It could be ewe!

Mark Exelby with one of the sheep involved in the Sheep Sweep.  110420M2.
Mark Exelby with one of the sheep involved in the Sheep Sweep. 110420M2.
Share this article

Grewelthorpe needs ‘ewe’ to help in their campaign for a new village hall.

The village wants to convert a disused chapel into a community hall, and has found an unusual way of raising funds.

Farmer Mark Exelby, who is also Chairman of the Grewelthorpe Village Hall and Community Centre, has volunteered his 600 ewes to help out. The sheep are due to lamb by the end of June and Mark is running a ‘sheep sweep’ lottery through the lambing season.

Each of the ewes has a ‘ewenique’ number which corresponds to a £5 lottery ticket. The last ewe to lamb will win the ticket’s owner £500, with the rest of the money going to the village hall fund.

Mr Exelby said: “This is going to be a long haul for such a small village, but we’re determined to have our own village hall. Eleven years ago we ran a similar lottery to raise funds for a new village school. The school is now built and thriving, so we are confident that we can raise the money for our village hall, though it may take us some time.”

However, villagers are pleased with the lottery’s success so far. “Take up has been good. It’s an easy thing to sell because it’s such an interesting idea,” said Mr Exelby.

Grewelthorpe does not currently have a village hall but there is a unused chapel in the centre of the village which the Methodist Church have agreed to let the community have a long lease on. Villagers now need to raise more than £300,000 for alterations, and are hoping for lottery funding towards it.

As well as the sheep sweep, they have organised a ‘sheep trail’ around the village. Local organisations including the WI, school and British Legion are decorating wooden sheep to display around the village.

“Someone has made a ‘Lady Baabaa’ and the Legion have decorated one in red, white and blue and called it ‘Your country needs ewes’. They are brilliant,” said Mr Exelby

The decorated sheep will be judged from 30 April to 1 May with a prize of £50 for the best dressed entry.

Sheep sweep lottery tickets are available from The Crown Inn, Grewelthorpe on 01765 658210, Alison Kerr on 01765 658265, or Sue Hurley on 01765 650225.