Gilbert Meikle, the son of a Scottish Hill Shepherd, left school at fifteen years of age to look after a herd of cattle and some black faced sheep. At twenty one years of age he joined the Police Service and served for over thirty years. During his Police service he always remained interested in animals especially sheep and was for a considerable part of his service the Area Animal Health Inspector. This duty was eventually taken over by the Local Authority. Police Officers no longer had to attend sheep dipping or local livestock markets to issue animal movement licenses.
Gilbert’s ambition was always to breed and show his own flock of sheep. In 1988 along with his wife Jean he was able to purchase a small parcel of land and a house in Tyninghame East Lothian. There they were able to breed some commercial sheep, along with Soay Sheep, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep and Shetland Sheep. The breeding of Soay Sheep led to him going to the Archipelago of St Kilda to study Soay Sheep. The St Baldred’s Flock of Shetland Sheep was established. The Meikles competed in shows all over Scotland and the North of England with their Shetland and Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. There are very few trophies awarded by these shows that do not have the name G E and J Meikle engraved on them.
Gilbert is a Committee Member of the Shetland Sheep Society and Past Chairman. He has been a recognized Society judge since 2002 and is present Chairman of the Judges and Inspectors Panel.
Jean Meikle, also born in the country, spent all her school holidays at her grandmother’s home in the Peeblesshire Hills. Her grandfather was a Scottish Hill Shepherd keeping and shepherding Black Faced Sheep. All her life Jean has been interested in animals, especially sheep. She is not a spinner but has been crafting woolen items since attending primary school. She was always involved when the animals were chosen for the shows, and took half the animals into the ring at judging. It was Jean who prepared and chose the fleeces for the shows and over the years has won many awards from Colored Champion at the Royal Highland Show to overall Champion at Peebles Show.