Saturday, 26 November 2016

A great crowd - in size and personality

What a meet - sausage rolls to die for and terrific setting. Many, many thanks to our hosts and a very BIG suggestion that all those (and there were very many) support the venue over the coming 12 months.

With more than 20 mounted  and many more on foot we met at a hostelry towards the west of our country and enjoyed the very best of hospitality. Your correspondent can heartily recommend a return on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday , Friday or Sunday to enjoy amazing food and an excellent selection of wines. This place is just terrific!

In fact, yours truly, remembers it back in the 70s  when itv was very much, as today, a family affair and o elf the great pleasures was to call in on a Saturday lunchtime and chat to a fine fellow who used to always be there in his three piece suit. He had no problem with the fact that the hunt met there even though he had been the political editor of the Morning Star (a communist newspaper for those who do not know) and a riveter on the Clyde during the war. His view was that while he knew much about the exploitation of working classes on the Clyde he recognised that the roots of socialism were in the countryside and the hunt were part of that culture. My how times have changed when we have "class warriors" who know nothing of their heritage.

Still, a great meet, some hound music - what more could make a Saturday perfect?

The Stern

  • Who accidentally failed to "photobomb" the riders leaving the meet?
  • Who does not know their right from their left?

These may be enlarged with a click and many more may be found HERE

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Good job that we ignored the forecast

A good sized mounted field gathered at the meet with many footies to enjoy the hospitality of one of our Masters and the access to country provided by our wonderful landowners and farmers. On the note of hospitality our landowners also provided the MOST delicious sausage rolls - thank you!

With complex trails at tyne first draw (well done the "layers") hounds worked well and eventually owned the line - terrific!

The Stern

  • Who "photobombed" the ride out?
  • Whose meeting with a local "beast" led to a bit of a 'rating this season?

As ever these might be enlarged with a "click" and many more will be found HERE.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

A proper Autumn Day

Glorious sunshine illuminated a terrific and generous meet with faces old and new. A big thank you to our hosts and, as ever, our landowners who permit us to lay trails and attempt to follow them.

Some jumping for the Thrusters, ways around for those of more staid dispositions and some guesswork for the wheeled field meant that a great day was had by all.

A reminder

While not an issue on Saturday it is proper to remind all followers on horseback, in vehicles and on foot that while we might be engrossed in hounds working, there are others using roads who are unlucky enough not to be following hounds. Maybe they have to go shopping (yuk) or to work. They probably do not care one way or another about hunting* but if we hold them up they will soon come to a view that we are "undesirable".

Every time any of us follow hounds we are ambassadors and must take every care not to interfere with the lives of others. Please walk, drive or ride with the utmost consideration.

* The reality of the "divide" over hunting is that there is not a divide. 98% of the population do not hold an opinion about hunting with hounds. Oh yes they will form one (briefly) if asked a loaded question such as "Should the cruel sport of posh people hunting, killing foxes with dogs, be consigned to history like bear-baiting?" Once they have answered the question they move on, back to their lives, and do not give the matter of hunting with hounds another thought. They do not "hold" an opinion - they are being asked a question about an activity, a way of life of which they have no experience and hold no knowledge.

Nonetheless, even though we hunt trails, there are a few people who devote their lives to trying generate at best dislike and at worst hatred against us.

Sorry! sermon  over.

The Stern

Who was advised that losing the beard would make him more fleet of foot?
Who appears to have a personal riding coach?


Firstly apologies that only part of the gallery was uploaded this morning - the process was interrupted by power cuts.

Enlarge the images below with a click. These and many more may be found HERE

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A brief visit to the Meet and a short morning of following

The thing about being retired is that you become amazingly busy! Despite many jobs waiting to be done it was possible to forget them for a short while to arrive at the meet in plenty of time. However duty called early so it was a very short day for your correspondent.

Generous hosts provided liquid and solid breakfasts - many thanks V & L - before hounds set off with the honour of a visiting Master from a nearby pack - good to see you C - hope that you enjoyed your day.

The call of jobs undone limited your correspondent's time to follow so when hounds, staff and the mounted field disappeared into a no-man's-land where viewing became difficult it was an appropriate time to say goodnight.


More than half of the calendars have now been sold at £15 each - if you would like an EKHwWS 2017 Calendar with more than 300 images from last season please find Nick at any Meet.


These and a few more may be found HERE

They stood they watched . . . and saw? Very little.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The sort of rain that carries chill to the bone - but not when you're following hounds.

