Blog Articles

Flaming July!
I’ve always thought that living on top of a hill flooding would never be a problem but yesterday I was proved wrong! I got stranded in Cleobury when the road from Tenbury was impassable so I called on a friend who gave me shelter. John then told me not to attempt to get home as all roads from Broome Park to Cleobury were impassable too! Fortunately the water subsided as quickly as it had come and I was able to get home by 10pm – to a power cut! This morning damage has been wide spread and I think we got off lightly, the Ford at Neen was running fast and further downstream the bridge at Neen Sollars has been washed away – a long detour for trips to our favourite pub!
Green Room goes Twin!
I have changed the bed in the Green Room to a zip and link format which means it is now a luxurious superking bed but can also be configured as 2 full size singles! In recent months I have noticed more couples are asking for twin over double rooms so decided I needed to cater for these guests too! Feedback so far has been great with all guests remarking on how comfortable the bed is, whether twin or double. Why not take advantage of the 3 nights for the price of 2 winter offer and come and try it out for yourselves!
Neen Savage Jubilee Party
Despite the unseasonably wet weather a huge number of parishioners and scarecrows gathered at the Parish Hall to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Festivities included games, stalls and a delicious tea; scarecrows had also gathered from all corners of the Parish for their Annual Convention. The ‘Royal’ judge went with the popular vote, choosing The Royal Barge as the overall winner, closely followed by an amazing willow Bodicea! The Royal Barge had been lucky to survive the wet weekend moored under the footbridge on the River Rea.
Afternoon Tea
Guests recently requested afternoon tea instead of a 3 course dinner which is my usual offering for an evening meal. I was happy to oblige and this is what I provided – a selection of sandwiches, fresh fruit salad and a selection of home made cakes. It was very well received! Iam always happy to accommodate guests preferences whenever I can! I enjoyed some delicious cake this week on a visit to Shelesley Walsh Hill Climb venue. Hill Climbing is a motor sport where cars compete against each other to travel up the hill in the fastest time possible. The venue was formed in 1905 and is very proud of it’s heritage, celebrating with a weekend of Nostalgia at the end of July – more details on their website. A great idea for something different to do when staying here...
John O'Groats to Lands End
Another first for Broome Park Farm B&B – our first JOGLE cyclists! Simon and Mark are cycling to raise money for research into pre-enclampsia at John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford and Cancer Research UK and hope to reach Lands End on Saturday. So far they have raised over £15,000 for their good causes.
Puppy Drama
It has been a traumatic week here at Broome Park – Mack ran out in front of a car on Tuesday and has a broken leg. He spent Wednesday night at the Vet’s but we were able to collect him this morning. He is now sporting a very stylish green and blue plaster on his back leg and managing to hobble around! I think it is going to be tricky keeping him quiet whilst his leg heals, even if he looks very comfy in his basket in this photo!
Shropshire Sunrise
A beautiful frosty morning today and I was walking the puppy just as the sun was rising – bliss! The photo doesn’t really do the view justice! January has got off to a great start and half term will soon be upon us – I suggest if you are thinking of coming to stay you book up now! We will hopefully have lambs on the bottle to feed and John is planning another batch of calves to be raised on the bucket. Why are animals (and people?) so much more appealing when they are young!!
Welcome to 2012
Our first arrivals for the New Year are 2 Aberdeen Angus calves, who have been named Sunny and Lucy after 2 more of my daughter’s friends! It is apparently a great honour to have a farm animal as a namesake! 2012 is going to be an exciting year for Shropshire as the Olympic Games approach with Much Wenlock being widely recognised as the birthplace of the modern Olympics and there are many events planned to celebrate this in the run up to the Games in London. Closer to home the Olympic Torch is passing through Cleobury Mortimer on the afternoon of the 24th May and a committee has been formed to ensure it is a memorable occasion! More news as events unfold!
