.
So we would be really grateful to hear from you.
Why is the village hall important to you?
What change would improve your experience with the hall?
How much of an impact does the village hall have on the surrounding community?
How can the village hall extend its appeal more widely?

Both Edward and Doreen were faithful members of our telephone service during Covid and we were very pleased at our recent Eucharist Service to welcome Edward, his niece Linda, and Doreen’s daughter Sarah for the blessing by Reverend Robert of a kneeler stitched in memory of Doreen.

Tufty Tots at the village hall   6 months – 5 years old  The Tufty Explorer and Learner sessions are planned using the Early Years Framework. Each activity has been tailored to help our little ones reach their developmental milestones in an engaging safe environment. Each session will include singing, dancing and storytelling. Immersing our little ones in new vocabulary, developing their understanding of language and text patterns. To ignite a love of learning we will explore a new story each week… meeting new characters,  discovering different settings and embarking on a range of adventures. Nurture Time For You… On arrival you can pre-order your hot drink and treat… it will be waiting for you after the singing and storytelling input. Enjoy some ‘you’ time.    

Open Day at The Beehive   On Saturday 6th April, The Beehive, Honiton’s community entertainment centre, shall be opening the doors and inviting the public to our open day from 10am until 2pm. The day will give members of the community and visitors from far and wide a chance to discover our diverse range of events, activities, cinema screenings, theatre productions, our café and so much more! During the day, visitors can enjoy live music in the café and free samples of delicious homemade cakes & bakes, discover what events we have coming up in the year, learn more about becoming a volunteer and find out about our venue & room hire.
In the auditorium there’ll be stands providing information about a range of our community groups that use The Beehive. These include Honiton’s Community Theatre Company, TASH: Advancing Inclusion, U3A and Slimming World. There will even be a special theatre performance by Theatre Kidz!
A message from Owen and Sophie
At this moment Sophie and I would like to reach out to you all in ‘the village’ and thank you dearly for your kind words and support during this time. The sudden nature of Jayne’s passing has been felt by many and by far, and we are strengthened by the outpouring of love given by those who were fortunate to have known her.

    St George’s Quiz Night In the village hall on Saturday April 20th starting at 7.30pm.

Ploughman’s supper included, BYOB, £7 a head. Please call or message Nick on 07973 797447 to reserve a table.  

Table Talk at the Otter Inn Lent is often mistakenly thought of as a dreary time, a time of self-denial and abstinence that for many does not feel at all life-giving, especially on days when it never seems to stop raining and when much in the news is so awful. So it can be tempting to forget about Lent altogether! But as we have been exploring in Table Talk session at the Otter Inn, hope can shine into the darkest of places. All welcome to come and join us at the Otter Inn Wednesday evenings in Lent at 7pm. Just turn up or for further information email Julia    


Seven councillors met for the March meeting. Phil Twiss (DCC), Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) and one member of the public were also present.

Highways Phil Twiss said that thanks to a combination hard work by DCC Highways’ teams and the milder winter, the service has recorded 5,500 safety defect potholes in January, slightly below the 7-year average (5,926). This compares well to the 7,500 in 2023. The significant reduction in the gritting operations frees up resources to continue the planned patching operations, again helping to reduce safety defect potholes across the county. However the prolonged wet weather of the last few months does not help matters when trying to make repairs to the highway. Phil Twiss added that the ‘report a problem’ website now looks somewhat different To this Alasdair Bruce added that people should firstly report every relevant hole they find in the road and, secondly, regularly check that it hasn’t been removed from the online map before a successful repair, as this can affect insurance claims. If it has been removed, put it back on and keep doing so until the hole is fixed.

Finance. Members agreed the finances.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website which the force is aware of, it is not possible to report crime statistics.

Planning applications.

a) Land at Weston Park Devonshire Road – Construction of new industrial units (Use Class B2) – the clerk agreed to check whether this was another iteration of an application that had come before the parish council last year, to which there was no objection.

Road closures. 20 March: road to Catshayes closed to install sewer level equipment.

