Driving sheep across London Bridge

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Driving sheep across London Bridge

Freeman Alan Titchmarsh MBE became a would-be shepherd for the day to take up his ancient right to drive sheep over London Bridge for the first time. The gardener, author and TV personality was joined by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London as he drove the sheep over the iconic bridge.
The Great Sheep Drive spectacle saw 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. It will raise tens of thousands of pounds for the Lord Mayor's Appeal.
It is organised and hosted by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen which traces its own roots back to 1180.
Bill Clark, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen​, said: "Driving sheep over London Bridge by Freemen of the City is a tradition rooted in more than 800 years of the history of the Woolmen. "Re-energising this old tradition provides a fun day out for Londoners but it is also a reminder of the City of London's important trading history. Wool may have been replaced by stocks and shares but London is still the world's centre of commerce."
Thirty sheep are provided for the event by a Bedfordshire farmer, with just ten at a time driven across the bridge by successive groups of Freemen. The animals were under the observation of their usual shepherd at all times and have been closely monitored by representatives of the City of London's Animal Health and Welfare Service. 

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