The Dovecote Inn Laxton Newark Notts NG22

Linda and I are the tenants of a busy, award winning, rural pub restaurant in the unique rural village of Laxton. Taking over the Dovecote Inn in May of 2007 we soon discovered the joy of hosting at least one meet each season of The Grove and Rufford Hunt. It was through this association with the hunt that we became good friends with James Barclay in his capacity of Joint Master.
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In December of 2012, James popped in to see us to discuss a plan to celebrate his last season as Joint Master, and his thoughts on how The Grove & Rufford Hunt could also thank everyone involved during the season, from land owners to supporters as well as trying to raise some money for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance.

“My plan” he announced in true Barclay fashion (gripping a small glass of finest malt) “is to combine the last meet, which will be held at The Dovecote Inn, with a Countryman’s Day”. Well I had to agree it sounded quite exciting, not at this stage realising the enormity of the task we were about to embark upon.

After several days of procrastination/deliberation and little progress we started to talk to customers and friends about the planned event and within days we had lots of suggestions and ideas for activities, this was soon followed by groups and individuals contacting us to partake in the day. Needless to say however that the three months leading up to the event were probably the most stressful ever witnessed at The Dovecote.

Saturday 15t March 2102, a glorious sunny day, The Grove and Rufford Hunt and supporters arrived in their droves.

As the hunt left the car park for the final time in the season the Countryman’s day commenced with falcon and gun dog displays, vintage tractors and terrier racing to name but a few. The day all too soon came to a natural end but many folk remained to continue with the merriment well into the evening.

After a well deserved drink or two James and I agreed that next year will be “Bigger and Better”, how alcohol can soon sooth away the anguish and stress that I have just agreed to burden myself with again in 2013!

Mach 16 2013, what a contrast!! Damp and light rain.

Bigger, certainly with a huge marquee and 30 craft stalls, bucking bronco, bar, hog roast, live band and a full list of outside attractions.  Better, well not the weather, but the crowds were greater the buzz and atmosphere amazing and the evening of dancing and merriment amazing. Needless to say 2014 County Day at The Dovecote is already at the planning stage.

Sincere thanks to everyone involved in our Country Day at The Dovecote, of which there are too many to name (you all know who you are) but special thanks to James, The Grove and Rufford Hunt and Supporters.

David Brown

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