Memories of horses and dogs gathering across Oxfordshire

Local hunts have rarely featured in Memory Lane over the years, but that will change this week.

Reader Albert Parker, of Woodfield Road, Bicester, piqued our interest by sending images 1 and 6 on this page today.

Picture 1 in his collection shows the South Oxfordshire Hunt outside Cowley Barracks in Oxford in 1930.

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As many enthusiasts will know, the South Oxfordshire Hunt later became part of the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, now known as Kimblewick.

Images two to five in the Oxford Mail library files were taken during his days as the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, whose hounds and horses often appeared in Oxfordshire.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 2 dates from 1982 when the hunt took place at the traditional Christmas/Boxing meeting in Thame’s Upper High Street car park.

Hundreds of people turned out to welcome the hunt, despite the heavy rain.

Pauline Silver, from Thame, can be seen hugging one of the dogs before they all head to Moreton to hunt the land between Thame and Tetsworth.

In picture 3 we see the hounds and horses gathering outside the Abingdon Arms at Beckley in 1969.

Oxford Mail:

The pub is still going strong on the High Street and is known for serving reasonably priced local seasonal food.

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The Oxford Mail reported: “About 25 riders were set off and 33 hounds killed three foxes over four miles in the country from Beckley to Bernwood Forest.”

Hunter Joe Hill, of Aston Rowant, told the Mail: “There were plenty of deer around but we don’t hunt them.

“Sometimes they are a hazard and interfere with the fox’s scent.”

In picture 4, two-year-old Mark Shirley from Kennington, in his father’s arms, has a word with the hounds before they go hunting in 1971.

Oxford Mail:

In picture 5, taken the same year, ‘Pc 49’ Percy Copley, of Great Milton, carries out a routine inspection.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 6, also from Mr Parker’s collection, shows Old Berkshire Beagles appearing in an advertisement for Morris Oxford cars in 1932.

Prices for a new vehicle ranged from £265 to £285!

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, who joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news in Oxfordshire.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF

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