Sulgrave Produce Show 2019 – Sunday 1st September in the Church Hall – 2 pm to 4 pm.

July 11th, 2019

Kate Miles writes:

Our annual Produce Show will be held on Sunday 1st September, 2-4 pm in the Church Hall with prize giving at 3.30pm. We are hoping that even more villagers will participate this year as this is a very enjoyable village occasion. I know every household could easily enter at least one exhibit from their garden, kitchen or camera. This is a fun event for everyone to enjoy with very few rules and very easy going judges! Tea, coffee and delicious slices of home made cakes will be on sale and there will be a raffle and prize giving at 3.30 pm. There is a very small Exhibitor Entry fee (£1 for people over 20 years old and 25p for those under 20 years old regardless of the number of exhibits you choose to enter) but admission to the show is free.

The Show Schedule and Exhibitors Entry Form will be distributed with the August Newsletter and published on this website.

Hope to see you all there

Kate Miles and Family.

We would very much appreciate donations of garden themed items for the raffle prizes. These can be left with Kate at Garden House, Manor Road or Janet Smith at Northston in School Street. Many thanks.

See here for reports on previous Produce Shows:









Community Bus Services

June 26th, 2019

It is just over one year since the County Council withdrew its support for local bus services. During that time, there has been no way for villagers without cars to access town services other than by begging lifts or paying for taxis. Community bus services are now being restored to surrounding villages by “Ability Northants” (see above). A representative of this organisation will be attending the next meeting of Sulgrave Parish Council at 7.30 pm on Thursday 4th July. Do come along to discuss what can be done for Sulgrave villagers.

Click here to download a leaflet.

June on the farm (2019)

June 23rd, 2019

Photograph: Jo Powell

Richard Fonge writes:

At the start of June our rainfall for the year was in deficit but the last week has certainly redressed the balance. Farmers are often criticised for always moaning about the weather, and at times they should keep their thoughts to themselves, but their livelihood as food producers does depend greatly on the weather. They take pride in their work and how the crops they grow and the livestock they rear look, so when the weather interferes to their detriment it hurts not only that pride but the financial return on that enterprise.

This is the time of the year when bees are at their busiest pollinating the crops and all flora. There are other insects that pollinate but none as efficient as the bee. In Sulgrave we have four bee keepers, so plenty of honey being produced. All arable farmers have to record the name of a local beekeeper for their crop assurance scheme and keep them informed of any field operations that may affect the hives.

I mentioned in my May notes the parish of Stuchbury. Many of you will have seen the sign to Stuchbury on the way to Helmdon and heard it spoken of. It is a parish of just over 1,000 acres with Sulgrave to the north, Greatworth to the south, Marston St Lawrence to the west and Helmdon to the east. It is one of the lost villages of Northamptonshire, now made up of three farms, two of whom exit onto the Helmdon road and the third onto the Welsh lane opposite Greatworth Park.

It was an Anglo Saxon settlement of around 700 formed by a man called Stut. A burh was the name for a manor and so the land was Stut manor. Therefore you can see how Stutburh evolved into Stuchbury over the centuries. The Danes wiped out the substantial village or town around 1000. Another point of interest was that the Saxons defined their boundaries with what we call a double hedge. That is two hedges planted with a bank in between, and this can still be clearly seen along the northern boundary adjoining the Sulgrave parish. Other pieces still remain in small segments.

I am indebted to my late Mother for these historical facts, as she did a great deal of research into the history of Stuchbury, when we farmed Stuchbury Manor Farm.

Richard Fonge

Sulgrave Village Shop Newsletter for June 2019

June 17th, 2019

Alison and Digby

Seven Sulgrave Gardens open in the National Gardens Scheme, Sunday June 9th 2019

June 10th, 2019

Appropriately, seven Sulgrave gardens were open to the public on the seventh occasion of the village contributing to the National Gardens Scheme raising money for charity. After a day of continuous rain on the Saturday prior to the event and another on the following day, we were blessed with a window of opportunity. Despite rival events in nearby villages, an impressive number of visitors seized this opportunity to view our beautiful gardens and enjoy the traditional refreshments.

Photographs on the next page (Click on “read the rest of this entry”)

Read the rest of this entry »

May on the farm (2019)

May 24th, 2019

Maize planted in the fields to the south of the Parish boundary

Richard Fonge writes:

As I write these notes the May weather is showing our countryside at its best. The crops up the concrete road are looking superb with the oil seed rape just beginning to lose its flowers, and the seed pods can be seen forming. The winter wheat after the bridge will come into ear at the end of the month. Winter barley off Park Lane is now in ear.

