W3C The Coniston   HUNTS

 

1957/58 Season

The Soviet Union launched the first space satellite Sputnik I. Movies included "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Bridge Over the River Kwai", and TV showed "Perry Mason" and "Maverick" for the first time. The music continued to be Rock and Roll with artists like "Little Richard". The popular toys were Slinkys and Hula Hoops. The continued growth of the use of credit was shown by the fact that 2/3 of all new cars were bought on credit. Some of the areas that would cause problems later were starting to show South Vietnam is attacked by Viet Cong Guerrillas and Troops are sent to Arkansas to enforce anti segregation laws. Windscale nuclear plant accident 10th October. Foot and Mouth Epidemic peaks, 30.000 animals slaughtered.

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Anthony Chapman was born in 1914 at Rydal near Ambleside; his father George was Coniston huntsman from 1908 until his retirement in 1932. After leaving school Anthony went into farm work at Brotherswater. In 1932 he became whipper in to Ernie Parker with the Coniston Foxhounds and took over as huntsman in 1944 until his retirement in 1976, he passed away in 1982.

The Season

For two of their three meets last week the Coniston covered ground in the kennels country, which had already been hunted more than once in the preceding fortnight, but still had good sport. On Monday, from The Grove, they put a fox off in Hind Cove which went through by High Grove, crossed the Kirkstone “Struggle” road and climbed to the top of Raven crag, but the climb was too much for reynard and hounds turned him back into Snow Cove and he went to ground at Petts Quarry. It was the bad place, however, and though terriers were entered, it is not known if the fox was accounted for. Huntsman Anthony Chapman started again towards 2pm and put another fox off in Brackeney Becks, but this also went straight back to Petts Quarry and was left.

On Wednesday, hounds paid their first visit to Brathey Woods and had a good days hunting. They put their first fox off between the road and the lake and raced him round and round the woods for twenty minutes before overtaking him. This had disturbed the ground and another could not be found until hounds got to Pull Scar planting on Brow Fell. Then they ran two good rounds above Skelwith, round by High Arnside almost to where the fox was roused. He then went through Pull Scar again before going out over the top, in by High Arnside and across the road at the top of Oxenfell on to Holme fell but soon re-crossed the road for Tom Heights before going to ground near High Arnside Farm. This fox soon bolted and was overtaken after a good hound hunt of one and a half hours.

The thick mist made Saturday a disappointing day, with hounds “lost” as far as followers were concerned. Visiting Kirkstone again from Round Hill there was no fox about Petts Quarries on this occasion and hounds did not find until reaching what is known as Brossen Rock in Red Screes. He led the way through into Black Cove with hounds invisible to followers, and then came back into the Screes before going out over the top into Scandale. He then crossed Scandale into Rydal and the outcome is not known, hounds returning to the kennels later.

18th October 1957

Seven kills in four meets gave the Coniston Foxhounds a remarkable record last week during their spell in the Langdale valley, with no fewer than four foxes being accounted for on Saturday. The Ullswater got three and the Lunesdale one – their least rewarding week of the season – during the same period.

The Coniston hounds were kennelled as usual at Millbeck and it was a curious feature of the week that on the first day only one fox could be found. This was roused on Raw Fell breast and ran back and forth there before going to ground in a bad place where it was accounted for by terriers. There was a good hunt on Wednesday in country familiar to the mountaineering fraternity, a fox from behind High Dungeon Ghyll climbing out by Langdale Pikes and over Harrison Stickle before turning back by Pavey Ark and Stickle Tarn. Hounds were running well and turned him in by Tarn Crag to a hole above Low Dungeon Ghyll, from where he was bolted and overtaken after another run lasting five minutes.

As that hunt had finished by 12-30 Huntsman Anthony Chapman went out again on Thursday and did not find until reaching Loft Crag below the Pikes.
This fox climbed out for the top of Stake Pass and turned back to go to ground at Rowantree Knotts, but bolted of his own accord before anyone could get there, came down the breast and went in again under a big rock, from which he was bolted and overtaken.

