Albrighton & Woodland Hunt

The Albrighton Woodland Hunt (The South)

 

In 1908, growing urbanisation made it impractical to hunt the country as a whole and it was decided to divide the Albrighton pack into Northern and Southern portions. The Southern portion was established as the Albrighton Woodland Hunt.

The division in fact compares very nearly with the old Shifnal and Enville countries respectively. Captain James Foster presented the pack to the newly formed Committee of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt in 1916.

In the early years the Master of the Albrighton Hunt was also Master of the Albrighton Woodland. This practice came to an end in 1920. Since then, the AWH has had its own Masters and Committee. In more recent times a small group of experienced former Masters are appointed by the Committee to be trustee owners of the hounds to ensure that traditional bloodlines are maintained. Recent huntsmen include Norman Stubbings, Nigel Cox and Austin James; who later went on to become Master huntsman of the West Somerset Vale. Our pack has also been hunted by a number of our Masters including Roy Tatlow (before he moved to the Clifton-upon-Teme Hunt) and Trevor Adams MFH (before he went to the Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt). One of our present Masters, Peter Swann MFH has since 2002 continued this tradition of hounds being hunted by a Master huntsman.

In 2001, that terrible disease foot and mouth hit the country around Chaddesley Corbett and all activities with horses and hounds ceased immediately. Hounds were confined to the kennels for nearly 18 months and during this time the Masters reduced expenditure and staff found jobs elsewhere to help with finances whilst still preserving the hunt's infrastructure.

Hunting returned after the country was declared free of foot & mouth and once again the many farmers and landowners welcomed us back to their land.

The next major milestone was the coming into force on 18 February 2005 of the Hunting Act 2004. This unpopular and ill informed piece of legislation did nothing to promote animal welfare but instead pandered to prejudice providing some “red meat” for the then Government’s backbenchers and more radical supporters.

Along with the hunting community across the country, the AWH rose to the challenge and found new ways of providing sport, entertainment to followers as well as a fox control service to farmers - all within the law. Numbers of riders wanting to try hunting for themselves for the first time increased. Amid the hoo-ha that the act would see hounds confined to kennels, we found new ways of enjoying the spectacle and exhilaration of following a pack of hounds across the beautiful English countryside. Long may it continue.

In 2008 we celebrated our centenary marked by a number of events and the publication of a book depicting the history of the hunt in photographs. Increasing pressures on country with increased urbanisation meant that is on it’s own the Albrighton Woodland’s future looked uncertain. In 2013 the Albrighton Woodland amalgamated with its former bed fellows the Albrighton.

That’s quite a trial separation, 105 years!

Former Masters of the
Albrighton
Woodland Hunt

Colonel Gouldburn 1908-10
Lieutenant Colonel Gusset Mayall 1910-19
E H Smith 1919-20
Major W Harcourt Webb 1920-22
W Marsh 1922-28
Viscount Cobham 1928-50
Captain A R Bache 1946-54
A C Cope 1946-58
J Dix 1958-59
J B Shearer 1959-62
L Rowe 1959-68
A E Barnett 1968-70
A G Farrow 1968-77
J R Orchard 1968-77
J D Marsh 1977-79
Miss A D Bissell 1977-80
Robert Paskin 1979-82
P B Williams 1979-84
Mrs P B Williams 1982-84
F C Pauli 1979-85
Miss S J Edwards 1984-85
Mrs W G Jordan 1984-86 (acting 1985-86)
Mrs G K Wheeler 1984-86 (acting 1985-86)
D A Lowe (acting) 1985-86
Mr & Mrs T Adams 1986-89
R Tatlow (acting) 1989-90
Mrs. B W Coles 1990-92
B W Coles 1990-93
L A E Strong 1992-93
Mrs L A E Strong 1992-94
R T Follis 1993-99
Miss N K Wheeler 1993-99
M Mallard 1993-99
Mrs D Lawrence 1993-99
Mrs H C Sheppard 1999-02
Miss K Turner 1999-02
P R Swann MFH 2002-12
Mrs A Drew 2010-12
Miss T Pope 2010-12
B Thompson 2010-12
Capt H A Vere Nicoll 2012
Miss K Farmer 2012-13
C J Rogers 2012-13