Friday, 4 March 2011

The Derby Ram

Although the official emblem of Derby is the hart (Derby originally being the Viking Deoreby - town of the deer), the mascot more commonly associated with the town is the ram. The 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot are to blame, as they adopted a ram as their mascot at the siege and capture of Kotah, during the Indian Mutiny Campaign of 1857 to 1858. At the end of the campaign, in Poona in 1862, Private Derby (as the mascot is known) was awarded the Indian General Service Medal along with all other members of the regiment.

During the years, the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment, has gone through a series of mergers and name changes, first becoming the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), then the Worcester and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th) and now the Mercian Regiment, but the mascot has survived each change and still parades with the regiment today.

The current ram is Pte Derby 29 and he has been with the regiment since January 2009. He is a Swaledale ram (as is traditional) and was presented to the regiment at Chatsworth House, by the Duke of Devonshire.

Following the example of the regiment, the local football club, Derby County (not doing so well at present), also has a ram as their mascot. As a result, they are commonly known as The Rams.

This is why, at the junction of East Street and Albion Street in Derby, there is a statue of a ram. 

The artist was Michael Pegler and the statue was gifted to the people of Derby on 15 March 1995 by Richardson Cordwell, the property developers responsible for redeveloping and pedestrianising this part of town. The Ram is carved from blocks of Derbyshire granite and stands approximately 8 feet tall.

With the opening of the Westfield, this end of town has become slightly less used, with some of the major shops moving up into the new shopping centre. You can probably spot a 'To Let' boarding in the background of the photo. Nevertheless, there is still enough going on here to make it viable and the Ram remains a common meeting place for those going into town.


  1. A good meeting place for sure! No one could possibly miss it :)

    Interesting to read all about the origins of the ram as Derby's do you know all of this stuff, H???

  2. That ram looks rather substantial, even slightly obese. I think you Derbyshire folk should ask yourself the question : is this the right type of symbol you should be projecting in these health-conscious days.

  3. Interesting - I love that big stone ram!

  4. Nice ram, he isn't obese; you should see him after shearing! BUT:-
    he needs a clean up on Photoshop!!
    Any ideas how I could use a photo in your comments box??

  5. He looks a rather splendid fellow doesn't he?