My grandfather used to put the hurdles up on the common and I used to go up there and help him, and then we used to take the sheep up to the station. A lot of them were driven up the road from the Common to the station and of course they used to get mixed up on the way up. As boys we used to either go in front or at the back and then when you got them up to the station they had to be all loaded into the different wagons. And they used to have marks on their back, different colours in different places so that you knew which ones belonged to which and then they used to sort them out. One or two of them used to get away and run down the alleyways and we used to go and have to catch them.
During the war years of course when the big American Hospital was up there, they were held in a field down near Ogbourne. A lot of them used to come by road, but I can remember when we were living in The Green, a lot of them coming down Herd Street, out through the Green and through Barn Street and up to the station all on the hoof. They had a big hurdle shed up on the common, that’s gone of course, and there was a pond up there, that went after the end of the war. Shame its all dying out.
Oh we loved it, we used to get our sticks ready three or four days beforehand so that when the sheep came from the station to go up on the common, the shepherds were very pleased because when they got as far as the Green, we kids would make sure the sheep went on the common alright. Our mother always was pleased because she heard the one shepherd say when she was a girl, stop them little maid they be strange sheep and they don’t know where to go to.