Nottingham's Freemen get parking ticket for sheep transporter
FREEMEN about to exercise their historic right to herd animals across Trent Bridge found a parking ticket on the transporter carrying the sheep.
The group, who have all been granted the Freedom of the City for their outstanding contribution to Nottingham, were involved in a day of activities – including herding sheep.
The tradition stems from the days when everyone – except for Freemen – used to have to pay to bring their livestock over the bridge.
But it was obvious that times had changed when, during the celebrations of the 115th anniversary of Nottingham gaining city status, a parking ticket was placed on the vehicle transporting the sheep.
The transporter contained Lance Corporal Derby – the regimental ram for the Mercians – and was parked outside the council house in Old Market Square at around 10.30am, while Freemen listened to and gave speeches about the importance of the day.
Council staff soon realised the error and quashed the fine.
Freeman Tim Reddish, 55, of Western Boulevard said he thought it was ironic because traditionally Freemen's sheep could enter the city for free.
He said: "The day was all about celebrating different centenaries, particularly the anniversary of Nottingham gaining city status. As part of that we took a tour of the city, visiting the Nottingham Contemporary, Victoria Leisure Centre and the Notts County ground to name a few places.
"As part of the celebrations we had the opportunity to reenact the right of Freemen to herd sheep across Trent Bridge. We were accompanied by Lance Corporal Derby at all points in our visit."
Mr Reddish, a paralympic athlete who was awarded the Freeman title in 2005 for the work he does volunteering in sport in the county, added: "It was a bit disappointing and frustrating that the sheep got a parking ticket, but I understand it was just someone doing their job and the vehicle containing the sheep had been parked there for a bit too long because the speeches overran.
"It has all been sorted now and we won't be paying a fine."
The first Honorary Freeman was given the honour in 1895.
There are currently seven living Freemen, of those three were present yesterday – Mich Stevenson, Professor Sir Colin Campbell and Mr Reddish.
The others are Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Sir Paul Smith and climber Doug Scott.