Copper hunting horn

Copper hunting horn

This is still fox-hunting country, whether banned or not. There are several active hunts here that still survive following the Hunting Ban, namely the Quorn and the Belvoir Hunts. I have no opinion on hunting either way and although I do ride, it is not something I have the slightest interest in taking up. I don’t believe that I am cut from the same cloth as those that do.  For one, I clean up after my family and other animals and get very frustrated at those who do not – so I can’t imagine that the Master of the Hounds would be happy with me dismounting to fill up a pooh bag every ten minutes or so. More likely he would leave me behind instead.

Often in the early morning, I come across a hunt, that either stops me from taking my usually drive across the Vale, or I am caught up in one when out walking the dog across the fields. The former is simply infuriating, particularly if I am on my way to the station to catch a London train, whilst the latter can be terrifying, particularly if the sound of the horn starts getting a little too close.  But worst still is cleaning up the mess in The Village after they have all trotted through, either blissfully unaware or blatantly ignorant.  I don’t grow roses and we have other sources of manure to dig into our vegetable patches, thank you.

Ok, so perhaps I have no particular view on the sport of hunting per se but I admit having a mild irritation with those that do. That’s not to say that the sight of a hunt trotting through our Village is not spectacular. It only happens two or three times a year and it is indeed a sight to behold and always exciting to watch, particularly if the dogs are fox hounds. There is something so thrilling to see a pack of fox hounds; as most live in large packs, it is not a breed that is often seen on the end of a lead in the local park.

So, whether you agree with the sport or not is neither here nor there, but I was curious to come across this old hunting horn yesterday in one of our local charity shops. It was sitting in the window and I just couldn’t resist having a closer look.  I wonder if this find is a direct result of the hunting ban that came into effect a while ago?  Have our local gentry finally given up Fighting the Ban to throw out their wares to the local charity shops?  It cost me the grand sum £3.50 and I have spent over an hour cleaning it up.

My youngest however has had the most pleasure form it – much to everyone’s dislike.  Having said that, the quality of the sound he achieved was so impressive, David is now looking in the paper for local trumpet lessons. It is a lengthy piece, measuring three feet in total and one of the brass rings state Made in England. If it said anything else I probably would have left it alone and gone for the bird box instead. The shop assistant, however, thought I was mad, when I said that I wanted to clean it up and try it out, stating that I would get more for it if I sold it on Ebay for scrap. That indeed may be the case, but I am curious to find out more about this unusual ‘instrument’.  Furthermore, I am going to have so much fun with it. Perhaps I could use it to round up my family for tea, or to get their attention during an episode of Ben 10 (no easy feat) or better still, hide in a thicket early one foggy morning and use it to confuse the local Hunt thus putting them off the scent in our Village and therefore avoid the need to clean up after their dogs and horses if they ever came through. I wonder if the Parish Council would be interested in entertaining that one?

More likely I may find myself in trouble with the local primary as Alex has plans already to take it into school next week for a ‘show and tell.’ I can just see the note in his bag at the end of the day kindly requesting,

‘The Hunt is banned and now too is your son’s horn.  Please bring his recorder to the next music lesson. ‘