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Home » See & Do » Events » SHEEP TALES




"Counting sheep is easy, lad. You just count the legs and divide by four"

In words and song, Sally Tonge and Chris Eldon Lee (of the veteran comedy trio Three Men in a Bowtie) present the story of shepherding; season by season and decade by decade. 

"Honestly, my husband's sheep frequently went to market wearing more make up than me!" 

Sheep Tales includes stories of the severe winters of 1947 - when being a hill shepherd was deemed a worse fate than being a infantryman - and 1963, when helicopter drops were a lifeline. There are detailed descriptions of the art of lambing : 

"Triplets can be tricky. Their legs get jumbled up and you have to rearrange them in the womb. You know those wire coat hangers you get when your dry cleaning comes back? 
Well, it's a bit like trying to separate tangled coat hangers, blindfold, inside a duvet, wearing oven gloves".

Chris and Sal describe the ancient art of how to castrate a ram with your bare teeth :

"And he did that right up to the early 60s...when those stupid welfare regulations intervened?

And they explore encroachment of wind farms : 

They came with their clipboards
All oozing with charm 
With grants for this new wind farm.
The landscape?s idyllic, 
But bloody acrylic
Is cheaper than fleece
So we can?t make ends meet
It?s bound to end in defeat
And as the last generation of traditional shepherds hang up their crooks, they explore the fragile future of the industry.

It's a timely, entertaining and enlightening lunchtime; charting a changing way of life, from the shepherds' point of view.

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