Moira Linaker moved to Cumbria from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1996, to a cottage that was almost derelict but which had an acre of land and was not far from a main road. The home was slowly renovated, the weed ridden land cleared and seeded with grass.
Moira listend to the 'lamb bank' on Radio Cumbria, where they broadcast information about one day old lambs that were looking for homes.
She phoned a farmer, went to look, and arrived home with 15 lambs all needing to be bottle fed.
She later sold them on, and with the money went off to a Rare Breed Sale. Here she fell in love with some Ryeland lambs, and bought four of them.
||Later that year she went to the Carlisle
agricultural show, saw a wonderful Ryeland ram lamb, and bought him, [before he had won 'reserve champion' at the show].
Mr Universe moved to Ryeland Cottage, settled in at once with his new girl friends, and soon had them all in lamb. Moira now has a special bond with Mr Universe, who has a wonderful nature and follws her around like a dog - always looking for titbits.
He won first prize at the Royal Lancashire Show in 2000, and her other ram, Titan won 2nd prize.
||2001 was a terrible year for all farmers in Cumbria, with Moira fiercely resisting the culling of her rare sheep.
Sadly Susan Bryden, who had supplied Moira with Mr Universe, lost all her Ryelands to the 3 km cull.
Moira came into the news spotlight when a Suffolk crossbreed ewe jumped a fence to meet a ram, and caused the unexpected birth of two new lambs just before Christmas. See News page for more about this.