Sulgrave Village Shop. Volunteers needed.

October 17th, 2019

“If you have a couple of hours to spare each week and you are feeling the need for a little company and fun, why not consider helping out at your community shop? Volunteer sessions only last for a couple of hours and can be flexible enough to suit your personal needs.

You need not even commit to once a week. Some volunteers work a fortnightly shift or on an adhoc basis. Volunteering offers the opportunity to meet a wide range of people and to experience something a bit different and out of the ordinary for most of us. We would like to hear from you even if you don’t live in Sulgrave and you live in the surrounding villages then please get in touch.

Duties include serving behind the till, baking, date checking, helping with stock and if you are a little artistic then updating the display board would really help.

The shop is here for our community and that, of course, means you. Please think about it, and for further information please ring:

The Shop – 01295 760066

or speak to Natasha or Jeanette.

Or you could pop into the shop for a chat. There is always someone there to help and we would love to see you.”

Sulgrave Village Shop Committee

Harvest Supper. Saturday 5th October 2019 in the Church Hall

October 8th, 2019

Now a firmly established custom, on the eve of the Harvest Festival Service in the Church, Sulgrave friends and neighbours join together to celebrate a successful harvest, over supper in the Church Hall.

More pictures of this event on the next page (Click on “read the rest of this entry”). Read the rest of this entry »

September on the Farm (2019)

September 27th, 2019

Colin Russell with his 1939 Fordson Standard

Richard Fonge writes:

We are experiencing some wonderfully warm September weather after what has been in general a good harvest. The yields of wheat have been exceptional, with the wet of June coming at the right time to fill the grain as it was forming. Farming is so weather dependent to produce the food we need to live, and in this country we have a climate that allows us to produce such a wide variety of meats, vegetables and grain to satisfy our appetites.

In our parish of Sulgrave we have the soil type to grow the grains and the pastures to rear the beef and lamb and for dairying. Whilst we can grow vegetables in our gardens the land is totally unsuitable for vegetables and soft fruit production on a commercial scale.

At present there is a strong debate within society around the eating of meat, but what we must remember that to treasure our countryside as we see it now, is that we must strike a sensible balance. An eminent academic recently stated that we should plough up the pastures used for beef and lamb production and use them for vegetable growing. By doing so he showed his ignorance and lack of research into soil types.

The many walks we can take around the village pass through fields with a variety of crops and whilst we all have the right to choose our diet, please remember that farmers would not graze cattle and sheep for the fun of it.

The blackberries are abundant this year and I have noticed that the chestnuts have plenty of conkers. On the Stuchbury footpath a strip of wheat has been left unharvested, which is a bit of a mystery why, but I will find the reason for the October notes. The ewes have returned onto the grass field on that path ready to receive the rams.

Earlier this month an annual vintage ploughing match took place in the field on your way to the Magpie. Some two dozen ploughmen took part, keeping an old tradition alive. Their dedication to maintaining these old tractors and ploughs in working order has to be admired. It makes you realise how far we have come in the mechanisation of agriculture when you see today’s machines working the land or passing through the village.

Finally a friend of mine the Rev Dr Gatward is preaching at our Harvest Festival, he is a countryman as well as a priest, and definitely well worth a listen. The service will be held in the church on Sunday 6th October at 6.00 pm.

Richard Fonge

Replacement of Kenneth Tattersall’s Bench in Moreton Road.

September 18th, 2019

Kenneth Tattersall’s bench when first installed in 2003

In light of recent events up on Moreton Road (the gated road) concerning Kenneth Tattersall’s bench, the Parish Council would like to invite you all to a fundraising Coffee Morning with a Bring and Buy Sale to raise money in the hope of replacing the bench.

This will take place on Saturday 28th September at 10.30am until 12.30pm at the Church Hall.

If you would like to contribute a cake and/or something for the Bring and Buy sale then please get in contact with Laura North on 07554982871 or email on [email protected].

Despicable act of vandalism in Moreton Road.

September 9th, 2019

On Friday 6th September, probably during late evening, the seat installed along the Moreton Road to commemorate the late Kenneth Tattersall’s 80th birthday, was deliberately wrecked by a person or persons unknown. Whilst the plaque on the seat states that it was a birthday present from his two much loved dogs it also served as a memorial to a much respected villager with a distinguished war record. The seat marked the limit of his daily walk with the dogs right up to his death in 2013. It had become a valued feature for the many pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists who regularly use this little lane. For this reason, with the permission of Janet Tattersall, consideration is being given to ways of raising funds for the replacement of the seat so as to perpetuate his memory in a place he greatly loved in his declining years. See more details on the next page (click on “Read the rest of this entry”).

Read the rest of this entry »

Another very successful Produce Show! See all the winning exhibits.

