Burwarton Show by Catherine Evans :: 07th August 2014

Clarrie and Mary

We were pleased to sponsor the Scarecrow for the Severn Hospice stand at Burwarton Show today and were thrilled to be visited by Mary from the Dairy whose Grandsons had told her about her resemblence to our scarecrow, Clarrie! All together there were 72 scarecrows on various stands around the showground and young and old were invited to buy a map of the Scarecrow Trail then tick them off as they enjoyed the show. You may recognise Mary as she is often at the Cleobury and Ludlow Local Producers markets with her butter churn making delicious traditional butter pats.

Summer Shows by Catherine Evans :: 08th July 2014

419One of the best things about the summer is the shows! They range in size from the local village fete to national events but all celebrate our traditions and rural communities. The first and biggest is the Royal Welsh Show which is on from 21 – 24th July at the Showground in Builth Wells, a couple of hours drive from here but well worth it! This year the next show will be Tenbury Show on the 2nd August, only 8 miles from here and always on the first Saturday in August. This is a real local affair featuring livestock, horses, horticulture, food, arts and crafts. It also hosts the annual national Young Farmers tug of war finals! Unfortunately this year it clashes with Chorley Show which is a small local show run by volunteers, the highlight of which this year appears to be the Dog Show with categories such as cuteist puppy and waggiest Burwarton Showtail! My personal favourite is Burwarton Show which takes place on Thursday 7th August this year (always the first Thursday in August). This is another local show held on a local estate and organised by many of the tenants and local farmers. There is something for everyone, from machinery and agricultural merchants, through livestock and horses, local food and drink to a huge fun fair set apart from the rest of the event. Finally we have Farlow and Oreton Village Show at the start of September which is the smallest of them all but has all the traditional handicraft and horticultural classes that are fiercely contended!

Not so woolly jumpers! by Catherine Evans :: 03rd June 2014

Sheep Shearing

Late May or early June is when the sheep are sheared. As the weather gets warmer they no longer need their woolly fleeces and if left on can result in health problems. Shearing is definitely hard work as every sheep has to be man-handled into position and held whilst the job is done. This year the commercial flock were shorn in just over 3 days with help from a nephew and his friends! We only have 6 ewes here at Broome Park and that is enough for John to shear on his own! Fortunately he managed to do them on Sunday and they are looking very slim out in the field, we just need it to warm up a bit! The fleeces are all bought by the Wool Marketing Board and currently they are worth about £1.40 each, not much more than the cost of having them sheared!

May Madness by Catherine Evans :: 01st May 2014

Crooked Steeple

May is the traditional month for Morris dancing, starting with today, May Day, when the stomping of feet and clashing of sticks is said to represent the battle between good and evil, and the triumph of summer over winter. After dancing last Saturday at The Sun Inn in Leintwardine to celebrate St George, Crooked Steeple Morris are off to Upton Upon Severn’s Folk Festival this Sunday. We start with a procession through the Town, starting at 12 noon, about 40 different sides are taking part this year (although I’m still not sure where Belly Dancers fit into the Folk scene!). We end up dancing outside one of the pubs on the riverside and even have a show spot this year at 3.30pm – if we think we are good enough!

The following Monday evening (12th May) we will be dancing at The Angel Pub in Stourport on Severn and finally in May we will be dancing t Cleobury Country Farmers Market on Saturday 17th May from about 11am.


Hobsons New Visitor Centre by Catherine Evans :: 17th March 2014

Nick at the Pumps

I had a great evening last Thursday as I went along to the launch of the new Visitor Centre at Hobsons Brewery. There was a real buzz to the evening and lots of beer samples to try – my personal favourite being the Stout! Delicious food was provided by Four C Sons catering and stone baked pizzas fro the Fabulous Cob Oven Company. In keeping with Hobsons ethos the building is built sustainably using local wood and stone and sits on the edge of the Brewery site, overlooking fields and the town of Cleobury Mortimer nestling below. On entering the builing there is a small retail area, selling bottled beers and merchandising, then the bar stretches out on the left and wooden tables and benches along the right hand wall. There is also a galley typekitchen area where it is hoped cookery demonstrations will be held in the future.Hobsons Visitor Centre

Initially Group visits will be limited to certain dates and I am pleased to announce we are able to arrange tours on the following evenings - Thursday 15th May, Wednesday 11th June, Thursday 10th July or Wednesday 17th September. The tour will cost £15  per person and include a tour of this local, award winning brewery, generous tastings of Hobsons full range of beers, complimentary pint glass and a hot supper – fantastic value for money! Please mention at time of booking if you wish to be booked on a tour.

