Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Very sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, today, 8th September 2022

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II. 1926 – 2022

It has been announced by Buckingham Palace that Queen Elizabeth II has died. The Parish Council and the people of Sulgrave are deeply saddened to hear the sad news of the passing of our much loved monarch. The flag on the flagpole in the churchyard is being flown at half-mast and a Book of Condolence will be opened at the Church for those who wish to pay their respects.

Richard Fonge. Chair, Sulgrave Parish Council

 

Prolisok Ukranian Dance Ensemble perform on Castle Green

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

On a glorious late summer afternoon, villagers and visitors alike were privileged to witness a scintillating performance of traditional songs and dances by the Prolisok Ukranian Dance Ensemble. Those present were captivated by both the energy and the grace of the performers, demonstrating universal support for the dancers and their country in its hour of need.

In 2018 the ensemble became the official London Ukrainian Dance Group on behalf of the Association of  Ukrainians in Great Britain, performing contrasting dances celebrating the diversity and soul of Ukrainian culture in a wide variety of venues.

 

Castle Green decorated in Ukrainian national colours.

 

Parish Council Chairman Richard Fonge welcomes the performers….

 

…who enrapture the onlookers with the colours of the dresses….

 

…..and the smartness of the tunics.

 

See next page for more pictures of Prolisok and other entertainments on the day.

Click on (more…)

An Evening with Paul Wilkinson, recent UK Portrait Photographer of the Year

Monday, August 29th, 2022

SULGRAVE SUPPORTS UKRAINE

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST 2022

A fund raising event for the Ukrainian Appeal will be held from 1 pm to 5 pm on Castle Green.

The Star Attraction will be the Ukrainian

PROLISOK DANCE ENSEMBLE

who perform contrasting dances celebrating the diversity and soul of Ukrainian culture. In 2018 they became the official London Ukrainian Dance Group on behalf of the Association of of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

Other entertainments include:

Raffle, Tea and Cake Stand, Skittles, Sports Day Games for children, Dog Show, Morris dancers, music and much more

with

The Star Inn for drinks and Websters Events for food.

Free admission and free car parking.

All monies raised will go to the Ukrainian Appeal. There will be a “bucket collection” so remember to bring those coins which simply don’t get used these days. Every little helps.

This event is being organised by village volunteers on behalf of the Parish Council.

 

Note from Richard Fonge, Chairman of the Parish Council:

It has been quite a coup to get Prosolik, the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble to come Sulgrave to perform their traditional dances in National costume…..this is a wonderful opportunity for Sulgrave to show its support to a Nation and people in need through no fault of their own. The Star pub had already led the way with their initiative of support.

August on the farm (2022)

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Maize at Stuchbury

Richard Fonge writes:

We are now officially in a drought, with harvest complete all around us. The harvest this year has been by all accounts a very satisfactory one, with the biggest concern being the fear of a fire. With the ground so dry and rock hard, no cultivations will be taking place until we have had some substantial rain. Oilseed rape needs to be planted by the end of August to get it established by winter, so a major concern.

The Agriculture industry (because that’s what farming is), is very fortunate in that it is visible to all as we go about our daily lives, and it is also able through local and National shows to open out and showcase our stock and machinery. Blakesley show earlier this month was a great example of this. I have been for nearly forty years a committee member and officer of an agricultural show, where getting across to the general public the countryside message has been one of our core aims and in September a good friend of mine whom I have worked with at the show and on other voluntary initiatives will be preaching at Sulgrave harvest festival. Dr Gordon Gatward O.B.E. is not only a priest but a true practical countryman with an understanding second to none of the countryside and its rural people. Well worth a listen, when we celebrate our harvest.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, and whilst the countryside that surrounds us is not spectacular in any way, it has a beauty all of its own, especially to those who have grown up in this area. The view from Barrow Hill is a good example.

Maize or corn as it is known in the rest of the world, has three varietal types. The cobs grown for human consumption and known as sweetcorn, need sunnier climes than ours (in more normal years) to be a success commercially. The types grown here are for stock feed or as can be seen at Stuchbury for energy generation through an anaerobic digester. Here the whole plant is chopped, whereas for human use just the cobs are picked. Badger damage in the crop at Stuchbury is extensive and can be seen where they have flattened the crop with their big paws to get at the cobs. There must be an army of them feeding at night!

Finally viewing nature and wildlife in action can be both inspiring and realistic in the way of things. An example: A young leveret was seen last month on Barrow Hill in the grass but on a second glance a buzzard had swooped and taken him.

Richard Fonge.

Village Shop Newsletter for August 2022

Thursday, August 4th, 2022

July on the farm (2022)

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Harvest in Full Swing (Photo: Graham Roberts)

Richard Fonge writes:

The present weather takes me back to 1976 when we had three months of sun and high temperatures, the only difference being that we just got on with life. A drought was declared and a Minister appointed called Dennis Howell M.P, a former first class football referee. Soon after his appointment it started to rain in September and he was dealing with floods! The severe hot weather brought swarms of ladybirds looking for food as the aphids their main supply had perished in the heat.

