We are having a lot of fun at work because we have finally launched our Shorn Keighley project for 2010. This project has taken a year of planning, several applications for funding and a lot of work. So what's it all about?
We have commissioned an artist to make a life sized sheep model which has been manufactured into 10 fibre glass sheep. Each sheep will be decorated by the community in the style of a famous artist and will be sponsored by a local business. We have big plans for the finished sheep! We want them to ride on a float at next year's Keighley Gala, be part of the Keighley Festival, graze on Church Green, penned up in the Airedale Centre, race the train on the Worth Valley Railway and make guest appearances at local events. Shorn's final appearance for 2010 will be the Keighley Show.
Shorn already has his own blog and we have a flock of soft sheep ready to travel the world and send postcards from abroad. We will have an outdoor sheep trail around the town and farm visits too.
Why do we need a flock of sheep in Keighley? Keighley was once a wealthy town built on the wool industry and sheep are a large part of the local heritage. Keighley has had mixed fortunes over the years and, although it can match everything Skipton has to offer, is not a tourist destination. We hope our sheep will give local people a boost and bring visitors to the town too.
How much work does Shorn entail for us? Blimey! We have lived, slept and breathed Shorn since September 2007 and, now that we have funding from the Area Coordinator's Office, the real work has only just begun. We still have to plan the logistics of Shorn's storage, transportation, booking events, sponsors, painting workshops and security. Then there's the Shorn spin-offs such as the blog, travelling Shorns, Sheep Market and anything else we can think of.
But it will be worth it by the finish of the project. So many people have been excited by the project so far that we believe that Shorn Keighley is a worthwhile project.