Early Lambs by Catherine Evans :: 10th February 2014

Early Spring lambs

I have my first bottle fed lambs of the season. We always start lambing soon after Christmas although this year the ewes were slow to get going, meaning a last minute rush towards the end of January. These 2 are a couple of weeks old and have been named Dior and Chanel (as one lamb has No. 5 on it’s side!). They are bottle fed twice a day and also eat a dried food, like muesli. I am always happy for guests to help with feeding.

At the moment we have sheep in every nook and cranny as the wet weather means it is too miserable for the early lambs and ewes to go out in the fields, cold and frosty weather would be much better! We have also had to bring in most of the expectant ewes early as the fields are so muddy the grass isn’t growing and it is difficult to get around the fields to feed them.

Vintage Tractor Rally by Catherine Evans :: 19th January 2014

Vintage Tractors

This photo was taken early in October when the local Vintage Tractor Rally passed the bottom of our drive. On this occasion there were over 100 tractors and they could be seen snaking along the lanes into the distance, quite a sight to be seen! (Although not so popular if you are stuck behind them perhaps!).

Over the Easter Weekend the National Vintage Tractor Road Run is taking place in and around Bridgnorth when over 400 vintage tractors are expected to participate. As well as enjoying meeting up with like minded people from around the Country and sharing their passion they also raise money for a local charity, this year the County Air Ambulance, a very worthwhile cause.

Boxing Day Walk by Catherine Evans :: 26th December 2013

Boxing Day Walk

It is traditional in our family to take a walk on Boxing Day. This year as the ground is so wet we had to find a route that avoided the fields so decided to head for Catherton Common, a circular walk of approximately 2 hours duration. The weather was fantastic and the views from the Common are stunning, my photograph doesn’t do it justice! We were lucky enough to see 3 buzzards and a red kite circling above the Common.

The Common has fabulous birdlife. Skylarks, linnets, meadow pipits and yellowhammers – birds that were once common everywhere but have vanished from many of their old haunts – can still be found on Catherton Common, singing from sky and tree. A vast pesticide-free area, it’s also a haven for bees, dragonflies and many other insects. The Common was bought by Shropshire Wildlife Trust in 2009 thanks to Public subscription and is now cared for by volunteers.

Best friends Forever by Catherine Evans :: 06th December 2013

Mack and his new friend

Mack has a new friend, although I’m not sure how long they will remain friends as he has already removed both his ears and eyes! Now the days are drawing in Mack is happy to relax in his basket next to the wood burner and I seem to spend hours replenishing the log pile! There is something special about a roaring fire and there is a small wood burner in the guest living room for cosy winter nights!

This week we have been walking in the Wyre Forest which has different woodland trails to suit all levels of walking, from strollers and wheelchairs to longer routes for seasoned walkers. If you are feeling more adventurous there is also a treetop Go Ape course!

Yarnbombing in Cleobury by Catherine Evans :: 20th September 2013

Bicycle in Cleobury

Strange happenings were about last Friday night when people in dark jackets were seen attaching woolly items to posts, benches and buildings. As dawn broke people woke to the news that Cleobury had been Yarnbombed – a curious phenomenom where everyday items are covered with wool! The highlight was this bike which was placed at the entrance to the High School where a Classic Motor Bike Show was taking place. Benches, trees and lamposts on the High Street where festooned with woolly flowers and the War Memorial was draped with garlands of poppies. Everyone was going around with smiles on their faces, trying to track down the culprits! A clue could be found at the Severn Hospice shop where a beautifully decorated wheelchair sat outside and the ladies inside were raffling a selection of knitted goodies! The bike has relocated to the High Street, next to the Bank, which appears to be spewing money onto the street (in wool of course!). Take a look if you get chance – they won’t be here for long!

Vegetables from the Garden by Catherine Evans :: 06th September 2013


There is nothing more satisfying than picking and cooking vegetables straight from the garden! Today I am cooking a vegtarian evening meal for one of my guests so have gathered this wonderful selection! So, I fried a red onion, already harvested and stored in the outhouse, added the yellow courgettes and a red pepper (from the local greengrocer!). Next went in carrots and chopped french beans, along with some diced beetroot that I had parboiled and mushrooms. Finally I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, some tomato puree and herbs and seasoning. After simmering for about 15 minutes to let the flavours meld I transferred to an ovenproof dish and sprinkled with breadcrumbs. If the guest hadn’t requested a low fat meal I would have combined the breadcrumbs with grated cheese! Baked in the oven at 180 degrees for about half an hour and served with the broccoli, mange tout and runner beans – hopefully it will go down a treat!

