Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Sheep in the City

Every so often I blog here about something completely random. It usually ends up being tango. This time, though, it isn't.

I thought it would be fun to share something of the amazing day I had on Saturday.

London does keep generating strange but fun new stuff to do. For a few years now, there have been regular events where artists and celebrities design sculptures on a theme and these are dotted around London. Eventually the sculptures are auctioned off and money is generated for the charity. Meanwhile, Londoners enjoy some eccentric new street art.

At the moment, London is playing host to various incarnations of Shaun the Sheep, a character from the popular Wallace and Grommit 'claymation' films. The people who make the films have set up their own charity for children in hospital and that's where the money's going. (You can make your own donation HERE.) The sculptures are scattered here and there but 48 of the 50 are in the centre of town, mainly clustered in some of the main tourist areas. So an afternoon walking round some of them is a nice way to visit some of the more attractive parts of the capital. Lots of people seem to be doing that and the people who put the whole thing together have produced four walks to encourage people to see some of them in an afternoon's stroll

Of course, if you were to do them on skates, you could see all 48 in a few hours.

Let's start in Trafalgar Square.

Yes, Shaun the sheep as Nelson with the column in the background.

And this one is practically next door.

Trafalgar Square is a nice central meeting point and from there we went to Leicester Square, where the sheep seem to come in pairs.


And on to Chinatown ...

... Covent Garden ...

... Tower Bridge ...

... and the Tower of London. There are two sheep at the Tower. One, quite properly, is a Beefeater, though you can hardly see him for skater fans.


St Paul's seems to have a whole flock of Shauns.

In Paternoster Square, next to the cathedral, Shaun has been joined by some other, rather posher, sheep. (The sheep that aren't Shaun are a sculpture by Dame Elizabeth Frink, which made for the original Paternoster Square in 1975 and mounted in this spot when the new square was developed.)
Not Shaun
Some of the sheep are sheltering from the English weather and hiding indoors. (Saturday was a beautiful day, but there has been some rotten weather lately.) At Hamleys an excitable greeter at the door was desperate for us all to pile inside, and we were happy to oblige.

Amazingly, the other places which sheltered the Shauns were all remarkably tolerant of a whole bunch of skaters invading their premises.

The British Film Institute

At Ripleys Believe it or Not (Piccadilly)
Barbican Centre

Several of the sheep that were not in especially iconic locations reflected famous aspects of London life. There was a guardsman (guards-sheep, I suppose, really)

... a Chelsea Pensioner ...

... and a Pearly King.


These were some of the highlights. Obviously there were more.

Many, many more ...

I had some notion of maybe putting up photographs of all the sheep we saw that afternoon, but I kept falling asleep. Looks like if you want to see them all, you'll have to take yourselves to town and visit them there.

Shaun in the City runs until 31 May.

(Thanks to Aymeric Figureau, Anna Himiona, Peter Carr, Geoff Yang, Jacek Kustyk, and Muhayman Jamil for the photographs.)


  1. Oh.Wow> Amazing. Love Shaun the sheep...delighted he got his own show at last.Great Pictures!

  2. Never heard of Shaun the Sheep, but judging by these photos he has had a big impact on you. Fab photos and a fab time was had by all it seems. :)