THE CLUB’s HISTORY by Carol West
North Midlands & Eastern Counties Cocker Spaniel Club was first registered with the Kennel Club in 1948 and held its first show in 1949 the secretary of the club at the time of its inception as noted in the Kennel Club Stud book was Mr E Reid Smith.
At the clubs’ Annual General Meeting of 1950, the following were elected to serve the club – President Dr Mary Bell; Chairman Mr Arthur Mansfield; Vice Chairman Mr L S Wall; Hon Treasurer Mr Howell Jones and Secretary Mr R C Vanter. The committee consisted of – Mr H Paulson; Mr J Biddles; Mr E Ellis; Mr Medcalf; Mr H A Strong; Mr A Wain; Mrs D Howell Jones; Mrs R C Vanter; Mrs A Mansfield; Mrs L S Wall; Mr G Marsh; Miss Vi Hollingshead; Miss P Creamer; Miss E H Adams. The Club also had county representatives – Miss H. E Grewcock-Lincs; Mr J B Taylor- Leicestershire; Mr D L Page-Staffs; Mr T Hodgkinson – East Nottinghamshire and Mr Wagstaff – North West Nottinghamshire.
The Club soon became well known for it’s monthly match meetings where well known judges such as Mr Arthur Mansfield (Lucklena), Mrs Jones (Margolyn) attracted entries of around 50 to 60 dogs. These match meetings were held at the Blue Ball Hotel at Risley and soon became very popular as a monthly social event as well as a match. Very often, after the match a guest speaker would be invited to talk about matters of interest to the breeders and exhibitors who attended the match meetings from all over the midlands.
The club hosted a 14 class Members Specialist non radius Sanction Show on 16th September 1950 at The Blue Ball Hotel, Risley, and attracted 63 exhibits making 183 entries. The judge elect was Miss L Turner (Oldham) and she awarded Best in Show to the blue roan dog Jaycee Marxedeson.
16TH December 1950 a 14 class Limit show confined to members was held, the judge Mrs Gwen Broadley (Sandylands) made the very famous red bitch Solinda of Traquair Best in Show. Prize money was paid out at the show for 1st to 3rd, £1, 10/- and 5/-.
On 29th September 1951 the club held a show where the judge elect, Mrs V Lucas-Lucas (Sixshot) found her best in show in Lochranza Lisbon Story, best dog was Lochranza Lawbreaker.
The 21st November 1951 was the date for the first annual dinner and Social event which was held at Grange Farm, Toton, Chilwell, Notts. Tickets were in great demand and cost 12/6d. This event proved to be very popular and became an annual event.
8th December 1951 saw another Sanction Show held at Risley, the judge at this event was Mrs E B Russell, there were 68 exhibits making and entry of 166. She found her best in show and best dog in the blue roan Springbank Covenmore Silver Flare and best bitch was the red Post Early of Dudleydene.
On 31st May 1952 a 28 class open show was held at The Paddock, Derby Racecouse. Lady Helen Berry was the judge and from an entry of 232 made by 83 exhibits. Best In Show was Mae Bullivants Derrydale Glencora Blue Cap. Best opposite Sex was S. Gray’s Renbank Allure and best puppy was Mrs P S Moaby’s Nameless Domino (litter brother to Colinwood Son of a Gun).
The Club regularly organised coach trips to shows and in February 1953 organised a luxury coach to Crufts. The return fare was £1 and this included a hot meal on the return journey, dogs travelled free.
A Special Coronation open show was held on 16th May 1953 with a special Coronation Consolation Class offering a prize to each exhibit entered The venue was again at the Paddock, Derby Racecourse. The judge was Mr G H Dance (Cartref) and the profits from this show were donated to the Animal Health Trust Fund. A record entry of 315 was recorded. The mayor and Mayoress of Derby (Coun. & Mrs T Dennis) attended the show, the Chairman’s daughter Valerie Biddles presented the Mayoress with boquet. Miss J Macmillan black bitch Lochranza Eldwythe Enchanter was best in show. Mrs Robertsons Nostrebor Riverbank Rogue was best dog and best puppy in show. A children’s handling class was held and there were 29 entries, each receiving a prize from the bran tub. The Special Coronation Consolation Class attracted and entry of 49, again each entrant receiving a prize from the bran tub.
The final show of 1953 was held on 28th November, it was a 14 class Sanction show and the judge was Mrs W de Casembroot. There were113 entries and she found her best in show in Minx of Montalex and best dog was The Blue Admiral, with best puppy going to Dollis Hill Migrant.
At the show on 18th June 1955 Mrs Grigson, the judge, attracted an entry of 288. Best in show going to Mrs Golds Penrosa of Oxshott and best opposite sex awarded to Mrs Clarksons Colclare Coronet.