Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday 13th January

A trip to Castle Howard nursery, who were in the middle of stocktaking when we arrived, lovely friendly staff.  This trip was to buy a couple of rose bushes, and wander around looking at benches.  Lucy also came away with a new bed, which she slept in quite happily all the way home. We had hoped that it would stop her nocturnal wandering but I doubt it.

The thing that got me angry though was on coming back on the A170 road we saw land rovers parked on either side of the road, and a man throwing the body of a fox into the ditch.  I can only conclude that the fox had been killed by a car, but that he was probably being chased by a hunt.  We saw a lot of horse vans parked in a lay by, so hunts still chase foxes, although it is illegal! perhaps the man was getting rid of the evidence.  Why hunt near a very busy road though?  LS made a rude sign at one of the men as we went past, but said he would not do it standing in the road, these people can be vicious.

You may think that this is a 'townie view' of the countryside, not so, the odds of the chase, 30/40 people on horseback, same number of dogs just to tear a fox to pieces is inhuman.  I have often wondered if this is a 'class issue'.a resentful attitude on the part of one type of a person to these creatures who look down from us from their horses.  Galloping around on horses is fun, you just don't need to kill an animal in the process.

We also drove through Hovingham, a pretty village, when the sun shines but dull yesterday.  There is almost a  Cotswoldian feel to the cottages that line the villages, some very pretty ones in Helmsley, the modern blended into the old.

This is presumably the Victorian schoolhouse built in 1864  by Lady Worsley

Hovingham Hall

Helmsley Cottages

Last night I read parts of Bunting's book,'The Plot', little facts leap out to you.  For a start, William the Conqueror, savaged this part of Yorkshire into the ground, killing people, animals and laying waste to the countryside, that is the reason you will find Norman castles at Helmsley, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside.  The Scots were not much better at a later date,  British history has always been at the mercy of war, the people sacrificed to whatever cause.
I did not know that William Wordsworth was married at Scarborough, and occasionally walked with his sister to Sutton Bank, probably from Thirsk.
Dorothy wrote, when they had reached the top of Sutton Bank....

"Far, far of  us, in the western sky, we saw shapes of castles, ruins among the groves, a great spreading wood, rocks and single trees, a minster with its tower unusually distinct, minarets in another quarter, and a round Grecian Temple also; the colours of the sky of a bright grey and the forms of a sober grey"


  1. Thelma - I have mixed feelings about hunts. The Bedale hunts our land and that of all our neighbours - many of whom also ride with it. They are a splendid sight when in full gallop. But I don't like what they do, so there is always conflict in my mind.
    The fox is a noble and magnificent animal and on the odd occasion I have seen one running along the hedge back I always hope he/she gets away.
    The farmers round here also shoot a fox if they see it - and that is at least a clean death. But ideally I would like the hunts to do drag hunting rather than hunting an animal.
    Hovingham is a pretty village isn't it? Catherine Wordesley (The Duchess of Kent) came from there. We have driven through it a few times over the years.

    1. Morning Pat, I always remember the hunt scene from the Tom Jones film, a magnificent sight but it is the bloody end that makes me so angry. No animal should be torn to pieces and drag hunting is the only way to go. It is more civilised? don't like that word, but it is definitely more kinder to put a bullet through the head of the fox if they are indeed a nuisance.

  2. I'm with you I think fox hunting is wrong - I think that all hunt supporters should be made to run miles till they reach exhaustion being chased by a pack of baying hounds just so that they can experience what the poor fox goes through - I'm do realise that fox's do a lot of harm to other animals and need to be 'managed' but far better that it's managed like The Weaver of Grass says with a clean death at the hands of a farmer. Looks like Lucy likes her new bed xxx

    1. Morning Trudie, yes Lucy's bed was a great success, the last one on the shelf, I can grab the quilt made by my sister-in-law off the carpet now.