Hundreds of spectators filled the streets of Castle Hedingham as the annual Boxing Day hunt returned to the village.

Senior hunt master Simon Fordham led more than 40 riders through the village with the pack of hounds at their heels.

For the past few years the East Essex Hunt has set off from Sible Hedingham but this year chose to gather at The Bell Inn, in Castle Hedingham, for egg nog, mulled wine and mince pies.

Spectator Charlie Bird, 78, of Sudbury Road, said: “It really was quite a magnificent sight.

“There was a very large crowd probably of about 300 people and it was obviously very popular.

“There was no hostility and no demonstrators everyone was really quite supportive and the master of the hunt thanked everyone for their support and for turning up.

“There was a lot of young people there too and it looks as if the hunt does have a good future and is not something that is dying out.”

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