Stile and hounds struck a hunt as soon as they left the road at Walthwaite. They went straight over the top of Silver Howe and Grasmere and the fox crossed the bottom of Easedale Tarn as though for Deer Bields, but was turned in by Sour milk Ghyll and put a round in by Blindtarn Moss before going into a drain near Brimmer Head to be bolted and overtaken. Meanwhile six or seven hounds were running a second fox in the Langdale side and after covering most of Raw Fell Breast, turned it in and killed above Robinson Place. Hounds were taken out at the top and at Blindtarn Moss put off fox No 3, which went through Silver Howe as far as Huntingstile, turned back for Langdale and into a drain at Walthwaite. This is a bad place from which no fox has been bolted for years, but on a day when everything was going right for the pack, out he came, crossed the road for Chapel Stile quarries, turned back by the road through the Langdale Estate, crossed the common, on by the police station and out by High Close to be overtaken there. As it was still only 12- 30 hounds were taken on to Little Loughrigg and quickly had No 4 on the move, to drive him through above Skelwith Bridge where he went in to a drain and was also bolted and overtaken.

25th October 1957

The first two days for the Coniston were both disappointing. Starting from Heathwaite on Tuesday, hounds scoured Threddale, Gladstone End and Wetherlam Breast without finding, and when they did strike a hunt at Tilberthwaite Ghyll, the fox had gone for some time. They took the line over Wetherlam and across Threddale for Coniston Old Man quarries, but at Dow Crag hounds gave it up.

It was much the same on Wednesday, for after a fox had been put off near Blaithwaite and had gone over Banniside quarries and the Old Man, followers lost touch with hounds and they returned later as though scent had failed.

It was little better on Friday, time lost at a bad borran spoiling the day. After being taken to Far End breast, the pack spoke to a drag in the Scrow and eventually marked to ground in Brandy Crag quarries, but he refused to bolt and eventually had to be left.

The only good hunt of the week came on Saturday. A fox was put off at once in Guards Wood and away went the pack across river and road at Low Yewdale, right up Yewdale Crag and out over the top to cross Tilberthwaite Ghyll and through Planting Crag into Little Langdale. It was a flying hunt across to Lingmoor, but after climbing nearly to the top reynard was turned in and had to race for the Bield borran. Mr. W. Hodgson, Dale End was soon there with his terrier, which accounted for the fox when it refused to bolt. As it was still only 11am, hounds were tried back by Hodge Close quarries and round Holme Fell and at 2pm put another off on Tom Heights to give a fast hunt past the tarns, over the top and on by Sunny Brow and the Drunken Duck into Brathay Woods, they must have changed here for eventually they came back with a slow hunt and were stopped near the Drunken Duck.

22nd November 1957

The mist could hardly have been worse for the Shepherds Meet on Thursday and it was a frustrating day, with the hunt heard but not seen. It could be gathered that a fox from the top of Holbeck Ghyll went over Wansfell and in by the Grove to cross Kirkstone Struggle road towards Petts Quarries but hounds eventually came back and it is not known what happened.

Saturday was clear and hounds took a nice drag from the vicinity of Robin Crag over the end of Wansfell hundreds towards Wark Crag, where the pack divided. A curious hunt followed, for while one lot crossed Kirkstone Road above Bank end, put in two rounds of Woundale Head and then crossed for Red Screes just north of Kirkstone Inn, the others went through Wansfell, crossed for Petts quarries, and on through the Screes to join the others, as though by pre arrangement. Here third season Marden, walked by Mr. E. Shepherd at Crosthwaite marked a fox to ground on his own, and after refusing to bolt this was accounted for. Afterwards hounds had further hunts both on Caudale Moor and over into Scandale but scent gradually failed in both cases.

29th November 1957

It was a memorable week for the Coniston, kennelled with Mr. T. N. Preston at Low Lindeth. Monday was the first of four days, and a fox from Lords Lot was soon away by Burn Abbal, Foxhole Bank and right down Crosthwaite on to the mosses below Lyth Valley Hotel where, not surprisingly scent failed. Huntsman Anthony Chapman then took the unusual course of trying Whitbarrow- an unheard of thing for many years because foxes used to be far too numerous-and out one off at Chapel Head Scar. It climbed out over the top and into the well-known borran at Asholes, where terriers soon bolted reynard and he was overtaken.

