The back wall of Rhydd Barn has been repainted. This was a difficult project because of the height of the barn plus the steep slope behind it adding to the height. The photo shows the end result. Unfortunately, after this photograph was taken the beautiful Malvern stone below the main barn wall was also painted white—which was not my intention.
Also, the converted pigsty gates have been reinforced with new wood as they were starting to deteriorate.
I am keen to encourage wild life in all its forms to visit and/or live in the surroundings of the Barn. On a recent visit I managed to take a photo (see below) of a beautiful pheasant that was strutting around our field immediately in front of the Barn. It visited us all week, morning and evening! I also photographed a host of white and purple fritillaries and bright yellow primroses which are currently flowering in our small wild flower meadow.
We are very pleased to announce that Rhyyd Barn has, yet again, been awarded a 4-Star Gold Award rating by VisitEngland. The inspection was carried out on 6 April 2022. The Gold Award is an additional accolade for those ‘offering exceptional quality within their star rating’. We are so grateful to our maintenance team at Rhydd Barn: Sharon our cleaner, Max our gardener/’handyman’, and Tom our builder for all their hard work. Here is the summary from the official report which we received a couple of days ago:
Rhydd Barn continues to offer a high standard of comfortable well maintained accommodation for its market. Mrs Boaz, the Proprietor clearly takes great pride in the barn and is very much to be commended on the continued investment and maintaining of these high standards helping ensure that market expectations continue to be maintained. It is therefore a pleasure to once again reconfirm the Four Star Self catering rating with Gold Award for another year reflecting the care and attention afforded by the Proprietor, and fully deserving. Congratulations to you all!! It is also understood that the Proprietors feel the current rating meets well with the market expectations and business levels catered for and we wish them all the very best for a successful coming season, despite the strange and unknown circumstances we all find ourselves in. Wishing all, all the very best for the future and stay safe and well. Walkers Accreditation also confirmed for another year.—VisitEngland Assessment Services Self-Catering Visit Report for Rhydd Barn, April 2022.
In addition we would like to add that our cleanliness score was 100%. From the more detailed pages of the report: “As on my previous visit, it was once again quite clear that extremely well practised and regimented cleaning and housekeeping procedures are in place. Exemplary levels of cleanliness were noted with surfaces dust free and obvious attention to upper and lower levels clearly evident for which Mrs Boaz and Sharon are to be congratulated.”
Parts of the south wall of the converted pigsty have been gradually deteriorating as you can see from the above photos. So we had the damaged areas re-pointed including the replacement of a damaged or missing brick. The final result can be seen in the two photos below.
An electrical socket on the inside of that wall needed to be replaced and our builder also added some ventilation. See photo below.
With the recent relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, we have been informed that the ‘Good to Go’ scheme has come to an end.
Please be reassured that, at Rhydd Barn, we will continue to maintain a very high standard of cleanliness for our guests.
You can read about the scheme in our earlier news item about the Good to Go scheme. Below is part of the communication we recently received:
|Update on the We’re Good to Go scheme|
|We’re Good to Go, the industry standard that has supported businesses throughout the pandemic, will close on 31 March 2022. |
VisitEngland, VisitScotland, Visit Wales and Tourism Northern Ireland have agreed this key partnership initiative has achieved what it set out to do and collectively thank all businesses that have stepped up to the challenge that enabled us and each business to demonstrate the COVID-19 protocols they have put in place to keep visitors safe.
What happens next?
Businesses currently signed up are encouraged not to display the certificate after 31 March 2022 and to remove the logo where possible, but are not expected to incur costs in doing so. Therefore you may retain the logo on any printed marketing material currently in use on the understanding this will not be in place beyond September 2022. We would ask however that the logo be removed from your website and social media channels on or before 30 April 2022.
In accordance with the above we are removing the relevant references to Good to Go from this website and from the documents we send out to guests.
Visitors to Rhydd Barn will know Summer, the Labrador cross. She lived at Rhydd Farm next door to the Barn. The sad news is that Summer died on Sunday 30 January. Here is a recent photograph of her on the Barn patio and, below, a poem I have just written about her.
In Memory of Summer
(Who died Sunday January 30th 2022)
A frequent visitor to Rhydd Barn
Always a friendly face made one feel at home.
Door ajar, an entry made
Investigating areas inside
Crumbs of food an added temptation.
A companion over the years
For fifteen years of our lives.
Incident recalled: aggressive attack
Met with bravery and retaliation.
No soft dog this
Though first impression may think so.
A survivor despite many setbacks.
In youth high energy and strength.
In old age calmness and resilience.
Tolerant always of individual behaviour
Retiring to her secret place to find peace.
Her passing brings sadness
A constant link with my life
Through the many changes to overcome.
February 5th 2022
The gate from the Barn to the fields has been repaired with new wooden bars to replace those that were beginnning to rot. Also a lead cap fitted across the top bar of the gate to protect it from moisture.
The fence around the sewage tank was weakening and lambs grazing the field managed to get inside! So the fence posts were reset in the ground and extra horizontal bars added at lower level.
See the photos below:
I was recently at the Barn and my sister and I took a new year walk down Sink Lane with The Rhydd’s dog Summer. Sink Lane is a quiet lane with minimal traffic which leads between fields with views to the Malvern Hills. Below are two photos: one taken from Sink Lane and one taken from the driveway of Rhydd Barn.
I was reminded of my father’s poem about Sink Lane which was written at this time of year, but 28 years ago. Here it is:
SINK LANE IN WINTER
Sink Lane leads nowhere in particular,
Its attraction is the alternating
Lengths of straight tree or hedgelined avenues
Each with its special vista of its own
Imparting inspiration and new thoughts
As ev’ry corner turned brings it in view.
The brook which runs alongside also has
Its own identity, purpose and charm,
At first on one side, then the other one,
It glides below the bridge half way along
Intriguing children as they throw their sticks
And watch them re-appear the other side.
I take my dog for walks along Sink Lane,
She knows it well, wherever rabbits hide,
And mice, perhaps a squirrel up aloft.
I loose her off her lead and free to run,
Sometimes she’s out of sight but always will
Return, when called, in full obedience.
In afternoons the Hills the Western sky
Adorn, beyond the junction of Sink Lane
With so-called Hangman’s Lane of ill repute,
I do not venture there, instead return
And with my dog observe the twisted oaks
Which once enriched the Forest of King John.
But seldom do I meet another soul.
Perhaps a car goes by. Meanwhile the fields
In winter empty are, though pastures there
Presage the dairy cattle which will graze,
Or hay and silage crops for next year’s
Sustenance, when cows to the yards return.
It can feel lonely as I walk along
Sink Lane. I think of those who at one time
Would me have joined ere passing from this world.
Sometimes I see a brown-cowled figure there
Like him who at Assisi taught his friends
To be unselfish, give away their goods,
And, when pricked by a rose bush, gave his blood
For everlasting blooming of that thorn,
And, comforted, knowing I’m not alone,
I call my dog to heel and walk back home.
— Geoffrey Boaz, February 1994
An oil painting of Sink Lane by my mother, Margaret, hangs at the very top of Rhydd Barn along with an original typed up copy of my father’s poem. Here is a photo of them in the barn: