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A few reports of hunts by packs from days gone by.

The Sawrey Hounds

On Friday the 14th, the hounds put a fox away in the Heald. It was a most beautiful morning, more like spring that winter, even thrushes were singing melodiously. Renny swept away over Latterbarrow, through the valley of Outgate, over Water Barngates, past the Pull Scar waterfall, over Iron Knoll, through part of Langdale, to Arnside where he was run into after an hours chase, remarkable for “onward progress”.

On the following morning, the Coniston Hounds met on Lingmoor. This too was a beautiful day, the sun shone gloriously on the snow-covered peaks of the higher hills. There was a gathering of hunters that would have surprised a Melton Mowbray follower of the hounds, as a great number were armed with guns, for mountain farmer have never dying hate against foxes. They soon “put away” and reynard roamed away over mountain and through “lone glens so dreary” for about an hour, then holed at Dale End. In about an hour he bolted, but the “riflemen” could not get “sight” and he escaped. He then circled through Langdale and over Bowfell, and again ran to earth at the Beald, and it was nearly dark when he a second time bounded out to view of the armed sportsmen. Rap, rap, rap, went gun after gun, but the gallant fellow held on his way up the hill. However, poor fellow, he was running almost literary into the “cannon’s mouth,” for there stood a farmer from Eskdale, with a huge piece made before “Joe Manton” or “detonating locks” were thought of. It had six feet of barrel, and went off with a flint. Down on one knee went the farmer, resting his left arm on the other, and took the most deliberate aim. It was an awful moment of suspense for the hunters below, and it was very evident he with the deadly tube was no “sharpshooter.” But hold! A miss fire. Well might it not go off, having probably hung in the chimney since Paul Jones entered Whitehaven. However he’s cocked again, and “off” goes the roaring Meg, to the echo of the hills, and reynard rolls down the hill badly mutilated. Up rush the hounds and hunters, and a scramble takes place for the brush, and then the horn reverberates through the thin air for miles around.

Westmorland Gazette 22nd January 1848

Dallam Tower Basset Hounds

On Saturday morning the Dallam Tower basset hounds met at Ulpha, accompanying the master, Sir Maurice Bromley-Wilson, being Major N. North, Captain Tryon and Mr. R. C. Yates. Sir Maurice put the hounds into the cover behind the keeper’s house, and in a few minutes the hare came out and went away by Birkwood. Turning left-handed she ran over some ploughed land, where several hares being afoot the hounds got badly spilt up. They were got together after some trouble and taken over the pool on to the big moss, a hare being quickly found, which made across to the fir wood straightaway. The dogs then worked her gamely several times before she left it, and going back to the moss made off towards the Birks, a fine piece of hunting been witnessed as she came down towards Mrs. Ormrod’s land. Crossing the Stone Bridge and out on to the Marsh, they followed her without a fault, finally killing in good style.

On Tuesday, there was a fair muster at Woodlands, among those present being Captain Tryon, Dr. Currey, Messers Atkinson (Lancaster) Stainton, Shepherd and Nelson. Sir Maurice was again in charge, and a throw off was made in an adjoining field, from which puss was driven without any delay, and crossing the main road ran away for the hill near to Greenhead Farm. Keeping steadily towards the north they went nearly to Stainton Bridge End, before she turned and came sharply back, crossing over on to the Lanes Farm and running parallel with the canal in a southerly direction nearly to the coal wharf. Here she doubled back, going nearly up to Old Hall bridge, and crossing the canal went in a ring round Crooklands and back again ot the bridge, then being headed off ran strongly to the right past the Deer Park and away on to Lorrimer Yeat and Summerlands, where she disappeared as if by magic, for the hounds which were running splendidly suddenly came ot a fault, and although Sir Maurice made every effort to pick up the scent it was without avail, and the pack had ot return to the kennels without the satisfaction of a kill, although it was the fastest and most enjoyable run of the season so far.

