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!!!!!!!