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March 19, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Shropshire Vintage Tractor Run – film & photos

Click HERE or on any of the photos to watch a lovely film of yesterday’s 20th Annual Shropshire Vintage Tractor Run (Sun 18 March 2018) organised by the Bridgnorth Vintage Machinery Club & sponsored by Furrows [garage] of Shrewsbury. The rally began & ended at Apley Farm Shop, Shropshire. Film by Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure Photography.

Sixty of the expected 150 tractors made it through the snow to Apley Farm Shop. They set off 10am & then spent all day on their tractors, returning at 3:30pm. Older tractors have no cabs, so no protection from the weather. They showed such commitment to their club, the event, their sponsors & all those who were looking forward to seeing them. They raised a phenomenal £1200 for Midlands Air Ambulance on a day when many didn’t venture out of their homes.

I think this year’s photos in the snow were extra clear. The snow made the tractors stand out more from the background.  The film is a wonderful representation of the day & we’re already looking forward to Sunday 7 April 2019. Please put it in your diaries now & come to support them !

March 18, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Watch the fundraising tractors set off in the snow

Click HERE or on the photo to watch the fundraising vintage tractors prepare to set off in the snow & cheer them through Bridgnorth High Street where they will arrive 12:30pm & then head back to Apley Farm Shop 3:30-4pm. I’m soooo impressed by their strong British spirits to continue whatever the weather.  They set an example to us all. I’m equally impressed with the incredible commitment shown by our Apley staff to remain open in all conditions.

Apley Farm Shop is open as usual. Queries to 07739 320 314.

March 18, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

We’re open today & vintage tractors have arrived !

We’re open today & vintage tractors have arrived !

Inspite of the snow, there are already some FORTY tractors on display at Apley Farm Shop, as planned, for the Annual Shropshire Vintage 20th Tractor Run. The full number of 100-150 tractors is not expected but the fact that some have made it shows fabulous British commitment to keeping the show on the road whatever the weather! They’re at Apley 8-10am. Any queries, call the organiser David is on 07986 17 07 15. This is a charitable event, fundraising for Midlands Air Ambulance (£80k raised so far), so please support it if you can.

Apley Farm Shop, Pigg’s Playbarn & Creamery Cafe are all open as usual today, inspite of the snow, 9:30-5pm. Don’t let the snow spoil your day – come & enjoy the warmth, delicious food all day, comfy sofas & spacious indoor play. Build a snowman too !

March 17, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Great butchery offers in our latest enewsletter


It’s National Butchers’ Week, so browse our newsletter here for some great butchery offers & read about our upcoming events. Click HERE to sign up to receive them directly yourself.


March 16, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Venison evening at Apley Farm Shop

On Thursday evening, the GWCT (Game & Wildlife Conservancy Trust) held a very successful venison evening at Apley Farm Shop including a butchery demo, a venison talk & venison dinner in the Creamery Cafe. Huge thanks to all Apley & GWCT staff for making it all run so smoothly.


March 6, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Menus for Mothers’ Day at Apley Farm Shop

Mothers’ Day Meal Deal from the Apley Butchery counter. Just add a bottle of Prosecco, a box of truffles & daffodils from Big Little Things

We still have a few last places – don’t delay, book today !

It’s Mothers’ Day this Sunday 11 March. If you still haven’t booked somewhere, firstly – we have some places left in our Creamery Cafe & secondly – take a look at our menus below to decide what you’d like to order.

Click HERE to book online or call 01952 581 002 or 07739 320 314.

If you’d rather cook & eat at home, pick up a Mothers’ Day Meal Deal from Bob the Butcher.

Gift vouchers are perfect if you can’t be together on Sunday. Click HERE to order them online.

For presents & cards, our Food Hall has a selection of great present ideas, edible & non-edible.

Our next event is the Easter weekend. The whole site will be open all weekend. No booking is needed for the children’s activities on Sat 31 March, Sun 1 April & Mon 2 April, but we recommend booking your table in the Creamery Cafe.


March 3, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

History of Worfield, Shropshire

A History of Worfield has been recently published by Jane Smith, a local historian living not far from the Apley Estate & Apley Farm Shop.

Her painstaking & seriously impressive research is now available in this book, for the benefit of us all. For me, it links up with some of the work I do (when I make the time!) on the Apley Estate archives.

Jane kindly sent me this summary of her work & her book:

For over forty years I lived on a small farm of 70 acres in Worfield Parish, Shropshire, right on the border between Staffordshire and Shropshire. Trying to make a living on such a small acreage was a challenge to say the least and it wasn’t until I retired from farming that I was able to return to an early interest in local history. Last Autumn, ten years’ research was brought together in a book simply entitled, Worfield,’ and subtitled, ‘The History of a Shropshire Parish from Earliest Times.’

