Too baa-d for sheep: Flock denied place in 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony
Some of central Somerset's most woolly-headed residents have had their dreams of international sporting stardom squashed.
Organisers of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London have rejected a request by Glastonbury's county councillor to give the town's sheep a starring role in the sporting shindig.
After the national media reported that Glastonbury Tor would play a prominent role in the ceremony Councillor Alan Gloak contacted the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), suggesting that a flock of the town's sheep could be driven over the 'tor' as part of the spectacular event.
This week he was contacted by organisers, who made it clear that while a representation of the town's tor would make an appearance, the town's sheep were most definitely not on the guest list.
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Mr Gloak said: "The sheep were unfortunately denied a starring role at the opening of the 2012 London Games – it's probably because of their unpredictability.
"They have a habit of going shopping in Boots, when they should be trotting down Glastonbury High Street as part of our annual wool festival."
In a tersely worded statement issued today, a spokesman for LOCOG confirmed they had turned down the offer of a loan of the sheep, and the town's Freemen.
"Planning work and rehearsals for the initial scene of the opening ceremony have been under way for some time and the plans cannot be altered at this stage," the statement read.
The three-hour opening ceremony has been created by film director Danny Boyle who has said he hoped to recreate the British countryside for the £27m ceremony on July 27.
He described the event as "Glastonbury meets the last night of the Proms", with a 'mosh pit' at one end of the stadium, and a 'posh pit' at the other.
Mr Boyle said: "The ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be."
There is however some good news for fans of the Glastonbury flock, as they will take centre stage as part of the third Glastonbury Wool Festival, which will take place on August 18 and 19.
The event, sponsored by Ackroyd and Dawson, and run in conjunction with the Somerset Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, the event hopes to make people more aware of the uses of wool.
The festival will open at 10am on August 18 when the Freemen of Glastonbury, Janice White, John Brunsdon, Alan Gloak and Ian Tucker – with a little help from George Faulkner and Patricia Ackroyd – will drive the snubbed sheep and some British Alpacas through the High Street – hopefully keeping them out of the shops in the town centre – to the market cross.
The two-day wool festival will include spinning demonstrations, 'have a go' areas, traditional crafts handmade goods, a fashion show and a Mutton Supper and Folk evening, as well as sheepdog demonstrations.
Mr Gloak, who has helped to organise the event said: "Although our sheep were denied a role at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, we're thrilled they will take centre stage as part of the town's Wool Festival."
The sheep were unavailable for comment.