BRITISH UTILITY BREEDS ASSOCIATION – A POTTED HISTORY

The very first meeting to discuss the formation of the Assoc was in July 1971 when 41 breed clubs and two breed councils were represented. nMr Owen Grindey was elected as chairman of the meeting and it was decided to apply to The K.C. for formal recognition with the aim of running a Championship show each year. Mr Grindey had outlined that there would be three sets of CC’s available for 1972 and the other Utility Breeds would be scheduled without CC’s.Each being offered a minimum of five classes.

Provisionally the Secretary was chosen as Mr Brian Gregory and Treasurer as Mr L. Ludford.  There would be a request To the K.C. to hold a show in November or December in the Midlands.

Finances were discussed and it was suggested that a minimum of £600.00 was required to fund a championship show and that breed clubs should be approached to donate, a minimum of ten pounds, but more if they could afford it.   There would be a second meeting in September at which the Officers could be nominated and confirmed and a committee of 16 elected, one for each breed. Mr Grindey also agreed to draft a set of rules which would be discussed at that meeting.

So there you have it, within three months the Association was formed and formulated and the Kennel Gazette of January 1972 confirmed its acceptance.   The first formal meeting of the Management Cmtee was on 7th March 1972 and they went ahead and planned the show for later in the year, the date being 9th December.  Judges were proposed and seconded.  Classification was decided upon with the three breeds to have CC’s being given 12 classes for Dalmatians and 26 classes each for Miniature and Toy Poodles.

A few individuals offered Trophies and the matter of Insurance was discussed to cover the event.

There was another meeting held on 30th May at which it was finally decided to hold the show at Bingley Hall, Birmingham (six months and one week prior to the event!!)   There was great discussion as to the format of both Schedule and Catalogue. Entry fees were agreed at 1.50 for first class and 50p thereafter. Catalogues would be 35p and admission to visitors just 25p.   Traders would pay one pound per foot. By now there was a bank balance of 415 and more was promised.

The pre show meeting in November received the entry figures with Dalmatians at 152, Min Poodles at 155 and Toys 136, the rest of the breeds varied from 75 Tibetan Spaniels, 62 Bulldogs, 54 Chows down to just 17 Tibetan Terriers.   There were none of the Japanese breeds, nor German Spitz or Shar Pei.

These were all to come much later.

The Hall heating would be turned on at 7am.   Refreshments were arranged, the Bar would open all day and there were to be Commissionaires manning all the doors.   Bear in mind then Bingley Hall was in the centre of Birmingham!   It was intended to hold a Raffle which Mrs Grindey would arrange and Mr Newell offered a MINK Hat and Cravat.    The President would present the trophies.   Best in Show judge was to be Mr Braddon.

There was very short notice for a meeting to be held on February 15th 1973 as another Society had taken the December date and decisions had to be made for the 1973 show date and venue.    The discussions led to a decision to go with 21st July as their only option and to continue to use Bingley Hall, one of the reasons for this decision being Mr Grindey’s suggestion that his ‘well trained team’ would be there to help if it were held there.   Three more breeds, Lhasa Apso, Standard Poodles and Tibetan Spaniels were to be given CC’s in this year.

The balance sheet for the show in 1972 was discussed and the overall surplus of £344 considered to be a good result.   Hall expenses totalled £701, prize money was £646 and the rest of the expenses £450 which included the K.C. Licence at just £5 and judges fees less than £30. What a difference 40 years makes!

Towards the end of the meeting Mr Gregory tendered his resignation as Secretary and Mrs Ann Wynyard was appointed as acting Secretary. It was agreed there would be another meeting in April.

At the April meeting it was evident Mrs Wynyard was not in receipt of all the papers from the previous Secretary and The K.C. would be requested to approach him and request he hands everything over as soon as possible.   This was creating some degree of difficulty. Despite this all the necessary jobs had been done to progress the July Championship show. Best in Show judge would be Mr Westlake.  The chairman wished to take full advantage of TV publicity which he could arrange and wanted to have one of the Not Previously classified breeds there on the Friday prior to the show. Mr Edmonds at The K.C. had confirmed that the following breeds were registered with the K.C. but they could not spare the staff to research owners names and provide them…Canaan Dogs, Iceland Dogs, Japanese Akita, Leonberger and Mexican Hairless.

Decisions were made with regard to a 1974 show and a December date had been approved already.   Bingley Hall was provisionally booked. Following a ballot Mrs de Casembroot was to be approached to judge BIS. A 12 month gap was proposed for the breed judges that were to be suggested by Reps.  There is though, a healthy bank balance.

It had come to light when Mrs Wynyard had been in contact with Mr Edmond that the Association should have held an AGM already and K.C. permission had now been sought to hold this in July prior to the show.   It was agreed this would be on 10th July.

