Blow by blow .. Roddy Kidd, aged 84, picked up a hand-piece for the first time in 25 years to shear a sheep at the Oxford A&P Show.PHOTO: DAVID HILL


It is just like riding a bike, says 84-year-old Roddy Kidd, who picked up a hand-piece at the Oxford A&P Show on Saturday and shore a sheep – well most of it.

“Mentally, you know what you are doing, but physically you are a bit rusty,” he says.

Roddy finished the long blow on his sheep, but decided not to tempt fate and swing his leg over his sheep to move on to its last side.

This would have meant putting all his weight on to his left hip – a manoeuvre his hip might have protested.

Roddy handed over to Allan Thompson to finish the job.

The pair joined Colin King in the shearing shed as the trio relived their experience of competing in the Oxford A&P Association’s first shearing competition 50 years ago.

“I was a bit stiff and sore the next day,” says Roddy, who had not picked up a hand-piece for 25 years.

“It was a foreign hand-piece and the sheep was sticky. Everything was against me,” he says. “If I could have another go, I probably could finish the job, but I won’t be bothered.”

Roddy is proud he instigated shearing at the show five decades ago, but sad his mate Rodger Corby, who helped get it off the ground, wasn’t there with him on Saturday.

The competition grew from humble beginnings and had to overcome some scepticism. However, after a lot of planning over there by the trees” a huge success.

Back then, stock agent Dalgetys supplied shearing machines. Frews Transport brought in the sheep for nothing, and one of its trucks was used as a shearing platform until the pavilion was built 20 years ago.