Time out in Bridgnorth by Catherine Evans :: 17th August 2013

Bridgnorth Cliff RailwayBridgnorth is a perfect destination for a leisurely day out. The town is in 2 parts with Low Town straddling the banks of the River Severn and High Town on the cliffs above. The two are connected by a cliff railway, £1.20 for a return journey!

Bridgnorth is also home to the Severn Valley Railway where a trip can be taken back in time to a bygone era of steam! The line runs along the Severn Valley to Kidderminster with pretty stations and breathtaking views of the river. Highley is a must do stop with the Engine Shed where vistors can get up close to a range of rolling stock. Travellers are always surprised to see rhinos and elephants alongside the line as the train passes through the Safari Park at Bewdley! There are often themed weekends for all ages – check out their The Bandstand, Bridgnorth Castle Gardens website for more information.

If you don’t want to take a trip on the railway just wander around the pretty historic streets and through the Castle Gardens which are beautifully maintained and a riot of colour in the Summer months, as can be seen from this photo of the bandstand.

Browse the wide range of independent shops or visit the Antique Centre in Low Town, before having lunch in one of the quirky cafes or pubs.

Finish the day with a stroll along the river or a drive to Daniels Mill, a picturesque working watermill on the outskirts of town.


A Day out on the Severn Valley Railway by Catherine Evans :: 29th July 2013


On the Footplate

I have recently spent 2 different days at the Severn Valley Railway and had a fantastic time on both occasions! The railway runs from Kidderminster, where the mainline network joins this historical steam railway, to Bridgnorth, snaking along the banks of the River Severn, including a stretch through the West Midlands Safari Park – always a thrill to see elephants or rhinos from the train window!

This is photo of me on the footplate yesterday afternoon – I had been helping run a stall in aid of Severn Hospice for the very successful Ladies Day organised by the SVR and my friend Sue very kindly organised for me to stand in the engine! It was so hot – if you are planning to treat someone to one of the very popular ‘Footplate Experience’ days I suggest you go for a cooler month than July!

A couple of weeks before I had travelled the entire route with Crooked Steeple Morris, getting off the train to dance at some of the stations! Unfortunately it was the hottest day of the year so dancing was quite a strain but we had a great day out! All the stations are beautifully presented with colourful borders and baskets and authentic props to set the scene. Many of the stations have been used as film sets so it is interesting to try and spot landmarks!

Haymaking by Catherine Evans :: 04th July 2013

Haymaking at Broome Park Farm, Cleobury Mortimer

It seems as if Summer has finally arrived! The sun is shining and the forecast is good for days to come! Wimbledon is in full swing and the strawberries are just starting to ripen in the garden. It is also excellent weather for haymaking. This field was mown last week and the grass has been ‘bobbed’ – turned with giant spinning forks – a couple of times to help the drying process. Mack is just checking to see if it is dry enough to bale! I think it is and it will probably be baled tomorrow, into small bales that are easy to handle and particularly favoured by smallholders and horse owners as they are easy to man handle. Otherwise, if it is intended for our own livestock it will be made into large round bales which are easier to feed mechanically.

The 17th Century comes to Broome Park Farm by Catherine Evans :: 20th June 2013

The 17th Century comes to Broome Park FArm

One of the nicest things about running a B&B is the interesting people I meet and the many and varied reasons they have for visiting Shropshire. Judith and Des Thomas (Colonell Granville and Mistress Judith) are historical re-enactors and visit the local secondary school every year to give Year 8 pupils a taste of life at the time of the English Civil War – 1642.

I was surprised to learn they are Roundheads, not Royalists and Des explained to me that everyone at the time dressed the same, often reusing clothes and weapons from the battlefield, combatants wore identification features such as tree branches or a scrap of fabric to identify their allegience.

For the pupils I think the highlight of the day is the firing demonstration where they get to experience the noise and smell of muskets and a cannon. However pupils also learn about civilian life – 17th century games, food and way of life through artefacts and authetic foods for them to taste.

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