As you take the footpath to Stuchbury from the Helmdon Road you will have seen the two horses in the first field. The grey is a long since retired racehorse with many wins to his name and the bay is a point to pointer having a Summer rest. Nearly all the lambs in the next field are singles. The majority of these breeds of sheep have twin lambs, and these are grazing elsewhere with the singles in this field being aimed at an earlier market. Further on we have a field of winter wheat, but why has an area at the top of the field been mown when it looks such a healthy crop? I suspect it is because an infestation of black grass has been found, a grass that is very invasive and greatly reduces yield and is difficult to control. By mowing you cut the grass before it comes into seed, so reducing the seed bank and thereby controlling the weed. Going through the gate and into Stuchbury parish which is coupled with Helmdon, all the ploughed land has now been planted maize, to be harvested in October for the anaerobic digester seen in the distance with its green dome. (See here for details of the maize harvest in Richard’s notes for September 2018)

This year has seen very few swallows returning to Sulgrave, as is the case elsewhere. I have been told that last year was a bad breeding season by a Naturalist friend of mine, plus it could be couple with some disaster on their migration.

There has been quite a kerfuffle recently with the proposal to limit the control of corvids, pigeons etc. The pigeon as anyone knows who has a vegetable plot is very destructive, with its favourite the cabbage plant, so a field of oil seed rape another member of the brassica family is heaven sent for it. They descend in flocks of hundreds and can soon do real harm to the crop if not controlled. The rook and the crow are very different. The rook nests high up in the trees in a rookery and while at times destructive to young seedlings, it also feeds off slugs and leather jackets. Crows a larger bird with thicker beak and all black as opposed to the grey head of the rook, are cruel scavangers, and need keeping under control. If they see a weak lamb for example they will attack as will the magpie. So a balance must be kept.

Richard Fonge

Pictures of some of the many things described by Richard can be seen on the next page. Click on “Read the rest of this entry”.

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New Sulgrave Parish Councillors Needed.

May 22nd, 2019

Former Parish Councillors discuss a planning application

As can be seen from the above photograph, Sulgrave has a long tradition of electing or co-opting Parish Councillors with a real interest in village affairs.

The present Parish Council writes as follows:

Your Parish Council is very keen to find villagers to become new councillors. As we are your first tier of local government we feel we are best placed to satisfy the wishes of our community. Should your Parish Council fail to exist through lack of support, decision making would pass out of our hands. We as a community would have our influence to affect local issues greatly reduced. Being a Parish Councillor is a satisfying role that benefits your community; no previous experience required.

If you are interested or need more information, please get in touch with the Clerk to the Parish Council Christine Coles – [email protected]

Click here to visit the Parish Council Page on this website, where you can find a list of the current councillors and details of the roles and responsibilities of Parish Councillors and the current “Good Councillors Guide”.

Visit the LATEST PARISH COUNCIL NEWS to find out what issues are currently under consideration.


Ben’s Den now a living memorial.

May 21st, 2019

The willow saplings used in Ben’s Den in the Pocket Park have now taken root and are in full leaf, creating a wonderful living memorial.

Click here for details of the project.

High Speed Rail (HS2) Construction Works. Notice of Abnormal Load Movement during May and June 2019

May 8th, 2019

Eiffage Kier is the contractor carrying out the civil engineering works for the new HS2 line. As part of the early construction works they will be carrying out earthworks excavations using large construction machinery comprising excavators, bulldozers and dump trucks. These vehicles will be delivered to site under escort during mid-May and June 2019.

The delivery route for these vehicles will be from M40 Junction 11 at Banbury to the HS2 site near Boddington, as shown dotted in blue on the map below:

In total around twenty construction vehicles loaded on the back of low loaders will be transported slowly along the route under the control of an escort vehicle. The vehicles will be delivered in stages over a number of days.  No roads will be closed.

As reported on this website’s HS2 Information Page, the formal “notice to proceed” on the major construction works for the first phase of the project has been put back six months until December. The delivery of the construction vehicles is therefore part of the “enabling work”. As soon as information is available in respect of the commencement of construction works in the Sulgrave area it will be posted on this website.

In the meantime, villagers are reminded that construction vehicles in the vicinity of the village are to be restricted to the roads shown in blue dots on the map below.

If construction traffic is seen passing through the village please contact 24/7 Freephone 08081 434 434



Sulgrave Village Shop – Vacancy for Shop Supervisor

May 2nd, 2019


Shop Supervisor Part Time up to 30 hours per week We are a highly successful village shop and Post Office serving our community and run by our community for over 15 years. We are looking to increase the supervisory role(s) from June onwards and you would take a shared responsibility for the day to day running of the shop. Your primary role will be to provide a welcoming, well stocked, efficiently run shop which continues to be financially sustainable. Retail experience could be a benefit but training would be provided regarding operation of the till and Post Office requirements. You must be a team player as you will be interacting with joint supervisors, a bank of volunteers, the management committee and most of all our customers.

If this is of interest to you, please email your CV and covering letter to: [email protected] or drop it in/post it to the shop for the attention of Andrew Elliott Sulgrave Village Shop, Magpie Road, Sulgrave, OX17 2RT

Closing date May 31st 2019

See here for more about Sulgrave Village Shop