On Tuesday a fox was marked to ground on Rosthwaite Lot, and after being bolted gave a sharp hunt before going to ground. Bolted again, this fox crossed Rosthwaite lot, dropped in by Smithy Hill and turned back up the bottom, to be overtaken near Bryan Houses. Hounds were then taken to the other side of the valley and put two off at Burn Abbal. Both turned up the valley and one went to ground near the Brown Horse to be bolted and overtaken near the road. The other section apparently, ran theirs down by Lords Lot and down almost to Bowness before returning, but touch was lost with them and it was learned next day that they had run their fox to ground on Lords Lot without anyone getting to the place.

There were two kills on Thursday, one hunt covering an unusual line of countryside after a sharp run and kill near Foxhole bank within five minuites. The second fox, roused at Mungeon, put in a round by Crosthwaite before setting out across the valley by Bonfire Hall to Cunswick scar, and was eventually rolled over near Cunswick Hall.

A record crowd attended the Brown Horse meet on Saturday, with something like 60 cars on the roads, and though there was a good hunt, hounds did not kill. A good deal of country was tried before it was found a fox had stolen away at Lords Lot but scent was poor and it was not until someone saw the fox near High House that hounds were got away in true style. They ran fast by Birkett Houses, crossed Roper Ford into Lamb Howe Woods, and were catching their fox at Birks Lots, when he was baulked and hounds got a check. He crossed the road for Hubbersty Head and in towards Crosthwaite, but hounds got another bad check at the road and scent gradually failed on Lords Lot, heading for Crook.

6th December 1957

After three days rest, the pack hunted splendidly on Saturday from Skelghyll Woods and it was the best scenting day for three weeks. It was probably as well that only half the pack got away with the first fox roused, otherwise the second which gave the better fun might not have been found. The first crossed Wansfell and went by High Grove, crossed Beackney Becks for Petts Quarry and went out towards Raven Crag, turned back by Snow Cove and crept into the top rubbish heap at the quarry. Meanwhile, hunters with the remainder of the pack were following out of Skelghyll when they put another off just below Wansfell Pike, and a fast hunt went by Side Lot, over the Hundreds, in by the Grove, and crossed Kirkstone Road to be joined on Snarker Moss End by the section which had got tired of marking at Petts Quarry. A pretty hunt now went through Snow Cove and Raven Crag, turned in to cross the Struggle road, and turned down the bottom for the Grove before crossing the road again towards the kennels. Hounds were gaining fast now and eventually overtook their fox in a garden at Ecclerigg. In the meantime, four of five hounds were running another fox in the Kirkstone area, and after running him into some rocks below the road near Raven Crag, got in themselves to account for a second fox.

27th December 1957

The Coniston got all their five kills either Boxing Day or Saturday, nothing been done from the traditional Christmas Eve meet at the Traveller’s Rest, Grasmere. The pack got spilt when seven or eight hounds got away on their own with a fox from the Carrs, which went by Deer Bields and Tarn Crags into Langdale, with the result unknown. After the remainder had lost an almost scentless fox roused about Deer Bields they tried a great deal of ground round to Steel Fell without finding.

The big crowd out on Boxing Day had disturbed two foxes on Loughrigg and hounds were soon away on one which crossed the main road at Pelter Bridge and put in a big circle of Rydal Park before coming in by Hart Head and being pulled down in Nab Scar by Lavish, who had got a good lead on the rest of the pack. The other fox had gone into a borran just round the corner from Lanty Scar and was accounted for. The best hunt of the day followed, even though hounds were beaten in the end. This was with a Little Loughrigg fox which went by the old police station at Elterwater, out by High Close, more slowly by Loughrigg, Skelby Crags, Brow Head and Gilbert Scar before they put him off afresh above Cookson’s Wood. It was a fast hunt by Mere Syke, across Elterwater Common, Langdale Fell and Meg’s Ghyll but scent worsened when the fox dropped in to Chapel Stile and hounds were beaten on the road.

