I REFER to the article on the success of Sheep Day in the June 29 edition of the Craven Herald. My view is quite the opposite. We arrived about 1.30pm and the High Street was very quiet.

No “big crowds” – you provide a lovely photo showing the crowd watching the sheep shearing show, but that did not reflect the overall attendance at the overall Sheep Day event in the early afternoon. From my observations it was certainly a lot quieter than previous years events.

My view is that it is supposed to be a small town country fair designed to show off local crafts, demonstrations of old skills, charities, local community groups and farming activities. Sadly it is overwhelmed with sad commercial stalls selling chintzy rubbish. Followed by bizarre and over priced food outlets.

I ask myself why there was nothing in the Town Hall, surely the focal point of the town?

Where was the Skipton Community Orchestra Concert? surely in the absence of availability of the usual church as the venue, it could have taken place in the Town Hall arena.

How times change. For the very first Sheep Day day back in 2000 it was reported “Mayor Richard Colley said a meeting was held and it was likely that the event would be repeated next year. "It was a good country day with no commercialisation." I was there that day and could not agree more.

By 2.30pm some stalls were packing up for the day.

I would also question the chosen date. As I recall for many years the Sheep Day was always the first Sunday in July. Why the change this year? Perhaps this is why the streets were quiet with people thinking it was on next week!

The concept and content of the event needs a serious re-think for next year.


John Stolarczyk

Cross Hills


In response, Louise Close, chief officer, Skipton Town Council, thanked Mr Stolarczyk for his feedback, and added: "I am yet to receive exact footfall numbers for the High Street, but early indication shows that we received a large footfall to the event and the area was certainly not quiet until the rain arrived later in the afternoon.

All our traders are picked using a scoring matrix. The highest scores being given for local and hand crafted. This was in abundance and many of the food stalls again being local restaurants and traders. Having just attended the Scottish Game Fair in Perth and compared food prices, the traders at the Sheep Show were certainly less than the prices of larger events and catering establishments.

This was also reflected at the Canal Basin where the Real Food Market was trading.

The Town Hall was hosting ‘Yarndale’ on the same day as Sheep day and Skipton Brass band were playing on the High Street.

We had one exhibitor who left at 3pm and started packing up at 2.30pm. The weather was very hot, and the animals had been petted most of the day. Speaking with the owners we decided that it was in their best interests that they left early, I totally supported this and arranged for them to leave.

No other trader packed away until 4pm, when the rain came, and the High street was emptied very quickly.

Sheep day, in 2017 and up until 2019 was the first weekend in July; however, in 2020 it was changed to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

The end of Armed forces day falls on the last Sunday in June. Because we live in such troubled times, the regiment struggle to provide a full military presence for a full day on their own, therefore the decisions was taken back then to join the two events up and create a full day."