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Colne Valley Beagles - Second Half of 2006/07 - (These are my thoughts and not an official statement)
Second Half 06/07

The Christmas break came and went, and the first half of the 2006/07 season with it, was it really four months ago that I wrote my last Beagler report? It scarcely seems possible. The “T” & “W” litters had all more or less got the hang of this hound exercise business, with naturally one or two ups & downs along the way, and even last year’s “C”s had a very promising start to their CVB careers. Little Chantress definitely one to watch out for next season.

The turn of the year saw the latest additions (The “F” litter) returning to kennels in ones and twos, all in brilliant fettle and with more than a passing resemblance to clones of the infamous escape artist “Gaiety” or taking more after their mother “Puzzle” with the single dog-pup looking like the spitting image of Dad-Galloway. One way or another they’re absolutely full of life, and are a joy to have in kennels. I can say this now as up to pres they haven’t yet learned to scale the fence and seek out a neighbour’s sofa. Yet. All credit to the walkers, Charles Ainley & Debs Leigh, Danny & Wendy Mulligan, Lyn & John Metcalfe, Chris Horsman, and David & Hazel Sill for turning out such healthy happy little characters. They are all already off couplings while walking out and are immensely looking forward to their sheep-education and the start of next season… I have tried to explain that they might have to come with me to a show or two over the summer months, but I’m not sure I’ve really got through to them quite.

It is more or less customary by now for me to mention the high days, but as there weren’t really any low ones, (with the possible exception of being hit by a sudden snow-fall on the day of the newly opened invitation Langsett Meet, effectively postponing it for a year) it would be difficult to choose. If I had to then I have particularly fond memories of our visits to the Cheshire, (Shirt sleeves hunting, in February!) the Catterick, (What magic country, its very easy to be a bit jealous) and of course the wonderful Goathland trip, as well as a particularly enjoyable day courtesy of the Hunsley Beacon. The meet at Wessenden, put on hold last year, was rather more entertaining than it sometimes has been, but I suspect that the long long (& I hope fairly thorough!) draw followed by the quick ascent to the top of West Nabb meant that the brave few that turned out possibly struggled to enjoy it quite as much as hounds, or I, did. We did have a bit of a chaotic and very high speed day, courtesy of our friends at the East Lincolnshire Bassets, followed by a rather welcome tea in the village hall, after eventually the last hound had been retrieved from the meet…..As I keep saying in these reports, you really had to be there.

Likewise when we were able to host our friends and neighbours from the Airedale to a day from the White House, you really did have to be there. A top day all round, good country, good hound-work, and good company. It would be nice to think that we might be able, in years to come to host one or two of the other packs who have helped us out when things seemed pretty dark and bleak, as well, but in spite of the strongest support, some incredible ‘fields’, and the determination of the followers and membership, we aren’t quite out of the woods yet. While I must thank the puppy walkers mentioned above, helping bring on and educate and ready the upcoming generation of young-entry for the future; the committee and other volunteers (Whips, road-watchers, cap-collectors, stew-makers, singers, photographers, picklers, auctioneers, sticklers, veg-growers, stick-makers & cake-bakers and so on), for their energy and support, none of it would be possible without Stewart Shaw and his sheer bloody-mindedness to keep the whole show on the road. Now in partnership with his able assistant and Joint Master Steve Burns, he should get a medal for his dedication to the job. (If you snapped him in two, I’d bet the letters CVB run through him like a stick of Blackpool Rock!) and it more or less goes without saying that keeping the whole shebang together and running smoothly is our very own Beagler Editor…..

Thank you Meryl!

Now is the off-season of our discontent….Well the season proper has finished, on a high note it has to be said, with a cracking day from the Jack O’Mitre, and hounds and staff will have to make do with the lanes and tracks around South Crosland to get hounds out of kennels. The social diary for the summer months is as busy as ever, if not more so perhaps, and there are several refurbishment projects in the pipeline for kennels too. The annual plea for volunteers hereby goes out, there are always things to paint, things to mend, make, build or rebuild, as well as tea to drink and bacon sandwiches to enjoy….

By the time this gets into circulation I’m hoping that Trespass will have produced the first litter of the next generation, courtesy of young Grayling, and somewhere in the second week of June Gossip will hopefully have the second. In due course the pups will be ready, and the call will go out for walkers ….those who have walked them before either get hooked, and take a pup or two every year, or very occasionally swear they’ll absolutely no way no how ever do it again, and that the kitchen/sitting-room/study will never be the same again….Then you may overhear them at the following Puppy Show being subtly (Or not so subtly) coerced, sometimes by their junior offspring, or even their husband/wife…..and its all over, the new pups are already in the back of the car ready to embark on a year of fun & games….

On an entirely different note, if anyone has any old-style plastic/rubber dustbins that they don’t use any more, (They’re the kind I use for collecting feed in the van) all donations of spares would be very welcome as the current crop wear out. Thank you!
Even better would be the newer narrow-style wheely-bins, but I suspect that people will be keener to hang on to them…

Puppies, painting, shows, building-projects, and no end of social activities on the calendar….it must be summer! Looking forward to seeing you out and about sometime over the coming months….

Submitted or last changed: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 ; 17:09

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