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Now and then

By Alan Greenwood

Recently I had cause to go to Kelvin side in Glasgow and this took me back more than 38 years. i came to the S.K.C. At that time the two anual Championship shows were held at Waverly street market in Edinbrough and at Kelvin hall in Glasgow. Remerniscing on my journey up to Scotland got me thinking of the changes that have come about in the world of dog exhibiting, rules and regulations,purchasing forms and forms of travel

I rejoined Royal Air Force at the age of 39 years old. My previous service of six years was taken into account and I was given a pension and choice of my last posting to the area were I would like to retier. The choice was not hard as I had been up here during 1939-1941 before I went overseas. I fell in love with both the people and the scenery so Scotland was my choice and Lechars was my home.

During ny last peroid in the R.A.F. I remarried and we got a nice little from Eve Hill, (Kinderlee). Later we were kindly given two bitches from Tommy Dix (Fistiana). Having to go overseas on detachment and doing several towers in the Gulf, we didnt get very involved with the Stafford world until I came out of the R.A.F. in 76. The two bitches Lucy and Bridget by now were to old for showing or breeding from and both died within a week of each other at 14yrs of age. We started going to shows again and I renuwed contacts with many of my old Stafford freinds.It was Eddie Pringle who put me onto Mem Sahib of Bellreophon and once more my great love of campaiging was stated again. This was when I discoverd the change.

I could not belive the price of Stafford puppies and the difference between the price of a puppy and a stud fee. Forty years ago it would be 5 guineas for a stud fee ( and that was for the service of a Champion) and five guineas for a pup. It was not unusual to recive a pup in liue of the of the service money, hence the equal amount for stud fee and puppy. By the way bitches were mostly a little cheaper than dogs and the transaction was always done in guineas.

Shows on Sunday were a new thing to me,and the Sanction show seems to have gone altogether. In the area were I lived on the West Yorkshire and Lanashire border,we could go to at least two Sanction shows a week through the winter and in the summer Agricultural shows would have an open show sponsoerd by the local canine society and these were numerous. The snag was travelling- but I will come to that later.At all the shows- sanction- open and Championship the dogs were vetted. Waiting in the queue to get to the little table with the white enamelled basin,towels and a frustrated vet was nerve racking - the smell of disinfectant I shall never forget.I must state that at large shows there would be a number of vets to cope with the enteries.

Exemption shows were few and far between and they were taken more seriously than they are to-day,especially the puppy class, as as the judge would almost always be a well known all rounder and the top breeders would enter there young stock to get a professional assesment. One show I remember of this calibre I remember. It was at Beverly - 54 miles from home. I had transport by then, a motorbike and sidecar. The judge was the late Macdonald Daly, a well known all rounder and columnist for our dogs. In his article he wrote(The first six puppies in the line up would be future Champions!). I cant remember all of them but Harold Wright and myself were at the top of the line and he tells me that they all made it. Bill, CH Bellerophon Billy boy was the only Stafford and he recived his first CC at Crufts under the late John F Gordon at 16 month old. Incidentally one did not have to qualify at that time this did not matter as Bill had 12 best puppies in shows and three best in show wins, most of them under all rounders, as they outweighed the specialist judges

1937 Stafford show