Shropshire Star

Second big award win in a week leaves Shropshire Pub of the Year team 'speechless'

A pub team has been left "speechless" after winning a second big award in the space of just one week.


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The Tally Ho Inn at Bouldon in Corvedale between Ludlow and Bridgnorth was brought back to life in July last year, and has gone from strength to strength since then.

Now, following up from a Shropshire Pub of The Year honour from The Pub and Bar Magazine, the pub has scooped a "Rural Oscar" from the Countryside Alliance in the Midlands.

The team shared their delight in a post on the pub Facebook page.

"Speechless," the post from Mark, Sarah and the team began. "What a week, this little pub just keeps on surprising us.

Inside the pub

"This was the award that we really wanted because it was all voted by you.

"Which makes us feel incredibly proud and humbled that so many of you love the pub as much as we do and have taken us to the next level. The next stop The House of Lords, London."

"Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that cast a vote, we can't say it enough.

"Pubs are built and survive on the community that use them and we definitely feel like we have the best one going."

Inside the pub

The Countryside Alliance Awards – now in their 17th year – recognise rural businesses across five categories, including best local food, best butcher, best pub, best rural enterprise, and best village shop/post office.

These businesses go the extra mile within their communities, supporting the local economy and championing local goods and services.

Thousands of nominations from around the country were whittled down via a public vote, with the final few advancing to the finals.

The winner of each category will go on to represent the Midlands in the national champions reception at the House of Lords in June, competing against other finalists from around England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance director of policy, said: "We are proud to be honouring these exceptional rural businesses in the Midlands, and the people behind them who are passionate about providing quality goods, services, and employment to rural communities and beyond.

"Running a business in a rural community isn’t easy, and it’s so important to celebrate the valued role these rural enterprises have in their communities. We look forward to seeing them in London at the national champions reception!"

The Tally Ho is led by chef Mark Harris and Sarah Cowley, who also jointly manage last year's winner of the award, the Pheasant at Neenton.

Sarah manages the team alongside her front of house manager Ellie Harman. The pub had previously been closed for around six months. Mark was recently a national finalist for Chef of the Year in the Great British Pub Awards.

The winners of the 2024 Countryside Alliance Midlands Awards were as follows:

  • Local Food: The Cheese Locker, Staffordshire

  • Rural Enterprise: Claire Dyson Equine Water Treadmill & Rehabilitation Centre, Worcestershire

  • Village Shop and Post Office: Village Stores Long Compton, Warwickshire

  • Butcher: Paul Shum Family Butchers, Staffordshire

  • Pub: Tally Ho, Shropshire

The following businesses received highly commended awards:

  • Local Food: Oteley Estate Farm Shop, Shropshire

  • Rural Enterprise: Perry's Field To Fork, Staffordshire

  • Village Shop and Post Office: Trefonon Village Post Office and Shop, Shropshire

  • Butcher: Carters of Ludlow, Shropshire

  • Pub: The New Inn, Northamptonshire