Sulgrave Celebrates VE Day 2020

May 9th, 2020

Apart from a heavy rain shower in the late afternoon, the weather on Friday May 8th was perfect for parties in gardens and on front drives. The quiet atmosphere which we now take for granted and the light wind allowed neighbours to “socialise” without breaking any regulations. The almost total absence of traffic meant that those doing their daily circuit of the village on foot could also stop for a chat at a safe distance. The village looked particularly beautiful in the May sunshine, with the verges and churchyard newly mown and union flags and bunting to be seen everywhere. Here and there, Vera Lynn’s voice was carried on the breeze. There was, without doubt, a collective raising of spirits.

More photographs on the next page (Click on “Read the rest of this entry”)

Read the rest of this entry »

VE DAY 2020!

May 8th, 2020

8th May 2020. VE Day. Lockdown. Early morning at the corner of School Street and Church Street. Not a breath of wind. Not a sound to be heard other than the dawn chorus. Seventy-five years ago today, excited villagers flocked to an impromptu party in the courtyard of what is now known as The Old Farmhouse. Many of the village menfolk were still away including my father in the army. I was seven years old and my mother decorated my tricycle with so many flags it was difficult to ride. I have yet to find any photographs of that day. I am sure that many photographs will be taken of today’s celebrations, constrained though they are by the Lockdown regulations. These will be interesting to future generations, hopefully in a world that has learned lessons from the pandemic, wondering what we all did “during the Lockdown”! Please feel free to send images to this website for inclusion on the “Village Images by Village Photographers” page.

Colin Wootton

Email: [email protected]

April on the Farm (2020)

April 21st, 2020

Richard Fonge writes:

Whilst we are in lockdown, the land around and all it supports has to be cared for. The hundreds of ewes and lambs in the fields around Sulgrave are testament to many days and nights of dedicated stockmanship before they arrived in the fields, and will still need looking at every day. We as humans immunise our babies against various diseases that afflict us, and this is just the same with animals, but obviously difference diseases. Lambs need protecting from a clostridium group of soil found bacterial diseases, which include Pulpy Kidney and tetanus are fatal. This is done by giving the pregnant ewe an injection six to eight weeks before lambing, which then passes the immunisation onto the lamb through the milk. That first milk soon after birth is absolutely vital to its well being.

I said last month that it would be interesting to see what crops would be sown after the wet winter or indeed if some land would be left unsown. Well the fields up on the concrete road were planted into spring wheat, which is just emerging, and like our gardens are in need of rain. These fields were cultivated, drilled and then rolled. The rolling with ring rolls is done to firm the seeds in the ground to aid germination, and to break down any remaining lumps of soil. (On grass fields a flat roll is used to flatten out the tread marks of the stock.) Up the gated road, Spring barley has been planted on the right and beans at the top on the left before the Weston road. A different method of sowing here. They were drilled direct into the old crop residue. But as you walk from Barrow Hill back to the village these fields will remain unplanted until the Autumn, along with others in the parish.

I finished my notes last month with a reminder to look our for the returning swallows. Two appeared on the 8th April just outside the village for a few days but have now gone as I write on the 17th. I am sure more will appear soon.

In these challenging times, aren’t we so fortunate like all rural dwellers to have footpaths to walk for our recreation. These paths are rights of way, across privately owned land and they give us a great opportunity to observe what goes on in the countryside, and I hope these notes help to enlighten my readers on certain things they see from time to time. To the landowners who maintain these paths we should thank and respect their privacy.

Richard Fonge


April 18th, 2020

Helmdon Road speed restriction signs in their new position

Richard Fonge writes:

The Council met on a Zoom (remote video) meeting to pass a resolution to enable our clerk to carry out her statuary duties until such time as we can meet again and in a proper manner. A two minute meeting!!

The 30m.p.h signs have now been moved back up the Helmdon Rd and we await the arrival of the solar powered warning speed sign to be put where the 30M.P.H sign was.

This may be delayed under present circumstances, but the grant we were successful in getting to cover the cost of the panel is now in our bank account.#

The April meeting should have been The Annual Parish Meeting where all the organisations within the village and the County and district council representatives give their annual reports to the Parish Council. As this was not possible, could I ask that the village organisations that usually report, submit a report to the village website and the next village newsletter, thereby keeping us informed of their progress.

We have at present a very good contractor mowing and strimming the village, who takes pride in his work, so could I please ask that all vehicles are parked off the grass so he can do his work.

Finally the Council would like to thank all those kind volunteers, helping others in our community, and a very special mention to Sulgrave Village Shop for providing such an excellent service in these difficult times. The dedication and organisation of all concerned is much appreciated by all . Thank You.

Richard Fonge. Chairman.

Little Street Applauds the NHS

April 16th, 2020

Click here to listen to the applause.

