The Parish Council is investigating the demand for a replacement Community Bus Service in the village.

November 18th, 2018

Villagers with limited access to private transport will be well aware that the Northamptonshire County Council’s “County Connect” bus service (above) has been withdrawn. The Parish Council is actively considering the need for a community bus service to replace it. The Council have been advised that Greatworth Parish Council and Helmdon Parish Council have partnered to provide a free weekly replacement bus service to its residents. This is costing a total of £90 per week to run, but is reportedly well used. The Parish Council is considering whether Sulgrave might run a similar scheme or join the Helmdon/Greatworth scheme. However, questions were raised at a recent Parish Council meeting as to whether the need exists in the village. The Council resolved to seek further information on the need for a replacement bus service in the village.

To this end you are invited to advise the Parish Council as to your views.

Please click here for a questionnaire for you to print off, complete and return to a Parish Councillor, or email it to the Parish Clerk at

Celebration Bells will ring again! Remembrance Sunday 11th November at 2.30 pm.

November 8th, 2018

Hywel Lloyd writes:
The Armistice to end the First World War took place at 11.00 am on 11th November 1918. Bells all over the UK rang to commemorate those who died, and to celebrate the new peace.
100 years later, these bells will ring again across the country. Sulgrave will ring at 2.30 pm on Sunday the 11th. If you are a bell ringer and would like to join us, please contact Hywel Lloyd on 01295 760520.
Remembrance Service in the Church at 6.00 pm on Sunday 11th November.

Click here to listen to the bells of St James the Less, Sulgrave.

A Local Story for Remembrance Day 2018.

October 25th, 2018

Donald Taylor dressed for the Royal British Legion fund raising campaign

This pristine Commonwealth War Graves headstone commemorating Lilian Taylor has kept its lonely vigil in Sulgrave churchyard for almost 100 years. To mark the centenary of the signing of the armistice which brought the Great War to an end, this year the Royal British Legion has created a special brooch dedicated to the memory of the courageous women who served and lost their lives as a direct result of the First World War.

Read the remarkable story of the connection between Lilian, the RAF wreath and one of these brooches on the next page (click on “…read the rest of this entry…”) Read the rest of this entry »

October on the farm. Sheep!

October 22nd, 2018

Texel Ram on Castle Hill

Richard Fonge writes:

This month I would like to write about the importance of sheep to our countryside. There are many breeds of sheep in this country, most of them named after the area they come from. Our mountains, moors and hills are dependent upon the sheep to maintain their beauty, we all so admire. I used to when farming run a flock of 350 Lleyn ewes originating from the peninsula of that name in north west Wales, and by crossing them with a Charolais ram from that region of France, they produced good meat lambs. The main breeding ewe in England is perhaps the mule ewe. A speckled face sheep of a taller stature than most. Some are in the field on the Stuchbury footpath. They are a cross between the Swaledale of Cumbria and the Blueface Leicester. The breeding of the mule is vital to the economy of North West and its landscape management. The female offspring of these sheep are sold at sales in places like Lazonby, Hawes, Penrith etc in the autumn and come south to form many farmers flocks. These sheep with their hybrid vigour, (and this also applies to many other breeds) are then crossed with a breed of ram to produce a good butchers lamb. The most popular Rams are the Suffolk, Charolais and the Texel originating from Holland. This breed can be seen on Castle Hill waiting to be called for duty by the Farmer and in the field to Stuchbury, where they are a work. I was given a sideways glance by one the other day, and I was reminded of Rumpole of the Bailey!

More on the next page – click on “read the rest of this entry”.

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South Northants Local Plan – Submission Draft – Implications for Sulgrave Village.

October 20th, 2018

District-wide Local Plans contain policies and proposals which guide decisions on the use and development of land during a prescribed period. They are prepared by District Councils in accordance with relevant National and Regional planning policies, in consultation with all interested parties and organisations and the general public.

The current Local Plan for South Northamptonshire was adopted by South Northamptonshire Council in 1997. The Council is preparing a replacement plan for the period up to 2029 which will, amongst other things, establish a Rural Settlement Hierarchy for settlements within the District; propose amendments to existing town and village confines lines, beyond which expansion will not normally be permitted; identify areas of important open space within settlements and address local development needs.

After a period of public consultation, the Draft Local Plan is submitted to government for approval. This involves an “examination in public” before an Inspector, where matters of common interest or concern are considered together, more informally than at a Public Inquiry. The Inspector’s brief is to ensure that the policies of the plan do, indeed, conform to current government planning policy guidance.

A full report on the Pre-Submission Draft Plan appeared on this website one year ago with advice on how to make comments to the Council.

Click here to see the comments made, including those by Sulgrave Parish Council.

We have now reached the actual Submission stage and the Plan is once more available for comment before it goes to the Inspector. As far as Sulgrave is concerned, a careful examination of the latest version of the plan reveals that there are no significant changes, other than a slight modification of the village confines line which is described on the next page.

As set out at the end of this item on the next page, comments on this latest version of the Local Plan must be lodged with the South Northants Council not later than noon on Friday 16th November.

Click on “read the rest of this entry”. Read the rest of this entry »

Village Advent Calendar Windows 2018

October 19th, 2018

For the fifth year in succession, early on each evening in December a village window will be unveiled to reveal a Christmas scene, in the manner of a flap being opened on an Christmas Advent Calendar.

Ingram Lloyd writes: “……a few more window volunteers are needed if the village Advent calendar is to go ahead.  Please contact me if you need more information but basically it goes like this:  a window of your house which is near the road has a simple / elaborate display which is covered up.

On your allotted day we all gather round at about 6.15, have a mug of mulled wine and chat; just before 6.30 we count down and then the window covering is removed; we cheer, admire the window, more chat and go home!

