Sulgrave Camera Club visits the Oxford Canal

June 19th, 2018

The recently formed Sulgrave Camera Club enjoyed a first class outing to the Oxford Canal at Banbury on Tuesday 12th June. Perfect summer weather and the still waters of the canal provided ideal photographic opportunities. It was agreed that each member should submit his or her six favourite images for projection at the next meeting of the Club at the Star on Tuesday 10th July. More pictures of the members at work on the next page. (Click “read the rest of this entry”).

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Fun Day Celebrations at The Star Inn on Saturday 30th June.

June 16th, 2018

The Star Inn will soon be under new management and the new Landlords are planning a Family Fun Day on Saturday 30th June They write as follows:

Steve, Niki and Millie look forward to welcoming you to The Star Inn

We will be starting off with our Family Fun Day Celebrations on the 30th June. We hope you can join us. Please come and support our local Primary School, who will be raising funds for their playground project.

We will initially be running a temporary bar menu for two weeks, with local Chef’s, who have very kindly offered to step in! Our new Chef will join us at The Star, from Tuesday 17th July.

Popular events in the pub will continue. New ideas will be introduced, some of which have already been requested by villagers. It is lovely to see so many of you getting excited, and wanting to join in, using The Star as your community hub. The Star is a beautiful pub, with a fantastic garden. Hopefully the British Summer will be kind to us, so we can utilise this.

If any of you would like to set up a new club or have any reasonable requests (we did turn down happy hours from 6-9 I am afraid. I will not name, will leave you to guess who?) Please feel free to come and see us.

As well as a new menu, we plan to do a take away service. Details will follow shortly.

Keep an eye out for extended weekend opening hours. Especially now the warm weather is upon us. Long may it last.

You should have received your flyers for the 30th June. For those of you who know my daughter Chloe, she will be organising a fun dog show, for you to bring your pooches to. Chloe works at a vet in Abington. Entry fee is £1 per class. There will be an independent judge, as Chloe knows far too many of you. Classes will begin around 3pm, and are as follows;

Dog most like its owner

Most Appealing Eyes

Best child handler (under 12)

Best trick

Musical sit

Best 6 legs

Most suited pub dog – Landlord’s choice

* We hope to see you soon *

Summer Wildlife Report by John Sheppard

June 12th, 2018

John Sheppard writes:

I have been thinking recently of my childhood and my first interest in what was to become a lifetime passion, wildlife. I remember with a twinge of guilt the hours spent with my head inside a hedge looking for bird nests with a view to adding to my egg collection. This activity is frowned upon today, quite rightly, but it was an informative part of my knowledge of birds and their habitat. This reminiscing caused me to ponder some of the birds and mammals that we struggle to see now that were relatively common then.

More information and pictures on the next page. (Click “read the rest of this entry”)

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Royal Wedding Day – afternoon at the Star Inn.

May 22nd, 2018

On a perfect May afternoon of bright sunshine and cloudless blue skies, many villagers drifted down to the Star Inn, still starry eyed from watching, on televisions big and small, the “fairy tale come true” that was the Royal Wedding. The idea of celebrating this event with a barbecue and games had been suggested at the annual get together of the Star Inn Aunt Sally team. The afternoon therefore gave everyone an opportunity to try Aunt Sally and the more traditional skittles as well as enjoying the ever popular dog show. Refreshments varied from burgers with a range of Hook Norton ales to tea in proper china cups and saucers, with delicious home made cakes.

Click on “read the rest of this entry” to see photographs of the event.

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May on the Farm

May 14th, 2018

Richard Fonge writes:

We are all thankful for the warmer weather after one of the latest wet and cold Springs for many a year. Because of the weather, Spring crops have been sown much later. An example on your walks is the field on Barrow Hill, sown with mustard as you may recall last autumn, now planted with Spring beans. In an average year these would have been planted in mid March, so a good five weeks late. This abnormal lateness has a significant effect on yield.

The Manor field now has cattle in it as do the fields up the gated road, once again a little later than normal due to the wet ground. I often hear people refer to these animals as cows. So here is a brief explanation of the terminology:

A cow is a female producing milk. A heifer a young female. A bull an entire male. A steer a castrated male. Therefore the animals you see in the fields around the village are all steers being reared for beef. These steers vary greatly in colour. This is because they are different breeds. The breed names come from their county or area of origin. To add interest to your walk (and it could be a quiz question at the Star) there are three breeds in the Manor field. The Hereford with its distinctive white face and red body. The South Devon, a light colour and a long somewhat mournful face and the Devon with the rich ruby red coat. The gated road steers are mostly Aberdeen Angus and therefore black in colour. The other thing to notice is that each animal has a yellow ear tag in each ear. All calves (term used to describe the young of both genders) have to be registered by the age of 28 days. The tags denote the country and farm of origin, and a number specific to that animal. Therefore all animals are traceable and are worthless if the tag is lost and not replaced. Sheep are also ear tagged and an extra point of interest concerning them is that the flock on the footpath behind Wemyss farm are the Romney Marsh breed. A breed not often seen in this area. Note the tufted knot of wool on their forehead.

