Alan Titchmarsh to lead annual Sheep Drive

Alan Titchmarsh will swap his shovel for a shepherd’s crook
Alan Titchmarsh will swap his shovel for a shepherd’s crook

‘Ewe’ will be hard pressed to find a spectacle quite like Alan Titchmarsh driving a woolly flock over London Bridge in this month’s annual Sheep Drive.

Hosted each year by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen to preserve their right to shepherd livestock into the City, the event is certainly one of the Square Mile’s more zany traditions.

The hype around last year’s ceremony was heightened by the presence of Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry, who caused a social media storm when she ditched the oven gloves to take centre stage as guest of honour.

Now it is Titchmarsh’s turn to trade his trusty trowel and spade for a shepherd’s crook and put his skills to good use in driving sheep over London Bridge.

The television personality made his name on garden renovation programme Ground Force before moving on to host the Alan Titchmarsh Show.

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Mary Barry leads the City’s annual Sheep Drive across London Bridge. Photo: Andrew Sillett

“We are delighted that Alan Titchmarsh has agreed to open the Sheep Drive and look forward to seeing the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs and hundreds of Freemen during the day as they and their friends and families re-enact this ancient tradition,” said Woolmen Past Master Bill Clark.

“We are all hoping for good weather so we can enjoy this fun day out and raise lots of money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and The Woolmen’s Trust which help people in the City and the wool industry.”

Flocks will cross the Thames every half an hour from 10am until 5pm on 30 September.

Cover image by Horticulture Week (Creative Commons).