Baah...he’s off to meet the Queen

Maurice Parker with wife Margaret and a Lincolnshire Longwool
Maurice Parker with wife Margaret and a Lincolnshire Longwool

He’s happiest in his old boiler suit, tending to his beloved Lincolnshire Longwool sheep at his home in Roughton.

However, Maurice Parker admits he might have to put on his best ‘bib and tucker’ in a few weeks’ time.

He’s been invited to a garden party - and not just any old garden party.

This one is being hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May.

Mr Parker (72) is one of 15 people from Lincolnshire who have received an invitation.

It is to mark his devotion to the Lincolnshire Longwool organisation.

He’s been a member since it started in 1991 and has served as President for the last three years.

Mr Parker spends endless hours travelling the country, judging at shows, encouraging farmers to breed what was once among the most popular sheep in the country.

A modest man, he admits he was completely taken aback by the Royal summons.

Mr Parker said: “A letter dropped through the letter box from the High Sheriff of Lincoln.

“I wondered what it was all about and it was a shock when I saw I’d been invited to Buckingham Palace.

“I’m very proud - and honoured. Who knows? I might get a chance to meet the Queen and tell her all about Longwools.”

Mr Parker was born in Low Toynton but has lived in Roughton for many years.

He’s always worked in the agriculture and keeps a flock of 21 Longwools.

On the big day, he will be accompanied by his wife, Margaret.

Mr Parker added: “I’ve got a couple of fairly new suits but the wife wants a new dress for the day. Still, it’s something special. It’s not every day you get to go to the Palace. I might even wear a bowler.”