Hunting News

From the Summer  2003 issue of Nobbut Torver magazine.

The Nobbut

I spark along the slinky becks 
And growl the pebbles into place. 
I chase the bullheads in the fesh, 
Skip up and down the watery race 

On frosty moonlit nights I glint 
To catch the chilly windy grass, 
Slick rushes in the Meerie Beck, 
Dig nuggets in the black morass. 

In Torver Tarn I scoff my fill 
Of slimy perch and toothy pike, 
Drill burrows in the leaky dam, 
Draw frothy lines in the blowy night. 

I grimp and slitter up Dow Crag 
To lap the woolly dewy cloud, 
Glissade the frozen beck from Blind 
Tarn up the quarry road. 

All brackens on the common land 
I split and plant and propagate, 
Set fire the gorse, rip out the sap- 
lings, bleach the sheep-skulls in the peat. 

But in the belching sprouting spring 
I hop and howl from dark till day, 
Tramp teeth to tail in coven ground, 
Spawn baby nobbuts underground. 

Well, the nobbut hunting season is just around the corner and with foot & mouth now well behind us, the Torver Nobbut Hounds are fit and fat and raring to go.  Our first meet of the new season will, as ever, take place on the ‘Magnificent 12th’ and we’ll gather as usual in the car park behind The Church House Inn at 0800 sharp for The Tipple and speeches .

The Awa’ will sound at 0830 hours.

 Huntsmen are reminded that full thrussocks should be worn on the opening day and participants are asked to note that the traditional Tranearth Green only is acceptable.  There has been an unfortunate tendency in recent years for some of our younger members to appear in thrussocks in a variety of colours and members should note that plum coloured thrussocks may only be worn when accompanied by a beige throblyn.  (Throblyns are worn from the LEFT shoulder to crotch – Please Note.)

Members are reminded that naggling irons have been banned under EU directive 1771/2002 (Welfare of Wild Animals / Unacceptable Practices) and anyone found using an iron will be dismissed from the hunt  without  appeal. Traditional hemp & spligot naggling only please.

Sir John Throbb, our excellent Master of Nobbut Hounds reports that the hounds are in fine fettle after a good closed season.  Breeding has gone well with fourteen good whelps added to the kennel.  He is particularly proud to introduce Bertie (kennel name: Jinglebert Humpadog - shown left) as having perhaps the finest ears of any nobbut hound since the great Bannishead Bob of long and dear memory.

About Nobbut Hunting

For those not familiar with the ancient Torver & District sport of nobbut hunting, unlike the foxhound which is bred for its keen sense of smell, the nobbut hound has been bred over many generations for its extraordinary hearing.  This is because the nobbut (colloquial name) has very few scent glands and can only be detected at any distance by its high pitched squeal  emitted at around 105 kHz in the ultrasonic range of frequencies.  Almost all of today’s nobbut hounds are descended from Bannishead Bob, lead hound of the Torver kennels in the 1880’s, who lived to the ripe old age of 18 years and whose remains lie on the fell above the village.  Visitors can see the cairn which marks his resting place high on the hill to the west of the Torver motorway (A593 south of the village).

We have been most fortunate that because of the relative obscurity of nobbut hunting and its exclusive localisation to the Torver area, our sport has been overlooked in the formulation of the pernicious anti-hunt bill presently going through parliament.  It may also be due in some part to the ferocious nature of nobbuts which discourages the cuddly bunny fraternity from taking much interest in their supposed welfare.  Members of the public are strongly advised not to approach a nobbut should they be fortunate enough to see one but to contact the Hunt straight away and a team of experts will be dispatched to naggle it.

Good hunting  and  Awa ye Nob’t


Following tradition the hunt will meet on the 1st & 3rd Fridays and every other Tuesday plus Michaelmas, St Luke’s, St John the Evangelist’s and All Saints unless local weather forecasts are unfavourable.  Please note that in 2004 the Circumcision and Epiphany hunts (Jan. 1st & 6th) will depart from Hummers Lane or Tranearth depending on prevailing winds.  All other venues as listed in the handbook with ‘Tipples’ one hour after sun-up and the Awa’ to sound half-an-hour thereafter.  Please bring a packed lunch.

NB:    Some readers have complained that they have been unable to spot the nobbut in the ‘A Nobbut in its natural habitat’ photograph (above).  It is really very simple.  From a point adjacent to and slightly westward of the second tree to the right, pan left and upward diagonally approximately 32mm whilst leaning to windward.   The nobbut is then behind you.        Ed.