Cricket for Youngsters at Culworth

April 30th, 2017

Cricket was last played in Sulgrave in the early 1950s. The pitch was situated in Madam’s Close. The wicket was enclosed by a post and barbed wire fence, removed to the boundaries on match days. The outfield was regularly mown by the resident cattle. In the absence of a pavilion, players and scorers sheltered under the surrounding trees. As can be imagined, this was a venue which left something to be desired! Culworth, on the other hand, always had and still has, an excellent cricket field, beautifully maintained. As set out above, this facility is available to Sulgrave youngsters for cricket training on Tuesday evenings. Cars can be driven onto the field so that parents can enjoy the game and the lovely view in comfort, if at some risk to windscreens!

High Speed Railway (HS2) – Community Update

April 21st, 2017

World War Two Gliders at Sulgrave in 1944

April 17th, 2017

Horsa Glider taking off, towed by four engine aircraft

In World War 2, towed transport gliders were built in large numbers to air-land troops with their heavier weapons behind enemy lines, without using parachutes. The Airspeed Horsa carried two pilots and 25 or more troops or loads like a jeep and anti-tank gun. It had a cylindrical plywood fuselage, a high wing with very large flaps and jettisonable main undercarriage, the glider then landing on a central skid and nosewheel.

In the late summer of 1994, two of these gliders suddenly appeared in the large field immediately to the east of the road between Magpie Farm and the Culworth turn. Presumably these had made an emergency landing in the field because of some problem during a training exercise. Donald Taylor has written a first hand account of how these gliders were removed from the field and this can be seen on the next page.  Read the rest of this entry »

Village Shop Newsletter April 2017

April 12th, 2017

Not happy with your Broadband speed?

April 10th, 2017

Help may be at hand! VONEUS are working with local communities in rural and metro areas to bring them the broadband that they need, consulting with community groups to find the best and most affordable solution.

The company are now exploring the possibility of providing an alternative broadband solution for the village but before anything else can happen they need to know that this is something which people want.

Here’s what you need to know about Voneus:

  • Voneus offer a fixed wireless solution that delivers average speeds of 50mbs (both upload and download)
  • This system is completely independent from your existing BT or ADSL line – so you do not need to keep your current BT landline in order to receive their broadband service
  • They also offer an optional VolP landline, that allows you to keep your existing number and could be used to replace your current landline
  • Data packages include: Essential: 20gb for £20/ month; Freedom: Unlimited (see fair usage policy)  for£34.99/ month
  • Installation costs start at £150 – this may vary depending on the complexity of your property’s installation – but you would be advised of any costs before they go ahead!

If this sounds appealing, or you would like to know more, please send your name, full postal address and contact number to to register your interest.

At the moment, the company are simply assessing the probable level of interest in the village, so any contact with them is with no obligation.


Voneus Limited, Southgate Office Village, 1st Floor Block B, 284A Chase Road, London N14 6HF

Telephone: 020 3026 4122

More on the Former Village Shop

March 25th, 2017

Charles Henry Godfrey

Ian Cherry writes (in respect of the item on the former village shop, see below):