Finally the cuckoo has been heard and our lovely part of England is looking at its best with the various blossoms especially the horse chestnut a particular favourite of mine and the fresh greenness of the foliage.

Richard Fonge.

To see pictures of the animals referred to in Richard’s article, with maps of where they are to be seen, click on “Read the rest of this entry”.

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Don’t forget! Royal Wedding day, Saturday 19th May. Activities at the Star Inn from 2.00 pm, now including a Dog Show.

May 13th, 2018

To celebrate the occasion of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Aunt Sally Group and The Star Inn are putting on a barbecue in the pub gardens from 2.00 pm. Other activities will include an Aunt Sally Competition, Dog Show and games for the children. Tickets for the barbecue are £6 and can be obtained from the Star.

“Gospel Bell” Tea Time Concert. Sulgrave Church. 4.00 pm. Sunday 1st July.

May 12th, 2018

Troy Daniels (of Helmdon Road and PC member) is a member of Gospel Bell and he describes Gospel Bell as an ensemble of musicians and singers based in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, playing gospel blues and country music.

Troy writes: “we play songs from old American poor black (blues) and white (country) music traditions, songs by artists like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blind Willy Johnson, etc.  All the songs that we play have been purposely chosen to be recognisable (such as ‘Let the Light From Your Lighthouse Shine on Me’; ‘Glory, Glory, Hallelujah’; and ‘I’ll Fly Away’), all have simple choruses so the audience can sing along with us.  The songs have their basis in rural poverty and contain strong expressions of faith – despite the difficult lives that the song writers and their contemporaries led. We aim to share these songs in different settings. These traditional Gospel songs have an uplifting spiritual edge, blended with musical influences from folk, blues and country. Our regular gigs are inclusive and all are welcome to join us. To reflect this, we describe the coming together of instruments and voices as the Gospel Bell collective. There is a rich tradition of Gospel music and Gospel Bell sustains this by drawing on blues, folk and country music influences to re-create these songs. Our songs are easy to learn and by joining in with voice and instrument, event participants become part of the Gospel Bell collective.”

This will be a great event for all to attend and even sing along with the band!

Tickets to be purchased before the event from Shrimp Christy, Ingram Lloyd or from the Shop.

Cost £10 per adult and all children over 11 years old.  Children under 11 years £2.

Refreshments will include cake, sandwiches and tea.  Any offers of help will be very welcome

This is a fund-raising concert and all proceeds will go to St James the Less

Shop Supervisor (Part time) required for Sulgrave Village Shop

May 9th, 2018

Village Shop Newsletter for May 2018

May 4th, 2018

April on the Farm

April 20th, 2018

Cuckoo photographed by John Sheppard

Richard Fonge writes:

This has been a late spring, with the wet and cold delaying the planting of Spring crops. They will now be planted a month later than is normal. It has also delayed the application of nitrogen, used to stimulate growth in both corn crops and grassland and therefore production. The cereal crops sown last autumn around the parish now require a fungicide spray. For any crop to fruit it requires the leaf to be kept green so that photosynthesis can take place. A fungicide does just that by keeping the many leaf diseases that attack wheat, barley, oat plants etc at bay. Keeping the leaf free from disease helps to make a bolder grain of corn, of higher quality. Fungicides came on the market in the late 1970s and have greatly increased the yields of all crops, in a safe and positive way, thereby enabling us to feed an ever expanding population. All sprays applied are only done so on the recommendation of an agronomist (plant doctor).

The ewes and lambs have not returned as I write to fields on the footpath to Stuchbury. Instead I noticed a small group of young sheep. I suspect that they are ewe lambs. That is last years lambs who will be bred from next year. The fields from the gated road across to the old railway line are now full of ewes and lambs. They have had a pretty wet time of it but have come through well as their mothers have plenty of milk for them. Lambs are reared on the ewes milk and grass in the main.

Towards the end of April the ground dries up and as the grass grows beef cattle will be returning to the Manor fields and up the gated road. But spring will have truly come when the Swallows arrive. April 10th is the day in a normal year, but we are at least six days behind this year. Sadly the sound of the cuckoo has disappeared from the countryside. Let us hope we hear him again. They usually arrive around the last week of April.

It’s a great time of year to be in the countryside, witnessing all the new life emerging.

Richard Fonge