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Guild Members in London Bridge charity sheep drive

Published on 8th October 2016

2016 Sheep Drive across London Bridge

Guild Members were among some 600 people drawn from 60 of the City of London’s livery companies exercising their ancient right to drive livestock across London Bridge.

The ‘Sheep Drive’ was devised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen as a means of raising funds for both its own charity and the Lord Mayor of London’s chosen charity.

Taking place in late September, the event literally stopped the traffic and raised the eyebrows of tourists.

Guild Member and Woolman Howard Ventners was among organisers on hand from the Worshipful Company of Woolman to ensure that the teams made their way, on time, across the bridge.

Former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell was one of the first to drive a flock of sheep across the famous bridge.

Among the early parties following behind was the Worshipful Company of Farmers, led by the current Master Thomas Wheatley-Hubbard.

Included in the party were the Guild’s Hon Chaplain Geoff Dodgson, who is also a Liveryman Farmer, and his guest fellow Guild Member and colleague at Ware Anthony Rust, Rebecca Dawson (both pictured above).

This is the fourth year that the Sheep Drive has taken place in its current form.

Over this time, several hundred thousands of pounds has been raised to do good works.

But the rights of Freemen date back across the century and the event reflects back to a time when the wool trade was vital to the economy of industry and the wealth of the Church.

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