Wednesday, 26 December 2007


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I am a little hesitant about making this post today as I do not wish to provoke outrage or offence by the subject of photos. Please feel at liberty to scroll down if you are not comfortable with the images above.

As with many places around England, Grantham is a country town with a strong tradition of interest in the local fox hunt. It is a long standing tradition that, on Boxing Day, the local hunt meet in front of the Guildhall to be greeted by the town Mayor and to accept a stirrup cup before setting off on a morning hunt in the surrounding country side. Fox hunting has a long history in England and you can read more about it here. In 2005 the law regarding fox hunting changed after a law was passed banning hunting with dogs. Hunts may now only meet to follow a laid scent trail.

I suppose I sit on the fence here a bit. I love the spectacle of watching the horses and riders gather on Boxing Day but I have never liked the thought of what may happen to the fox. The arguments for and against are legion and I have no wish to provoke any sort of debate here. I hope you will accept the photos as they are presented, a window onto a very ancient tradition.

It was down to my mum that we were down the town watching these events this morning - she was keen to see the gathering. Fortunately it was a dry morning, if a little chilly, and as you'll see in the pix, a large crowd gathered to watch.

The foxhounds were the first to arrive.

This lady was the only person riding side saddle.

Several children accompanied the hunt this morning.

This pony was particularly well turned out

This young horse was being kept out of the fuss and flurry of the crowd until it was time to leave. In the background the hounds are being kept together in the gardens alongside the Guildhall. Heaven nows what state the gardens were in by the time they all left!

Enough of tradition! Did you all have a lovely Christmas? How can it be over so quickly after all the talking, shopping, cooking and preparations? Was Santa good to you? I had lots of lovely presents, not least of all this beautiful bag that my friend Ann has made. It has been knitted and then felted in the washing machine:

My DH and I had agreed not to be extravagant this year as I have just had my embellisher so we bought each other a few little things. I did get the Take That CD "Beautiful World" so I am well happy, as the kids say.

You can tell my DH knows me too well by the bear he bought me! What's he talking about?! I'm a domestic goddess!!!!!!!


katelnorth said...

It looks lovely, doesn't it - the red coats and all the horses - even on a miserable wet day like often happens on Boxing Day here. DH is from Barrow - next village over from Quorn, which is of course one of the major hunts... Not that he personally knows one end of a horse from the other - well, maybe that much, but not beyond!

Gina said...

I can't say I agree with fox hunting but it does make a wonderful spectacle doesn't it. All those beautiful horses and lovely outfits!
Gorgeous little bag you got there Julie!

sharon young said...

Hi Julie
Good to see you back, after the festivities!!
I'm not in agreement with the original ethos of fox hunting but have no problem with current practice and the spectacle does look quintessentially British.
BTW how did you get your pics in such a perfect montage, did you do it by hand or use a grid??
What a lovely little bag!
Your DH certainly does know you too well!!
Thanks for dropping by my blog.

DeeMom said...

Happy New Year to you!
I have often wondered about Boxing Day…Now I know more
A Fox Hunt wow sure is a lot of controversy about that. The ancient tradition is an awesome read.

Yes Santa was good to our entire family,
Adorable Bear your sweetie gave you…;)
Great Post Julie

imac said...

Really nice posts DW - from ever loving DH. :)

mrsnesbitt said...

There is a hunt in our villagetoo....I too like the red coats etc but thats about it. I think it is a well established country tradition...which I despise. The thought of what happens in a society like ours does not sit nicely with me.

The teddy is adoreable!

Hope you are feeling better.


Lesley said...

I remember seeing a hunt mustering in a little Devon village one Boxing Day, years ago, and it is a great spectacle. I'm on the fence on this one. I don't like the idea of the fox being killed by the hounds but I do feel we are being made to let go of our traditions or at best are being made to feel ashamed of them. Thanks for sharing your photos.
I love the sentiment on your teddy's banner! Clever hubby you have there!
Hope you are feeling much better,
love Lesleyxxx
P.S. great ATC's by the way.

Aussie Jo said...

I love the photos of the hunt. That is what they need here in Oz to get rid of introduced pests like foxes and rabbits. Love the bag, I must try one of them.