A tale about Poxy's Circus recalled in 1988

With thanks to Tony Ingham.

Poxy's Circus

The village of Sutton-in-Craven may be small but its community is well served by a lively and forceful parish council ever ready to fight for the rights of its residents.

Back in 1947 it was announced that one sixth of the village was to be sold by auction in the village institute.

Villagers, some of whom had occupied their picturesque cottage homes for scores of years, believed their chance had come to buy their own homes.

But on that black September evening 41 years ago there was to be disappointment for the villagers. The 81 properties, with a net rental of £835, were sold in one lot for £8,000 - a paltry sum for such dwellings, of course, these days. No wonder so many at the sale booed the decision.

The folk of Sutton are a proud lot and Yorkshire to the core. They are never afraid to speak their minds, although they have a splendid record in helping deserving causes.

They have alway enjoyed fun days. Back in the last century many were adept at quoits in thich iron or brass discs were hurled over a peg, and knur and spell - and the "lively lads" were not averse to taking part in illegal cockfighting contests at Sutton Stoop and Low Brow Farm.

The arrival of a circus was a red letter day for the village in the good old days. On one occasion Poxy's Circus came to Sutton and set up in the fields which have now been turned into the lovely park.

A number of mischievous local lads grabbed one of the circus ponies when no one was looking and daubed it with white stripes.

Everyone wanted to see the zebra type pony. But it did not go down too well with Poxy who vowed never again to bring his animals to Sutton.

Today the villagers like to entertain themselves and there is no better annual gala for miles around, while the churches and the schools organise many events to attract the villagers.

Sutton has had its problems with vandals and hooligans like most other villages. In June last year angry Craven councillor Tommy Carter called for the birch as punishment for tearaways terrorising the village park, of which residents are so proud. Evidently, drunken teenagers were seen brandishing knives and creating havoc in the park.

But such behaviour in Sutton is minimal. Largely the village is law abiding and has created a splendid spirit of community caring.

The biggest employer in the area is Silentnight, which has not been without its problems in recent years.

Looking after the YO news interests in Sutton is Margaret Almond, who eagerly awaits any newsy item. Give her a ring on Crosshills 32661.