Archive for 2020

Sulgrave Village Shop urgently needs more Volunteers

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Sulgrave Village Shop is regularly used and much appreciated by shoppers from many local villages. You do not need to be a resident of Sulgrave to become a volunteer.

See here for full details of the shop.


Village Shop Newsletter for August 2020

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Jackie Lonsdale Watercolour Exhibition at Culworth

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Jackie Lonsdale, much missed former manager of Sulgrave Village Shop, has clearly been very busy during the Lockdown period. See more of these beautiful watercolours of flowers at the Forge Coffee Shop, Culworth until 29th August.

Pop up Picnic on Castle Green – Saturday 19th September

Monday, July 27th, 2020


Remember! Castle Hill itself is now part of the public open space open to all.

Sulgrave Parish Council invites all residents and friends to a Pop up Picnic on Castle Green on the afternoon of September the 19th. The occasion is a get together for us all after six months of restraint. Dan Webster will be catering, with his excellent teas, which can be pre-ordered or bought on the day for £8 or £15 a double. Alternatively, bring along your own picnic. The Star Inn will be running a bar.

The new Community Hospital being built in Brackley is now near completion and this event will be an opportunity to make a contribution towards the Charitable Trust who are raising funds for the many extras needed. We hope that one of the trustees will be present on the day to say a few words.

Obviously the event will be subject to the Covid-19 guidance in force at the time. Further details to be given in next month’s newsletter but do put that afternoon aside and be part of a unique occasion.

Councillor Richard Fonge. Chairman, Sulgrave Parish Council

July on the Farm (2020)

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Polo Pony

Richard Fonge writes:

July is the month which sees the start of the corn harvest. The field of oil seed rape off Park Lane will soon be ready, but it will be some time before the other crops around the parish are ready, as they were Spring sown, and therefore later ripening.

The lambs have been weaned from their mothers. Within three days they have forgotten about each other, and if re-united would not bond back. At four months of age the ewe is ready to be weaned from her lamb if it has not been sold already for meat. The exception are the later lambing Romney Marsh breed, seen in the fields behind Wemyss Farm.

The horse is an ever present animal seen in the fields and being exercised around and through our village daily. These horses, depending on their type have various uses. We have point to pointers, who race over fences and are ridden by amateurs and they are thoroughbreds. The hunter is a thicker set horse, ridden for pleasure and following hounds in winter. These horses usually stand between fifteen and seventeen hands tall. A hand being four inches, and the measurement from ground to the top of the withers. We have polo ponies, a smaller horse as the name implies, used for that summer sport. A quick and nimble animal, often imported from Argentina. And of course the every day hack and pony ridden purely for pleasure.

Together they are a vital cog in the rural economy, bringing much employment, as they have done over the centuries. As a youngster I can remember bringing my pony to be shod by George Gascoigne at the forge in Church Street. With no traffic so to speak, he did his shoeing on the road outside the forge door, or if wet in the trap shed opposite. He was another village character of his day, who had no idea of time, and was upset when the street light went out at midnight, on one occasion, when he was still milking his cow by hand beneath it.

Click here to visit the website page with photographs of the old forge and George shoeing horses.

The past months have been challenging for us all, but here in Sulgrave we have blessed ourselves in the fact that we have a rural setting. It seems that many more people are thinking of moving from an urban to a rural location. In doing so they must embrace the country way of life. Agriculture is the prime industry, shaping the countryside, followed by the horse in many areas and they along with the footpaths and woodland enable us to walk and observe our surroundings, at our leisure as we go about our daily tasks.

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop Newsletter for July 2020

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Summary of “Zoom” Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 2nd July 2020

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Pocket Park notice listing the rules to be observed by visitors

The chairman opened the meeting by welcoming Mr Mike Powell of 9 Spinners cottages to the meeting, and he was duly co opted on to the council. The parish council has now it’s full compliment of six members.

The model standing orders, and financial regulations were then approved.

The idea of a village library had the full support of the council. The chairman reported that the P.C.C had agreed to have the library in the Church. Two volunteers had come forward to set it up and Councillor Priestman would be the council representative. So a library run by the council with the full support of the Church. To be proceeded with when Covid restrictions allow.

An event for the whole village to be held on Castle green on the 19th of September, was agreed. Websters to put on a village picnic. Further details in the August newsletter. An event that not only brings the village together, but will act as a fundraiser for Brackley Community Hospital.

Great improvements to the allotments, with only one unused plot. The council had paid for the ditch to be cleared out. The chairman thanked Graham Trower for getting the small digger and with his many helpers getting the job done.

Councillor Priestman reported that the solar speed sign would soon be installed in Helmdon Rd

Pocket park to be opened on July 4th with appropriate signage. (See photograph above).

Street signs to be re painted in Helmdon Rd and Spinners cottages. New sign to be asked for Manor Rd

Church Hall improvements. Andrew Dixon, on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, had sent a comprehensive report, updating the council on progress. Grant from HS2 soon to be released enabling estimates to be got for work..

Neil Higginson reported on grass cutting . All agreed on the excellence of our contractor
and will sign him up for another three years on the same terms. N.C.C will come and tidy up ash tree in church lane. All other trees under care of council to assessed under duty of care. The Council unanimously expressed its thanks to Ingram Lloyd for her work in reseeding the grass triangle at the junction of School Street and Church Street.

Richard Fonge. Chairman.

June on the Farm (2020)

Monday, 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.

Tuesday, 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

Friday, June 5th, 2020