Clog Dancing in the Pub
Just to get in the Christmas Spirit Crooked Steeple Morris danced in The Kings Arms, Cleobury last night. It is always a bit of a squeeze, even with all the tables removed and sofas pushed back against the walls - I feel sorry for the Christmas tree and those looking for a quiet pint! It is fantastic dancing on the wooden floor – the noise is amazing although I wouldn’t recommend popping down the cellar to change a barrel when we’re in full dance! Thanks to the Staff for being so supportive and the delicious sandwiches!
Yet More Piglets at Broome Park Farm!
Our latest arrivals are piglets Ellie and Bumble – named after 2 of my daughter’s friends! These ones differ from previous piglets as they have sticky up ears! This is because their mother is Gloucester Old Spot, as usual, but their father is Pietrain – the aim being to produce a leaner pig. They certainly look very snug in the straw! The puppy has now been named (finally) and he is called Mac, short for Maceson!
New Puppy at Broome Park Farm
Great excitement this weekend – we have a new puppy! He is 8 weeks old and we collected him yesterday. His mother is a black labrador and his father a working sheep dog. As yet he has no name as my children can’t agree! He seems very contented, spending most of his time snoozing infront of the fire! I’m sure that will all change though as he grows!
Calf Rearing at Broome Park Farm
As the nights are drawing in and there is less to do in the fields John has bought 20 calves to rear ‘on the bucket’. These are calves from dairy cows which are surplus to requirements so we buy them in and hand rear them. They will be fed powdered calf milk for the first 3 – 4 weeks then graduate onto a milled mix until the Spring when they will go out into the fields. These are friesian crosses but my favourites are the charolais calves which look just like teddy bears!
Apple Picking
This year has been a fantastic year for apples – I have never seen so many on all the trees! I have picked sacks and sacks to make juice and now have over 200 bottles safely stored in the cellar ready for guests. Next weekend is our annual cidermaking day so John and I spent yesterday afternoon collectiing cider apples ready for pressing and again there were so many to see on all the trees that they will never all be picked! We are 2 regulars down this year and as Richard is not home to supervise me I don’t hold out great hopes for the 2011 vintage! 2010 was a cracking year so a lot to live up to!!
Berrington Hall
Guests often wish to visit local National Trust properties and I always recommend Croft Castle and Berrington Hall, which can both be visited in a day and the NT offer a special deal to visit both properties. However I had never visited Berrington Hall so yesterday John and I went. It was a lovely sunny day and as the house doesn’t open til 1pm we started by walking around the parkland, designed by Capability Brown. Next was lunch in the old servants quarters then a self guided tour of the house. The small scale of the house meant it was easy to imagine the families living there. We caught the laundry section of the ‘Below Stairs’ tour and were disappointed not to go on the full tour – something not to be missed if you visit – perhaps next time for us! The...
Gathering Sheaves
The sun is already shining this morning and it looks like it might be a fine week! Hopefully we will be able to crack on with the harvest. Yesterday John cut me sheaves of wheat and barley for the Church Harvest Festival – something I don’t usually remember until it’s too late! I just need to remind him to get some barley too. There are still no baby chicks so I think the hen has been wasting her time! The Aberdeen Angus heifer is off to the abattoir this week and after hanging for 21 – 28 days will return as tasty joints and steaks to feed us through next year! There is an abundance of plums, raspberries and damsons in the garden so I am frantically making jams and preserves and now have some for sale in the B&B so don’t forget to buy a jar or two if you...
Cleobury Open Gardens
I spent a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday touring a selection of private gardens in and around Cleobury. They ranged from the absolutely stunning to the quirky, each one with something different to comment on and inspire. I came away with lots of ideas but not sure if any will come to fruition! The harvest is a bit hit and miss at the moment – when the weather is fine nothing is dry enough or ripe enough to combine, as soon as it is – it starts to rain! All the malting barley has now been collected and hopefully will soon be made into delicious Hobson’s Ales, my favourite being Twisted Spire. One of the cockerels went to a new home on Saturday – I hope the girls won’t miss him too much! There are 2 young cockerels amongst the chicks we hatched out at...