This first AGM formally elected Mrs Wynyard as the Secretary and Breed Clubs were able to send one Representative in addition to the Breed Rep., on the Council.   A practice that continues today.   The chairman reported that the entry for the forthcoming show was down compared with the first show that had been run which was unfortunate as it may lead to a deficit.

By the time the next meeting was held in November the Associations funds had dropped to only £684 in the bank due to a £381 loss on the show. VAT had come into being and various other charges that had not been evident at the first show.   More staff had been paid for as senior committee members had not been involved in heavy work.   The meeting was asked to ratify the cost of Mrs Wynyard plus the show equipment being transported to the show and for her hotel on the night before the show. Agreed.

The minutes of this meeting ran to over 4 pages, much of which was discussion with regard to judges.

The chairman had stated the Breed Reps should consult the Member Breed Clubs for judge suggestions.

The minutes of the meeting held in February 1974 ran to five pages and part of this was due to the fact that the Treasurer was not in attendance and his role was carried out by a Mrs Rollason who had brought his report and had answers to the queries.   The assets were £693 in total. There had been some expenses for the 1972 show that were not paid until 1973 and these had had to be included in the accounts.

When discussing the plans for the show to be held later in the year it was announced that Mr Braddon would no longer be able to do the breeds he had accepted as he had an appointment in Sweden when the dates clashed and Mrs de Casembroot would not do BIS as she had been asked to do the Group at Crufts in 1975.   None of this seemed to cause a ripple and their replacements were accepted.   Mr J. Neath had received approval from The K.C. to judge Dalmatians (he would later become a breed Rep.)

There was some discussion with regard to a venue for 1975 and as the Ideal Homes Exhibition was to be held at Bingley Hall it was suggested the new venue at Stafford be investigated as this was also let by the Birmingham Agricultural Society.   It was also noted that the President Dr Frankling was now in a home permanently and a new name should be suggested to the AGM which was to be held March 28th.

When that AGM was held it was announced that in 1974 the Association would have 11 sets of CC’s and in 1975 this would increase to 14 with only Boston Terriers and Keeshonds not having them on offer; so the Group consisted of 16 breeds, the second smallest as the Toy Group only had 15.   There were 36 member clubs paid up out of a possible 64 within the group which was a little disappointing.

Mr Ludford was not present again due to ill health and had sent a formal report which was circulated.

There were several queries regarding various costs all of these were capably answered by Mr Grindey.   Discussion regarding the allocation of CC’s went on at length and also the suggestion of Associate Members being allowed.   In the end no vote was taken on the proposition.   A query about how judges were appointed was answered by Mr Grindey who explained that a minimum of three names came forward from the breed clubs and the Council voted upon them.   The Association would be the arbitors and the breed clubs would not be allowed to dictate to a general ch. show which would be dangerous.

He stated that to have the financial support of the member breed clubs was important and it was vital to be fair and impartial and do the best thing possible and he still thought the BUBA method was the most democratic.   At this meeting Sir Dudley Forward was elected as President & Mrs Price-Jones as V.P.

Mr Ludford had died during 1974 so at the September meeting his assistant Mrs Rollason was elected to the Treasurers position.   For some reason at this meeting Mr Grindey was re-elected as Chairman. This  meeting also had Mrs Micklethwaite (who was in Tibetan Spaniels) suggested as Cup Steward which was readily accepted. Mrs Wynyard would pursue this.   Once again the subject of venues came to the fore and this time Mrs Wynyard was able to state the new venue at Stafford would cost £200 in 1975 and she wished the sub-committee to inspect it; this was agreed. Copies of the constitution were circulated for Reps to take away and discuss with a view to making revisions at the next AGM.

At the first meeting in 1975 Mrs Wynyard had written a letter of resignation as she felt she had not had sufficient help from Council members at the show which it seems had, in fact been run at the New Bingley Hall at Stafford.   The current venue of the Association. She was persuaded to re-consider and did stay in the position.   Mrs Rollason was in situ as Treasurer but by the next meeting she had been replaced by Mr S.G. Chandler who was the recently elected Rep for Lhasa Apso. It was said that the 1974 show had a healthy profit; a satisfactory turn around from the loss in ’73. The balance sheet presented at the AGM showed a surplus on the show of £1,306 and overall on the year it was £1,465.  By this time also it was known that there would be a set of CC’s for the Keeshonds in 1975.

The Association now seemed to be on a very stable footing with each of the Officials being of longish standing and efficient in their chosen roles. For the rest of the 1970’s the profits on each year were over 1000 and continued to slowly build a healthy bank balance. The new venue at Stafford continued to improve and found favour with almost everyone. Prices seemed to be increasing continuously but fees charged kept pace and there were no significant changes.

To be continued.