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Swaffham Sheep Fair shows town 'at its best': reaction




Swaffham’s revived Sheep Fair took place on Saturday with money raised for good causes in the town.

A Mock Auction of sheep raised £780 for six local causes with Swaffham and Litcham Home Hospice receiving £510.

The other charities supported were Nelson’s Journey, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the ESCAPE project, Norfolk’s Big C and Merle Boddy Centre.

From left are Kenny Whitley, 4, Sarah and Isabella Oldridge, 4
From left are Kenny Whitley, 4, Sarah and Isabella Oldridge, 4

In total, there were nine breeds of sheep on display from four farms.

Town mayor Jill Skinner said: "Swaffham was really buzzing, plenty of sheep, different breeds, shearing, spinning.

"It was good to see so many people really enjoying themselves reminding us what a vibrant town Swaffham was and what it could be once again."

It was a chance for the town to celebrate “all things woolly” with the tradition being restored last year.

Before that, it had been as far back as 1942 that the last event had been held.

Chloe Oxbury, 10, trying her hand at on the Peg Loom, with a little help from Vic Francis from the Mid-Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers
Chloe Oxbury, 10, trying her hand at on the Peg Loom, with a little help from Vic Francis from the Mid-Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers

Sue Dent, project officer for Swaffham Town Council, said it illustrated the town “at its best.”

She said: “Quite simply we had a fantastic day. There was lots to do and see for all ages and a great turnout of visitors.

Castlemilk Moorit yew from Melsop Farm Park, Scoulton, on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's stand
Castlemilk Moorit yew from Melsop Farm Park, Scoulton, on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's stand

“Everyone really enjoyed meeting the sheep and chatting to their owners.

“The shearer Thomas Spaul was a star doing five demonstrations during the day.”

Spinner Michelle Berry from the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
Spinner Michelle Berry from the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

The Mid-Norfolk Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and the Worstead Guild of Weavers put on a demonstration of spinning and weaving.

Ed Colman, Norfolk County Council and Breckland councillor for Swaffham, said: “The day is great for the town because it not only helps to boost tourism and really put Swaffham on the map, but it also helps revive Swaffham’s traditional Sheep Fair from days gone by.

“It is great to see people engage with the town’s history as well as the activities which are on offer as part of the fair.

Hebridean Sheep from Melsop Farm Park, Scoulton, on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust stand
Hebridean Sheep from Melsop Farm Park, Scoulton, on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust stand

“A big thank you has to go to all the traders and exhibitors who made the day possible.

“The Sheep Fair is a real team effort. Myself and fellow county councillor Fabian Eagle have worked really closely with Swaffham Town Council, market traders, Melsop Park Farm and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to get it off the ground and grow it significantly in 2019 compared to 2018.”

Sheep Shearing with Tom Spaul from Ashill
Sheep Shearing with Tom Spaul from Ashill


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