There were three kills on Saturday and some fine runs on the high fells. The meet was at Hart Head, Rydal, and there were two foxes in Nab Scar. One did not run far before going to ground and being accounted for, but the other took hounds straight away up Rydal and into Deepdale Head. When hunters got out, they saw hounds running in Low wood above Brothers Water and they took their fox across Dovedale, through the Sails and into Dove Crag borran, where it was bolted and overtaken. Mean while, seven or eight hounds were heard bringing a fox out of Deepdale Head, and after running him through Fairfield and Great Rigg they killed him in a stone bed in what is known, naturally enough as Stone Cove.

3rd January 1958.

Hunting Notes

It was not a happy New Year for the three Westmorland fell packs of foxhounds, for all have been stricken to a greater or lesser degree with an infectious malady which was suspected to be a form of canine Asian flu and was eventually diagnosed as gastric enteritis. The Coniston pack had 11 hounds ill last week and had to cancel Saturday’s met at Newton in Cartmel, and resumed hunting on Tuesday after six days lay off, but the Lunesdale have been much more seriously affected. More than 30 hounds were ill last Thursday, and all this week’s and most of next week’s hunting has been suspended. The Ullswater had nearly 20 hounds affected to a minor extent, but these were isolated as the case’s occurred and, all the advertised meets were fulfilled.

A curious feature was that all three packs, though there had been no contact between them had hounds ill at the same time, while there were two more cases among the Royal Agricultural College Beagles on an invitation visit to Winster over Christmas and the New Year. Severe scouring and loss of weight were the chief symptoms, and the illness lasted several days, even with the minor cases.

10th January 1958

In spite of having eight hounds in isolation, the Coniston pack did not disappoint their followers on New Years day and fulfilled their traditional meet at the Drunken Duck. They got among too many foxes however and the pack got badly spilt up, and they finished the day with out success. They took a nice drag from Dan Becks in the morning and put off their fox going towards Brathay quarries, but when he tried to cross the road for Brathay Woods he was baulked by the traffic and turned back for Dan Becks and eventually crossed on to Latterbarrow. This was unfortunate, because hounds put more foxes off as they went through towards Sawrey and there were several hunts going all lacking “weight”. The best of these came back from Latterbarrow by way of Wray and the fox went to ground in a drain near Outgate. Followers bolted him and he gave a good hunt by Wray Castle and Wray, but hounds went on to Latterbarrow and hounds changed foxes again to loose him.

This was the last outing for these hounds for six days due to illness, and the Saturday meet at High Newton was lost. At the beginning of the week failing scent brought the end of two hunts from the meet at the kennels on Monday. Hounds went by Brock Crag and High Pike but did not find their fox until reaching Rydal, when their fox crossed the bottom and went out up Great Rigg for Fairfield. Another must have been put off here for the pack was found to be running in two sections. One lot came down by High Pike and Scandale into Rydal Park, but lost their fox in the gardens at Rydal Hall, while the others came from Fairfield into Rydal fell head with a poor scent and were eventually run off about Heron Crag.

10th January 1958

The Saturday meet having been cancelled owing to sickness, it was Tuesday when the Coniston pack began the series of meets at high Newton. Hounds were taken into Barrow Hollin but had crossed Towtop before they found a fox above Lindale village. He made straight out across the Heights road and on for White Stones before turning back along the top and then going down to cross the Winster valley and on by Strickland Hill and Yewbarrow on to Whitbarrow. Followers were left far behind, but eventually located hounds marking their fox to ground below Whitbarrow Hall, and he was eventually bolted and overtaken after a sharp hunt.

It was a disappointing day on Thursday, for no less than six hours were spent in search of a hunt. The area from White Stone to Gummers How road and all the way back by Newton Heads on to Hampsfell was tried before a fox jumped up at the top of Eggerslack Wood at 3pm, when the huntsman was thinking of giving it up as a bad job. Followers who had stayed on saw a fast hunt, which covered two circles of Hampsfell, but it was too late in the day and hounds had to be stopped with darkness approaching.

