Michael Portillo to lead City of London Sheep Drive


The Worshipful Company of Woolmen has announced that the Rt Hon Michael Portillo will be leading the 2019 Sheep Drive over London Bridge.

On 29 September, the former MP, broadcaster and railway enthusiast will make one of his greatest journeys as he leads the flock of North of England Mules over London Bridge, accompanied by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.

The Great Sheep Drive is a British tradition dating back hundreds of years, and will see more than 600 Freemen of the City of London take up their historic entitlement to drive their sheep over what was once London’s only river crossing and sole trading route. The tradition is as ancient as the bridge itself and will raise tens of thousands of pounds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the Woolmen’s Charity.

This year will also see the addition of a Livery Fair, taking place around the nearby Monument. This will provide visitors the opportunity to learn more about the Livery Companies of the City as well as specialist British Wool Trades and the opportunity to meet sheep.

Mr Portillo said: “The Sheep Drive is a tradition and spectacle that’s always intrigued me. I’m honoured to be invited to this magnificently British ceremony.”

Lord Mayor Peter Estlin said: “I am delighted to join the Worshipful Company of Woolmen in taking part in this year’s Sheep Drive over London Bridge. This event will raise funds for charities Place2Be, OnSide Youth Zones, and Samaritans, which are being supported by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, and help people learn about the wool trade.”