A Month of Beginnings
January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology.
Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totalling 304 days. Winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February. So that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days).
Here in Stinchcombe
After much thought, we have decided to revert to the calendar before 713BC and not hold a TGIF until … things get a bit better.
Following on from our first apple day last autumn, and with high demand from several villagers (Jess, Jayne and Steve for a start) AND the kind offer of the use of the orchard at Eaves Barn by Lynn and John, there will be an informal village wassail THIS SATURDAY 15th Jan 3pm-6pm.
What is a wassail?
What’s a wassail? Firstly it’s a chance to get together and toast one another’s good health (Waes Hael in the anglosaxon… to which the reply is Drinc Hael), secondly it is a chance to thank and bless our trees for their bounteous crops last year, and WAKE THEM UP so they give us a good crop this year! It’s noisy and it’s fun. There will be mulled cider and apple juice to warm us up. And you may just get crowned Lord or Lady of Misrule! Dress warmly and bring something noisy for the part in the ceremony when we wake up the trees and bring a mug to share the wassail bowl.
More information on wassailing can be found on the village website
Also read this page
We have reinstated our public meetings…below are the next two that are planned.
- Thursday 3rd February Retrofit & Heat Pumps
- Thursday 7th April Transport..Electric Vehicles & Bikes
Our meetings are held at U.T.E.A (the Chipping Hall) Wotton-under-Edge at 8pm.
As far as possible they are COVID secure, with tables set 2mtrs apart and we recommend people to wear face masks. Give us a nudge if you are coming at email@example.com
All are welcome.
Our own Great Migration
If you think that jaw dropping Wildlife is only to be found overseas, in Stinchcombe we are blessed with our own Great Migration – the annual return of amphibians to their ancestral ponds. On warm(ish) wet nights in early spring, hundreds of toads (and some frogs and newts) make their way across fields, hedges, ditches, woods to the ponds where they spawned to mate. We probably wouldn’t know it was happening if it wasn’t for something else they have to cross: the roads. If you’re driving down around St Cyr’s at the right time, it is very much the wrong time- the lanes are littered with the little creatures and it is nigh on impossible not to squash them. Unless of course, some kind humans help them.
For quite a few years now, Stinchcombe has been blessed with a strong team of volunteer Toad Patrollers who keep a weather eye on the lanes and are ready to grab raincoats and buckets to collect up the toads on the roads. It is now time to put together the team for 2022. It’s an interesting way to spend a February early evening – enjoying the full moon, the stars, owls, badgers, foxes, mice as well as the various amphibians on our patch, and social distancing is so easy!
Gloucestershire Toads On Roads
Tramping up and down the lane on cold, damp nights is not for everyone and there is no guarantee that you will see a toad but there are other ways to help out; investigating sightings, putting up posters etc. If you would like to help out this year, please let me know.
Even better, sign up to Gloucestershire Toads On Roads – GlosTOR– a county organisation linked to the national Amphibian Charity Froglife. They coordinate all the toad crossings in our county and provide guidance as well as feeding our results into the national database for important conservation work. You can sign up to GlosTor here: 2021 GlosTor Signup Form. If you have signed up before, please do so again- they don’t reuse contact details from previous years.
We are in Stroud District and our crossing is Stinchcombe Church Road. They will then put you in touch with me as Patrol Manager (one of my favourite descriptions) and I’ll be in touch with more information.