Here comes the 2015 Annual LLSBA Conference!


Updated 2 November, 2015
Please note that this info is subject to change.

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The Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association annual conference in WIlliamsburg, Virginia will be the weekend of November 13th to the 15th. We will continue the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Leicester Longwool's return to the United States. The format will be different this year as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of Colonial WIlliamsburg's Rare Breeds Program. 

One important difference this year is that many of the events will also be open to the public, since they have also been organized to celebrate the 30th year of Colonial Williamsburg's Rare Breeds Program. Unfortunately, this means that you will need to purchase a ticket to attend some of the events. Ticket information, including the option to purchase tickets in advance, can be found here

Since many folks will be purchasing day pass or weekend pass tickets to Colonial Williamsburg, they may also be interested to know other events that will be taking place in the area, so they can plan their down-time accordingly. Information about the events happening in Colonial Williamsburg from November 13-15 can be found by clicking here and entering the correct dates into the search feature.



Please help us out with our planning by RSVP'ing to the conference.

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Clarion Hotel, Historic District
A group rate of $69 per night has been arranged for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the Clarion Hotel Historic District. Breakfast is not included in the rate. When you book, mention that you are a member of the Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association in order to get the discounted rate


The Williamsburg Inn
(888) 965-7254
The Williamsburg Inn is an alternative to the Clarion. It is within walking distance of the conference events, being situated in Colonial Williamsburg, nearby the main shopping strip. It has four and a half stars on trip advisor, and comes highly recommended for the history buffs as well as the more discriminating travelers. 


Conference Schedule of Events


Friday, November 13th

5:30 PM-6:30 PM: Richard Nicoll on Creating the Rare Breeds Program, Hennage Auditorium - Ticket Required
Richard Nicoll, recentely retired Director of Coach and Livestock Department, will give a talk about the history of Colonial WIlliamsburg's award winning Rare Breeds program at the Public Hospital in the Hennage Auditorium. For more info, please click here.



7:00 PM: Annual group dinner at The Whaling Company - No Ticket Required
494 McLaws Circle, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Note, the restaurant is not within walking distance of the hotel, so be sure to catch a ride with someone else if you will not have access to a vehicle during your stay. 


Saturday, November 14th

9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Fleece to Fiber Presentation, Located in the Weaver Building - Ticket Required
This is a weather permitting program and most of it is outdoors. As part of the 30th anniversary of the Rare Breeds Program, Coach and Livestock and the Weavers are working together to show all of the steps from shearing to the finished cloth:  shearing, sorting, washing, spinning, weaving. Learn the process and labor involved in making clothing in the 18th century.

9:00 AM-11:00 AM: Sheep Butchering Presentation, Located at the James Anderson Armory - Ticket Required 
The cooks will cut up two carcasses of mutton at the James Anderson Armory and talk about mutton. Most of this is also outdoors although they do have a roof.

1:45 PM-2:45 PM: George Washington, Pioneer Farmer, Hennage Auditorium - Ticket Required
George Washington worked throughout his life to improve agriculture in this country. He tried new types of livestock, new ways to feed and care for them. The sheep he raised, the Leicester Longwool and the Jackstock for making mules are both rare breeds today. Join George Washington as he talks about his livestock, some of which are now rare breeds. 

4:00PM - 5:00PM: Much Ado About Mutton, Hennage Auditorium - Ticket Required
Bob Kennard will discuss his new book "Much Ado about Mutton". He will share the history of mutton, how it went from being at the center of many British and American tables to being almost forgotten. His work, championed by Prince Charles, includes efforts to bring mutton back not only as food source, but as an organic way to preserve British agriculture and the countryside. For more info, please click here. 

6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association Annual Meeting - No Ticket Required
The Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders will have their annual meeting at the Fife and Drum building starting at 6pm. If this is your first time attending, the fife and drum building can be tricky to find. It is on Franklin St, which is a dead end. Fife and Drum is at the end of the dead end road. Try finding a group member to walk with you. If you need to ask a Colonial Williamsburg employee for directions, tell them that it is the building where drum practice is held, and where the fifes and drums are stored.  We will have time to network and show and tell so bring products and pictures. Dinner will be on your own, plan on staying at the meeting until 7:30 at least. 

7:30 PM: Informal Dinner at the Whaling Company - No Ticket Required
After the meeting, many members will likely head to either the Whaling Company or one of the restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg historic area, such as one of the taverns. If you would like to eat at one of the taverns, it is highly recommended that you make a reservation as soon as possible. Dining options are numerous and information about the restaurants themselves, and info on making reservations, please click here


Sunday, November 15th

Using Natural Dyes Workshop - For LLSBA Members and their Families ONLY, NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Ticket Required

8:30 AM-11:30 AM: Natural Dyes Workshop, at the Spinning and Weaving shop on Duke of Gloucester street ( near Bruton Parish Church)
Weavers, Dyers, and Spinners of Colonial Williamsburg wish to invite you to learn about applying natural dyes to your stash. If you would be interested in dyeing your clean wool yarn, locks, socks, roving, or small fabric pieces, we are agreeable to do so. We’ll be dying Sunday morning, the weekend of the LLSBA annual meeting. We are proposing to work with Indigo for blue and cochineal insects for pinks and reds. Overdyeing will produce purples. We need to have the fiber to dye no later than October 26. Send to: Colonial, Williamsburg Foundation Weaving Shop c/o Karen Clancy PO Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187

  • Each item to be dyed needs to be marked. We use a scrap of fabric not big, just big enough to put your name on it with a sharpie. Then put two holes in it to run a strong piece of yarn through the holes and tied to a skein choke use a mesh laundry bag from the dollar store for locks; safety pin to socks and fabric. 
  • We will put alum mordant on all items. 
  • We will provide the dyes and set up and clean up. 
  • If you have a preference of color, let us know. 
  • I am not sure of how many folks will take us up on this, so I recommend sending a sampling of things, maybe max of 8 things? 
  • If push comes to shove, it will have the mordant on it and if we can’t get to it that day, we could send you home with the dye to try on your own! We’ll figure something out. 
  • If you need more details, let me know. Email me at: or call my cell if desperate at 757-869-5935. 

11:30 AM-12:30 PM: Rare Breeds Today, With Elaine Shirley, at the Hennage Auditorium - Ticket Required
Elaine Shirley will give a talk  "Colonial Williamsburg's Rare Breeds today." At the end of the talk people will be invited to come out to the pasture next to the museum and meet the animals in person.

Throughout the historic area trades shops will be talking and demonstrating how they use livestock in their daily work. Also tours of the Coach and Livestock facility and looking at the other rare livestock at WIlliamsburg including cattle, poultry and horses. 

Come and enjoy Colonial WIlliamsburg and our livestock, be thinking about what you would like us to do for 2016!