TOP CHEF RICHARD CORRIGAN LEADS THE 10th LONDON SHEEP DRIVE 2023
Richard Corrigan, Chef and Farmer’s son said: “That was an amazing experience, humbled. I am humbled, no question about it. London has always delivered a lot of new surprises, new experiences, but I honestly don’t think I am ever going to live this one down. Bringing sheep over the bridge, I know what it’s like to be a shepherd as well. Just keep them moving, keep them moving, there is always a frying pan at the end of their journey, especially with me.
The sheep represent commerce, they represent food and substance when there is nothing to eat. I know all the difficulties of making a meagre living on the land so I have huge respect for sheep farmers.
It brings it all together, Sheep represent the whole City of London for the last 1000 years or more. It’s part of its wealth making, it’s part of its success, part of its taxation, it’s what made the City of London. And for everyone to understand that, to see the sheep coming over the Bridge is really cool”.
Master Woolman Vincent Kearney CBE (former Lord Mayor of London) says “It was fantastic. It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate one of the great London traditions, bringing sheep over a City bridge, a London bridge, something the Freemen of the City of London have done for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s such a fun and slightly crazy thing to do, it’s a great day.
There are two reasons we do it, firstly because it’s such a great London tradition, it’s important we keep some of these traditions alive. Freemen of the City of London have been driving sheep over the bridges over the River Thames, along with other cattle, for hundreds and hundreds of years, because they were able to take their sheep and cattle into the City without paying a toll, so it was a really valuable right. More sheep came over London Bridge than any other animal, so people associated the right to bring your livestock into the City with sheep, and that’s what we’re celebrating today. But we’re doing it for a purpose, we’re doing it to support charities, the Woolmen’s own charity, and we also support the Lord Mayor’s charity, so we’re doing good but also having a lot of fun.
The Livery Fair is a great opportunity for the Livery Companies, many of which still have living crafts and trades associated with them, to showcase those to the public. We’ve also got some businesses, who are working with wool in innovative and new ways, exhibiting their products. It is a great new part of the wool industry”.