Rufford Hunt will not be back

THE Grove and Rufford Hunt Ball will not be returning to Retford town centre for the annual Boxing Day Meet.

Coun Wendy Quigley presented the motion on the grounds it would help boost tourism and trade in the town.

But the proposal was met with fierce opposition from the room at Monday night’s budget meeting.

Coun Ivor Jones said: “I never thought it would come under this chamber again.”

“How men, women, boys and girls can sit on a horse and kill a defenceless animal until it’s ripped apart, and then say it’s going to bring tourism back into Bassetlaw - you are running an animal to death.” The annual Boxing Day meet attracted more than 2,000 people to Bawtry last year, councillors heard.

And coun Annette Simpson added: “Having hunted when I was younger, it’s actually illegal to do what people have been told today.”

“I have been on mock hunts and it’s terrific, it’s fantastic to get out with the horses and dogs and hunt across the country.”

“We were in Bawtry on Boxing Day and it was the most fantastic atmosphere.”

But coun Ian Campbell maintained it was inhumane.

“I wasn’t going to speak on this issue but I felt I had to after some of the comments,” he said.

“I do not want Retford to be known for the hunt. We can come up with some better ideas for Retford and Bassetlaw.”

Coun Wendy Quigley said she wanted to encourage more people to see what a lovely town Retford is. She added: “People do not hunt foxes - how many more times do we have to say it?”

“It’s a spectacle to bring back an old tradition. I wish people would support this we have got shops closing and we need to bring life back to our town.”