Shipston ready for anniversary special wool fair

Shipston Wool Fair was held at Shipston on Stour as part of the Wooly Weekend. Portland Sheep from Armscote. Picture by Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto.co.uk NNL-170530-145457001
Shipston Wool Fair was held at Shipston on Stour as part of the Wooly Weekend. Portland Sheep from Armscote. Picture by Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto.co.uk NNL-170530-145457001

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Shipston Wool Fair – an annual celebration of the town’s history and its importance in medieval times especially for sheep.

The fair has grown from a one day celebration to a full ‘woolly weekend’ and this year will be no different, with events taking place from May 26 to 28.

Chairman Ronnie Murphy said: “2018 marks a huge milestone for everyone who has worked so hard to bring the Wool Fair back to Shipston, which is now one of the town’s most popular events.

“We are extremely excited about this year’s celebrations and look forward to seeing record numbers of residents and visitors taking part in the fun.”

Kicking off the weekend will be the Totally Locally Arts and Crafts market on the Saturday – Sheep Street and The Bury will become a treasure trove of handmade and unusual goods.

On the Sunday, Shipston Rotary is holding a Community Songs of Praise at St Edmunds Church at 3pm followed by tea and homemade cakes.

Bank Holiday Monday will see the town transformed, as the Wool Fair itself takes place.

The jam-packed anniversary programme will see rare breeds paraded in the town, live sheep-shearing, and the opportunity to learn about the traditional crafts of spinning, weaving and knitting.

Retailers, clubs and charities will be lining the streets, offering games, competitions, raffles and retail therapy, most of which will be supporting good causes.

Food, drink, music and dancing will be keeping visitors entertained throughout the day. For more information, visit www.shipstonwoolfair.co.uk.

The Shipston Wool Fair was resurrected in 2009 after a lapse of around 150 years. Each year the Wool Fair organisers have introduced new features, including the Shipston Tapestry for the Queen’s Jubilee year, and a woollen hat knitted on the day of the Fair from that day’s sheep shearing.

It was last year’s Wool Fair that introduced the town to ‘yarn bombing’. The locally knitted ‘yarn bombs’ saw everything from lampposts and benches to shrubs and bollards adorned with colourful knitted creations.

The positive response from local residents and visitors was overwhelming and yarn bombing will again be an exciting feature in the town.