Sulgrave Parish Council Meeting – 7.30 pm on Thursday 2nd July (via “Zoom” technology)

June 29th, 2020

Under current Covid-19 regulations the holding of a Parish Council meeting in public is not allowed. The meeting on Thursday 2nd July at 7.30 pm will therefore take place by means of “Zoom” computer technology.

Parishioners having the appropriate equipment are invited to join the meeting via the internet by going to, meeting ID 519 094 4288, password 5qCgkQ or join by telephone by dialling 203 051 2874 and entering meeting ID 519 094 4288 and password 350167.

The connection will be available from approximately 7.25 pm.

Click here to see the Agenda for the meeting.

June on the Farm (2020)

June 22nd, 2020

Pale blue flax (linseed) flowers contrast with a solitary poppy

Richard Fonge writes:

The consequences of a very wet Autumn/Winter, followed by two exceptionally dry months in April and May, can be seen in the crops around the parish and further afield. As you walk the path to Barrow Hill, the two fields of wild flowers are full of butterflies and insects, having gone through the wood you come to a field mostly bare with a few clumps of wheat. This field was sown wheat in October and the water-logging of the soil over the winter has killed it all except for those small clumps.

Up the gated road the spring wheat is coming into ear, and do take note how the green the leaves are and free from disease. This means a fungicide has been applied at the right time, so that the leaf can maximise the sunlight for photosynthesis to take place, thereby improving the quality and quantity of the grain. The beans up the Moreton road are in flower and like the other crops need some more rain.

On the Stuchbury path fodder turnips have been planted above the electric fence for the sheep to graze at a later date. The yellow flowers are those of charlock weed.

The other crop widely grown this spring is the linseed plant, now in flower creating a sea of blue. Linseed seeds are crushed for their oils, being used in paints and oiling of certain woods, and the oil has medicinal uses. The fibres of the plant were once used extensively to make linen, in particular bedding and tablecloths. But why are we seeing so much planted this year? Two reasons I would suggest. Weather and agronomic. For some years now an invasive grass weed, called black grass has been difficult to control in cereal crops, and by planting linseed, beans and turnips in late spring the black grass can be killed with a herbicide prior to sowing making control more effective, and hopefully making a serious problem less so.

Today our villages have changed so much from the time I grew up in the fifties. Back then most villagers either worked on the land, or had a close connection to it. I recall some of those characters:

Reg Isham who worked for my father at Stuchbury, who thought this new thing called an electric fence was useless, touched it wearing his hob nail boots, leapt into the air a foot and never went near it again! His brother was known as Samson. He had as a boy been asked to help push a thrashing machine that was stuck and when he did, it came out. Hence the nickname. He was waiting in Greatworth shop once to be served with his baccy, and was asked by the shopkeeper if he had planted his broad beans. The instant retort “The b—–s will be up before I get served!”

Finally a smallholder farmer in Marston St Lawrence said to a friend of mine he would pay him two shillings to pick his windfall apples up. He did so with the help of another boy, and when he went for his money, he gave them a shilling each!

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop – Now open to one person at a time.

June 16th, 2020

Sulgrave Village Shop and Post Office is now open for for one person only to enter at any given time.

Click here for opening times.

Village Shop Newsletter for June 2020

June 5th, 2020

SWAG’s Treasure Hunt. May 2020. All the winners! All the answers!

June 1st, 2020
Sulgrave Village Shop

Where it all began!

SWAG’s 2020 Treasure Hunt ResultsJoy writes:

Thank you to all who participated in the SWAG’s Treasure Hunt. Some of your answers were very amusing and informative even if incorrect.

Much to our relief no questions proved totally elusive.

The results were extremely close. Well done everyone.

The joint winners with only one incorrect answer were the Ball family, and Donna and Clive Nicholls.

Third was Anthony Barrett

Joint Sixth were Carol and Guy Churchill, the Garnetts and Donald Taylor.

Merit prizes for Jack, Theo, and Alex.

Prizes will be winging their way.

If you would like your marked questionnaire returning please let me know.

Joy 760048


See next page for all the answers (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)

Read the rest of this entry »

June Parish Council Meeting cancelled.

June 1st, 2020







Richard Fonge,

Chairman, Sulgrave Parish Council


May 25th, 2020

VE Day 2020. Villagers strolling whilst respecting social distancing pause to chat to those sitting on their drives

Sulgrave’s figure of eight pattern lends itself to an enjoyable stroll taking in all the main streets. Many the houses, especially the older ones, face onto the streets, enabling an exchange of greetings between strollers and residents, greatly valued in the absence of social events. It occurred to the SWAGs (Sulgrave Women’s Action Group) that interest could be added to these daily perambulations by devising a quiz requiring only careful observation to complete. This was duly prepared and questionnaires are freely available from the bus shelter opposite the Village Shop. Alternatively, a copy for printing may be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

All that is needed to complete the questionnaire is a pencil and one or two sharp pairs of eyes. Add your name and contact number and pop it through the door of the Village Shop. Sunday May 31st is the closing date. Answers and results will be made available on this website, in the Newsletter and on the shop notice board after May 31st. Prizes will be awarded but will not, at the present time, include a trip to Disneyland Florida!