HS2 construction gets green light despite lockdown

April 15th, 2020

15th April 2020. Work resumes on fencing off the Marston Road near footpath AY12

See here for latest information on 15th April 2020


April 6th, 2020


CORONAVIRUS: How to request support from volunteers if you are self-isolating in Northamptonshire and need help.

April 3rd, 2020

Who can request support?

You should be self-isolating if you:

  • are over 70
  • have existing health conditions; or
  • are pregnant

Northamptonshire County Council are working to try to support people in these categories, in partnership with district and borough councils, voluntary organisations and volunteers in the community.

What support can you request?

If you are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus situation and have no other forms of support, you can contact us to request help with:

  • Urgent food deliveries
  • Prescription medication collection (delivered by our staff or district/borough council employees)
  • General support with loneliness
  • Help to get online
  • Posting mail

How do I request support?

Call 0300 126 1000 and select Option 5 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

How does it work?

When we receive your request we will pass your details to your local borough or district council who will match you with local volunteers or voluntary organisations.

They will respond to you directly within 48 hours of you contacting us.

The volunteer will confirm with you:

  • what help you need
  • any special dietary or medical requirements you may have
  • how you will pay
  • a date and time for your delivery

We cannot guarantee that you will be offered help but we will do our best to make sure you do.

Urgent requirements

Please be aware that we will prioritise people in urgent need of food.

​If you are in urgent need of food, we will check if:

  • you are already on the list of high risk people who need to be shielded
  • we can access anyone living close
  • you can make use of local food banks
  • your District or Borough Council can assist by putting you in touch with a volunteer in your area or a voluntary organisation


What about people with more serious health conditions?

The Government has tried to contact all shielded people and asked them to contact a call centre or register on a government website if they need support with any essential shopping or medication. Those that have said they need help will receive help directly from the Government based on their registration form.

This group includes:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

If you were contacted and haven’t yet registered for help you can still do this on the Gov.UK website or by phoning 0800 028 8327.

If you need help with a food delivery, and have received an NHS letter, please make sure you contact the number provided to arrange this.

If you are in an at-risk group but haven’t received a letter, please contact your GP surgery to request that you are added on the register.​

Click here for full details of this announcement

PLEASE NOTE: The village shop will be taking telephone orders on Saturday 4th April between 9am -12 noon for delivery or collection that day.

April 3rd, 2020

March on the Farm (2020)

March 30th, 2020

Richard Fonge writes:

As I write these notes, Spring has finally sprung, after what has been a long and very wet winter, with February being the wettest on record. In the midst of this pandemic we certainly need some sun to make us feel better. How fortunate we are compared to so many that we live in a rural area, with its footpaths and countryside to enjoy and the most pleasing of those must be the arrival of lambs in the fields on the Weston side of the village, to see them and watch them as they have their races certainly lightens the gloom. When farming I used to lamb some 350 ewes every March and at its peak you often had thirty plus lambs in one day, but at the day’s end after some sixty odd lambs being born, there was still that sense of wonder at the arrival of the latest one.

The fields up the concrete road as far as the bridge were half prepared for sowing last October before it came too wet to plant. I suspect they will now go in spring barley, or oats, or even left fallow to be planted wheat in October. Economics obviously come into the equation, so when costed out, is it better to leave or to grow a crop. There is no point in growing a crop if you can’t make a return and late spring planting compromises yield. So I will wait with interest to see what happens with all those unplanted fields around the Parish.

This worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus has brought home I think the need to produce as much food from our own country as is possible and shop locally. The last crisis to hit the countryside was the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak which put great restrictions on our movements for a short time, but what was shown was the great resilience of those small communities, often very isolated whether up in the dales of Yorkshire or the Welsh mountains, or Exmoor they all recovered in the course of time. I was one of a group of farming volunteers dispensing grants through a charity and whilst we heard many distressing stories, there were always lighter memories to take away, with that countryman’s down to earth philosophy.

The Cumbrian farmer whom we had granted as much as we could in monetary terms, but knew it was not really enough, thanked us and said “Us’ll have to find another hole in the belt then”. The Dorset farmer who we refused as we felt he had some cattle he could sell to ease his situation, who succinctly replied “Well tell your panel to come down and help catch the B…..s”!

Here’s hoping that April will be kind to us, with some nice weather and whilst sadly the cuckoo no longer comes, watch out for the return of the swallows around the 10th of the month.

Richard Fonge.

PS. A Reminder.

At this time of year we are surrounded by flocks of sheep either with lambs at foot or expecting very soon. The gate into Castle Mound was left open a few nights ago, allowing the young Rams to escape, reminding me of the need to be vigilant at all times when walking through sheep especially with dogs. Signs are up so please respect them and the sheep they are there to protect.