Clun, Cows and Beltane!

Time has passed by so quickly since I last Blogged – winter has given way to early spring and now the land is lush and green with The Queen of the May is in bloom!

As usual, I will be in sunny Clun this weekend at the Clun Green Man – well I could hardly be anywhere else now could I!?!

For those of you who do not know Clun is a beautiful village in the South of Shropshire, set amongst the rolling hills that are said to have inspired Tolkien in his creation of The Shires – indeed the odd Hobbit has been rumoured to have been seen having second breakfast at the Bridge Tea Rooms on more than one occasion! 😉


Many years ago, one sunny day, I arrived home from school to find my Grandfather attempting to coach one of his cows through two bonfires. Puzzled, I watched from a distance, wondering what he was trying to do. The rest of the herd where in the cow house, which was unusual; it wasn’t milking time and the weather was good, so why where they there I wondered.

The shy cow, refused to go anywhere near the two small fires, and I could see he was getting his hair off with her. Frustrated and afraid of the fires, she dipped her horns, and shied away again!

“Dunner stand there!” he shouted waving his stick, “Her’ll never go thro’ with you there!”

So I made my way away from the gate leading to the farm yard, intending to go along past the dog’s kennel, down to the orchard to watch.

As soon as I turned my back, I heard her hooves clacking on the yard as she found her way to her stall in the cow house, he following.

“Did she go thro’?” I shouted, “No… she went round…” he said dejectedly.

Loosing interest I went into the farm house for one of my Grandmother’s cool lemonade’s.

I knew she didn’t approve of some of things he did, but I couldn’t help asking why he’d lit two bonfires and driven the cows through them – save one, and why.

She sighed, then told me he thought it would help the increase the milk production, then she shook her head and as usual muttered something about “superstitious stuff and nonsense”.

Outside my Grandfather threw water over the fires and after he had spread the ashes out in a circle, he let the cows out to pasture again, closing the gate after them he lit a fag, and leaned on the gate looking down the meadow thoughtfully.

He retired later that year.


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