It was even worse on Saturday after the meet at Crosthwaite, for a fox could not be found at all and the day was a complete blank. Hounds covered Lords Lot, Cock Hagg across to Burn Abbal and on by Foxhole Bank to Winster.

17th January 1958

As it happened the Coniston had only two meets scheduled for last week – Wednesday at Brathay Woods and Saturday at Nibthwaite- and while the lower country of Nibthwaite might have been expected to allow hounds to hunt on Saturday, there had been a good deal of snow on Friday to make conditions useless, even apart from the vile weather which accompanied the thaw on Saturday morning. The pack resumed operations at Sawrey on Tuesday of this week.

31st January 1958

Visiting the district that gives them their name, the Coniston hounds lost Tuesday because of storm and Saturday because of snow, while on Thursday, though they got a hunt, the fox headed for crags where there was a lot of ice about and they were stopped. Only normal day therefore was Thursday, and it brought a good hunt after a lot of country by Coniston Hall woods, Torver back common and Blaithwaite had been drawn blank. Huntsman Anthony Chapman then crossed the road for the fell and a fox, probably disturbed from the other side by the Eskdale and Ennerdale hounds was encountered at the Bell. A slow hunt went down by the mines as though for Coniston village but it improved rapidly through Far End Breast and Long Crag and hounds were running fast when they went past Blue Quarries for Great Wheel Crag, but the pace was too fast and he went to ground in Pudding Cove, to be bolted and overtaken.

On Thursday, after putting a fox off in Threddale hounds found scent moderate following hard frost. They ran him through by Houkriggs but as it was still slow heading for ice bound Brim Fell, it was a wise move on the huntsman’s part to stop them

14th February 1958

The second successive blank Saturday set up something of an unwelcome record for the Coniston pack, and even the oldest follower cannot remember hounds failing to find a fox on two successive weekends. There were good hunts before that, however, during the Cartmel Fell visit, and that on Monday, after the meet at Hodge Hill were one of the best of the season. Little was done during the morning, but in the afternoon hounds were taken to Gummershowe and Blakeholme and roused a big dog fox on Birkfell at 2.15pm after a fast round of Birkfell, Reynard dropped in at Bryan Beck to cross the road for Fox Crags. Near Roper Ford he gave hounds there only real check in a two – hour hunt when he met someone on the road and doubled back, but Mrs. John Lishman a keen follower, soon put them right and away they went again through the woods by Wilds Castle, behind Birket Houses and out over the top for Rosthwaite plantations. This fox then took a most unusual route, crossing the Bowness – Newby Bridge road and heading for the shores of Lake Windermere at Storrs Hall. He turned up through the grounds and gardens of the Storrs estate, almost to the ferry, climbed up for Ferry View crossroads and headed for Low Lindeth, and then hounds killed a big dog fox of more than 17lbs in a garden at Blackwell.

Nothing was done from Bryan Beck in Wednesday’s thick fog, but on Thursday there was a good hunt with a fox from Rankthorn plantation, which was evidently a visitor from Whitbarrow, for he went back there and was killed in a limestone crevice.

24th January 1958

Out only twice after the snow disappeared; the Coniston hounds had blanks at Woodland on both Thursday and Saturday – the Saturday “hoodoo” continued, with the fifth blank in six weeks – but stayed over the weekend and made up for the bad spell with three kills on Monday. The visit had been delayed owing to the snow and it was not until Thursday that hounds turned up at Woodland Hall. The morning was charming, in the words of the song but for some reason, scent was very poor and hounds could make nothing of more than one fox they had going on Latrigg. Best run was by Kirkby Fell to Woodland Fell, but the first serious check left hounds at a loss.

