Mary Berry opened Sheep Drive 2017

Mary Berry CBE opened the 2017 sheep drive across London Bridge and the wool fair on Sunday 24th September.

Mary Berry

Mary Berry opened the 2017 Sheep Drive across London Bridge and Wool Fair at Monument on Sunday 24th September.  Accompanied by her grandchildren, Abbi and Hobie, she led the way with the Master Woolman, Chris Thierry, and showed she knew a thing or two about sheep.  As the drive started, one or two sheep decided they might try and go back to their pen, but Mary showed everyone how to use a shepherd’s crook to get them back on track and heading for Southwark.

The well-known cook, food writer and television presenter is a Freeman of the City of London and soon had the sheep under control. The Great British Bake Off judge exchanged her apron and food mixer for a woollen suit and a shepherd’s crook for the occasion.

She was joined during the day by 600 other Freemen who drove the sheep back and forth across the bridge in relays, exercising their ancient right, and raising over £26,000 for charity in the process.  Mary said: “The sheep were exceedingly well-behaved. I think they have done it before.  A lot of people are here who will never have seen sheep other than a roast lamb on a Sunday.” Mary certainly put paid to the old show biz adage about not working with children or animals!  Thank ewe, Mary!

Mary Berry’s career has encompassed a wide variety of experience including radio, television and writing books. Best known recently for the wonderful BBC series of The Great British Bake Off, which has run for seven years.

She has received many awards for cooking, baking and television programmes; and for her books. In 2014 she became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers and then a Freeman of the City of London.

She was appointed CBE in 2012 Birthday Honours and the same year was awarded an honorary degree by Bath Spa University; and she has Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Guild of Food Writers, Aga Rayburn and Observer Food Monthly.

Nigel Mansell joins the 2016 Sheep Drive

Nigel Mansell CBE started the 2016 Sheep Drive across London Bridge in style with his grandson Jai helping out.  

They were followed by 600 Freemen of the City including the Sheriffs, the Chamberlain, the Master Woolmen and his Wardens and representatives from most of the Livery Companies of the City.

The many people who came in their City robes and fancy dress brightened up the bridge and the City, and fortunately it was another sunny day.


Nigel Mansell CBE

Former Formula One World Champion will exchange his F1 Car for a flock of sheep for his next drive.

Nigel Ernest James Mansell CBE was born in 1953. He won the Formula One World Championship in 1992 and the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Indy World Series in 1993.  He was the reigning Formula One Champion when he moved over to CART, becoming the first person to win the CART title in his debut season, and making him the only person to hold the World Drivers Championship and the American open-wheel National Championship simultaneously.

His career in Formula One spanned 15 seasons, and his final two full seasons of top-level racing were spent in the CART series. Mansell is the second most successful British Formula One driver of all time in terms of race wins with 31 victories, and is seventh overall on the Formula One race winners list behind Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Ayrton Senna and Fernando Alonso. He held the record for the most number of poles set in a single season, which was broken in 2011 by Sebastian Vettel. He was rated in the top 10 Formula One drivers of all time by longtime Formula One commentator Murray Walker. In 2008, ranked him 24th on their “Top 25 Drivers of All Time” list. He was also ranked No. 9 of the 50 greatest F1 drivers of all time by the Times Online on a list that also included such drivers as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.

Nigel MansellNigel raced in the Grand Prix Masters series in 2005, and won the championship title. He later signed a one-off race deal for the Scuderia Ecosse GT race team to drive their number 63 Ferrari F430 GT2 car at Silverstone on 6 May 2007. He has since competed in additional sports car races with his sons Leo and Greg, including the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mansell was inducted to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. He is the current President of one of the UK’s largest Youth Work Charities, UK Youth. He is also President of the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). In September 2014, it was announced that Mansell would be opening a Mitsubishi franchise on Jersey later in the month.  In September 2015 the organisers of the Mexican Grand Prix (which was returning to Formula One after a 23-year absence) announced that the final corner of the redesigned Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit would be named after the 1992 Formula One World Champion and winner of the final race at the Mexico City circuit before it was dropped from the Formula One calendar for the 1993 season.

Wool Fair

On 29th September 2019 the Woolmen will be organising a bigger and better wool and livery fair at Monument in conjunction with the Sheep Drive – this is about 300 metres from the north end of London Bridge.

The fair will include many craft and fashion accessories market stalls, urban street food stalls, and livery company stalls showing off their skills and crafts.