W3C Songs of the Melbreak Foxhounds   SONGS




















Kirkstile Inn
Kirkstile Inn


The Melbreak Foxhounds

Tho’ their number's not many, they’re staunch and game,
Thro’ all the west they’ve won a great name;
And true as death Melody speaks to a drag,
And the rest rally to her from bracken and crag.

Then here’s to the pack without a peer,
You can’t find another with them to compare;
Tho’ the chase may be long or short the run,
We know that they’ll kill 'ere day be done.

With nose to the ground they whimper along,
The sheep trod on’t fellside grows louder their song –
To the dark fir wood on Elva Plain,
Old Reynard is roused from the bed where he’s lain.

A rousing “View Hallo” speeds the fox on his way,
Thro’ the Long Bottom and over the Hay;
And close to his brush, the eager hounds,
Fill the valley with music; they fly over the ground.

Yes brave fox and sly, turn and twist as thou will,
These hounds won’t be denied they’ll follow thee til
Thy drooping head and gasping breath
Tell us all that the race will end in thy death.

We’ve followed thee often, from daylight til dark,
From grey mountain Melbreak til he bink’d* in the Barf;
From Barf to Hobcanton, Grassmoor, Whiteside,
Til the hounds claimed their fox by Crummock tide.

To the Master and huntsman, famed far and wide,
From far away Melbreak to Solway’s salt tide;
And amongst all our followers, whatever their rank
They all know J. Benson and Jonathan Bank.

And when we are old and cannot climb Red Pike
We’ll meet at Scale Hill and spend a hunting night;
And when we break cover, a true sporting lot,
Our “Hallo” will startle the foxes on far Carlin Knott.

J.W Jackson 1919

*To bink: seek refuge on a cliff or crag face

* * * * * * *

Calder Hall, today known as Sellafield, was opened in 1958. At the time the country and most of the cabinet were told it was a nuclear power station for the production of electricity. This indeed it did and powered about 200,000 homes, as a by-product of producing weapons grade plutonium as part of Britain’s Atomic Bomb quest.

T’lall Melbreak 1956

Oor Queen was in Cummerlan’ leatly,
Ta mek t’ new works at Calder Hey whiz,
Than ta Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick –
Three bonny laal towns as ther is
An’ when she saw t’laal Melbreak at t’ Pheasant
She was amazed and said wid a smile,
“My Philip would love to be present
At’t New Year’s day hunt in Kirkstile”.

So let’s aw sing “Good Luck” ta t laal Melbreak,
We’ve followed them many a mile;
An rainy or fair, we’ve aw got to be theer
At t New Years Day hunt at Kirkstile,
Tally-Ho, Hark forra’d, Melbreak, Tally-ho

May we seun see oor Queen back amang us
In t’ fell dales of auld Cummerlan’:
Ay, an Philip, t’ Queen Mother and Margaret,
Prince Charlie an’ laal Princess Anne.
They’ll garner some memories ta linger
Till they die – we hope nut fer a while –
If they iver ga huntin’ wid t Melbreak
At t’ New Years Day hunt at Kirkstile.

Noo just a laal tribute till t’ Maister,
Ta Major Ernest Iredale –
He nut only hunted wid foxhounds,
He’s helped ta hunt t’ Germans as weel.
An’ we aw only hope that his shadder
Will nivver grow less, nor his smile
Be denied til t’ hunters wid Melbreak
Or ta t’ New Years Day hunt at Kirkstile.

* * * * * * *

A Melbreak Hunt, February 1967

From Maggy Lonning forth they set
One fine and frosty morn,
The quiet hills were brought to life
By Harry’s lusty horn

Across the fields to Wateryeat
Holme Wood they went to try,
The old hounds need no prompting
They know where foxes lie.

No sooner had they touched the wood
Then Fidler rent the air
And voices rose in harmony
A fox had left his lair.

By waterfall and high stone wall
He to the fell did take,
With music ringing in his ears
He turned his mask for Blake.

Then swinging left by Gavel Fell
We heard the voices ring
As Reynard tried to forge ahead
Through Black Crag’s heavy ling.

Down by the old mine’s track he went
And on to Hencomb Dodd,
The pace was still a cracker
As they climbed the old sheep trod.

And down again by Mosedale beck
Then back for Melbreak end.
By Crummock shore and Scale End Bridge
The cunning fox did wend.

Across the Show Field off he went
Then out towards Low Fell
His brush was trailing badly now,
The pace began to tell.

Through High Cross Intakes, pausing now
He spurned the fell at last,
And turning down across the road
The gap was closing fast.

With lolling tongue and weary limb,
He made one final rush,
To reach Holme Wood whose covert’s thick
Might still preserve his brush.

But hounds were closing for the kill;
They threw their tongues with glee
And though brave Reynard reached the wood
The end was soon to be.

One final burst of music loud,
The nearby hills replied
And close to where the chase began
A gallant fox had died.

The final echo lingered on
Reluctant now to fade,
And so another part of
Melbreak history was made.

George Mossop

WAFWebsite manager

Unless stated otherwise all images and text on this site are copyright of the owner and may not be reproduced without permission.
Site created 20.04.08 Cumbrian Lad 2008-2017. All rights reserved Email me