Shipston gets set to celebrate the town’s 10th Wool Fair
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Shipston Wool Fair – an annual celebration linking with the town’s history and its importance in medieval times as a livestock town, specifically sheep. In recent years, the Wool 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 26th to 28th May.
Kicking off the Wool Fair weekend will be the Totally Locally Arts and Crafts market on Saturday 26th May. Sheep Street and The Bury will become a treasure trove of handmade and unusual goods, including soaps, ceramics, paintings, wood craft, textiles and up-cycled furniture.
On 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 (28th) 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, much of which will be supporting local good causes. Refreshments will be available, both from stall holders and local cafes and restaurants, while music and dance will be keeping visitors entertained throughout, so why not come for the day and make the most of this annual event.
Chair of the Wool Fair, 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.”
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.
Town Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “On behalf of the town, I would like to wish the Wool Fair Committee every success for this year’s events and look forward to joining in the celebrations.”
The Wool Fair is made possible thanks to committed volunteers and the generous support of sponsors. Find out more at www.shipstonwoolfair.co.uk.