Welsh Hunting Angling Trapping etc

These stamps promoted the 1912 Welsh Hunting, Angling, Trapping, Shooting, Coursing and Allied Blood Sports meeting at Builth Wells, on the Grug Estate of Lord Jones-Wynn-Jones. Held every three years this meeting used to be one of the highlights of the rural Welsh from all tiers of life, from landowners whose estates provided targets, the participants, the spectators, and of course the casual worker who could earn a few shillings from the menial tasks offered by the various events.

The stamps were a set of 5, featuring four of the more popular sports, and the cannons used for the opening ceremony (Gold stamp). Note how all the worthies, some on horseback are careful to stand not too close to the cannons, nor directly behind them.

Puffin Spearing. (Green) Surprisingly this was not confined to those meets which took place on rocky coasts. For inland estates the ground would be prepared by the importation of several thousand puffins a few days in advance, to a large lake. The puffins would be enticed by lures that float just below the surface and resembling pilchards.

The Crow Shoot. (Purple) This shoot normally took place near a large rookery in order to provide plenty of birds, but these are usual boosted by the release of others just before the flag is dropped. The stamp shows the winner of the 1909 competition, Iorwerth Jones (no relation) of Bala with 144 crows and rooks bagged. For this he was awarded the “Sixpenny Crown”, the significance of this will be revealed later.

Badgering. (Blue) In the old days before bovine TB and animal rights protests badgers were welcomed on farms and estates, where they provided both food and recreation. Their short legs and stocky build means badgers are not up for much of a chase and this was traditionally a ladies event. The ladies set off in chase and on catching one up they will tackle the animal before it can turn and defend itself. It is finished off with a deft knife stroke to the back of the neck. On the stamp, note the bustles on the ladies. These are specially designed to carry their catch.

The Squirrel Range. (Maroon) The competitors would be lined up with their guns loaded and fingers ready on the trigger while their ‘spotters’ were ready using telescopes to help locate the targets. Hazelnuts would be scattered across the firing range, and gradually the squirrels would venture down and start to nibble. The skill was not just aim, but knowing when the maximum numbers of squirrels were feeding; usually in excess of 500. One person would make the decision to be first to fire, and within a second every other marksman would be firing away.

Additionally all the event finalists were presented with a special personalised proof stamp featuring their own event. The organisers also awarded themselves a proof stamp each too. It did not go unnoticed by the competitors that the organisers got the gold coloured stamp and these had more ornate edges!

It should be remembered that this event was not just a killing spree. All those creatures shot, trapped, hooked or whatever, were used as food later, with the bulk going to local orphanages giving the children a rich source of protein and fats for the next three months or more. Remember the old nursery rhyme ‘Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye. Four and twenty black birds baked in a pie’. Twenty-four rooks would be used to fill a big pie, while other twenty-four lives ones would be added for when the pie was cut. And they would fly out to the delight the children. Hence the Sixpenny Crown for the man whose ‘bag’ provided enough rooks for 6 whole pies.

195 199  196 201  197 200  198 202  199 203

200 SK277p

Welsh Hunting, Angling, Trapping etc

SK NumberTypeDescription
277199Puffin Spearing - algal green
277dPuffin spearing hirsute diabolo
277pPuffin spearing competitors' proof
278200Crow shoot - corvid purple
278pCrow shoot competitors' proof
279201Badgering - slate grey
279dBadgering - fidgety badger diabolo
279pBadgering competitors' proof
280202Squirrel range - pine pink
280pSquirrel range competitor’s proof
281203Opening ceremony cannons - cannonball gold
281pOpening ceremony organisers' proof

<<Previous Page Next Page>>

Comments are closed.