More than 25 mounted on a ghastly day of rain and soaking drizzle joined a large crowd of supporters, footies and well-wishers to enjoy the hospitality of the Supporters' Club - a veritable feast for which a big thank you. There was sufficient left and even more added to provide a wonderful tea at the end of a long, wet, cold but most enjoyable day.

Thanks, as ever, must go to the Hunt Staff for making us so welcome and providing such good sport.

As always at the Supporters' Club Meet all of those gathered wore poppies with pride and spent a few moments reflecting that our freedom to meet like this has been won and is protected by the men and women who served and serve their country.

During the Great War Selby-Lowndes organised Bye-days for the troops waiting to embark from the channel ports and a number of "private packs" were set up behind the lines for the rest and relaxation of officers and men. Indeed officers were active encouraged to hunt as it gave them a way of seeing the country denied those who have never followed hounds. The knowledge thus gained enabled them to lead their men out of the sights of enemy snipers.

Hunting was seen during the Great War as an essential service for pest management, officer training and, as this letter from Lord Derby, Director of Recruiting, breeding the horses required by the war effort:
War Office, London, S.W., December 16th, 1915.
The Director of Remounts has urged upon the Director-Genera1of Recruiting that he is seriously concerned in the maintenance of Hunts, as the preservation of hunting is necessary for the continuance of breeding and raising of light horses suitable for cavalry work. Lord Derby accordingly trusts that every effort every effort will be made to carry on the Hunts in the United Kingdom, but he hopes that as far as possible men ineligible for military service will be employed. But in cases where any men of military age are indispensable for the maintenance of the Hunt, an appeal should be made to the local tribunal.
For those who are moved by our annual commemoration there is a piece copied from Facebook, with the author's permission, below the photographs.

The Stern

Who will be grateful that the photographer has not posted their "jumping picture"?


As ever these may be enlarged with a click and together with many more may be found HERE.

The end of a long, wet but enjoyable day.

Armistice Day

Hearing and reading the accounts of men who were there at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 they report many different responses. Some cheered and threw hats and helmets into the air, a rain of headgear replacing the now ended storm of shrapnel. Other men slumped and slept as if they had not found rest for years, some sat, grimy faces buried deep in muddy hands with tears washing cleaner lines between their fingers. Other men lay dying from wounds sustained during the last days of fighting, broken at war and loosing their last battle in the first few moments of peace. Of course, fort years, men continued to die from terrible physical wounds and savage mental destruction. The latter unable to live with their memories, unable to reconcile their survival with the ghastly deaths of their friends and comrades. The infant psychology was only then beginning to recognise the guilt that survivors feel, the dishonour of living when others died.
In some sections of the line men raised glasses of plundered wine and tried to wash away the memories and others just celebrated.
The stories are the same on both sides of the line with little difference between the vanquished and the victors for all had won peace and all had lost youth, innocence and friends. For many, peace on earth was paid for with their peace of mind. Some blocked the memories for years while others immediately set pen to paper. Those who shared their memories often spoke or wrote of the "best of times the worst of times."
This year, on the 11th November, as is the case very other year, just before 11 o'clock tools were put down and the worker will stood to one side, head bare, respectful and grateful: head bowed in deference, thanking the memories of those old soldiers and thanking those who never grew old. Thanks to those who served before, since and serve still for they won and defend our freedom to stand with the autumn sun warm on shoulder and the cool breeze across an uncovered head.
That day in a quiet place that might be both public and intensely private there was an appointed time to stand alongside those memories without the sound of guns and the savage symphony of death but not a day should pass when we should not take a moment to give our thanks and appreciate all that we have because of all that brave men and frightened men, lost. Thank you.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Faces old and new

The meet had something of the reunion about it with many old friends gathering to wish hounds and followers well. Even more encouraging was the fact that once again we welcomed new faces to our growing support.

While the temperature was higher at the meet than it had been at home for many of us this was a typical Marsh day with a cutting wind that made light of many layers of clothing.

Hounds worked hard to own the trail but did well.

Thanks, as ever, to our hosts, our landowners, the Masters and Hunt Staff for a good day's sport.


The limited edition of 50 is selling fast. If you would like a copy of the EKHwWS 2017 Calendar - A3 with more than 340 images from last season - please see Nick at any meet - they'll be in the truck while stocks last.


Clicking on an image will enlarge it.
These and many more may be found HERE

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