Saturday, 26 December 2015

The Boxing Day Meet - a great Christmas tradition

What an ordinary and extraordinary meet!

The ordinary was the wonderful level of support that turns out to Elham Square on Boxing Days: ordinary but special. At least 500 - 600 supporters in the Square and another 100 - 200 on the High Street.

The ordinary was also the small group of "protestors" who gather each year: ordinary and in their own way special. That is not being used as a pejorative. It does take a special sort of conviction to turn out knowing that you will be outnumbered 20 or 30 to 1 even when you know that the crowd of supporters will do nothing to stop your protest other than, by weight of numbers, cheer mores loudly than you can boo.

Now for the extraordinary! Three of the protestors were, in fact a band, namely Rudy Warman and The Heavy Weather. and they were, to be fair, rather good! The sentiment of one of their songs did not appeal to the majority of their audience and part of the sentiment expressed in the introduction to others would not have met widespread acclaim in that company. However, their presence that was maybe intended to drown out the Master's address, added a certain party atmosphere and demonstrated a splendid sense of humour and attention too planning that really ought to be applauded. Once hounds, the Huntsman, Whippers-in, Masters and 30+ mounted followers had left the Square a number of hunt supporters gathered around the band and some were even seen to gyrate in time to the music! That is, of course, once the ringing in the ears from the huge cheer of support for the East Kent Hunt with West Street had ceased. Well done chaps - excellent and extraordinary. For those who wish to listen to them, their YouTube Channel is HERE. Some were so impressed that they suggested booking them for next year's Hunt Ball! Not sure that they'd take the gig.

Out into the country. For the first part of the day hounds struggled to own the trails but the ladies and gentlemen had some fun over the grass and jumps. Well one or two of the ladies and gentlemen may not recall their encounters with jumps as fun: no names: no pack drill!  We do have the photographs  though and are prepared to sell them to the highest bidder 

The Stern

Which visiting freelance asked The Gather:
"So the Masters call for hounds, the Huntsman blows his horn and leads them out of the Square. When do the, what do you call them? You know! The Beater-Upperers leave?"
"Do you mean the Whippers-In?"
"Yes, that's it."
Oh the power of malinformation - does the fellow hang out with Tracey Crouch or Brian May?

Want did Locksmith get for Christmas?


These and many more may be found at The Gather's page - click HERE

Gallery complete! 8 hours to upload! (Maybe Tracey Crouch could concern herself with rural broadband speeds instead of voicing opinions about something of which she knows very little?)

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