It was a very exciting day for Y Pant School on Wednesday 25th February when we were visited by the Regimental Mascot for the Royal Regiment for Wales; Shenkin (Siencyn) the Goat. Shenkin was accompanied by Goat Major ‘Jacko’, the Regimental Bugler, WO2 John Dent Former Royal Welsh and our friends from Llanharan Royal British Legion. During assembly we were treated to a lecture on local, Welsh and British military history and demonstrations of military bugle calls. Year 7 were very excited and had many interesting questions to ask. Shenkin was also very excited but thankfully we had a dustpan and brush and mop and bucket on standby.
In the peace and quiet of his Royal Welsh trailer, Mr Pearsall was able to conduct an interview with Shenkin who always has a very busy schedule, particularly during the Six Nations Rugby Internationals. We are grateful that he found the time to answer the following questions.
Where did you live as a kid:
A farm near Hereford used for breeding the Royal Herd – now I am resident in Maindy Barracks, Cardiff.
I’ve been the regimental goat since I was 6 months old, so this has been my only job. I had to be trained not to react to loud music and bangs so they put a Walkman on my ears and played me the Spice Girls until I got used to noise… that took a couple of months.
There’s been a regimental goat since the Crimean War, when goats were taken into war zones to be eaten. The story goes that one night, a Private Jenkins was on sentry duty in the Crimea, and put one of the goats under his coat to keep warm. Jenkins fell asleep, and the goat heard the enemy about to attack, and bleated to alert the sentry, saving the men.
After Queen Victoria heard about this, she presented a goat from the Royal Herd, and there’s been one of us here ever since.
- Being chosen as regimental goat!
- The best thing was leading the Welsh rugby team out against England at Wembley. I’ve also taken part in the World Cup and the FA Cup when it was at the Millennium Stadium.
- I’ve had a pub named after me in Cardiff, ‘The Goat Major’.
- I’ve also had a grogg made of me, because of my good connections with the Welsh Rugby team.
- I’ve been in lots of magazines, like ‘GQ’ and ‘OK’! I get to model expensive clothes – my cloak costs about £4,000, and I wear about £10,000 worth of silver when I’m on parade.
- I’ve also met and worked with the Queen, Prince Charles, Rhys Ifans, Cerys Matthews, Cliff Richard, Peter Stringfellow, Anneka Rice, Owen Thomas (the Playwright), Henry Cooper, and even Ronald McDonald!
I can be a bit restless on parade if I’m not in the mood, but I’ve never bitten anyone yet!
Tips from the top:
Be happy in your job, and people will relate to you… It also helps if you don’t butt them.
Some poetic licence with thanks to the BBC