The First Runs

The newly formed club appointed George Lidiard as captain and held their first run on Saturday 4th November 1882 from the Duke of Cumberland in North Ferriby (the old Duke stood just in front of the present building and was demolished when its replacement was built in the 1920s). The members turned out for this first of countless runs, starting up the hill to Swanland.

From there they crossed the fields to Welton Dale, passed through Waudby, along the track to Braffords Farm, Raywell and then started back by way of Swanland Mill (which stood opposite the northern end of Woodgates Lane) to Ferriby. The distance covered was estimated to be ten miles and much of this route is, of course, familiar running terrain for many of today's club membership.

Eleven members turned out for the club's second run, this time from the old Railway Inn, Cottingham on 23rd November 1882 (the old pub stood more or less on the site of the present building). Runs usually followed the harrier tradition in that two hares set off about ten to fifteen minutes ahead of the pack carrying bags of paper with which to lay a trail. They were then followed, depending on numbers, by anything up to three packs; respectively fast, medium and slow. The last mile was usually a hell for leather affair in which Lidiard generally came home first with Merrikin not far behind. The trail, that second run, was laid up Castle Hill and across the fields to Harland Rise. There the chasing pack lost the scent – the paper trail - but after a short search picked it up leading in the direction of Skidby Mill. This took them across country to Burn Park where they lost their way once more. When they finally found it again they headed through a plantation in the direction of Beverley where they turned along the highway to Cottingham and home. The pack had left at 2.40 pm and arrived back at 5pm, some twenty-four minutes after the hares. The distance covered was reported to be about twelve miles.

The club carried out a number of runs from different pubs in the district over the remainder of the season. In February 1883, for example, they covered an estimated eighteen miles in a run from the Marquis of Granby in Hessle. The hares set off that day at 3.15pm and laid a trail across the fields to Spring Head then on towards Haltemprice. At this point two members of the chasing pack got stuck in a broad drain and much time was lost extricating them. The chase then continued towards Willerby and Kirkella, across some rough country to Raywell Wood and on to Rowley and Weedley before cutting back by Brafford to Westella. From there the trail led across the fields to Humber Dale where all bar three of the pack turned for home. This trio followed the trail on to Swanland, taking the highway to the top of Ferriby Hill, before making their way down to the Duke of Cumberland in Ferriby for refreshments and the run back to Hessle. They returned to the Granby at 6.45pm, half an hour after the hares.

In March they had another epic run in the form of a twenty miler from the Ship Inn in Hedon. This time the runners passed through Swine, North Skirlaugh and Coniston. At one stage the hares, who were in danger of being caught, got away by darting in through the front door of a cottage and out of the back. One runner was injured by a spike but all got safely back to the pub by 7.15 pm.