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Hadleigh: Hundreds turn out to support the hunt

PUBLISHED: 13:24 26 December 2012

The Essex and Suffolk Hunt in Hadleigh.

The Essex and Suffolk Hunt in Hadleigh.

Archant

HUNDREDS of people turned out this morning to uphold the Boxing Day tradition of following the hunt.

Crowds converged on Holbecks Park in Hadleigh from 10.30am to watch the Essex and Suffolk Hunt as it set off on its annual festive jaunt across 25 miles of the counties’ open countryside.

Fears that the popular event might have to be cancelled following persistent heavy rain during the past few days proved unfounded as the sun shone and provided ideal conditions for participants and spectators.

Police put a traffic order in place around the park this year to cope with the volume of vehicles travelling to the event.

Among the spectators were people of all age groups including families who had travelled several miles to help keep the tradition alive. Caroline Wilmot, who has been supporting the hunt for nearly 20 years said: “I don’t really think many people who come out to watch the Hadleigh hunt think about the whole political message or the ideas behind hunting. I personally follow the hunt because I love dogs and horses and I think it’s a wonderful tradition to come out in the fresh air on Boxing Day and take advantage of our lovely countryside.”

Around 50 horses rode out with the hunt at Hadleigh this year and organisers say membership is booming.

MP Therese Coffey has refused to apologise after questioning why police kept Orwell Bridge closed for eight hours following a fatal accident.

Eight fans were arrested by police after trouble broke out among a small group of football supporters at the end of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road in Ipswich.

A new Chief Fire Officer is being recruited to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) – on a £140,000 per year salary.

A 21-year-old man was treated for stab wounds after being robbed in Colchester’s Greenstead Estate on Saturday evening.

A woman was treated for severe hypothermia by coastguard volunteers after entering the sea at Pakefield.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is publicly supporting London Fire Brigade’s campaign to ask people to stop using the outdated term ‘fireman’.

A children’s book set along the banks of the river Orwell was brought to life during a marathon reading hosted at a Suffolk sailing club marking 80 years since it was published.

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