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1909-1950's Melbourne Hunt Club and Clyde

The Melbourne Hunt Club was founded by George Watson in 1853 and moved to its Cranbourne location in 1929. where they were based for 68 years,until they moved to Pakenham in 1997.
The Club provided a place for the elite such as the Governor to mix with the local farming community. Hunts were a highly social affair, especially refreshments at the end of the day.
Hunting in the Clyde area was visible even in the 1950’s

.Perce Hardy comments on The 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.

Newspaper Reports about the Melbourne Hunt Club in Clyde
Local Clyde people took part in this hunt. The Editor has highlighted familiar names from Clyde and district history
The Argus, Monday 28 July 1913

The Melbourne Hounds met at Clyde on Saturday morning at a quarter to 12 o clock, in the absence of the master, Mr N Wood was in charge of the pack It was the best run this year-in fact for several seasons

Game as plentiful from the beginning. A start was made in Mr Twyford s triangular block of ground at Bullarto road but it did not produce anything. The hunters jumped from the road into an open paddock and this place held too many foxes A brace was seen to go towards Tooradin, and an other couple made a break towards the west. To make matters worse a hare made her appearance and strange to say the hounds settled on her. They ran towards Clyde but soon changed their course on to the trail of the fox. This was all in the open and the followers had some severe fences to prove the merits of their horses.

The fox, how ever proved to be an artful dodger and swung left handed across Bullarto road into Mr Twyford's dense cover. He was hard to eject. Once he de cided to "have a go for it" in the open in the direction of Mr Mullin's and Mr Manks's, but the road was between him and this was thronged with  sightsee-ers galloping and running.

No fox in these circumstances would dare lo leave cover so the culprit had no alternative but to go to ground in a burrow. His earth was right in the thickest part of the cover in Mr Twyford's so the acting master decided to try and oust him. The fox was soon cut out of his earth He was a big fox, and it was   decided to let him have another go for his liberty.

This time he made no mistake and went in a manner that clearly indicated that something good was in store The hounds did not travel at an ordinary pace, but fairly raced, and it took something more than the ordinary hunter to keep up with them. After the fox had gone about two miles in a south-easterly direction, the railway double, with a lane on the other side, caught the sight of the followers.

Those fences are noted 'raspers", and are deceptive. However, the majority took them in fine style, and the next thing to do was to catch the hounds who were travelling at top speed. The more the followers travelled towards the Koo wee nip Swamp the worse the going got, till at last was a regular "gluepot". Soon Tooradin was reached after Messrs Bailey's, Kent's, Smith and Manks' properties had been crossed.


This brought the followers out towards the railway line, and the double stood still higher. This time it emptied a few saddles of the hard riding type but little damage was done. All this took time and it meant more hard riding to catch the hounds. They were soon opposite Dalmore railway station on the northern side of the line. The great swamp was then to be seen on the left hand.

The fox never once took to cover and was viewed only 100 yards ahead of the leading hounds on numerous ocasions. After crossing Manks', the fox took to a lane running east for about a mile and never left it. The field could be seen in struggling order along this lane, but it was just as well, for the moist condition of the turf was troublesome to the horses, and if one rider dared to go behind another he was soon covered with thick mud. The fox entered a greatbelt of tea-tree near the Cardinia Creek and was not pursued further. The run occupied 40 or more minutes and covered in the last gallop alone about 11 miles.

Those out enjoying the fun were :- acting  master (Mr Norman Wood) on No Trouble,
Raleigh on Abdul,
Miss Pennefather on Taffy,
Creswick on Lady Revel,
Misses Duff (two) on
Mrs Phillips on Blue Boy,
Mrs Halley on
Mrs Bullock on grey,
Miss Buchanan on
a pony,
Mrs Cam on Garry,
Lord Richard Nevill
on Mogong,
Mr H Lethbridge on Mascot,
Russell Chirnside on Kirby,,
Mr J Brandon on  
Mr T Parker on Souci,
Mr Gus
Stevens on Ariell,
Mr J Lecky on Mermaid,
Mr W Tomlinson on Reform,
Mr W Duff on Silver Prince,
Mr T Duff on Corma,
Mr R Herkes on
Mr J Heggart on Chivalry,
Mr G Kernot
on Captain,
Mr H Maxwell on Chester,
Mr S.
Beasley on Sport,
Mr J Lyall on Whalebone,
K D McKenzie on Dalmore,
Mr T Meades on Riflelock,
Mr S Crooks on Cordite,
Mr H Lyton,
Mr S Peterson,
Mr N Stick, Mr E R Manks,

Mr J Sykes, Mr V Mullin,
Mr J Osborne, Mr
O Martin

Brace - Two foxes, hares or game birds.


1. CA 067 - CEK 10 Appendices - City of Casey Page 6
Article by Graham S. Facey -The Melbourne Hunt Club –A Part of the Cranbourne Community
2. Perce Hardy in an article sent to Merv Campbell. Perce Hardy is a descendant of
Embling Hardy an early settler in Clyde