In Saturday’s deluge Huntsman Anthony Chapman tried for more than four hours without finding a fox over a big stretch of country by Buttsteads Wood, Raw Ridding plantation, the bottom end of Latrigg, Woodland Fell, Harry Heights and back by Climb Stile and everyone was soaked long before hounds were called off. Then came Monday’s meet at High Rosthwaite and from Adystone Wood the pack took a drag, which led them over the top into the forestry plantations and eventually one lot killed a fox on the edge of the woods and some more hounds returned having obviously killed another inside the cover,. Then hounds were got together and had a good run with one, which left the woods to go down for Broughton Mills, across the bottom and out over the top for Ulpha and a fast hunt ended with a kill on the open at Duddon Hall, the unusual feat of three kills in he open in one day.

21st February 1958

The start of the Coniston’s successful week-three-kills at Woodland on Monday-was recorded last week, but they got two more on Tuesday and Friday. The Tuesday meet was the last at Woodland and the fox killed was marked to ground in Bridge End Intake to be bolted and overtaken after a sharp hunt. The pack had a good hunt afterwards, though it is believed they had changed foxes. After putting one off at Pull Scar, they ran across the railway towards Troughton Hall, turned back for Woodland Fell, on by Stable Harvey and Wool knots into Woodland. It was slow back to Pull Scar but improved – probably a fresh fox – to go in by Torver and then out by Dickinson’s Wood for Dow Crags and the high fell, with the result unknown.

On Friday, from Hawkshead there was a good hunt in the morning with a fox from the forestry plantations about Esthwaite Intakes, and after two rounds towards Grizedale he turned, back by Esthwaite Hall, across Dale Park road into The Gallop and was killed under a big rock when hounds got in before hunters arrived.

From Berwick Lodge on Saturday, hounds were taken towards The Tarns and got onto a brace of foxes. One lot went in by Monk Coniston and over by Tent Lodge into Grizedale, before heading down the dale to Satterthwaite, round by Barker’s Bank and Force mill but then lost their fox on the road. The bigger section of the pack seem to have attached themselves to the dog fox, as he took the high fells, crossing Yewdale on to Holme fell, then crossed Tilberthwaite to climb Wetherlam, visited Little Langdale, back over Wetherlam and hounds were eventually found in Satterthwaite, scent having failed.

28th February 1958

The Hawkshead area did not have enough snow to stop the Coniston pack operating, and they put in all their meets. On Monday, from Keen Ground, hounds ran a fox in the forestry plantations for nearly an hour before killing him on the open just above Hawkshead Hill in a blizzard. The Hawkshead visit closed from Dan Becks on Wednesday. A fox roused near Brathey Quarries went out by the Drunken Duck and over Brow Fell before turning back over almost the same route, down to Brathey Woods, and into a drain between the road and the lake. It was nearly 3pm before he could be bolted and went by Brathey Woods over Brow fell to Colwith before returning to cross the river at Brathey, and after a trip on to Loughrigg, turned back again, crossed the river by the footbridge at Brathey, went into the woods once more, and hounds were called off climbing for the Drunken Duck. From Troutbeck Mayor’s Hunt on Saturday a big following saw hounds rouse a brace of foxes on the end of Wansfell Hundreds. One lot ran their fox back above Troutbeck village before he turned back to cross the Kirkstone road twice ……….?, put in a round on the Hundreds and then go to ground on the breast not far from the Queens Head. He was eventually evicted and overtaken. The other section had a much more spectacular hunt over Wansfell, Brackney Becks, across the “Struggle” road to Petts Quarries over Red Screes and the Kirkstone Road at Red Pit, out over the top into Woundle, across Troutbeck by Halillands and the Tongue and right up the face of ill Bell. Hounds were away a short time before they raced their fox back down Ill Bell into Park quarry, and when two hounds brought another fox past the quarry the whole pack had a second hunt out towards the top of the ? down over the Tongue and then back into the quarry where terriers could make nothing of either fox.

