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Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market celebrates Wales' drovers.

THE next Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market on Sunday, July 31 will be a rare opportunity to get your hands on a piece of Welsh drovers history, when a pair of blacksmith-made cattle shoes will be sold.

For centuries Welsh drovers walked their black cattle and sheep, pigs and even geese across the mountains of Mid and South Wales to the bustling markets and fairs at Hereford and on as far as London and Kent.

The Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market has long been a mecca for rare and unusual items, but fair organiser Robert Pugh is particularly proud to be offering for sale the pair of cattle shoes explaining: "They really are one of the most interesting things I've sold in recent years."

He continued: "Welsh drovers were the very first cowboys, long before there were cowboys in America! The cattle they drove would be shod just like horses while ducks and geese would have their feet covered in tar and sand to help protect them. The pair of shoes for sale, which would have been for one foot, are said to have been made the 'Gof' (Blacksmith) in Llanwrda in the 19th century."

The history of Welsh drovers is celebrated all across this part of Wales to this day. In the Carmarthenshire town of Llandovery you'll find a bronze statue of a drover.

The first Drovers' Festival was staged in the town in 1997 in anticipation of the 200th anniversary of the Black Ox bank.

This was the original drovers' bank which was founded in the town when local drover David Jones created cheques so that drovers wouldn't have to carry money. There are also many "Drovers Arms" throughout Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire, you'll even find a Drovers Ale for sale in many a pub.

If you've never visited the Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market you're in for a treat! Find hidden treasures like the cattle shoes around every corner, with hundreds of stands inside and out. As well as plenty of agricultural items you'll find many rare and unusual decorative pieces, it's also the place to shop for antique and vintage furniture, military items, toys and ceramics as well as vintage jewellery and clothes.

The fair is open between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, July 31.

Admission is PS4 for adults with accompanied children admitted free of charge. Carmarthen Showground is on the A40, minutes from the town.

The remaining diary of Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market events for 2016 is as follows: Sunday, September 11, Sunday, October 30 and Tuesday, December 27.

For more information, including details on exhibiting at the Carmarthen Antiques and Flea Market visit www.towyevents.co.uk or call 01267 236 569. All indoor pitches must be pre-booked while outdoor pitches will be available on the day with set-up at 7.30am. Meanwhile keep up to date with all our news and events by following us on Twitter @TowyEvents

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 23, 2016
Words:491
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