6 September 2017: It is with tremendous sadness that I have to give the news that dear Ron passed away peacefully last night. Those of you who have followed him on his FB page will know that he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends. Ron's website 'Lakeland Hunting Memories' will remain active in perpetuity as his legacy to the sporting traditions and social history of the Lake District.
Gone2Ground Books was created by Ron Black and Wendy Fraser in 2011 after they had successfully published a few books based on Ron's personal experiences as a boy brought up in Ambleside, in the Lakeland District of Cumbria (UK). Ron's books describing the social life and history of the region were produced from the pages of his popular website, Lakeland Hunting Memories, created by Wendy in 2008.
Ron writes: "Recently I was told that 95% of Lakeland was unexplored in an archaeological sense. With the abolition of Fox Hunting in 2005 there was a slight chance that places and structures associated with fox hunting would in the fullness of time join them, lost in time and memory.
"It was with this in mind that I began to compile material for my website. It is not my intention for it to glorify or be used as propaganda for or against hunting, but simply to record associations with a 'sport' traditional to Lakeland for over 300 years.
"I am a native Lakelander with roots going back to 1700, the 4th generation to follow hounds, with ancestors who stood on the cold tops at dawn, moved the heavy Lakeland stone to free trapped terriers and also 'carried the horn' on occasions. I hope this site is of interest to you. Hunting will not come back in the foreseeable future, perhaps not at all, but for three hundred years hunting and the church were the central thread to many communities. This is a part of the story."
As far as we are aware this will be the first book about Joe Bowman, “Auld Hunty”, legendary huntsman to the Ullswater Foxhounds, since W. G. Skelton. Using newspaper reports and other source material the book attempts to give an insight into Joe Bowman, the life he led and the country he loved. Considered to be second only to the fabled huntsman John Peel, his fame spread worldwide.
"Chappie" - Anthony Chapman, a Lakeland huntsman, followed by many, respected by all. Here is another title to add to Ron's stable of carefully researched books, giving us first hand insights into the career of another Lakeland legend during the years of 1915 to 1982.
A moving and sensitive account, using contemporary material of that time, of the selection and training of horses and mules at the Lathom Remount Depot (UK). Before crossing the English Channel to engage in battle some of them had already traversed the Atlantic by boat having been through the selection process in North America.
Braithwaite "Brait" Wilson was appointed whipper-in to the Ullswater Foxhounds in 1911, aged 26, having followed hounds most of his life. His agility and swift-footedness soon earned him the nickname of 'The Flying Whip'. However, his military service during WWI and later life have always been an enigma, but Ron's account using contemporary reports, begins to throw some light on this.
Part Two of a planned trilogy mapping the history of the Cumbrian (UK) Ullswater Foxhounds using contemporary reports and featuring hunstmen George Salkeld, Joe Bowman, Braithwaite Wilson, Joe Wear and Anthony Barker. This is a collection of contemporary hunting reports and other 'doings', each one unique in its own way and a window through which can be viewed a world now long gone.
This book attempts to tell the story of Robert ‘Bobby’ Troughton, 1835-1912, and his reknowned pack of Otter Hounds, using material written at the time. Bobby was a remarkable man. In a time of poverty and hardship, he achieved fame but not perhaps great fortune, leaving a legacy of the buildings and bridges he built which are still visible in Kendal today.
The story of the Ullswater Foxhounds and their formation, with the usage of newspaper and other reports written at the time, takes the reader from 1863 to 1913. Detailed accounts of meets and runs over the Lakeland fells, interspersed with the author's own accounts and more recent reminiscences of days following hounds, provides the reader with intimate observations of life during those years.
Using material written at the time and original photographs, this book tells the story of the Mardale Hunt and the annual Shepherds' Meet that for centuries took place in the now flooded Mardale valley.
Today, the Lunesdale and Oxenholme Staghounds are consigned to history and for the most part forgotten. The deer they chased, including Lion and Mabel, have gone to that great rutting ground in the sky. The horses, among them White Wine and Lionel, push up the grass instead of grazing it, and the sound of the horn and halloa has been replaced by the rumble of traffic and the high-speed train.
143 pages, 51 traditional songs interspersed with text and amusing anecdotes. Most of the songs in this book have been passed down from generation to generation, each an important part of Lakeland (Cumbria, UK) oral history. Hence there is no conventional spelling, punctuation or grammar for these written versions, many containing words of dialect.