Tree struck by lightning in Madam’s Close (in 1911!)

May 22nd, 2017

Former villagers Carol and Austin Pirie have kindly supplied an amazing postcard showing the results of a lightning strike in 1911 on the tree which once stood in Madam’s Close. The tree was effectively cut in half but produced further vigorous growth and survived for almost another 100 years. A more detailed reproduction of the postcard, together with later images of the tree, can be seen on the next page.

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The BT Telephone Kiosk

May 19th, 2017

Troy Daniels, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, writes:

Villagers may have noticed that BT have removed the public pay phone from the kiosk next to the shop.  BT advised the Parish Council in October last year that they would be removing the payphone due to low call numbers.

The Parish Council sought to adopt the telephone kiosk and reuse it to house a defibrillator and village guide for visitors to Sulgrave.  Unfortunately, BT since advised that due to structural safety issues with the telephone kiosk’s foundations, the Parish Council would not be able to adopt the kiosk and that the kiosk would be removed in due course.  The Parish Council also sought to use the site of the kiosk for its own structure to house a defibrillator and village guide once the kiosk was removed.  Unfortunately, BT advised that because the kiosk was on land owned by BT, the Parish Council would not be permitted to place a structure on the site.

BT has not advised the Parish Council of its timeframe for removing the kiosk structure, however it is possible that this could be done in the coming weeks. The work will involve: the removal of the kiosk structure and concrete slab on which it sits; the reinstatement of the surface to match the surroundings; the disconnection of the power supply and its pot ending – the safe sealing of electrical wires below ground level.  Villagers should expect some noise and disruption around the village shop while the work is undertaken.

The Parish Council continues to feel that a village guide and a defibrillator will be of significant value for the village.  The Council will seek to progress these projects and is actively seeking suitable alternative sites.  The Parish Council wishes to thank all villagers and community members who contributed to the village guide and defibrillator project.

Troy Daniels

Courtyard Tea Room at Sulgrave Manor

May 16th, 2017

Diane Kenny writes:

I am writing to ask if you could let the village know that the Courtyard Tea Room is open at Sulgrave Manor and welcomes the residents of Sulgrave to join us for lunch, light refreshments, high quality coffee, tea and cakes.

We are open every weekend from 11am and entry to the Tea Room is free of charge.  Full opening details are available on Sulgrave Manor’s new website

All of our food is homemade and freshly made and we cater for special dietary requirements and always have a gluten free option available.

I am attaching a press release we issued recently which gives background.  If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Diane Kenny, Director “First We Eat”, Woodford Halse.


A Surprise Party at Church Cottage

May 9th, 2017


During a “surprise party” on 4th May 2017 at Church Cottage, Church Street, Sulgrave, Shrimp Christy was presented with various tokens of the the esteem felt for her in the village on the occasion of her retirement as Churchwarden. Shrimp assured everyone that she will continue to play a full part in the daily life of the Church.

More photos of the irrepressible Shrimp and a few of the guests on the next page.

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Funding Fair at Towcester Racecourse on Tuesday 6th June

May 7th, 2017

For more details, see the South Northants Council website at:

Mobile Library Timetable, June – November 2017

May 7th, 2017

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