W3C The Bleasdale Beagles   HUNTS

 

In the Hills
In the Hills

 

In the Hills
In the Hills

 

On the Lane
On the Lane

 

Whit Monday
Whit Monday

 

Beagle Pups
Beagle Pups

 

Beagles
Beagles

Recently I was given some pictures of The Bleasdale Beagles from the 1960’s. This site is intended to be about the Lakeland Packs, their history and activities, but we will “stretch the boundary a larl bit” to include them.

The following is a by no means a complete history of the pack, it's intended to give background only to the pictures...

At Christmas 1921 The New College and Magdalen came to Claughton Hall and had several good meets, following this a circular was sent out to assess the level of interest in forming a pack. It met with such a good response that a Mr H. Jackson Jnr as Master decided to venture on a small pack of 14.5 inch stud book hounds. These were got together privately by the Master and subscriptions sought for the upkeep.

Permission to hunt over lands around Claughton was obtained and kennels established at the Corrick Oakenclough in April 1922 with T Corless as Kennel huntsman. After two bye days the opening meet was held on the 28th October 1922 attended by a field of 40. That season there were twenty-five meets. The records show forty-eight subscribers in that first season.

The second season began full of hope, the pack had been enlarged with the purchase of five and a half couple but there was no hunting after 22nd December owing to a nationwide out break of Foot and Mouth disease.

The 1925/26 season was better, the country was extended and hounds were out on twenty-eight days killing ten brace of hares.

 In later seasons the country was extended even more to include Beetham, which turned out to be very valuable as during the Second World War when hounds were kennelled at Dallam Tower lack of transport limited meets to that area.

At the beginning of the 1935/36 season Mr. Jackson announced his intention of resigning at the end of it, expressing the hope that someone would be found to succeed him.

 Following lobbying by a Mr. Nanson, one of the whipper ins, a Mr. Ashton agreed to take the job on. He had two proposals for continuing the hunt, as subscriptions would not pay for a full time kennel huntsman. The first proposal was to look for a farmer willing to accommodate the hounds with a son to look after them. The second proposal was to re-open the country formally hunted over by the Sedbergh Beagles, so providing a weekday meet and perhaps additional support.

These proposals were put at a meeting at the Hamilton Arms on 7th April 1936. A Mr Burrow and his son agreed to accommodate and look after hounds and following the meeting the Jackson brothers presented hounds to the country which was to be managed by a committee. The name of the pack was changed to The Bleasdale and the season 1936/37 began with an enlarged country hunting two days a week. Ben Ashton carried the horn on a Saturday and Jack Nanson on either a Tuesday or Thursday. The opening meet that season was at Delph.

With the opening of the Sedbergh country the hunt sometimes came into contact with the Oxenholme Staghounds by permission of their Master, Miss Freda Weston. One of the young followers of The Staghounds, a Miss Nancy Parker took an interest in the beagles and subsequently became Master of them.

The following season hounds were moved to Cragg House and improved kennels owned by a Mr Ridding.

With the outbreak of War, Mr Ridding was unwilling to continue to keep hounds and they were moved to Middleton with Nancy Parker as kennel huntsman but it soon became necessary to put hounds out to walk with Mr J Nanson keeping the nucleus of the pack at home.

However, before long Sir Maurice Bromley Wilson gave permission for hounds to be kennelled at Dallam Tower with the Kendal and District Otter hounds in the care of their kennel huntsman Charles Kitchener.

Hunting continued with a reduced pack during the seasons 1939/40 and 1940/41 but the remainder of the meets during the war years were confined to the Milenthorpe area due to restrictions on the use of petrol. It was not until the 1947/48 season that the whole country was able to be hunted again. Mr J. Nanson took over as Master from 1947 to 1957.

Hounds stayed at Dallam Tower until 1955 when new kennels were built at Killington. Mrs Metcalf–Gibson (formerly Miss N. Parker) took over the management and hunted hounds on Tuesdays. She became Master in 1957 and was joined in the Mastership by Mr. Bevan Wilson; this lasted until the end of the 1962/63 season when both retired.

The text, which accompanied the photographs, is self-explanatory.

I have scanned some old photos. These are all from the Bleasdale Beagles as far as I know. The only date is Whit Monday 1960 on the photo with that filename. Nancy Metcalfe-Gibson is the lady in 'on the lane'. I don't know who the people are - you might! Nancy was close to Jack Nanson who may be the huntsman? Nancy had the beagles at the farm between Dent and Sedbergh where she lived with her mother so the kennel photos would have been taken there.

Thanks to Tim and Tim for their help, with special thanks to David Grayling. Ref. Bleasdale Beagles 1922-1972

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