Advent Calendar Window No. 2. High Barn, Manor Road

December 2nd, 2017

Penguins – the girls own choice! More pictures on the next page.

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December 1st. Sulgrave Advent Celebrations begin. The Village Bus Shelter is transformed!

December 1st, 2017

Photograph by Jo Horne, who was also responsible for the artwork

Each day of December in Sulgrave sees the unveiling of an individual decoration, usually a house window, celebrating the Advent season. Villagers gather to share mince pies and mulled wine whilst waiting to admire their neighbours’ latest flights of imagination. In as much secrecy as was possible in such a public place, a small and dedicated team transformed the village bus shelter into a manger, complete with very woolly sheep, within which to stage the nativity scene. More photographs on the next page.

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Village Shop Newsletter. December 2017

November 30th, 2017

Sulgrave Neighbourhood Watch

November 24th, 2017

Sulgrave Parish Council are keen to find a villager to be coordinator for our Neighbourhood Watch scheme. It is a role that would not take up much time and isn’t difficult but it would be satisfying to know that you would be helping to keep your friends, neighbours and family that much safer.

The coordinator’s duties are mostly carried out online to spread information and approve access to the system for residents. You just need a good internet connection to maintain and access the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Beyond this the effort put into the role is very much down to your own time and energy. Perhaps posting information on our website and the Sulgrave Newletter. If you require further information we can put you in touch with the South Northants Support Team.

Any person or a couple who are willing to carry out this valuable service to our community, please get in touch with the Parish Clerk, Christine on: 01295 276229 or

Thank you, Sulgrave Parish Council

British Legion Poppy Appeal 2017

November 21st, 2017

Ex-Serviceman Donald Taylor selling poppies around the village

Donald Taylor writes:

2017 has seen a new record in Sulgrave for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal. I was determined that by cracking the £900+ total of last year we could contribute £1000 to the Wappenham Branch target (our own – not imposed by anyone) of £5000.

Well! Between Church Service, Village Shop, the Star Inn and my door to door collection, we made £1094.41 and the Branch total stands at £5062.08, both figures beating our targets and showing a good increase over last year. The Royal British Legion does so much good work, especially with ex-service people and their families, so you may all feel proud to have contributed so generously. A heartfelt thankyou from the Legion and myself personally. I was amazed and thrilled at the reception given to me repeatedly as I toured the village. “We didn’t get our poppies from the supermarket because we knew you would be round” was a phrase oft repeated. Not only did you back up your words by donating over £720, even causing me to run out of poppies at one stage, but several new members will be joining the Branch and I have volunteers to help with next year’s efforts. Congratulations, SULGRAVE, on an outstanding result!

Donald Taylor

Proposed New Bus Shelter. An Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Church Hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday 23rd November.

November 19th, 2017

An extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Church Hall at 7.30 pm on Thursday 23rd November. The main item on the agenda will be “to decide on making an application for a PWL (Public Works Loan) to help part fund the purchase and installation of the replacement bus shelter including the time frame over which the loan will be taken”.

See here for full agenda.

November on the Farm

November 14th, 2017

Mustard Plant

November this year has started warmer than average, so we see cattle out in the fields that would normally be housed by now. The field at the top of Barrow hill has been planted with mustard. This is what is known as a cover crop. This material provides cover and a good habitat for wildlife during the winter and will then die down in early spring, returning green manure to the soil, before being planted with a cereal crop.

Field sown with mustard on Barrow Hill

See more on Sulgrave farming in November by clicking on “read the rest of this entry”.

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LOCAL HEROES. A tribute for Remembrance Day 2017.

November 7th, 2017

Frank Riches’ Military Medal (see later)

Whilst in no way denigrating those who rightly deserve to be called modern day heroes, it can sometimes seem that this title is nowadays conferred a little too lightly, especially by tabloid newspapers in search of a headline. When I went into the Star Inn as a young man sixty years ago, a majority of the men in there could have been said to be heroes but would have made no such claim. They were from a time when everyone “did his or her bit”. Four men could regularly be seen playing cards together. During the Second World War 1939-1945, one had been a navigator on Lancaster bombers, one had landed on the beaches at Anzio in Italy and fought his way through to Germany via Monte Cassino, a third an RAF pilot four years in a prisoner of war camp returning home half his normal weight and a fourth had been an anti-aircraft gunner in Malta. The latter island had been heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe on a daily basis. When others went to the shelters he had to stay at his post. He said little about it but I vividly remember that when he lit a cigarette, the hand holding the match would shake so violently he had to clench it with his other hand. At that time a veteran of the Great War who had lost a leg limped daily to the Manor where he worked as a gardener. He was always smiling with a kind word for everyone. I plucked up the courage to ask him about it. “Ah well, you see”, he said “I only lost a leg and many of my comrades lost their lives!” A local lad of barely eighteen, newly enlisted in the Wiltshire regiment, went up to the front before the Battle of the Somme. The soldiers told him that WILTS stood for “Will I live til Saturday?” He returned home badly injured but 20,000 of the men who were with him that morning didn’t live to see the sun set, let alone living until Saturday.

At this time when we stand in silence to remember those who didn’t return, we should also spare a thought for those who served and returned, often suffering mentally or physically, but are no longer with us. I therefore set out on the next page the stories of two local men, one who returned from the First World War and one from the Second.

Colin Wootton

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Annual Grafton Team Chase at Sulgrave. Sunday 22nd October 2017

November 3rd, 2017

Unlike the glorious sunshine and fast going in 2016, this year’s event took place under grey skies, with a crisp wind and very soft going. However, the drab weather served as a good background for the teams’ bright colours and spectators were kept busy replacing divots.

More pictures on the next page:

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Inaugural Organ Concert at Church of St James the Less, Sulgrave, on Saturday 21st October 2017

October 29th, 2017

Ian Tracey at the console of the restored organ after the performance

On Saturday evening 21st October, in the Church of St James the Less, villagers were entranced by a wonderfully varied programme of music played on the newly restored organ by distinguished organist Ian Tracey. The concert was arranged to celebrate the completion of the restoration stage of the church organ project. The organ has now been restored to its original 1892 condition making it one of the very few working Binns’ organs of its age and excellence.

However, the project is not only about restoring the organ. A scholarship scheme is planned to enable enthusiasts to learn how to play this magnificent instrument, together with a fund to pay for an organist for regular church services and to maintain the organ.

Those wishing to contribute to this fund can do so by visiting and clicking the Virgin Giving button.

See next page for details of the programme and some pictures from the event.

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