Nurstead Court 2011
On 2nd January 2011 the Working Section held their first meet of the year at Nurstead Court, Meopham, Kent by kind permission of Guy Edmeades-Stern. This is a venue that the Bolebrook Beagles, who regularly help us through the season, also use.
A giant hole that had appeared overnight in the middle of Meopham caused a few members some problems in finding a way through the back lanes to join the other draggers.
For the first line of the day all the hounds were let off at the same time but chaos ensued. We gave them all the benefit of the doubt quoting the Christmas break and the lack of drags since the beginning of December.
The grassland that we run the lines on is also used for the Cross Country phase of the equine sport of eventing, so the turf provides a superb surface for the hounds to run on. For all but the first and last run of the day the pack of 28 hounds was split into 2 groups.
We had been joined by 3 beagles who regularly visit the venue when their owners see to their horses. This did not prove to be an advantage to them although they did enjoy having some company whilst they ran.
We also had three new draggers out for the first time, Chance & Bella Ayres-Cousins and Benson Matthews-Talbot. Chance got the hang of it and was often running the line well but his companion couldn’t work out why she had to run too! A couple of regulars, Kermit Scott and Bryn Richmond produced some very good performances, although Kermit did get a little distracted by a small wood that proved more interesting than the aniseed line.
We also had a few youngsters out and looking to join the pack; Maddie Forbes and Polly Ambridge ran some promising lines and both have housemates who drag but they were happy to go out on their own and have a go.
For 2 of the lines we moved to the top of the hill on to a young crop of rape. The going was very sticky as two of our line layers, Kore Antonsen and David Barber, found out when they had to carry half of the field on their boots. Luckily we were able to move back to the grass to end the day.
Once all the beagles had been gathered in, many of the members drove in convoy through the narrow lanes, avoiding the large hole in the road, to enjoy a sumptuous high tea at the kind invitation of Tessa and Donald Forbes. It gave everybody a chance to catch up on holiday news over a plate of chilli con carne and many generously donated puddings and cakes.