The Worshipful Company of Woolmen
Annual Sheep Drive Across Southwark Bridge
Sunday 24th September 2023
Assisted by the Guild of Young Freemen of the City of London
Reporting time and place
Please report to the registration hut in Queen Street Place (see map) 40 minutes before your drive time but no earlier.
At the registration hut please show your booking confirmation details and you will be checked in. If you need a guest pass for observers, spectators who are friends and family not driving the sheep please ask. We ask that guests passes for observers and spectators be kept to a minimum. The central part of the bridge will be open to the general public and will provide additional viewing.
All sheep drive participants will be given a label identifying their group and station. This must be visible to the Young Freeman and security when entering onto Southwark Bridge.
You will be directed to your meeting area according to your station by marshals and members of the 43rd Cadet Detachment Royal Horse Artillery.
Please obey all legitimate instructions from the security staff, marshals and trained sheep handlers at all times. Please be fully aware of the health and safety, risk could include being pulled over, stepped on, being knocked down. Sheep, while domestic, are not tame by nature and this must be kept in mind at all times. Individuals are responsible for their own health and safety and for that of the people in the same group. There will be a vet and a representative from the RSPCA present throughout the day and they will be monitoring the treatment of the sheep throughout the day. The permitted number of people in each drive at any one time is designed to meet health and safety and animal guidelines.
Hygiene after handling sheep
The sheep are not pets but if you wish to pet them or your hands come into close contact with the sheep, please be aware that sheep faeces carry disease such as virulent forms of e-coli. Children must be supervised by a responsible adult. Pregnant women must not handle sheep because of the possible risk of diseases being transferable. It is recommended that you wash your hands in warm soapy water before eating food.
Livery Fair 10am – 4pm on Queen Street Place
Make a full family day out and join the wonderful Livery Fair. Stalls from Livery Companies will demonstrate fascinating, ever-evolving trades, along with fantastic wool wears, arts and crafts stalls and displays. For further information please see our website.
Guest Passes for Observers & Spectators who are Friends of Participants
Observers and spectators who are friends of participants may, at the discretion of the organisers, be given guest passes. These will be issued when participants register. On production of their guest pass, they will be directed to the designated viewing area, running parallel to the sheep drive. We ask that guests passes for observers and spectators be kept to a minimum. The central part of the bridge will be open to the general public and will provide additional viewing.
Certificates signed by the Lord Mayor and the Master Woolman will be provided for all sheep drive participants. These can be collected after your drive beside the registration hut.
Dress & Photography
Please dress in whatever you feel comfortable wearing for outdoors, including fancy dress. Please be aware that some uniform is covered by legal entitlement, so you can’t come as a Field Marshal unless you are one. We encourage Masters and Wardens or equivalent of the Livery Companies to wear their robes, badges and hats.
Please note: accredited press photographers may take photographs during the day. Event photographs may be used for marketing purposes.
It is advisable to check www.tfl.gov.uk for travel information beforehand. The Southwark Bridge is well served by public transport. The registration Hut will be situated at the North End of Southwark Bridge.
Marshals will try to accommodate late arrivals but cannot guarantee them the opportunity to drive sheep.
In the unlikely event that the Sheep Drive is cancelled for reasons beyond our control after we have paid administration costs, we will be happy to return your donation less a proportion to cover these costs.
Individual cancellations will not be refunded unless a replacement can be found. No refunds will be given after 31st August 2023 as certificates go into production.
We are committed to deliver an event that is safe and fun for all Freemen, family and friends.