By 1991 Sheep Worrying existed only in name. It was only a matter of time before it was wound up or faded away. The fight against the Poll Tax was taking up everybody’s time. Rock gigs had been lost at the Art Centre, Theatre could carry on but the members weren’t seeing eye to eye. Sheep Worrying magazine was no longer a relevence being superseded by the socialist Somerset Clarion. Further, Sheep Worrying members were now being elected to Councils, first Glen Burrows then Pat Morley then Brian Smedley. In 1991 there would be more.

Bridgwater Anti Poll Tax Union on the march

2 Mar-The Spanners play a benefit gig for ‘Elizabeth’ at the Exchange Inn ,Puriton . They raise £130 for this MS sufferer .

5 Mar Brian is getting into his stride on Council and his constant soeeches against the Poll Tax get him branded “A parasite” By Tory councillor David Joslin for ‘not paying his poll tax’ .

7 Mar– The Spanners lay the Kings Arms, Bristol supported by Milk.

BrianThis gig was organised by Matts uni friends. In particular the highlight of the event was John Parish turning up in a Russian fur hat. Long time no see.

20 Mar The Spanners play the Bristol bridge  plus Linoleum Daze/

23 Mar another National anti poll tax demo . On the evening is a gig at the Art Centre supporting Gods little Monkeys

Sheep Worrying candidates win again in local elections

April 17-Bridgwater APTU organises a ‘bailif watch’ on the Hamp estate.

May 2 Elections – Mac McCausland is elected as Labour councillor for Eastover  and Brian is re-elected in Victoria”

11 May-May day rally

15 May The Labour group on Bridgwater Charter Trustees votes for the Lib Dem David Baker to be Mayor. Brian is critical .

16 May-Spanners play the Bristol bridge inn with the  Ugli Fruits

17 May– Spanners play the Beer engine

June 1 Bridgwater Anti-Poll Tax Union plays football against Taunton APTU . Brian scores 2, Glen Cane 4, Gwyn Holland 5 and Taff 1 in a 12.2 victory

June 8 Spanners gig at Blake arms + Ugli Fruits

9 June Spanners play a gig for Highbridge Labour Party at the Whitehouse farm and are donated a giant tractor spanner

10 June  Glen, Alexia, Stuart and Glenn carry out their plan to form Hardlines Theatre.

Dave Hanna and Dave Chapple at the Glastonbury festival.

15 June  Bridgwater APTU members re-enact the 1381 Poll Tax rebel walk to Ilchester. 21 miles away. Brian, Gwyn and Andy Pole are the only ones who make it all the way .

Clarion issue 42 carries a feature about the APTU “bricking up the poll tax bailiff”  During the action members found the home of a local bailliff who happened to be having some work done to the house and simply used the spare bricks to ‘brick him in’

 4 Aug– Original Sheep Worrying actor Ed Grey dies. He was a diabetic and had failed to manage his medication.

On 9 August Brian responded to a letter from Antonin Machala in Czechoslovakia asking for the British Labour Party to help them in post communist elections. Brian hitches over and the idea of a Bridgwater-Czech twinning is devised .

From this point on Sheep Worrying takes a back seat. Used only as a label for producing music by the bands involved it has to all intents and purposes just faded away.

Councillor Smedley 1991

On 2 Nov Antonin Machala comes to Bridgwater and the Czech link is formed

Nov 3 The Spanners play a gig at NJR on West Quay .

There are no more Sheep Worrying shows and Hardlines Theatre just do the one show – written by Glenn Cane and staring Jo Cox it tackles the Gulf war as a subject .

Musicians and actors from the Sheep Worrying stable agree to support the new Bridgwater-Czechoslovakia Friendship link and perform a series of shows based on songs and films from 4 key years -1938,1958,1968 and 1978. In 1992 the official twinning is signed and the Spanners becomes ‘The SkaKats’ and takes a tour to the Czech lands

Sheep Worrying has simply disappeared into the night.

Afterthoughts