I was determined to write a book which would show the development of the area through the ages. Sometimes too few records have survived to make such a chronological story possible but in Worfield almost the opposite is the case; one is almost drowned in the quantity of material which has survived. A veritable treasure trove of metal detected finds reveal some of the earliest history and more written records have survived than one could absorb in a lifetime. One set of such records are Manor Court Rolls which are held in the Shropshire Record Office. Manor Courts were held every three weeks and dealt with petty offences, property transfers, licences to brew, and much more. The record of court proceedings was written on parchment and literally rolled up, hence the name of these documents.These are precious pieces of social history and there is almost a complete run of them from 1327 until the nineteenth century. There is just one rather large stumbling block: Until the nineteenth century they were written in Medieval Latin, in handwriting which is very hard for us to decipher today.

There will be another book on the history of Worfield and the translation of the court rolls continues on a daily basis. Until they can be put into printed form, they will be put online at but other projects beckon as well. Accidents on the River Severn in the Nineteenth Century would follow on nicely from Accidents in Wolverhampton in the Nineteenth Century (published 2014) but I am also drawn to working on Wool Merchants in this area of East Shropshire and West Staffordshire in medieval times. No wonder the children and grandchildren sometimes feel neglected!”

Click HERE to buy your copy.

March 2, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Ironbridge Walking Festival 2018

The Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival involves 53 free guided walks in & around the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, 5 – 13 May. It’s now probably the biggest walking festival in the West Midlands & one of the best in the country.”

Walks 48 & 52 on the festival’s last day (Sun 13 May), include a very rare chance to walk in the Apley Estate, but also a stop off in at Apley Farm Shop’s Creamery Cafe. Apley Estate which is strictly private at all times. This is an exceptional occasion when access is given.

The Festival offers a number of ‘themed’ walks ranging from two to 21 miles covering a whole host of topics from the wonderful landscape and geology of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site to the wildlife that inhabits The Gorge’s ancient woodlands. The walks are graded in terms of suitability for walks for everyone through to walks for experienced countryside walkers.

New for 2018

The Festival has a number of brand-new walks for 2018 which include an 8-mile steam-train walk taking in the Telford Steam Railway and a 4-mile walk that looks at Ironbridge through the eyes of tourists over the past 200 years. Also new are the Family Walks – a 4.5-mile walk, encompassing a photo trail around the local woodland. Food-lovers will enjoy a new 10-mile walk that takes in the pretty local village Little Wenlock and its renowned pub, The Huntsman, where lunch will be available to buy.

The Festival kicks-off on 5 May with a 21-mile walk to the ‘Thankful’ village of Harley on the stunning Wenlock Edge. Harley is the only ‘Thankful’ village in Shropshire – known as such because all men sent to the First World War returned safely.

A couple of walks will take in views of the impressive cooling towers of the former Ironbridge power station. The towers are marked for demolition in the near future so these walks are a wonderful chance to catch a glimpse of these four light-pink concrete monoliths.

Some of the walks are timed to enable carers and parents with school aged children to participate and there are some evening walks starting at around 6pm.

There are a number of routes for the more serious walker with the aim of providing a challenging but enjoyable day out. They range in length from 12 to 21 miles and mainly involve walking away from roads; some include steep ascents. Walkers will also need to carry enough food and water for the whole day.

There is also an opportunity to complete the 50 or 100-mile challenge in the nine days by completing the series of daily 10 – 15 mile walks. Some of these comprise two walks of six miles each, with a break to allow time for lunch in Ironbridge.

All walks are free, however pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 people. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on some walks, but please check before booking.

To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at or call 01952 433 424.  For more details about the walks visit or email

Programme of walks

Below is the full programme of walks for the 13th Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, running from 5 to 13 May 2018. Grade 1 walks are suitable for all – Grade 5 are for experienced countryside walkers with above average fitness. The programme is subject to change at short notice.


