Hardy Family Story (by Perce Hardy, grandson of Embling Hardy)
6. Melbourne Hunt Club

About 1909 the Melbourne Hunt Club commenced hunting in the Clyde District.

Post and rail panels were erected in existing wire fences to allow unimpeded jumping between adjoining paddocks and properties.

On hunting days the whole 'Hunt' would come from "The Kennels" at Oakleigh to Clyde by special train. Men, women, horses, hounds plus great hampers of food and liquid refreshments would be unloaded at the Railway Station.

Almost every resident for miles around would be there to see the "Hunt" move off.

Every conceivable mode of transport was there. Motor cars (mostly from Melbourne) buggies with two horses, jinkers with one, men and boys on horses and ponies, and boys on push bikes and bringing up the rear 20 or more "spring carts" which had carted milk to the station and now loaded with empty cans, followed.

These with the beautifully turned out hunting men in their pink coats and ladies both side saddle and astride on perfectly groomed horses. Together with the pack of hounds under the control of the "Whips" made a very moving sight.

The "Master" (Clive Leonard?) with the head "Huntsman" Fred Payne and Norman Wood on either side leading; the whole cavalcade move off to the first Cover and jumped the first fences.

Some hours later, possibly down at Cardinia Creek, a very much reduced following saw the completion of the "run" and perhaps a "kill".
  Somewhere near to the end would be one or two driven horses in a lather of sweat and perhaps a cart full of rattling milk cans, but nearly always right up with the best were the boys on push bikes.

Scenes of this nature will never be seen at Clyde again.
My father William Hardy was a regular follower of the "Hunt" at Clyde. He owned a quite famous jumping mare named "Cat's Eye".

Back at the Railway Station, "The Hunt" completed and horses and hounds returned to their boxes on the train. The M.H.C would put on a spread of food and refreshments-for members and followers, land owners, men in milk carts and boys on bicycles, which would have to be seen to be believed.

Editor's Notes.

The Hardy History document that has been used on this web-site was provided to us as photocopied version. Why it is a photocopied version is not known.
At the time of the preparation of the booklet 'A Clyde Story', Mervyn Campbell was contacting locals who had a long association with Clyde to gather information about the history of the town, landowners etc. The Hardy  history may have been as a result of his enquiries. The booklet A Clyde Story was assembled by cut and paste methods using hand-typed text. Even though material such as this may have arrived prior to the jubilee celebration of the Clyde Hall and Mechanics Institute, the short time frame for research and the manner in which the booklet was prepared and printed meant that material such as this was not able to be included in the booklet.

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