The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, swaps the Yorkshire Dales for the day, to drive sheep over the river Thames, re-enacting an ancient tradition in support of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Charitable Trust and Lord Mayor’s Appeal.
Photo: courtesy Yorkshire Agricultural society
Best-selling author of four books and star of Channel 5’s “Our Yorkshire Farm”, Amanda will be swapping her 2000 acre hill farm in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, one of the most remote places in England, for the City of London for the day, on Sunday 26th September. Amanda will accompany the Lord Mayor of London, The Right Honourable William Russell, and hundreds of the City’s Freemen, becoming river shepherds for the day to practice their ancient “right” to drive sheep over the Thames and into the City.
Now into its 9th year, hosted by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, the 2021 Sheep Drive and Livery Fair will take place on historic Southwark Bridge, which will be traffic-free for the day.
The accompanying Livery Fair will include many Liveries demonstrating their skills from trades, ancient and modern, alongside a range of wool related stalls selling products that showcase the enduring relevance of wool as a sustainable and versatile material. Along with other interactive displays and food and drinks stalls, this will be a wonderful family day out over the majestic Thames.
Alderman Sir David Wootton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen said:
“We are delighted to welcome Amanda Owen to shepherd our sheep expertly over Southwark Bridge. As we re-enact this ancient tradition, amidst Livery Fair displays, I’m sure the Livery’s long-standing contribution to the fabric of the City and wider community through trade and philanthropy will resonate with us all. Wool, with its the enduring and sustainable qualities, being just one of those trades, is as relevant to our needs today as it was centuries ago.”
Amanda Owen, The Yorkshire Shepherdess said:
“When the Sheep Drive & Livery Fair invited me to be their guest, saying yes was an easy decision to make. This event is so prestigious to be involved in, one which carries years of history and I’m so proud to be able to lead the first drive of sheep across Southwark Bridge on 26thSeptember. Sheep are central to my life and this celebration of them will be a day to remember.”
Commenting on behalf of headline Sponsors, Campaign for Wool, Peter Ackroyd, COO said:
“Campaign for Wool is delighted to support the Sheep Drive which aligns with the start of the all-important Autumn/Winter wool retail season in London and across the UK. The Sheep Drive is a perfect curtain raiser for ‘Wool Week’ starting on the 4 October through to the end of October highlighting key wool product launches and wool collections across the home and fashion sectors with brands and retailers throughout the UK. This year the focus will be on ‘Feel Better #ChooseWool’ and how through choosing wool you feel emotionally better that you have made the right choice for the planet, sleep better and can take comfort in wool’s natural safety credentials in the home and office environment.”