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Angora Sheep Bubble Of 1986

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Just watching Countryfile and they had some footage, then catchup, from 1989 about the Angora Sheep Bubble of 1986. Filming was based on Tremoreland, Cornwall.

One farmer borrowed/spent £35,000 and lost it all.

Maryanna Rosenberg started it. She was a sheep breeder, one day she saw an angora goat and bought one. She said: "frankly I can afford to not sell" (she is posh).

In 1981 no-one even came to see her sheep for a couple of years, she just bought them as she liked them. Then one day a phone call came "did I have any for sale - and I didn't - but the calls kept coming and the prices kept going up and up and up"

That was the start of it. After that the prices were going up and up just because the prices were going up and up. The market looked very buoyant.

Hugh Fullerton-Smith helped establish the market for breeding stock. He didn't intend to come back with a lot, he went to see how they would play a place. All sorts of people were interested in buying the goats.

Hugh Fullerton-Smith and his neighbour Mike Dickinson were interviewed. They bought goats and lost money.

People were prepared to pay big money for a few. In 1986 £5000 for a female from Australasia, maybe the same for a buck.

The British Angora Goats Society held a sale and the prices made every newspaper.

Maryanna said: "I must admit it was a major day for me as I was one of the vendors, I had most of the goats for sale

... but we all knew it was a bubble"

Hugh Fullerton-Smith said it was a 3-way cost, with 2 other colleagues. "We took risks."

Today Hugh was asked: "How do you feel now"

"They were really exciting times, it was quite a ride really, there was a huge buzz on ... things were really happening"

It was their decision - it was soon obvious that the climate here in Britain wasn't condusive to growing good wool to make mohair. Mohair was in high fashion - and the fashion market stopped wanting mohair jumpers and mohair coats.

Presenter asked: "Once that bottom fell out of the market, was there a trail of destruction across the country?"

Hugh said: "In the main they were quite wealthy farmers who were quite happy to take a step out and take the risk"

And: "We were encouraged by the banks and the Govt to diversify"

It'll be in iPlayer later today no doubt.

Edited by ScaredEitherWay

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