Westmorland Gazette 15th January 1910

Windermere Harriers

As some sort of consolation for the awful weather we have experienced during the past season, Friday, the day fixed for the closing meet at Great Langdale, was beautifully fine. In addition to this, hounds had a really good run, lasting two hours and twenty minutes, and ending in a kill right by the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Puss was put off in Blea Tarn Plantation and came down from there into the bottom no less than three times before hounds got on terms with her, besides going round Blea Tarn and taking the pack a big ring on to the top above Kettle Crag. There was not a big field out to meet the master and huntsman, but those who did turn out had a thoroughly enjoyable day. As mentioned before, the season of 1909-1910 has been one of the worst on record, scent being very bad most of the time, whilst it has been quite the exception to have anything but rain or snow during the latter months. Despite this, hounds have accounted for a fair number of hares, although not quite so many as usual, however, this may be for the best as, except at Cark, there is not too much game in the country, and with a favourable breeding season things may be better in this respect when we start again next autumn. TROUTBECK

Westmorland Gazette 12th March 1910

Sedbergh Foxhounds

These hounds left the kennels last Saturday morning at eight o’clock en route for Cautley Crag. A heavy mist encircled the surrounding hills, which was bad from a hunter’s point of view, but when “Arn Thow” was reached a drag was struck. Taking hounds away by Rowan Grains Fields, through Windy Wyke, to Cold Bottom Scar, where reynard was unkennelled. On hounds getting fairly on the track, he went round by the top of Bramrigg, crossing Hareshaw into Bowderdale, where he was driven right up Randy Ghyll, through the Saddle to Yarlside Crag, bringing their game round by Ben End, through the Screes, crossing Cautley home. Here several dalesmen in the neighbourhood, hearing the magnificent music of the hounds, were anxious to join in the “fray” the pack going in full cry and viewing their quarry. About this point, he had evidentially given himself a wash, as hounds were given a check, but in a few moments the hounds “Delicate” and “Tippler” again struck the scent, encouraging the others, and the whole pack were soon on their way to Cautley crag, where undoubtedly he meant to evade his pursuers by taking refuge in that old well known stronghold, but hounds being in the pink of condition and the scent good, he was not allowed to tarry, but was driven out by the south end of the Crag over the Rigg to the foot of Grimes Ghyll, where his game run came to an end, being rolled over in the open and paying the usual penalty. During the run, the mist rose at intervals, giving the followers occasionally a good view. Huntsman Sedgwick had nine couple of hounds with him, including several young ones, who all gave a satisfactory exhibition of their staying powers. When reynard was picked up he proved to be a fine dog fox scaling 16lb. Amongst those present at the kill were Messrs J. W. and R. Gibson, T. Sedgwick, A. H. Trotter. J. Prescott (Edinburgh) F. Harper, N. Morris Jnr. E. Sedgwick, Huntsman Sedgwick, and the secretary of the pack.

Westmorland Gazette 16th April 1910


In grand weather Tuesday yielded some wonderful sport. A quintette of foxes being afoot. Loosing at Dale End Moss a drag heel way led into Fletcher Coppice, but on hounds being righted they ranged back to Lingmoor and unkennelled above Blea Tarn, through by Side Pike, crossing Blea Tarn road by Red Acre to the top of Blakerigg, where the fox binked and caused some delay.

On stealing away six couples kept their eyes on him, whilst another fox drew the attention of the remainder of the pack. The first lot went through Kettle Crag and Oxendale Bottom, over the band on to Bowfell, down Mickleden and again by the savins and the Band where reynard once again binked, and was moved on by a young Borrowdale dalesman, thence coming through Oxendale and over Kettle Crag to Stool End Farm yard, then by road to Blea Tarn farm gate, where Charmer viewed him into Blea Tarn Planting and forced him to hole in a Blakerigg borran. Porter was quickly there with terriers, who worried underground. No. 2 fox came out by Blakerigg Crag and fell to the bottom. Some young hounds were slipped at him but he eluded them, and went to ground. No.3 went to the right hand end of Blakerigg, and was run by a cur belonging to a Little Langdale farmer. No. 4 chased by three and a half couple of hounds made a circle from Blea Tarn to the Band, Red Acre, Kettle Crag, back to Blea Tarn, aiming for Lingmoor, putting in clever work by the tarn until Chanter viewed him away to Wrynose and Cockley Beck, where he holed and was worried in. five hounds took another fox from Blea Tarn planting, through Blakerigg, over Hollin Crag and Hause Crag; and disappeared with their fox behind Cold Pike. Darkness was setting in when hunters returned.

Westmorland Gazette 11th December 1920


This pack is well known in Ravenstonedale, and on Friday they paid another visit. A start was made shortly after nine o’ clock and a fine hare was raised near Brownber. A capital run followed over Crosby Garrett Fell, but eventually puss got away from her pursuers. A second run resulted similarly. In the evening Mr. J. W. Fothergill entertained the members of the hunt and their friends to dinner at the Black Swan hotel, and a very pleasant evening was passed. On Saturday the pack hunted the Weasdale and Bowderdale district, some good runs being witnessed, and a couple of hares killed.

