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Thanksgiving & Reception 20 Sept:  St James Garlickhythe
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Exercising Ancient Rights!

Ask people what rights the Livery Companies have, most would say that Liverymen can drive sheep across London Bridge. Others might refer to rights to carry a dagger in the City, or to be assisted home by a policeman if incapacitated in the City through over indulgence!

Some such rights once existed, some were custom and practice. In any event most special privileges now longer exist, lackaday!

Nevertheless, in some years, to raise funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen have a sheep drive over the bridge! This requires some organisation of course, not least with the City of London Police to set up a traffic free lane.

With Second Warden Elect Noorzaman Rashid, his wife Kulbir, the Clerk and her daughter Katy, and the Mistress of the Company, we drove our flock of sheep across! It was very happy, halfway across, to see Assistant Liz Walker supporting us!

Many Companies took part, and our lanes of the bridge were packed.

The sheep were North Country Mules, and I was delighted to find, talking to the farmer, that they came from a farm about 10 minutes away from my home. We found we have many friends in common!

We all know the world is a small place, but the Livery especially seems to throw up these connections of friendship or work relationships.

.......and WCoMC Restoring Sheep to Romney Marsh

The Sheep Drive isn't the only connection the Company has with sheep! Assistant John Corneille has been providing pro bono advice to a project on the Romney Marsh to restore the traditional industry of sheep rearing and wollen goods production from this breed special to the area. John's contribution has been so valued that he has also been appointed a Trustee. I'm particularly interested in this project, as it arose from a conversation I had with our Ward Alderman, Alison Gowman. Alderman Gowman had heard very favourable things of our pro bono activities! 

Edward

12/10/14