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Tale of the Warship Hounds- Golden Valley Hunt

A tale of  ‘The Warship Hounds’ – Golden Valley Lightning and Golden Valley Lively from Richard Parnall’s History of the Golden Valley Hunt

During the summer of 1946 a young Naval Officer, whose parents were friends of Mrs. Riddell, who lived at The Moor, Nr. Hay-on-Wye, called on her for advice. He owned a couple of two-year old fox hounds which had arrivedas puppies but had now grown too large to keep in a battleship – what should he do with them? Mrs. Riddell, a great supporter of the Golden Valley Hunt, told him to take the hounds to Vivian Bishop at Sheepcote.

It transpired that when on leave in 1944 the young man, visited a farmhouse in Carmarthenshire, and there they gave him two puppies. He called them Lightning and Lively, after the battleships, and they spent the subsequent two years on board ship. A handy pair to “Enter” as they had never seen even a mouse! However, after a few weeks into the 194647 Season they “Entered,” and became top-class foxhounds, and many of the Golden Valley hounds today, are descendants of Lightning.

After about three Seasons the Carmarthenshire Hunt heard the story and asked for them to be returned. Their dam, Carmarthen Lorna, was one of their best bitches, and their sire Carmarthen Bertram. Apparently the Carmarthen had put one or two bitches out with farmers during the war, so that they would have a few young hounds when they were able to start hunting again. It was sad to part with them but, in all fairness, one could not refuse the request.

Convention dictates that hounds take their prefix from the pack in which they “Enter” regardless of where they were bred. However, the Carmarthenshire Hunt re-registered them as Carmarthen. and changed Lightning’s name to Carmarthen Bellman. He became a famous Stallion Hound – and visited many packs, including travelling to Southern Ireland. During his 9th Season he visited the Pytchley, and we were told that he led the pack until lunch-time, and was then taken home in a Rolls-Royce!’ So, if you read of Carmarthen Bellman you will know that he was really Golden Valley Lightning, and is in the Kennel Stud Book under both names.


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