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City freemen drive sheep across London Bridge

London SE1 website team

Hundreds of freemen of the City of London exercised their ancient right to drive flocks of sheep across London Bridge on Sunday.

City freemen drive sheep across London Bridge
City freemen drive sheep across London Bridge
Officers and jurors of the Guildable Manor of Southwark greeted the master woolman at the start of the sheep drive
City freemen drive sheep across London Bridge
The common crier of Southwark delivers the official greeting to the master woolman at the boundary between the City and Southwark
City freemen drive sheep across London Bridge

The event was organised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen to raise funds for the Woolmen's Charitable Trust and the Lord Mayor's Appeal.

Freemen and women of the City of London each made a 50 donation for the opportunity to exercise their historic privilege to drive sheep across London Bridge.

The event began when the master woolman Bill Clark drove a flock from the City side of the Thames to the southern bank where officers and jurors of the Guildable Manor of Southwark were waiting to greet him.

The common crier of Southwark read a greeting on behalf of the manor.

The foreman of the manor Michael Honnoraty presented the master woolman with an engraved ale conning tankard to mark the occasion. He also gave Mr Clark a jar of mint sauce.

This was arguably the first authentic sheep drive on London Bridge for some years, as recent charity events on the bridge have involved individual sheep being led on a rope rather than driven as a flock.

In 2008 two charity sheep drives were held, and in 2012 Cilla Black and Cherie Blair were among those who led a herd of goats across the bridge.

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