Click here to download the questionnaire.

May on the Farm (2020)

May 21st, 2020

January 2020


May 2020

During the “lockdown”, the swamp that was Footpath AN6, alongside the double hedge near Stuchbury, has become a desert!

Richard Fonge writes:

With all the concerns of living through a pandemic, what a delight it has been to hear the cuckoo. It’s arrival every year with its distinctive song was once taken for granted, but sadly we haven’t heard him for some four years, but on the 15th and 16th of this month he was in great song. Just like the return of the swallows in April, it is one of those events that always raises the spirits.

The natural world has great powers of recovery and the ability to regenerate. Two examples of this in our parish are the old railway line, where since its closure some fifty plus years ago vegetation has grown up naturally along that old line, a lot of it being the hawthorn or whitethorn now in full blossom and referred to as may blossom. The hawthorn and the blackthorn are members of the rose family. The fruit of the hawthorn are the haws, the Wild Rose the hip and the blackthorn the sloe.

The second example is on the Moreton Road or the gated road as it is more commonly referred to. Here the verges were not cut back to the hedge last winter, and as a consequence the field maple is already thriving and some three feet in height. Hedge maple like the ash grows very quickly and soon re-populates a barren area.

Lanes with grass verges like the Moreton Road were once used to graze cows, when there were smallholding farmers in the villages. It was my privilege to know a very successful farmer who died at the age of 101 in the early 1990s, who had started his farming career just before the First Wold War by milking half a dozen cows. His main source of summer grazing were the lanes around Berkswell village where he lived. Being free, it helped he and his young wife whose task it was to watch over them to get a foothold on the farming ladder. This was not an uncommon practice.

He also recalled to me that his grandmother who had died aged ninety at around the turn of the century, had told him as a young child how she remembered the victory at Waterloo in 1815.

Since the end of the wet weather, we have had a very dry April/May. This has resulted in a spring of slow growth, with a lot of land not being planted and left fallow to be planted this Autumn. Some fields have been sown to linseed as on the path to Stuchbury, others up Barrow Hill to what is called a cover crop. At the top of the Moreton Road can be seen beans on the left, being grown for animal feed, and on the right fallow land which has been sub-soiled. With this very dry spring and so much land not being planted after one of the wettest winters on record the harvest prospects do not look good. As I said in an earlier piece do not be surprised to see some foods cost more. I said earlier that nature soon takes back and thrives again, and after this year I am sure next will repay with a bumper harvest.

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop to open on Sunday Mornings

May 18th, 2020

From the 24th May the Village Shop will be be open on Sunday mornings from 9.00 am to 12 noon.  There will be freshly basked croissants, plus the usual ordering, collection and delivery service.

See here for Village Shop Newsletter for May 2020

Report on Sulgrave Parish Council Meeting 7th May 2020

May 12th, 2020

Parish Council notice on the entrance gate to the Castle Hill Ancient Monument Site



ON 7TH JUNE 2020

Councillor Richard Fonge was elected as Chairman and Councillor Will Priestman as Vice Chairman for the forthcoming year.

The Chairman presented his Annual Report (Click here to read the report)

A formal notice is to be put on notice board to advertise the one vacancy on the Council and asking for applicants

Councillor Will Priestman gave an update on the speed signs on the Helmdon Road. The delivery of the Solar Powered Speed Warning Sign is awaited (for erection by the Council). The moving of the 30mph signs back up the Magpie road, is awaiting approval.

Councillor Neil Higginson reported on the grass mowing. Very satisfactory. One complaint, that they had missed a small area in Towrise. He had spoken with the contractor.

Councillor Laura North reported on behalf of the Allotment Committee. Two more plots had been taken and cultivated, with the last two going to be cleared and left ready, making it easier to take on. To be advertised in this months newsletter

The Chairman reported that the Pocket Park was in good order, with the newly planted trees establishing well. It will remained locked until such time as the Government says otherwise

It was noted, what a tremendous job the Village Shop was doing for the whole community .

Footpath Warden Graham Roberts presented his report. All footpaths were in good order apart from AY3 which crosses the old railway line on the way to Moreton Pinkney.

Colin Wootton presented the report of the Castle Green Committee, including the news that the proposed Midsummer Fair has been cancelled. (Click here to read the report)

Councillor Anna Faure is to contact HS2 (High Speed Rail) about a number of matters.

Councillor Richard Fonge (Chairman)