(Difficult to transcribe)
7th March 1958

The Kentmere valley had four meets form the Coniston hounds, but after getting three foxes in the first two days the Arctic weather spoiled the sport. A start was made in Ireland Wood on Tuesday, but Royal must have got away with a fox on his own, for he was heard coming down the valley from Kentmere Pike as though the fox was heading for the Tongue borran. He did not go in however and hounds got a check when they all joined in to a slow hunt back from Nan Bield and out into the mist. Some time later a few hounds ran a fox into a rock hole on Ill Bell to be bolted and overtaken, while the others were found in Mardale, visiting Blea Water, Riggindale and Castle Crag before coming back up the lake shore, climbing for Harter Fell and running their fox to ground above Nan Bield. He bolted of his own accord before anyone got there, returned to Kentmere, crossed the dale above the reservoir and was overtaken at Rangebarrow Crag at 4pm.

On Wednesday hounds left their kennels at Hartrigg to come down to Raven Crag and Sheep Crags before rousing a fox at Buck Crag, which climbed out, dropped in for Hartrigg and swung right handed through Raven Crag, Ivan Scar and into Kentmere Park. After a round there the fox dived into the badger earth in Quarry Wood above Kentmere Hall, and though not evicted until 4.30pm headed back for Raven Crag and was accounted for there.

There is little to report of the Friday and Saturday meets, due to the frost and bitter winds. Nothing could be found at he low end of the dale on Friday, while on the following day after terriers had been entered to a fox at Lamb Fold quarry without it being known if they accounted for it, one was put off at Froswick which went round the fell head, over into Mardale, and back to the same hole as on Tuesday (above Nan Bield) where it was left.

14th March 1958

During their week at Grasmere the Coniston hounds were kennelled at Knott Houses and started at Helm Crag on Tuesday. There was a quick find at Jackdaw Crag, but disappointment followed for this fox climbed out at once to go into one of the bad borrans on the top of Helm and he had to be left. Hounds were taken forward but on reaching Horn Crag roused another fox, which gave a very good hunt. He crossed the bottom of Far Easedale and went away by Deer Bields, Blindtarn Moss and Houkriggs before turning back by Blakerigg, Caudale Tarn and Ashwaite to recross Far Easedale and go out over the Carrs into Wythburn Head. Very soon, however, hounds were heard coming back into the top end of Greenburn and on doubt the fox was heading for the borrans on the top of Helm, but Cragsman was so close behind that Reynard had to turn downhill, and go in to a drain at Helm Side. This was a fine hunt of an hour, and after being bolted, the fox was overtaken in the gardens. Scenting was much worse after this.

On Saturday, a slow hunt out of Raise Ghyll culminated in a fox being put off going out for Helvellyn, and this could have been a spectacular hunt had hounds been able to drive faster. This fox ran the full length of the Helvellyn breast to the far end of Thirlmere, came right back as far as Raise Ghyll, and was going over the same ground yet again, now a long way in front, when hounds were stopped in a snowstorm. It was much the same on Friday, from Silver How, a fox from the Savins near Blindtarn Moss running through Silver How, over into Langdale to Megs Ghyll, back over Silver How, across the bottom of Far Easedale as though for Deer Bields and then back to Silver Howe and Wyke Woods. On getting their first check at Huntingstile, however, hounds were completely baffled.

The outcome for Saturday was unknown, for after rousing a fox on Hollins Breast, hounds ran by Alcock Tarn, through Nab Scar and up Rydal, to go out of the fell head into Deepdale, leaving followers far behind. Some hounds completed a left-hand circle to finish in Greenhead Ghyll, above Grasmere.

21st March 1958

In contrast to the other packs, the Coniston found scenting none too bad in the early part of the week, which was spent at Nibthwaite. The best hunt of the week came from the first meet on Tuesday with a stout fox from Arklid Wood which went up for Nibthwaite before returning towards the Stock and then going over the same ground twice more. He went as far as Hill Park the second time and hounds had been running well for the best part of two hours, when he went through Bell Wood before creeping into a drain at Nibthwaite. He refused to bolt and was accounted for by the terriers.

On Wednesday hounds were taken to Woodland Fell and put off a fox which went out over the top into Woodland and through by Giants Grave to Kirkby Moor. This fox also found the attentions of the pack too persistent and went into a drain near Ashlack Hall to be accounted for.

