An incredible turnout – over 120 supporters local and others from Aldershot, Worcestershire and Devon enjoyed mulled wine and food, followed by the hunt being “opened” by its president Diana Bown MBE, who had travelled from the Isle of Wight.
Speeches from the chairman, James Peckham and master huntsman, Norman Matthews caused a few to grab their tissues! A great afternoon followed with some great hunting on trails laid by Captain Ben Cooper of the Rifles. The young supporters, Ashley Freeman, Charles Matthews, Lucy Peckham and Izzy Davis assisted the Huntsman on the day, along with Paul Freeman and John Brooks. The day ended in great spirits at The Rising Sun in Netherend.
For many years Norman Matthews, joint-master and huntsman has dreamt of having his own basset pack, he wanted a pack that everyone, especially his son Charles, now 15 and his friends could enjoy and gain valuable hands-on experience.
It has taken a while but in 2014 the Woolaston Bassets were given probationary registration by the MBHA. The country registered to the pack follows the River Severn and spans a wide sweep from Ruardean in the Forest of Dean through to Blaenavon, North of Newport to the flats under the New Severn Crossing.
The committee comprises of a great team of people, all passionate about hunting and all show tremendous support and loyalty in all ways, from helping upgrade kennels, assisting with the twice daily hound exercise and financially.
With great generosity from other established packs, such as the East Lincs, Four Shires and Westerby, the Woolaston has managed to obtain 3 and a half couple of entered hounds, these hounds will make a sound foundation for the future of the pack. Four Shires Jubilee and Doric have become firm favourites. Also the Leadon Vale gave a bitch in whelp, Fable, who produced 4 couple of strong, well matched pups and the Four Shires generously gave 2 and half couple of lovely pups from Four Shires Bramble. All these pups are now out at walk and enjoying some varied experiences!
Image by Anthony Barnett www.fotosphere.co.uk