‘It’s the thing to do on Boxing Day’ - thousands flock to town for traditional hunt
- Credit: Andrew Atterwill
Thousands lined the streets of Bungay as a traditional Boxing Day Hunt returned to the town.
More than 3,000 people filled the town centre for the annual Waveney Harriers meet.
About 40 riders gathered in Earsham Street and received a welcome from the crowd – who chatted with riders and enjoyed the army of Harriers milling around.
However not everyone in the crowd was cheering the riders on. A small group of anti-hunt protesters from the Norfolk and Suffolk Hunt Saboteurs staged a peaceful protest.
Master of the hunt Chris McDaniel said the tradition seems to grow each year.
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The 60-year-old said: 'I've hunted with the Harriers since I was seven; it's always been a big tradition.
'I think it's a tradition people like to see. It's a bit of a spectacle after Christmas for the town and people like to show their support.
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'People like to come out and see the horses and hounds – it's the thing to do on Boxing Day.'
Mr McDaniel added: 'It always surprises me every year how many people come out– the atmosphere is amazing.'
One of the protesters Margaret Rose, said: 'After the parade when everyone sees the glitz and glamour the hunt goes on. We are trying to save the animals.'
She added: 'Some traditions just need to end.'
Many parents brought young children along to catch a glimpse of the parade.
Nicola Ellis was in the crowd with her two-year-old daughter Ellie and said: 'My sister used to ride in the hunt so we always come down as a family.
'I've come so she (Ellie) can see all the horses and dogs.'
Former town councillor Jane Paul was also one of the many enjoying the festive fun.
She said: 'I had mixed feelings when they actually hunted things but now they aren't allowed to hunt anything.
'It's a local spectacle to a lot of people like to come and watch.
'I tend to bring visitors who have never seen a hunt – it's interesting for people to see what happens.
'I think Bungay is a very traditional town and am happy it has maintained its local traditions.'