Westmorland Gazette 17th November 1906


By permission of Colonel Ridehalgh, his harriers visited Hawkshead on Saturday, despite the inclement weather a good number of inhabitants turned out for the hunt. The event might almost be termed a novelty for Hawkshead inasmuch as four or five years have elapsed since the hounds visited the neighbourhood. The hounds threw off on the parks at Hawkshead Hill, and the latter place was the principle scene of the action during the day. The place was evidentially a favourite haunt of the hares, as numbers were seen making their escape in every direction. During the day four were killed, the last one “committing suicide“ in the Mill Dam at Hawkshead Hill, at the conclusion of the hunt, the sportsmen repaired to the Queens Head Inn where an excellent dinner was provided and a merry evening spent.

Westmorland Gazette 28th Nov 1936 (50 years ago column) November 1886


On Tuesday morning these beagles under the mastership of Mr. Park, of Shannon House, cast off at? the Elysian fields of hare hunters. It was a glorious morning, but it was either bad hunting or hares were scarce, as it was some time before one was started. She gave them a run of a couple of hours, swimming the Duddon near the Vicarage. Early in the afternoon, hounds were called off without a kill. The pack had some excellent runs at Crosbythwaite on Wednesday.

Westmorland Gazette 24th November 1906


The Furness beagles met at Broughton on Monday. No better day could have been wished for. The hounds threw off at “Sella” a well-known harbour for “puss”. They soon found the drag of a hare, and within half an hour “puss” was viewed making over the top of Sella Fell, with the dogs in full cry. The hare doubled and came full tilt down the fell breast, the dogs close behind, right along the meadow bottoms and back, making for the top of the fell, but before she could reach the summit Ranter laid hold and despatched her. A second hare was put up and gave an exciting hunt putting in tactics and doubles, which generally troubled the hounds, but she was at last found and run to earth. The dogs were then called off, and a most enjoyable day’s sport was terminated resulting in two kills.

Westmorland Gazette 30th November 1895


The annual hunt breakfast in connection with this pack was held on Wednesday at the George Hotel, Penrith. There was a large attendance. Mr. F. Carlton Cowper, Carlton Derrick, the master presided. Mr. F. Armstrong, the host of the day, being in the vice chair, and the company also included Mrs. Carlton Cowper, Miss Foster, Brooklands, Major Aikman, M.H, Mr. G. A. Rimington, Bishopyards, Mr. E. T. Parker, Carleton Hill and Mr. J. S. Rigg, Appleby, all wearing colours. After breakfast was over thirty horsemen accompanied hounds to Greystoke Pillar, where a large number of people on foot were waiting. The weather in the morning was very favourable, but in the afternoon there was a decided change for the worse. Not withstanding this fact a very enjoyable days sport was obtained.

Westmorland Gazette 30th November 1895


On Thursday last week, the meet was at Elm Bank, Appleby, where a large company of ladies and gentlemen were entertained to breakfast by Mr. J. S. Rigg. Afterwards hunters with hounds repaired to Southfield, whose broad acres afford a sure find for a hare, drawing Well Bank Wood and onward to the pastures, where Puss was got on foot. After a short spin hounds were at a loss on the Midland Railway. A second hare was found in the young wood near the viaduct and made a nice run twice round the Southfield lands and into cover again, where hounds took onto a fresh hare and got divided, hunting for some time in two divisions. Getting together again and getting away in a slow run over the fallows, crossing the North-Eastern Railway and forward past Bank End, turning down to the fields to near Gale House and then right handed by way of Kirkber Langton, and Bongate Moor and re crossing the railway to Bank fallows, where the dogs were run out of scent. The bad scenting day and the plurality of hares were the cause of the dogs not scoring a kill. A numerous company were out and enjoyed the scamper “o’er the lea”.

Westmorland Gazette 26th November 1904


The Eskdale foxhounds were located in the dale during two days of last week.

On Friday morning "Laal Tommy" started from the hotel about eight o'clock, took a drag at the intake at Mosel Bottom, dragged away up Mosel, and put it off in a crag. It came right down to the bottom of Mosel, turned up by way of Red Pike, then came down under lack Crag by Door Head, through Stirrup Crag to the Brock Stone, where it ran into a field. The terriers were put in, and it was soon worried. It was afterwards dug out, and proved to be a vixen of about ten pounds weight.

Whitehaven Gazette 21st January 1897

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