Parti-Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club

HISTORY OF THE MIDLAND COCKER CLUB

In 1923, Mrs. A. Long sent out an invitation to interested people about forming a Cocker Club. A few kindred spirits met to hear what this lady had in mind. The result was the formation of The Midland Cocker Spaniel Club.

The inaugural meeting took place at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on the 21st of February 1923, when it was proposed that the club should be registered with
The Kennel Club.

The officers of the club in 1923 were:

President: T. Lawley Brown.

Vice Presidents: Mrs. H. Jamieson Higgins, Miss. G. Rabone, W. Calvert. H. Hanson, A Demaine, F. Hubbard, D. Humphrey, P. Lee, H.S. Lloyd, E.C. Spencer, J.C. Stone.

Chairman: C. Price.

Hon. Secretary: Mrs. A. Long,

Hon. Treasurer: A.D. Long.

Committee: Miss. Rabone, Mr. Green Snr, Mr. Green Jnr, Mr Hubbard, Mr. Potter.
Mr. J. C. Stone, Mr. Trew.

Support for the club was obviously available as amongst the Vice presidents were
Mrs. Jamieson Higgins (Falconers), and Mr. H.S. Lloyd (of Ware) who were among the most prominent people in the breed.

At this time, there were only two other Cocker Spaniel clubs in the country; The
Cocker Spaniel Club and The Sheffield & District Cocker Club which was also founded in 1923, but went out of existence in 1936. Contrast that with 2012 where there are now 23 Cocker Clubs (of which 21 have championship status).

The annual membership subscription in 1923 was 10/6d. After decimalisation in 1971, the figure was rounded down to 50p.

The first show was held on April 11th 1923 at St. Martins Hotel, Birmingham. This was a 10 class open show that attracted 15 dogs making 52 entries. The judge was Mr. Lawley Brown.

The classification was:
Black:  Graduate Dog or Bitch, Limit Dog, Limit Bitch.
Coloured:  Graduate Dog or Bitch, Limit Dog, Limit Bitch.
Any Colour: Puppy Dog or Bitch, Novice Dog or Bitch, Open Dog, Open Bitch.

Entry fees were 2/6d per class and Prize Money was:
1st  7/6d.  2nd 5/-  3rd 2/6d.

A display advert in Our Dogs cost 9/6d.

There appeared to be  a pleasant social atmosphere in the club from the start as the minutes indicate that in addition to the four (Four!!) shows held in 1923, two concerts were also arranged with tickets at 1/- each plus 3d. tax.

The young club thrived and a report in Our Dogs in 1924 of a member's limited show mentioned that one class attracted no less than 15 exhibits "of a quality that would have done credit to an open show." The feature of the show was the success of Mr. J.C. Stone of the Blaedown prefix who showed four dogs, was entered in ten of the eleven classes, winning 8 firsts, 2 seconds and Best in Show.

  Mr. Stone was one of the founder members of the club and continued to be heavily involved, serving on the committee for many years before becoming Chairman and then President in 1967, a position he held until his death in 1990 aged 101.

1932 saw a new venture in the form of the club Year Book, based on the lines of the Cocker Club Year Book. Along with the kennel adverts, leading breeders and exhibitors contributed articles, among them Mrs. Jamieson Higgins and Mr. H. S. Lloyd. The Year Book was issued annually until the war.

The show venue was moved in 1938 to the Holte Hotel, very close to Aston Villa's football ground and this proved a great success.

 In February 1940, the club held its A.G.M. The next meeting was held in August 1945 and the first post-war show was held later that year. It was decided that Mr. T.Lawley Brown who judged the clubs first ever show back in 1923 should officiate. It was also decided that a Cocker Model should be awarded for Best in Show, a practise that continued until fairly recently when the Cocker Model was replaced with a Horse Brass.

On October 8th 1947 the club held its first Championship Show. This was held at the Drill Hall, Queen Victoria Road, Coventry.  The Judges were Mr. John Thaw from Scotland of the Aberthaw Cockers who judged dogs, and Mr. A.R. Denison. Admission to the show was 2/6d, catalogues were 2/6d and the benching fee was also 2/6d. The winners of the Challenge Certificates were both destined to find places in the cocker "Hall of Fame". The bitch C.C. was won by H.S. Lloyds Ch. Tracey Witch of Ware who won more than 50 C.C.s and was twice Best in Show at Crufts. The dog C.C. was won by Mrs Joyce Golds Ch. Oxshott Marxedes who eventually won 28 C.C.s, at that time a record for a blue roan dog.

In 1954 the date was switched to spring time and it has continued that way ever since. In 1959 the show was switched to another Drill Hall, Westfield House, Coventry. Another move was necessary in 1970 when the show moved to the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. In 1977 the club made the move to its current venue, the Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre in Smethwick.

The Open Show venue has moved several times; after a long stay at St Michaels Hall in Lichfield the club moved to Featherstone, near Wolverhampton and Penkridge before finally settling at its current venue at Shenstone.


PAST OFFICERS OF THE CLUB

Presidents
1923 T Lawley-Brown
1926 Mrs H Jamieson-Higgins
1927 H James
1928 E T Morgan
1929 H S Lloyd
1930 Mrs R Fytche
1934 Mrs H Jamieson – Higgins
1950 H S Lloyd
1962 Mrs N Basnett-Broughall
1964 Mrs P Shakespeare
1967 Mr J C Stone
1990 Miss J Macmillan
1997 Mr E W Darby (current)

Chairmen
1923    Mr W C Price
1924    Mr J A Saunders
1929    Mr H James
1937    Capt W Fourney- Myton
1947    Mr J C Stone
1967    Mr D L Page
2009    Mr L Forfar (current)