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Willie Irving
Terrierman, Huntsman and Lakelander

Willie Irving was an Ennerdale-bred lad, born into a traditional Cumbrian way of life. After serving as Whipper-in to Willie Porter, he became huntsman of the Melbreak Foxhounds in 1926 and quickly established himself as one of the most popular, successful and charismatic huntsmen the Lake District has ever produced.

One of the founders of the pedigree Lakeland, he was a top breeder for half a century and he bred some of the best-looking and -working terriers in the north though his stock was in demand nationwide.

He was also a champion fell runner, footballer and a first-rate fell-racing coach as well as Secretary to the Hound Trailing Association. Later in life he helped establish the international Hound Trailing Championships at the Lowther Horse Driving Trials.

Full of hunting anecdotes and feats of his hounds and terriers, this book is a delightful and thrilling journey through the life and times of a truly amazing country character.


Author: Sean Frain
ISBN: 978 1 906122 02 7
Published: August 2008
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 224
90 black & white photographs
Price: £17.99

Willie Irving
Willie Irving with Turk of  Melbreak, 1931
Willie Irving with Turk of Melbreak, 1931


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Press reviews

Reviewed in Shooting Gazette in December 2008

'Sean Frain’s account of Willie Irving’s life brilliantly captures the way that country sports were enjoyed in the first half of the 20th century. A fine account of a true countryman.'

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Reviewed in Hounds Magazine in August 2008

This book is a delightful and thrilling journey through the life and times of a truly amazing country character.

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Reviewed in Lancashire Life in October 2008

'A delightful and thrilling journey through the life and times of a truly amazing character.'

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Merlin Unwin Books Ltd, Palmers House, 7 Corve Street, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1DB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1584 877 456    Fax: +44 (0)1584 877 457    Email: books@merlinunwin.co.uk
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