At this time of year, the Gazette reports on the various Hunts taking place locally. Tiverton Beagles feature most weeks and at the beginning of January 1924, they describe the Meets they held over the Christmas period. They were invited to join the Otter Vale Beagles and there is a detailed description of the route they took close to Cotleigh. Nearer to home they visited Bradford, near Halberton and on Boxing Day were welcomed at Washfield.
In the 1920s, hunting played a big part in Mid Devon Life. On the same page of this edition of the Gazette were reports from the Culmstock Otterhounds and Tiverton Foxhounds. Hunting is, of course, today a very controversial topic, but it was an important part of rural life. It continues today but within the confines of the law passed in 2004.
The Museum houses several artefacts related to hunting.
This photo of the Tiverton Beagles was taken in 1924. Hunting for hares with beagles dates from the early 15th century and was a favourite pastime of Queen Elizabeth l. The hunt took place mainly on foot.
In 1950, this photo shows the Tiverton Foxhounds crossing Exe Bridge.
This hunting jacket has a tale to tell. It was made in the 1950s by Windsor’s of Exeter. It’s owner then emigrated to Australia and ripped the lining out as the weather was too hot. The green collar is from the Hunter Valley Hunt, New South Wales.
It is unusual these days not to find the answer to your question by a Google search, however ‘Windsor’s of Exeter’ was elusive. Phone directories and the newspapers provided the answer. Founded in Newton Abbot in 1888, the Exeter shop opened in Sidwell Street in 1930. Destroyed in the blitz, Arthur Windsor and his son moved the business to temporary accommodation first in Queen Street and then in Eastgate before finally securing a permanent home in Princesshay. They were known variously as Oufitters, Breeches’ Makers and Sportsmen’s Tailors.
Written by Museum Volunteer, Sue B