There will be a collection for a charity, which is still to be decided.  The openers may nominate a charity of their choice and we will have a mini vote.

If you don’t want to be an opener but would still like to be an active contributor, we do need cash sponsors as a lot of mulled wine is drunk!

Ingram Lloyd

To see each window from 2014 – 2017, click on the appropriate “archive year” in the right hand panel on the home page, scan down to December and choose a window to see in more detail, including the “unveiling party”.

Free Village Event! Leaf Collecting around the Stocks. Sunday 28th October and Sunday 25th November.

October 11th, 2018

Everyone is welcome to join in with the annual leaf collecting at The Stocks area on Sunday 28th October and again on Sunday 25th November. Please bring your freshly emptied Green Wheelie Bin and a leaf rake. Your Parish Council is in the process of encouraging the grass to grow under the two large trees (see above) and so your help in clearing the fallen leaves will be greatly appreciated.

Neil Higginson (Sulgrave Parish Council)

Annual Harvest Supper in the Church Hall. Saturday 6th October.

October 8th, 2018

….Shrimp with her apron and infectious smile….see below

The annual Harvest Supper was held, as always, on the eve of the Harvest Festival Church Service. Rather as at the village school parties of yesteryear, diners provided their own plates, knives and forks (all marked with pieces of coloured wool?) and bottles of wine, merely to drink a toast or two, of course. Cheerful queues soon formed at the tables laden with cold meats, quiches, salads and hot potatoes. The now traditional fruit sweets with meringues followed, after which I had the pleasure of thanking Shrimp and her helpers as follows: “….our wonderful summer now seems to be fading, somewhat reluctantly, into autumn. Harvesting was completed in record time and so here we are once more to celebrate one of the village’s most regular events – the traditional harvest supper. Earlier today I had a look through almost ten years of website photographs of previous celebrations. I was saddened to see how many of our former friends are no longer with us but was heartened to see the youngsters growing up to follow the old traditions. However, the one thing which struck me most forcibly over the entire period was the ever present image of Shrimp with her apron and infectious smile. Without Shrimp and her helpers there would be no harvest supper. I am sure we have once more enjoyed the offerings set before us and the companionship of our friends and neighbours and so I would ask you to join me in expressing your appreciation in the usual way…..

Colin Wootton

For photographs of this year’s supper and access to those of some previous events, click on “…read the rest of this entry..”

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History and entertainment in the sunshine on Castle Green

September 30th, 2018

In order to celebrate the proposed acquisition of the Castle Hill Scheduled Ancient Monument for the village and to raise funds for that purpose, a “Michaelmas Fair” was held on Castle Green on Saturday 29th September 2018. The weather was simply perfect, with bright sunshine from start to finish with a light breeze. Throughout the four and a half hours of the event, a continuous stream of villagers arrived to enjoy the traditional rural pastimes of bowling for a pig*, throwing the sheaf*, wanging the wellie, ferret racing and tractor rides for the children. A barbecue and a tent for teas and cakes provided the necessary sustenance. Drinks were also available from a bar organised by the Star Inn. A demonstration of wool spinning from sheep fleece using the traditional wheel and spindle, powered by a foot treadle, attracted much attention, as did the various knitted garments made from the wool. A further attraction was a wide range of seeds from the harvest, in containers allowing the seeds to be handled, always popular with the children. Also on display was a fascinating variety of old agricultural implements kindly loaned by Marton Museum of Bygones, Warwickshire and two vintage tractors. A cider press in use could also be seen, with samples of the finished product available. Visitors were entertained at regular intervals by live music from the village’s own “Donna and the Delleretts”.

The highlight of the morning session was the appearance of the Lord of the Manor, Lawrence Washington himself, to tell of the harvest in Tudor Times. Equally remarkable was the sight of the Saxon Thegn of Sulgrave himself, making his first visit for over a thousand years, leading the people up on to the mound which covers his one time prestigious wooden hall to tell of life before Ghilo de Pincquini and his followers arrived after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Full details of the history of the site, as derived from archaeological excavations in the 1960s and 1970s, could be seen on display boards in a small exhibition tent.

*As a youngster in the 1940s I attended many local fetes where one of the highlights would be bowling for a live pig – actually a small piglet which lay squealing in a hessian sack until triumphantly carried home over the shoulder by the winner. Farm workers in those days were adept at throwing sheaves of wheat high on to wagons or ricks at times of harvest and threshing (then a separate activity) and there was always fierce competition in this event. Sheaves are now nowhere to be seen and so in the photos which follow it will be noted that a sack of straw was used as a substitute. There were no wellies for wanging in those days since they were repeatedly repaired using bicycle puncture outfits until they fell apart.

The committee wishes to thank the many people who made this event such a success, including those who provided the excellent prizes for the draw.

Colin Wootton (Member of Castle Green Management Committee).

Photographs of this event can be seen by clicking on “read the rest of this entry”.

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Sulgrave features on Radio Northampton!

September 24th, 2018

The midday Helen Blaby show on BBC Radio Northampton features a variety of music interspersed with interviews with people from chosen Northamptonshire Villages, invited to “share your stories from where you live, with conversations, advice and topical items”. Sulgrave was chosen for Monday 24th September 2018 and the following “did the village proud” in respect of their particular interests: Steve and Nikki (Star Inn), Robin Prior (Village Shop), Shrimp Christy (the Church), Will Priestman (Parish Council), Emma Canterbury (Sulgrave Manor Learning Engagement Manager), Martin Sirot-Smith (Former Director, Sulgrave Manor and Chairman of Sulgrave History Society).

If you missed it, click here to listen again (available for 29 days)