  • Walk 1, 8am – ‘Thankful’ Harley and Wenlock Edge. 21 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 2a, 9.30am – The Money side. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 2b, 1.30pm – The Sunny side. 5 miles, grade 3 (can be combined with Walk 2a)
  • Walk 3, 10am – Steam Trains and Views. 8 Miles, grade 3
  • Walk 4, 10.30am – Ironbridge though Tourist’s eyes. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 5, 10.30am – A tour of the Ironbridge Museums. 12 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 6, 2pm – The Gorge’s Transport History. 4 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 7, 8am – Industrial Wenlock (Edge). 20 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 8, 9.15am – Telford Town Trails. 15 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 9, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 10, 10am – Birds of the Wrekin. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 11, 10.30am – Family Walk (Coalbrookdale). 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 12, 2pm – Catch them while you can! 6 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 13, 8am – South West of the Severn. 20 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 14, 8.30am – Forgotten Stations and Furnaces. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 15, 10am – Limekilns New Works. 11 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 16, 10.30am – Broseley Heritage. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 17, 2pm – Family Walk (Ironbridge). 4.5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 18, 6pm – Pub Walk. 3 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 19, 9.30am – The New Shropshire Way through the Gorge. 14 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 20, 10am – Banghams Wood. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 21, 10am – Lloyds Coppice and beyond. 6 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 22, 2.30pm – Buildwas & Little Wenlock. 8 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 23, 6pm – The Geology and Mining Legacy of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 24, 6pm – Spectacular Views of Ironbridge. 4 miles, grade 3


  • Walk 25, 8am – The Ironmen Way. 21 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 26, 8.30am – The Gorge Before the Industrial Revolution. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 27, 9.30am – A Walk by the River, an Ancient Church & Wyldwoods. 11 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 28, 10am – Coalbrookdale Dingles. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 29, 1.30pm – Benthall Hall Estate & Gardens. 5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 30, 6pm – Life and Times of Madeley. 4 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 31, 8.30am – Gorge-ous Landscapes. 16 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 32, 9.30am – Grindleforge & Kemberton Mill. 12 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 33, 10am – Benthall Edge. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 34, 1.30pm – Round Coalbrookdale. 6 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 35, 2pm – Sutton Wood. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 36, 6pm – Getting to know Broseley and Gerry Foxall. 4 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 37, 8.30am – China Man, Green Man & Wyldwoods. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 38, 10am – Views from the north-side of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 39, 10.30am – The Geology & Mining Legacy of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 40, 1.30pm – Pools and a Mediaeval Manor. 7 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 41, 6pm – Tour of Brewing at All Nations. 4 miles, grade 2


  • Walk 42, 8am – The Gorge by Rail. 20 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 43, 9.15am – The Wrekin ‘Giant’ Walk. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 44, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 45, 10.30am – A walk to Much Wenlock and lunch with a Huntsman. 10 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 46, 11am – Madeley Court Nature Ramble. 2 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 47, 1pm – Lloyds Heritage. 7 miles, grade 3


  • Walk 48, 8am – Apley Estate and Terrace Walk. 20 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 49, 9am – The Madeley Trail. 6 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 50, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 51, 10.30am – Mindfulness Walk around Coalport and Jackfield. 5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 52, 11am – Apley Terrace and Estate Walk. 6.5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 53, 1.30pm – Workers, now and then. 6 miles, grade 2
March 1, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Papi Willepotte’s sauces for sale in Apley Farm Shop

When next in Apley Farm Shop, try Papi Willepotte’s sauces which are now for sale in our Food Hall. Here are details from Jack Willepotte to tell you all about them:

The recipe belongs to my grandfather, Raymond Willepotte, who began making sauce in his butchers shop in Lille, France in the 1950’s.  It became popular with his customers who used it to make steak tartar and to accompany roast joints and cold meat platters.  Raymond eventually sold the Butcher’s Shop but continued making and selling the sauce in the North of France until his retirement twelve years ago.  Much to his chagrin, none of his three sons wanted to continue the family business and the sauce recipe was returned to the kitchen drawer, only making an appearance at Willepotte family gatherings, where the plates were always licked clean.

I have grown up loving my Papi Raymond’s sauce. I can’t imagine a family BBQ without it. Now, I have decided it is time to dust off the recipe, put on my apron and have a go myself. Papi Raymond has helped me learn how to make the sauce so that I can share it with you. Now that I make my own, there is no stopping me. I have it with everything; burgers, chips, roasted veggies and have even found that it is delicious with a traditional English breakfast, not bad for a French recipe!

I make the sauce in my kitchen at home in Middleton Priors, Shropshire. I gained my Food Safety Certificate in 2016. My mum couldn’t believe it when I told her we had to have a kitchen inspection as part of the registration process for setting up a food business. I use only natural ingredients and free range eggs.  My sister, Mathilde, is the arty one who has designed the labels. Papi likes my sauce but says I need a few years of practice before it will be as good as when he made it.

Some people are just hard to please!! I hope you enjoy the sauce as much as I do. Bon Apetit! Jack Willepotte


February 28, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Venison evening tickets available – talk, demo & dinner

Book your tickets for a special evening all about venison (talk, demo & dinner) on Thursday 15 March, at Apley Farm Shop. Two articles give all the details.