Broadband. Adam Powell reported that Richard Foord MP had accepted his invitation to a meeting on 4 th April to discuss the delay in rolling out superfast broadband. He has also invited representatives of other parishes similarly affected, and rural broadband campaigners. To share your experience of poor broadband in Gittisham village, please contact or telephone 07535 233558.

Footpaths Hayne Farm to Gittisham village. Adam Powell and Alex Rowe said they had met representatives of the Combe Estate and the Marker family to discuss a range of traffic-free routes between the new development and the village. The most likely option was a permissive path past the farm

shop and barns to the village along a serviceable farm track that ends by the old marlpit, as it might be more acceptable than a right of way. Conditions of use could be determined by the estate and could potentially be limited to certain times of year. The second route discussed was under the overgrown railway bridge at the Hayne Farm development to follow the hedgerows down to the minor road leading to the garden centre and village. If approved, in both cases the routes and conditions of use may change, as the built landscape is likely to change in the future.

Village play area. The clerk reported that the legal side of releasing the S106 funding for the outdoor ping pong table had been completed, and the parish council could now proceed to purchase the item. This was one of the most popular choices in the public consultation carried out before the pandemic.

Next meeting. Thursday 4 th April at 7.30pm in the parish room.

Parish Council links     Who’s who              

Emergency Plan    

Parish Council Clerk       Email:                   Tel: 01404 851442

How’s your broadband?

Of course, we know the answer and yes, the Parish Council is ‘on the case’. Those of us with a connection to the village wifi Voneus do have a fairly good service but it depends on the weather, foliage, pigeons in the way, etc. You do need to have a direct line of sight to the transmitters. Others are left with coping with little more than dial up, How is this affecting you? Your work, your education, your leisure, managing health, finances, etc. Do you feel disadvantaged?  It’s not a money thing, it’s just not reached us here in the village. The Parish Council is meeting our MP next month and it will greatly strengthen our case if we can give him some anecdotes from people of all ages, backgrounds and careers. Please send your thoughts to or speak to one of your Parish Councillors. Thank you

The Equinox and Big Tides Hamish Hall

On the 20th March the sun will pass across the earth’s equator, moving from the southern hemisphere to the northern.  This means the whole planet gets the same amount of sunlight and we have pretty much equal amounts of sunlight and nighttime (equi -nox).  The sun will all rise due east and set due west wherever you are.

This is also a time when we often get high tides and this year is pretty special.  On the 11th & 12th March, just after the new moon, we will have one of the highest and lowest set of predicted tides for the last eight years.  This happens because the tidal forces are strengthened when the moon is closest to the earth in its elliptical orbit and enhanced when the sun is over the equator.  The moon is almost at its closest to earth and on these dates (only 356,800km away, compared to 406,500km away  in October).    You may note that I;ve said predicted tides as the atmospheric pressure and strength of the wind can make big changes to both the height and the time of the tides

Wash out winter ! Jack Bartlett

Rain rain go away, come back another day! It’s been a while since I’ve written, but the weather hasn’t changed much! It really does need to dry up now, fields are saturated and just can’t take any more. The field work needs to begin but we can’t even get into the fields without making a mess. Slurry needs to be applied for nutrients to this coming years crops, and bagged fertiliser for the same reason. We also need to roll the grass fields, this smooths out any lumps, bumps and molehills so that when we cut the grass the mowers don’t hit these lumps and bumps. Soil contamination in the silage doesn’t make for a good feed.

The wet weather doesn’t mean we haven’t had much to, winter time means all the animals are tucked away in the sheds keeping dry, which means lots of feeding, scraping slurry and bedding up! We are also calving a lot of cows and heifers at the moment too, in just one day this week 7 calves were born! They like to keep us on our toes.

You may have seen lots of sheep around, these have done a good job eating down the excess grass through the winter, which in turn helps for making good quality silage in the summer. As the grass is nice and young & fresh.

Some fields will also be turned over and planted to maize, lots to happen in the next couple months!

Some of you will have noticed the track we have built to Catshayes, although still not completely finished yet, this has made a huge difference to get to and back from Catshayes without going all around the village. This will also help with some of the summer tractor traffic.

Bring on summer !