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31 December 2012

Boxing Hunt in Neath

Photos and report by Mike Davies
after research on Google


The annual 2012 Banwen miners boxing day hunt took place in Neath  at 11am despite torrential rain showers there was a good turn out to cheer them on their way.

Arrival of the hounds

The Banwen Miners Hunt was formed in 1962-63 on the demise of the old West Glamorgan Hunt and became registered in 1963.

Tom Jones and Tom Hopkins began in that year their long Joint Mastership which lasted until 1976.  Sir David Evans-Bevan Bart, was President and gave the Hunt the lamp-room of the local colliery when it was closed and this became the Hunt Kennels.  The current Hunt Kennels are situated in the seclusion of the forestry at Ty Cornel, Crynant, Neath.

At first the Hunt was wholly run by the inhabitants of the little colliery village of Banwen at the top of the Dulais Valley, although it is now as cosmopolitan as any other hunt: the hunt has kept its reputation of being a 'working man's hunt'.

Welcoming the followers

The hunt ran its first Point-to-Point race in 1976, and this has become an annual feature of the hunt calendar and is currently run at Pentreclwydau, near Resolven, by kind permission of Mr David Pugh.

On 18th February 2005 the Hunting Act 2004 was introduced, which bans hunting a wild mammal with a dog, unless the hunting is exempt.   The Countryside Alliance and the Council of Hunting Associations have a clear strategy to repel the Act through legal challenges and demonstrations that the Act is flawed, ineffective and unworkable. At present it is difficult to forecast how long the challenges will take, but in the meantime The Banwen Miners Hunt intends to continue with legal activities for our hounds and followers.

Keeping the hounds under control

The type of legal activities we have adopted includes exercising hounds, carrying out forms of trail, simulated and mock hunting, cross-country rides etc.   It is intended that these shall be fun activities enjoyable for all members of the family. We have also continued our fallen stock service and we are available to respond to fox predation problems through our call-out service, legally using two hounds backed by a gun.

Throughout Fifty Years of the Hunt's History there has been tremendous support from subscribers, supporters, landowners and farmers.

Horses and riders getting ready outside the Castle Hotel

And they are off.




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