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Escaped sheep and a giant policeman at the Royal Welsh

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James McLaren James McLaren | 14:00 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

Cor, this place is huge; like, properly massive. The population of a good-sized town has descended on these fields outside Builth Wells and this morning it's bustling with people keen to see the finest specimens of livestock.

That, or feed themselves freebies of lovely cheese, cider or cake.

This is my first time at the Royal Welsh Show and I'm really not an outdoorsy kind of bloke. I don't tend to like animals bigger than a dog, so seeing a two-tonne bull within feet, its horns nearly as impressive as its pendulous scrotum, is a step into the unknown for me.

People really seem to be getting into it, though, and there's a good, enthusiastic crowd for the bull judging. Round the corner, I go to look at some sheep (more my size, if a bit dim, by all accounts). Suddenly people start scattering and a brace of thick-wooled ewes crash out from behind a crowd and straight into one of the many stalls.

Escaped sheep at the Royal Welsh Show

Escaped sheep at the Royal Welsh Show

Two ruddy-faced, burly farmhands grapple them back under control, but not before they've clobbered the stall's stock all over the pavement. The ladies manning the stall are surprisingly unflustered. All in a day's work at the Royal Welsh, I suppose.

While waiting for the elves that power my computer to wake up and do their job, I encounter PC Mike Ecksley, of Dyfed-Powys Police. He's about nine foot tall and looms into view like a fluorescent totem pole. He's giving out wristbands to potentially-errant children, so I ask him what he's up to today. As it turns out, he'd have been here anyway:

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Now that Derek Brockway is on site and filling me with no confidence whatsoever that the weather's going to improve from this incessant drizzle, I shall be off. I've got to see a woman about some owls.


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