Nice finds

This has been a week of nice finds. Grandpa and I do like a deal and the bookshop in Crewkerne yielded some tasty results.

Anne McIntosh – our friend in Virginia and MFH of the Blue Ridge Hunt is fond of old hunting books, so we were pleased to turn up a fine copy of ‘Hunts with Jorrocks’ – an amusing collection of the Grocer’s favourite adventures illustrated with witty colour prints. It will add to her burgeoning collection at Weldon Farm where visitors can browse an extensive range of hunting fact, fable and fiction.

The other gem is  a smart hunting journal published by A. Webster & Compy. The former owner has made a few entries – enough for an interesting historical reference – but 99 per cent of the pages are clean for me to document my own days out. It will certainly encourage fastidious observation – each entry solicits details on such things as hounds, meet, horses, wind & weather, scent and covers drawn.

The few meets that the anonymous previous owner has recorded fall between Monday 14 August and Monday 21 August 1939. This was the eve of war and one wonders whether the end of records came with the sudden change of priorities on September 4 when Britain and France entered the conflict.

Thursday 17 August 1939; bitch pack; scent – good; Big Wood & Beach HillA really good morning’s cub hunting: hounds ran hard almost continually and would have killed another, only he ran into the moat and became so coated with black mud that they couldn’t hunt. A really good throw of foxes – very satisfactory. The young bitches hunted well. 

I wonder how many fascinating recollections sit forgotten on dusty bookshelves, holding many an historic day’s sport inside. I wonder too how many contemporary sportsmen keep such journals and whether their riding recollections differ much from those of their forebears.

Crewkerne  is a pleasant, rather unspoilt town on the Dorset/Somerset border. It isn’t really on the way anywhere unless you’re meandering to the beach at Burton Bradstock or Eype. With an authenticity unfettered by an over-active tourist board and a friendly collection of shops and pubs it is a great place for a leg stretch on the winding way to Dorset’s bright beaches.

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Please note, throughout our website we use the term fox hunting to mean all of the activities carried out by our participating hunts operating within the constraints of the Hunting Act 2004.