The Ludlow Brewing Company Sportive

The Ludlow Brewing Company Sportive is on the 4th June starting and finishing at Ludlow Brewing Company.

There is a Fun Ride which is 25 miles and a Challenge Ride with a distance of 70 miles.

The entrance fees are £20 for the Fun Ride and £35 for the Challenge Ride.

Registration is from 9.30 am with the rides starting at 10 am.

This event is in aid of Parkinson’s UK and funds raised will go towards this great cause.

Food and refreshments are available to buy at Event HQ, Ludlow Brewing Company, The Railway Shed.


Do you know what a Sportive is?

A Sportive is a long or short distance, mass participation cycle ride, often organised to raise money for a good cause and held annually.

It is meant to be non competitive but many cyclists will challenge themselves against the clock.

Sportive is shortened from Cyclosportive.

There are several events in Shropshire but the ones below are the nearest. There is also a couple in North Herefordshire, one at Leominster and one at Lucton.

Ride the Shropshire Marches 21st May

The Ludlow Brewing Company Sportive 4th June

Georgia Williams Cycle Ride 10th June

Tour d’Arts Alive 25th June

South Shropshire Tors 17th September

We are able to provide lockable storage for bikes and I am sure my husband will let you use his work stand if you decide to stay at Folly View to attend one of these events.


I have mentioned the Toposcopes on the top of hills and hillforts and as I will talk about these places again I thought a brief description would be interesting.

A Toposcope is a monument indicating direction and distance of notable land marks

These landmarks can be hills, mountains, towns, the Sea, Battlefields or historical places.

They are usually at popular vantage points either where there is a 360 degree view or long reaching views.

The plaques are usually cast in bronze and in their simplest form have radiating lines which line up with the landmarks they indicate and the distance to them.

More complex Toposcopes have lines showing the shapes of the hills, the way you are looking, with their names and distance from where you are standing. There will also be compass points marked on them.

There is a Toposcope at the top of Flounders Folly.

One of my favourite is at Bury Ditches which gives a view all round and another is at Clee Hill Village at the car park which has views including the Malvern Hills.

Ride the Shropshire Marches

A well-earned cycling break

A well-earned cycling break

Ride the Shropshire Marches Sportive is on Sunday 21st May.

There are two distances 65 miles starting at 9.30am and 35 miles starting at 10 am.

The start and finish are at Wistanstow Village Hall. The entrance fees are £25 for the longer distance and £20 for the shorter distance.

The funds raised from this event will go towards replacing the windows of Wistanstow Village Hall.

There is breakfast at the start, refreshments half way round at Church Stoke and tea and a bottle of beer at the finish.

The ride takes in stunning views of South Shropshire lets hope its a clear day to make the most of those climbs.

The event is sponsored by Wood’s Brewery.

New for your comfort

I try to keep on top of things in Folly View.

Knocks to paint work are done as we go along.

If things break they get replaced.

I have just replaced the sofa cushions that you sit on. The old ones were getting a bit flat, and difficult to plump up. We hope you like the new comfortable cushions.

The double bed has a new mattress, recommended by Which (I didn’t know that when it was ordered). I have also got some new duvet covers for the double bed, still with the blue theme.

Folly View New Bed Linen

Folly View New Bed Linen

There is a new mini HiFi, which has Bluetooth compatibility, DAB radio, takes cds, and all other devices that have music on.

There is a new kettle and toaster.

I have replaced the outside table and chairs. We had done as many repairs as we could on the old ones.

My loosing battle is the fencing and trellis, I should never have painted it a colour.

Hill Bagging

Long Mynd

Long Mynd

I knew about Munro bagging but had not realised there was other classifications for hills and mountains.

A Munro is a mountain over 3,000 feet. If haven’t you heard of Munro bagging, it is where some people who like climbing,  climb all the mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet? Their aim being to climb all the Munros.

I was looking up some information on Titterstone Clee and Brown Clee and kept wondering what the little bit saying Marilyn meant. When I looked it up I found this whole world of other classification for hills and mountains.

I am not going to explain them all here but there are names like Wainwrights, Donalds and Tumps. Tumps in Shropshire are burial mounds, and probably in other parts of the country as well.

These classifications are said to give climbers something to aim for, others say it devalues climbing.

However you feel towards these classifications it is still interesting subject.

In future look for the hill classifications in blogs about Shropshire Hills.

The image above is a view of Church Stretton and Long Mynd taken near the summit of Caer Caradoc, Shropshire by Copsewood from Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


I was asked about Medlars after a recent blog where I had talked about them in one of the hedges at the Onny Meadows.

Medlar (Mespilus germanica) are thought to have been cultivated for over 3000 years but they certainly have since Roman times.

The Medlar is a small tree or shrub which is short lived and originates from Southwest Asia.

There was thought to be only one species until 1990 when another new species was found in North America.

The tree grows to about eight metres high.
It has greyish brown bark which has deep vertical cracks.
The leaves are dark green,with a hairy underside, which turn red in Autumn.
The flowers are white with five oval petals. Medlars are self pollinating with the help of bees.
The fruit is reddish brown about 2-3cms across with wide spreading sepals around what looks like a hollow central pit.

Medlar Illustration

Medlar Illustration


The botanical illustration above is from the original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany, and permission was granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber.

The Medlar fruit can only be eaten after it has been bletted.

Bletting is the softening of fruit beyond ripening. Bletting brings about an increase of sugars and a decrease in acids and tannins.

So when to our eyes they look ready to eat when other fruits are they are not.

They are then left for a few more weeks until they look rotten and brown, then they are ready this will be in Winter.

Medlars are ready to eat when they can be spooned out.

I have to say they do not appeal to me but they apparently taste of apple sauce.

The Dog Hangs Well Beer Engine

The Dog Hangs Well has a Victorian Beer Engine as mentioned in an earlier blog.

Some of you may know what it is but for those who don’t here goes.

A Beer Engine is what we now refer to as a Hand Pull. The Beer Engine is the cylinder that draws the beer from the cellar.

Victorian Beer Engine Illustration

Victorian Beer Engine

A Beer Engine is now built into or clamped to the bar.

In The Dog Hangs Well you will see a four bank beer engine cabinet. There are four hand pulls and cylinders within a wooden cabinet with a solid wooden plinth.

Beer engines of this era would have had brass cylinders along with leather washers and lead pipes.

Be assured it has been upgraded to a modern standard.

Information courtesy of Jon Saxon The Dog Hangs Well.

The contemporary illustration above of a Victorian Beer Engine is used with kind permission of Erik Lars Myers and was featured in his blog post about Beer Engines.

The photograph below is a good example of a refurbished Victorian Beer Engine Cabinet courtesy of Paul Skelton and Ian Goodban as featured in this source.

Refurbished Victorian Beer Engine

Refurbished Victorian Beer Engine