Sheep just some of the stars at mammoth fair

Lady Belles Choir perform at this year's Shipston Wool Fair NNL-150527-165435001
Lady Belles Choir perform at this year's Shipston Wool Fair NNL-150527-165435001
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Sheep wash town went back to its roots again on Monday with a celebration of both its 
history and its thriving 
community today.

The High Street and Market Place were closed off for the main wool fair action.

A Dorset Poll on show at this year's Shipston Wool Fair. NNL-150527-165419001

A Dorset Poll on show at this year's Shipston Wool Fair. NNL-150527-165419001

There was a record number of rarer breed sheep on show, the entertainment stage and a wide variety of stalls featuring woolly crafts, local groups and other activities.

But the whole town also got in on the act with the likes of Sheldon’s and Granville Court also hosting stalls and many of the independent shops and cafes and bars showing what makes Shipston special.

There was the usual range of attractions for all ages and with the continuing growth in popularity of the event, the Sheep Shuttle bus service was back again as part of the park and ride set-up.

The weather stayed fair so it was a true party atmosphere as people wandered around the stalls, had a go at the games or crafts or maybe settled down to watch the entertainment.

Shipston Town Concert Brass got proceedings off to a start on the main stage.

This proved to be a variety show featuring a number of bands, some classic songs from the Lady Belles choir and dancing from a couple of very different traditions featuring the Shuvani Gypsy Dancers and the Ilmington Morris Men.

There were several sessions where Ed Noble welcomed some of the visiting sheep into the show ring to point out what gave each of them a special appeal.

The agricultural and wool connection ran through many of the stalls and activities but there was also chance for many of the town’s organisations to get their message across.

Chair of the wool fair committee, Ronnie Murphy, said: “We try to change it each year so it doesn’t get stale.

“It went very well and we’re sure the numbers were up.

“There were a lot of children and they are interested to see how the shearing is done.”