My father* came for lunch last Sunday and I sat him down with my tablet so he could view the pictures of the old shop, he has lots of memories, before he had seen the picture of Queens House he said I wonder if there is a picture of ‘Great Gran Godfrey’ in her long outfits and sure enough he saw the picture of her on her bike, he couldn’t quite remember her full name but it is on the grave stone to the right hand side of the belfry door of the church. As he said, my mother would have been able to name all in the photographs. Godfrey & Walton had 3 shops, the other two were at Helmdon and Bredwardene in Herefordshire, Walton became a partner with Charles Henry Godfrey, they were related. The business was sold in 1918 and C H Godfrey bought The Retreat(now called The Old Stocks) for £130, later selling it for £1000 in 1939 to a man who wanted to get out of London when the war started, he said it was the best deal he had ever done. C H Godfrey owned Stutchbury Manor Farm and bought the land adjoining known as Painters, he sold the lot to the college(Oxford)and bought a farm at Aston Cantlow near Stratford upon Avon and set his son up, also known as Charles Henry Godfrey but called Ron. Today his son Charles owns the farm who we keep in touch with. When the business was sold in 1918 (Uncle) Cecil Walton as father calls him set up his motor bike business at Wisteria Cottage. The man with the moustache in the first picture father has identified as his Gramp or Great Gramp Godfrey, he says they all had big moustaches in those days. Gramp Godfrey gave the the Church Clock, that was commissioned by Smiths of Derby, along with a bequest to maintain it, this sadly eroded over time and became part of the church funds. I called in to see Charles Godfrey at Aston Cantlow a few years ago and he gave me his Grandfathers parish map of Sulgrave, dated 1885(surveyed in 1883) it shows every house in Sulgrave at that time, each map is 1/2500 approx 1.0m x 0.7m, there are 8 maps in total and show every field, tree, hovel, pond, in the parish at that time. Also enclosed are some pages to a ledger of around the late 1800’s listing the names of landowners/tenants in the parish: Seckington, Gulliver, Wootton, Linnell, Killbey, Hawkes, Wills and Pack to name a few. All interesting reading.

*Roger Cherry of Dial Farm House, Magpie Road.

The Former Village Shop 120 years ago!

March 14th, 2017

Photograph by S.W.A.Newton, reproduced by permission of Historic England Archive

Colin Wootton writes:

Victorian photographer S.W.A.Newton, of Leicester, made a comprehensive photographic record of the construction of the Great Central Railway between 1896 and 1900. The railway has long gone but fortunately his photographic record remains. Travelling by train and bicycle he also visited and photographed street scenes in villages near to the new railway. The glass plate negatives he produced would have required a large camera and a sturdy tripod and the plates would have needed careful transportation back to his father’s photographic business in Leicester for processing. He produced almost 1000 photographs and the whole undertaking must have indeed been a labour of love! A high resolution digital scan of a second of these photographs, of the former Village Shop, Queen’s House and the School House has now been acquired and reveals the then scene in quite astonishing detail. From this scan it has been possible to make some very interesting enlargements of people and objects, which can be seen on the next page.

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When every cottage had a pig……

March 8th, 2017

Photograph: Colin Wootton

Donald Taylor has made another journey down memory lane to the time of strict food rationing during and just after World War 2, when most villagers kept at least one pig in a sty in the garden. Donald’s father, George, a trained butcher, was much sought after at that time for the efficient slaughter and jointing of the pig, ensuring that the meat was safely “cured” for long time home storage.

Read Donald’s account of this process on the next page.

Read the rest of this entry »

Village Shop Newsletter March 2017

March 7th, 2017

Hook Norton Brewery’s Easter Ale at the Star Inn

March 3rd, 2017

Bruce Benyon, Hook Norton Brewery’s Operations Director, pulls a half pint
Photograph: Chris Behan

Chris Behan writes:

The launch of Hook Norton Brewery’s Easter ale at the Star Inn on Thursday evening, 2 March 2017 attracted a full house of real ale lovers from far and wide. Well, as far as Lois Weedon.

Bruce Benyon, the Operations Director of Hooky, pulled the pints, actually only half pints, but you could go back for seconds. Dreams do come true as it was all on the house, Hooky’s house I hope not Chris and Tom’s.

For a fleeting two hours the Star was a “free house”.

That appalling one-liner was inspired by Hooky’s own marketing department, whose promotional flyer for the Easter ale is full of corn, coining such dreadful expressions as “hop to it” and “we know you’ll all be eggscited”.

The conversations at the bar were, as ever, sports related, for instance, the Italian rugby team’s better knowledge of the rules of the game than most of the English players. We could have sought a professional opinion on the subject as we were in the presence of one visitor, David Grashoff, a TMO (television match official, for those of you who are not versed in rugby TV acronyms), but respectfully declined.

Well done Chris and Tom for a very enjoyable evening and, before I forget, the cheeses were great.

In the words of David Grashoff , “you can award a try”.

More photos on next page.

Read the rest of this entry »