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Long may it last: How hunt clubs have brought people together throughout history *H&H Plus*

Hunt clubs are a tradition that have brought members together throughout the history of hunting. Frank Houghton Brown investigates

The first attempt by parliament to ban field sports was brought to the House of Commons in 1949. It may have been hare coursing and staghunting which was threatened, but many saw it as “the thin end of the wedge”, according to Roger Bennett. On 25 February that year, a group of some 60 farmers from the south-west Midlands, including Roger’s father, came to London to protest.

Many hired horses from Hyde Park and rode down Piccadilly and Regents Street to Hyde Park, before going to the House of Commons to lobby their MPs. They were all in their hunting clothes with banners such as “Farmers’ Protest”.

Recently retired joint-master of the Warwickshire Kim Cockburn, whose father Crosby Cockburn was one of the original protesters, says, “My father didn’t ride that day but walked down alongside and handed out leaflets. There was huge interest from all the shops and taxis and overwhelming support from everyone they encountered.”