Annual Sheep Drive

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

The Company of Communicators were out in force to support this year’s Sheep Drive.

­­Figure 1 Carole Foster, Susan Walker, Gloria Walker, James Gurling, Martin Cresswell

Our brief was to manage the press and boost media coverage of the City of London’s second largest event (after the Lord Mayor’s Show).

Anne Donoghue, from the Company of Communicators, was the main organiser of the event.

Figure 2 Anne Donoghue briefing the press team

She was supported by a team of journalists and comms leaders from the Company, while Andy Sillett was responsible for the official photography.

Figure 3 Sillett has gone to the dogs

Figure 4 Communicators team driving a herd over the bridge

We attempted to attach a camera to a sheep and broadcast the drive from an ovine point of view (EweTube!)

While the trial run on a farm went well [watch video here], the camera kept falling off on the day. Perhaps not entirely surprising since it was rigged up using a dog harness and gaffer tape…

The comms team set up a press tent to regulate and inform the media. This was partly to avoid the scrum of photographers (if that is the correct collective noun) in front of the drive, as in previous years.

Company of Communicators Deputy Master James Gurling proved adept at herding both skittish sheep as well as the press pack during the drives, acquiring shepherd’s crook along the way.

Figure 5 Deputy Master gets carried away and shepherds the shepherdess

In the afternoon a party of 200 from the west of Ireland surged onto the bridge in high spirits. This caused a period of focus to ensure the safe shepherding of both animals and humans! However it was great to see that Vincent Keaveny, Woolman and the Lord Mayor Elect, was able to join the Group and be part of the event.

Meanwhile, south of the river, Company of Communicators Clerk Ian Wingfield was part of the official delegation from Southwark which greeted the Master Woolman and Lord Mayor on the bridge.

Figure 6 Ian Wingfield, centre of front row

The general atmosphere on the bridge and livery fair was relaxed and friendly, and from a comms point of view the event was a success, with widespread media coverage (monitored by the Company of Communicators’ Matt West) and positive social media posts.

Figure 7 Master Communicator Deborah Oliver