And so the sight of a flock of sheep being driven across London Bridge by freemen of the city yesterday led by that son of Ilkley, Alan Titchmarsh, whilst seeming a little anachronistic, also made two telling points.
One is that such traditions remind us of Britain’s proud heritage, which is something to be celebrated. The other, as Mr Titchmarsh pointed out, is that agriculture is at the heart of our country, a truth with particular resonance here in his home county.
Our farmers put food on the table and safeguard the countryside.
They deserve our unending gratitude.
And if bringing the capital to a halt so that sheep can be driven through it reminds more people of that, then long may this grand old ceremony continue.