Signs of Summer
Whilst out walking this week I haven’t had to use the bridge to cross the Ford just below Broome Park. On Tuesday there was absolutely no water going over it at all! This is a sign of how dry this year has been, whilst it hasn’t been particularly warm or sunny it has definitely been exceptionally dry. The combine finally left the shed this week and has been busy harvesting barley, some for animal feed and some for the local Brewery – Hobsons, so hopefully it will be used in some award winning beer! (And we will get some free samples!). The chap from the Maltsters was here today to take a sample and check it is suitable. Only 1 variety, Maris Otter, is generally used for malting, but this has a lower yield than the more commercial varieties so the jury is...
My 'Swiss' Border
I created this border, as you approach the house, last summer, when I had some Swiss friends staying and so it has become known as my ‘Swiss’ border! I have planted it full of bee friendly plants and have noticed no end of bees and butterflies enjoying the flowers. The photo doesn’t really do it justice! Yesterday Sandra and I finally managed to paint the queen in one of our hives – we actually felt like proper beekeepers for a moment! Still no sign of the queen in the other hive but there are lots of bees and lavae so she must be in there somewhere! There also seemed to be a reasonable amount of honey so hopefully we will be able to extract some more towards the end of August.
Sorry I haven’t blogged for ages but we have been on the ‘holiday of a lifetime’! Hence the photo of a glacial lake in Iceland! This is Jokulsarlon and the opening sequence of the James Bond movie ‘Golden Eye’ was filmed here. It was my absolutely favourite place amongst the host of extraorinarily beautiful and amazing places we visited. Other highlights were The Blue Lagoon – an outdoor geothermal spa; Hotel Anna where we lazed in the hot tub and enjoyed excellent local food and Akureyri, the capital of the North, where we ended up when part of the Ring Road was washed away and we had to do a 600 mile detour the opposite way round the island. Certainly a holiday to remember and somewhere I would love to return to!
Sheep Shearing
The weather hasn’t been too bad today so John decided it was time our ewes were sheared! Fortunately there are only 6 so it didn’t take too long. Some of the fleeces will be kept for spinning or felt making and the rest will be sold – not that they are worth much, less than the cost of paying someone to shear them! Hopefully the weather will stay mild now so they don’t get cold!
A Taste of the Shropshire Hills
Had a great day out today, courtesy of Jodie at the Shropshire Hills AONB. The day was titled ‘Organic Farm to Fork’ and we started with a visit to Rhos Fiddle Nature Reserve, an SSSI managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, high in the Shropshire Hills. The views are stunning and it is so peaceful. Part of the management is the grazing of highland cattle – an unusual sight in the Shropshire countryside! The cattle are owned by local organic farmer, Trevor Wheeler, who introduced us to his cattle and hebridean sheep on the hillside, then took us to his farm a little way down the valley. This organic mixed farm trades as Clun Valley Organics, supplying meat and vegetables through local shops and farmers markets. We also viewed the eco cottage located on the farm, fully...
Room with a View
When you come at stay at Broome Park Farm the rooms have a fantastic view over open countryside towards Neen Savage. However I can’t promise you will always get a view as dramatic as this! It was a double rainbow, with 1 arc behind the tree but I’ve only captured this view!
Meet Blossom and Davina
Here are our 2 newest arrivals, Davina and Blossom, whom we collected on Tuesday. They are still a bit nervous but seem quite happy with their noses in the trough! Hopefully we will soon have some baby chicks too as one of the hens is sitting on some eggs. The weather here has been fantastic recently, if any thing we are desperate for rain, particularly for the grass to grow into a good hay and silage crop. All the lambs are now out in the paddock, although 1 ewe has yet to lamb – not sure if she will now! So far we have 9 kerry cross lambs and 2 orphans I have been bottle feeding with the help of lots of young guests!
New Lambs for Spring 2011
These are the first lambs born this year at Broome Park. Once again the kerry cross shows in the black markings on their faces and knees. Mum was a little reluctant at first but hopefully she has now taken to motherhood and they won’t need to be bottle fed! There are 5 more ewes to lamb over the next few days – exciting times – hopefully they will all be twins! The lovely Spring weather last week has brought the bees out of the hive and we were very pleased to find a healthy colony when we took a look last weekend! Now we must keep an eye on them to prevent them swarming like last year.