LEADING British Wool Marketing Board officials will be descending on Bromyard next Tuesday to stage a wool extravaganza for the first time in almost thirty years.

The board has chosen the premises of wool merchants Francis Willey - one of the board's 18 depots in Britain - to show flockmasters exactly what happens to their wool after it has left the farm.

Wool may not have the same high value as some years ago when it used to pay for the ground rent and brought prosperity to towns like Leominster, but, nevertheless, it is a multi-million pound industry today.

The grading depot at Francis Willey's will open its doors from 10am-3pm.

As harvesting the new season's wool clip gets underway, the day's programme offers a range of demonstrations and information guaranteed to be of interest to sheep farmers.

Shearing, with all local training course information, and mobile sheep shower demonstrations, provided by contractor, Brian Sankey from Knighton, should offer plenty of food for thought.

Old tack

So, too, will the displays by local sheep breed societies, including the Lleyn, Texel and Charollais.

Memories will be recaptured by the display of old photographs and a collection of old shearing tack exhibited by Bert Ruff from Knighton. These will include some wind-up two-man machines from the late 50s and a wall unit that, in its day, was proudly exported to the Australian shearers!

The open day has been arranged to give wool producers an opportunity to see what happens to their fleeces after they leave the farm, to find out how their wool is graded and to meet staff and Wool Board representatives.

The Francis Willey depot at Three Mills, Port House Industrial Estate, is part of H C Pearce and Sons. Working on behalf of the producer-run wool board, the depot will handle and grade more than two million kilos fleece wool this year from over 3,000 farmers across parts of Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.