Church of St James the Less, Sulgrave. Organ Restoration Final Report.

December 9th, 2018

The final report on the organ project was completed many months ago and its publication on this website is long overdue. The fault is entirely mine.

Colin Wootton

ORGAN RESTORATION PROJECT – ST. JAMES THE LESS, SULGRAVE

A total restoration of our lovely organ in St James the Less Church was completed in December 2017 after extensive fundraising. The organ had lain silent and neglected for ten years.

This two manual pipe organ was built in 1892 by the famous Yorkshire organ builder, James Jephson Binns. It is now one of very few remaining pneumatic action organs in exceptional condition.

The organ was completely dismantled – leaving a ‘black hole’. Each of its 598 pipes was cleaned and re-tuned, springs, leather motors, pull wires valves and guide pins were replaced with new, the bellows were re-leathered, pallets were re-felted – the list is endless and quite technical!

The work was carried out, almost entirely in the church, by Peter Spencer, Organ Builder from Bubbenhall, Warwickshire over a period of just over two intensive months and these photographs tell just some of the story of the remarkable and detailed restoration.

The renowned organist, Ian Tracey, Organist at Liverpool Cathedral, performed at our inaugural concert in October 2017, and he stated that one of the reasons he accepted our request to play was because of the rather special organ that we have.

Since then we have received visits from various Societies of Organists, all the players being very impressed by the tone it produces.

We have also initiated our Scholarship scheme. We have tutored our first pupil and are currently in the process of selecting further student(s).

We are happy to receive requests for people to visit and to play this lovely instrument.

For further information contact:

Andrew Dixon

Libbie Foster

Joanna Smyth-Osbourne

Photographs of the project can be seen on the next page. There are seven pages, so continue to scan down to the end to see all the photographs  (Click on “read the rest of this entry”)

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 8th. Hill Farm House, Manor Road.

December 8th, 2018

Now exactly one week since the first event, the unveiling of the transformed bus shelter. This remains brightly lit thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers who take it in turns to collect the lamp and replace it after charging the battery. Now on to this year’s topical window!

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

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 7th. No 6, Towrise

December 8th, 2018

After another day of rain, once more the evening is miraculously clear. Seventeen to go. Can it last?

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

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 6th. Queen’s House, School Street.

December 6th, 2018

Another fine evening after rain. Yet more mulled wine and mince pies. Enthusiasm is undiminished. Six down and eighteen to go!

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

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 5th. The Old Bakehouse, Manor Road

December 5th, 2018

After a day of relentless rain, once again the atmosphere magically cleared just in time for the party and unveiling!

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

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 4th. The Star Inn.

December 4th, 2018

After an overnight frost, the weather has turned much colder with a brilliant crescent moon and morning star at dawn. However, a warm welcome awaits in the earthly Star with mulled wine and refreshments before going outside to unveil the window.

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

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 3rd. High Barn, Manor Road.

December 3rd, 2018

There is a lovely story attached to the working models in this colourful window. Click on “read the rest of this entry” to see the story at the very end of the photographs and also to see a short video of the models.

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Village Advent Celebrations 2018. December 2nd. Christingle Children’s Service at the Church

December 2nd, 2018

The idea of a Christingle service came originally from the Moravian Church in 1747 as a symbol of Christ’s light and love. The Children’s Society introduced it to the Church of England in 1986, and it has since become a popular service for all ages. This was the twenty-ninth service in the Church of St James the Less in Sulgrave. All money collected goes to the good work of the Children’s Society with the least fortunate of today’s young people. See the next page for more photographs of the children receiving the oranges with lighted candles….

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December 1st 2018. Sulgrave Advent Celebrations begin. The Village Bus Shelter is once more transformed.

December 1st, 2018

For the fifth year in succession, early on each evening in December a village window will be unveiled to reveal a Christmas scene, in the manner of a flap being opened on an Christmas Advent Calendar. We begin with the magical transformation of the normally rather drab village bus shelter into a cosy interior on Christmas Eve, when the children are safely in bed……

More photos on the next page……inside the bus shelter…..the opening ceremony with mulled wine, sausage rolls and mince pies….construction works…..the fish and chips van……a little history of the shelter….

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November on the farm.

November 25th, 2018

Richard Fonge writes:

This years harvest, turned out to be far better than expected. After such a wet, cold spring, and a long hot summer. Whilst some of the spring sown crops suffered from late sowing and the long hot summer those sown in the autumn favoured much better, with the slight drop in yield offset by an increase in price per tonne and no costs for drying the grain. Wheat, Barley etc has to be below 14% dry matter for storage and selling. Oilseed rape 8%. This year the long summer days did the drying, whereas in more normal years you are harvesting between dry and wet spells, and although the grain is ripe it often has to be cut before the next spell of rain. Hence the higher moisture content.

Autumn sowing has now finished in conditions that could not have been bettered due to a lovely stretch of weather. The concrete road has O.S.R to the bridge and winter wheat after that. Barrow hill wheat after the beans, and a cover crop of mustard in the field before that. Remember the reason for the mustard from last year?

The cattle we have seen in various fields up the Weston road and around the village have now been housed and most will be finished for slaughter by the spring. Next spring we will see a fresh lot of young cattle in these same fields, and so the rich cycle of life goes on.

But where do these young animals come from? There are many breeds of beef cattle, but two different sources. Firstly by breeding from a beef cow who will rear her own calf to the age of eight to nine months. This is known as single suckling. The calf is then reared on to be finished for prime beef. Secondly from the dairy herds of the country. A good 50% of dairy cows are put to a beef sire through A.I. and these calves are then reared for beef along with the pure bred male calves. In these days of specialisation the calves are sold on at various ages to beef farmers and that is how we come to see them grazing in the fields in our parish. Agriculture is a diverse and inter dependent industry serving us all.

Richard Fonge


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