Back to the present and harvest has started on Barrow hill with the barley. The grain here will be fed to livestock. The straw (the stalks) is a valuable commodity. It is used for bedding, but barley straw is also a good feed and especially in a year such as this as a substitute to grass as it burns up under the sun. Pour some molasses over it and you have a nutritious feed for cattle or sheep.

On the Stuchbury footpath the beans like all crops are dying off rather than ripening. The pod numbers are good but due to the lack of rain over the last month, like all other crops the seeds are small.

All the lambs in the first field have now been marketed, leaving the ewes to their own devices. 

The oilseed rape on the Moreton or gated rd has extra value this year with the shortage of sunflower oil coming from Ukraine.

Grain when stored has to be at a certain dry matter. 16% for short term. 14% for long term storage. Oilseed rape. 8%. This year all grain should be harvested at these levels if these weather conditions continue, saving money on drying costs.

Especially welcome this year with fuel at its present price.

Farms get bigger as does the machinery to run them. This is inevitable with the shortage of people wanting to work on the land. In this part of the country we have family farms, large estates and contracted farms and they all share a problem of finding staff. A concern for the future.

Believe me there is not a more rewarding job than seeing the fruits of your labours when they are harvested,  whether that be a vat full of milk each morning or a field of corn harvested or prime livestock being marketed.

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop Newsletter for July 2022

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

June on the farm. 2022

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Newly shorn sheep on Castle Hill. Support local farmers by using the fine insulating qualities of their natural wool to keep yourself warm and cut down on heating bills!

Richard Fonge writes:

Last month I said that the crops were in need of rain, and at the months end we had rain, and the difference it has made is very noticeable, especially on the oats along the concrete road, and even more so on the beans on the Stuchbury footpath. Wheat and barley have ears of corn and are both members of the grass family. Oats come out in bell to form their seed. There are two large acreages of oats, on the left as you drive to the Magpie and up the concrete road to the bridge. They will be harvested for animal feed or breakfast cereal such as muesli .

In the years of the binder when sheaves were made and stooked it was always said that the stooks should hear the church bells three Sundays in a row before carried into the barn or made a rick of.

Barley is being grown in the field by Park lane. There are two types of barley, feed and malting, with different management for both. Malting barley after the brewing process has been completed produces a mash, which can be fed back to cattle. A nutritious high energy feed used by milk producers. I used to buy 20 tonnes at a time from Carlsberg. Also when available carrots and potatoes, which could be incorporated into a balanced ration. 

Most of the sheep have been shorn. With wool a much under used product, and heating costs rising, perhaps it is the time to wear woollen sweaters, rather than synthetic fibres and be able to turn the thermostat down.

It has been brought to my notice the precision planting of the maize at Stuchbury. G.P S or Global Positioning System is part of the modern tractor, where a satellite guides the tractor in a straight line and can plant the seed precisely. With G.P.S fertilisers can be applied at the correct rate across a field, after a soil analysis. Precision farming is here for the benefit of all, not least the soil on which we depend to grow our food.

The rain I mentioned at the start of these notes has made the prospect of a good harvest a reality. Something in the present world circumstances we should be grateful for.

Richard Fonge


Sulgrave celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – June 4th 2022

Monday, June 13th, 2022

Photo: Jo Powell

Plans had been made many months ahead for a village picnic on Castle Green on Sunday June 4th to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The morning dawned cool and grey. Rain was forecast on and off for the entire day. This was not unexpected and marquees and gazebos were assembled from wherever they could be found.

Photo: Graham Roberts

In fact so much cover was provided that all of the 150 or so people who attended could have found shelter. In the event the threatened rain failed to materialise and the various events went ahead as planned.

Website Editor’s Note: As I was unavoidably absent, I am indebted to the members of the Sulgrave Camera Club for the following images:

Photo: Graham Roberts

 

 Photo: Graham Roberts

 

Photo: Graham Roberts

 

Photo: Graham Roberts

 

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Jo Powell

 

Photo: Tony Keatley

 

Photo: Tony Keatley

 

Photo: Tony Keatley

 

Photo: Tony Keatley

 

Photo: Graham Roberts

 

Photo: Graham Roberts

 

Photo: Graham Roberts

Parish Council Chairman Richard Fonge proposing the Loyal Toast. See here.

Photo: Chris Behan

Photographers set up station on the hill to record a truly remarkable image……..

 

Photo: Graham Roberts.

Click on this image twice to see everyone in more detail and then use your computer’s horizontal and vertical bars to move around the picture (or enlarge in the usual way on your mobile). Either way, you will find the detail in this picture quite stunning.