Quarter-century as huntsman of Ullswater Foxhounds

Date: Monday 12th March 2018
Dennis Barrow
Dennis Barrow

THE death occurred at his home in Glenridding of Dennis Barrow, who served as huntsman of the Ullswater foxhound pack for 25 years and was also well known as a highly successful breeder and trainer of trail hounds. He was 77.

One of the two children of the late Lucy and Herbert Barrow, he was born and raised in Little Langdale. He had a brother, Colin.

The young Dennis attended school in Little Langdale and Ambleside, and after completing his education worked in the slate quarries at Hodge Close and Broughton Moor.

In 1960 he became whipper-in for the Coniston pack, with Anthony Chapman as huntsman, and continued to perform this role for nine seasons.

He met his future wife, Carol, at the the Torver hunt ball in 1965 and the couple were married in 1967. They went on to have two children, Denise and Neil.

After leaving the Coniston pack in 1969, Dennis carried out shepherding work for a couple of years for Matson Ground Farms, Windermere, being based at Braesteads, Patterdale.

He was appointed huntsman of Ullswater Foxhounds in 1971, succeeding the veteran Joe Weir in the role, and went on to perform his duties for the pack until 1996. He was extremely dedicated to his job, spending a great deal of time looking after the hounds, and going out to search for lost ones at all hours of the day and night.

On one occasion he travelled to Liverpool to pick up what was supposedly a missing Ullswater hound, only to find the animal actually belonged to the Eskdale and Ennerdale pack, and on another visited Morecambe to recover an animal which was being kept as a pet, having disappeared a year before.

On the fells, he covered hundreds of miles on foot each season, on one occasion going from Patterdale to Mardale and back twice in one day.

After parting company with the Ullswater pack, Dennis went to live in Longsleddale and worked with an old friend, Peter Martin, doing building and property maintenance jobs, until he suffered a heart attack in 1998. He and Carol moved back to Glenridding in 2002.

Aside from hunting, his other great interest was trail hounds, with his father and an uncle having been keen breeders before him. In those days, before the family had a car, they used to transport their hounds from Little Langdale to trail venues by bus.

Dennis and his daughter Denise worked in partnership breeding and training hounds, and their animals won numerous awards over the years. These included the Hound Trailing Association senior championship in two successive seasons with Huntsman’s Choice III, which might well have gone on to make it three in a row had not all trails been cancelled because of the foot and mouth outbreak.

Other triumphs included junior and senior HTA championships for Jenny’s Rascal — Jenny being the name of Denise’s daughter — and junior titles for Jenny’s Choice and Jenny’s Aura. The latter was also runner-up for last season’s senior championship, with Huntsman’s Major taking the junior honours.

A highly sociable man, Dennis enjoyed attending hound trails at numerous venues, but preferred those over hilly terrain to ones on flatter ground. He particularly enjoyed May Day events at Grange-in-Borrowdale, and the top of Kirkstone.

He is survived by his wife Carol, Glenridding; daughter Mrs. Denise Bland, Deepdale; son Neil, Kendal; and brother Colin, Leicestershire. He had three grandchildren.