September 2nd, 2019

This perfect rose was just one of the many beautiful flowers to brighten the old Church Hall on the Annual Produce Show day. The weather was too uncertain for outdoor refreshments but young and old, in possibly record numbers, packed in to view the exhibits and enjoy the delicious cakes and tea.

Photographs of all the winning exhibits and some of the prize winners on the next page. (Click on “see the rest of this entry”)

Read the rest of this entry »

August on the Farm (2019)

August 19th, 2019

The Village Pound

Richard Fonge writes:

August is the main harvesting month and most of the crops are now safely in store. The one crop that we may see less of being grown is oil seed rape. This is a crop first grown in the early 1970s, that soon became an integral part of the corn growers rotation, as it made an ideal break crop from wheat and barley and the oil crushed from the seeds is widely used in numerous everyday products so making it a profitable crop to grow. But unfortunately it has a deadly enemy in the cabbage stem flea beetle, which attacks the plant at germination and the larvae are to be found in the growing plants stem, so restricting the uptake of nutrients to the flowers and therefore the yield. Nieonectonoid insecticides used as a spray used to be an effective control method against the beetle but have been banned due to the potential harm to the bee population. The beetle has the upper hand over the alternative insecticides, so many farmers are looking at alternative crops.

I was asked last month about the cacophony of noise coming from the lambs bleating in the field by the bridle path to Weston. This was due to the lambs being weaned from their mothers. At about eighteen weeks of age they are ready to be weaned and it only takes three days or so for both parties to forget each other. All animals are weaned or indeed wean themselves at a certain age from their mothers.

Field sizes are measured in acres and are still sold in acres despite the introduction of hectares with metrication all those years ago. 2.47 acres equals one hectare.

Two small areas of ground are worth mentioning in the Parish. Firstly the village pound, which is now a small patch of grass with a Silver Birch tree planted on it in memory of Mr Bill Henn a lifetime farmer in the village and Parish Council Chairman for many years. This area is found on your left as you leave on the gated road just before Manor View. Villages had a pound where stray stock was impounded and released back to the rightful owner on suffrance of a fine.

The second small field is the triangular one at the Magpie junction. This would have been used by the drovers for their stock to rest up whilst they themselves rested at the Magpie Inn, as it was in those days when the Welsh Lane was a great droving road from Wales to London. There are, or indeed were many of these small fields along that route where the stock were rested. Another point of interest is that along the Welsh Lane you will find farmers with Welsh names from time to time. Not all the drovers returned home for whatever reason.

The second droving road was from Banbury to Northampton market, with the stock being driven along from Thorpe Mandeville, to Culworth and onto Weston and Northampton. Therefore Culworth was a crossroads and that is why the road to Weston from Culworth is called Banbury Lane.

Richard Fonge

Village Shop Newsletter for August 2019

August 15th, 2019

July on the farm (2019)

July 23rd, 2019

Red Clover

Richard Fonge writes:

Firstly congratulations to our World Cup winning cricket team. Cricket is a sport very much associated with the greensward whether that be the hallowed turf of Lords or the village green. In Sulgrave Madam’s Close the field above the Manor and between Manor Rd and Little Street was where the Sulgrave cricket team played until about 1960. This field of grass as are many around the village are what are called permanent pasture fields, where the grasses are made up of many species, including perennial ryegrass, fescues, cocksfoot, Timothy and white clover, an interesting plant which is a member of the pea family and therefore a legume. White clover is a source of protein among the grasses and thrives on fairly tight grazing and not too much artificial nitrogen fertiliser, as it is like the alfalfa plant in that it has its own nodules that can fix nitrogen in the soil. A good example of a field sown to a mixture of perennial grasses and clover is on the footpath from Wemyss farm to the Stuchbury boundary. Sown last year it can be seen how the clover is increasing after some tight grazing by sheep. It appears that very little nitrogen has been applied.

Red clover another legume can be seen growing on our roadside verges, most notably up the gated road. Once used in grass mixtures for hay to help provide bulk and as a legume, protein, it has come back in favour especially for organic farmers. Both these clovers have medicinal properties. The white as a blood purifier, eyewash and the red for its estrogen. 

Roadside verges are corridors where wild flowers and insects can thrive without due disturbance, so need to be left unmown if possible. Two fields on the footpath to Barrow hill are wildflower meadows, sown to a mixtures some years ago as part of an environmental scheme, providing a diverse wildlife habitat. They are mown in late July, early August for hay after all the flowers have dropped their seeds. 

Finally the hedgerow briars are out in flower. So we hope for a bumper blackberry harvest, to go along with a good harvest of all the crops in our parish.

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop Newsletter – July 2019

July 19th, 2019