On Friday hounds could not find a fox in the Bell Wood, but put one off soon afterwards and he ran up the top for Park–a–Moor and The Heald. There was evidently more than one fox afoot after this and hounds became badly split, but one lot eventually marked a fox to ground below Park–a–Moor and it was bolted to give a sharp hunt before being rolled over in the bottom.

Scenting was poor on Saturday, when a slow hunt went away by Nibthwaite and Arklid Wood or the back of Coniston Water as far as Barrow Hollin. Hounds may have changed foxes, but were never running at their best and the hunt eventually gave out.

28th March 1958

The Coniston hounds spent a week round the Ambleside district for the first time since the New Year. On Tuesday, from the Loughrigg meet they put one off just above Brathey and it went away by Cookson’s Wood, Ivy Scar, How Brest and Yews Crag before returning to Skelby Crag. Reynard put in a circle of the crag before going to ground, but hounds followed him into the rocks and killed him before the hunters arrived.

Thursday was a day of unusual happenings, firstly because hounds had a fox going before they got to the meeting place at Woundle Gate, and secondly for the fact that they brought their fox into he main street of Ambleside at the Salutation Hotel. The huntsman was on his way past The Grove when hounds spoke to a line where a fox had crossed the path and away they went by Wark how. They divided here, with both sections going to the top of Wansfell. One lot turned in down the breast for Round Hill and got a bad check at the river before going away by Snarker Moss End, over into Scandale once more with the outcome unknown.

It was the other section, which provided the day’s real excitement. They ran their fox to ground at the top of Holbeck Ghyll, and after some time it was bolted to go by Holbeck Ghyll, High Skelghyll, Dove Nest, through the fields above the road at Waterhead and forward into Ambleside by the gas works. Though the fox does not appear to have been seen on the front of the Salutation hotel, hounds took the line round the hotel and then up the road at the rear into Stock Ghyll, on by the old church, above Greenbank estate and killed on the lawn at Scale How, the fox being picked up by that keen follower Mr. Stanley Faulkner. Meanwhile five hounds had run another through the kennels into Rydal Park and after going into a drain above Rydal Hall this also was accounted for.

On Saturday a fox was soon afoot in Rydal Park and went out at High Pike into Scandale to reappear at High Pike, cross Rydal and go out by the top of Nab scar for Grasmere, apparently beating them in Tongue Ghyll. They were collected and taken through Hollens Breast to rouse another in Brockstones Breast and after going through Nab Scar, round the top and back to Hollens Breast by way of Alcock Tarn, eventually went to ground above How Top and was bolted and overtaken.

4th April 1958

Hunting Notes

Except for those who are able – and have the inclination to go out with the hounds at five or six in the morning, fell foxhunting is virtually now at an end, for the packs have now finished their advertised meets and are answering calls to all parts of the districts where foxes are worrying lambs or poultry to feed their cubs. It is now that hunting becomes a necessity, and the only means of locating a fox, which has wrought havoc in a lambing field during the hours of darkness.

The Coniston

There was also an S.O.S call for the Coniston hounds which made them hunt four days in succession, for after the Easter Monday hunt they had to pay a quick visit to Coniston before fulfilling their advertised meets at Bryan Beck, Cartmel Fell from Wednesday onwards. Starting at Coniston at 7am they killed the only fox of the period, rousing him from Guards Wood and going out by White Ghyll to Wetherlam. The hunt mended rapidly here and they were on such good terms at Tilberthwaite Ghyll that the fox binked on a ledge. After being ejected hounds soon caught him in the ghyll.

Conditions were very dry in Cartmel Fell. Cold hunts on Wednesday never came to anything, while the state of scenting was proved on Wednesday when Cora was seen viewing a fox on Rosthwaite Lot, but when the others got to her a few minutes later they could run it for little more than a quarter of a mile on the bare fields before scent gave out. After a 6am start on Saturday, a drag from Birkfell crossed the valley on to Whitbarrow and though hounds ran well for a while, scent eventually disappeared on the limestone.

8th April 1958

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