Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The days when the wool cheque paid the rent

Traditionally the summer gathering of sheep from upland pastures and the shearing was an occasion of commercial and social significance. This was neighbours co-operating.  Wool fetched a good price and the wool cheque could pay for the farm rent in a good year. Shearing was done by hand and this allowed for a greater deal of discretion by the shearer as to the length of wool that should be left on the sheep to help it survive the winter. Nowadays the wool cheque hardly even covers the bill from the shearing contractor and sheep are often trimmed far too short and cut in the process of using mechanical clippers. Hand clipping means that the depth of cut can be closely controlled.

Here at Hafod y Llam they are demonstrating the old skills of hand shearing. 
These ewes have a longer coat than would have been the case with mechanical shearing.  This is important because sometimes a sheep escapes the gathering and has to be sheared later in the year.


  1. Just a shame all shearing can't be done with the same care and attention.

  2. So, what is a typical sheep fleece actually worth in £? My guess is £3. Any idea?