Early Club History

The Ranelagh Fox Terrier Show was held on Sunday 22nd. June 1901 in the grounds of the Ranelagh Club at Barnes. Wire haired Fox Terriers were judged by Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle (of Notts) and Smooth's by Mr. Francis Redmond (Dusky).

So begins the report in the July 1901 edition of the Kennel Gazette. The above named, together with Sir Humphrey de Trafford (Barton), Walter Glynn (Brynbir), J. B. Dale, Charles McNeill MFH and the Hon. Secretary, Charles Cruft, undertook to guarantee the management of the Show.

It is here that we look to discover the group of important people who in their wisdom created the National Terrier Club.

The next show under their direction, held on 21st. June 1902, was entitled the National Terrier Show and three additional breeds were scheduled for competition. The wires were again judged by the Duchess of Newcastle, Smooth's and Welsh by Mr. E. Powell (Rowton), Scottish by Mr. C. Harold Wood (Hyndman), and Irish by Mr. T. Yarr.

The Committee were apparently pleased with their initial efforts as an application to the Kennel Club for a title was published in March 1903 and the use of the name "National Terrier Club" was quickly granted.

At the KC meeting on 6 April 1903 permission was given to allocate Challenge Certificates to the following breeds: Airedales, Wires, Smooth's, Irish, Scottish, Skyes, Dandie Dinmonts and Bedlingtons. The first show of the new Club took place at Ranelagh on 20th. June 1903. Today 24 breeds have CC's on offer.

In general the show was held in the London area at such venues as Olympia, Crystal Palace, and the Horticultural Hall until 1952 when it found a more permanent home at the Granby Hall, Leicester, where it stayed until the move to its present location in Stafford in 1975.

Sir Wm. B. Savory, Bart., took over from Charles Cruft as Secretary in 1914 and was in charge of the pre-war shows. From 1919 Mr. Holland Buckley (Clonmel) was at the helm and continued until the Second World War. After this, his daughter, Mrs. Winnie Barber (Scotia) took over and held the position until Mr. A. J. Chandler began his term of office in 1961. Mrs. Monica Shuttleworth, filled the vacancy on his retirement in 1983 and remained Secretary until her retirement in 2003, the Club's Centenary year.

The 1980's saw a general increase in the popularity of Dog Shows and Entries, and in 1986 Staffordshire Bull Terriers were scheduled to be judged by 2 judges for the first time, Dogs and Bitches, and this resulted in an increased entry of nearly 50% with a total entry of 307 dogs.

In 1982 the Club welcomed the scheduling of Glen of Imaal Terriers for the first time and they received an entry of 15 dogs.

In 2000 Cesky Terriers moved from the Import Register and were scheduled for the first time and attracted an entry of 25 dogs.

The outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease across the Country in 2001, saw the annual Show having to be cancelled at short notice, as the Government introduced a ban on the movement of livestock and the County Showground in Stafford being closed for all agricultural events. With approval from the Kennel Club, the Show was rescheduled for August that year and all appointed Judges were able to officiate and the entry levels saw no significant change, however it did seem rather a different atmosphere to hold the Show indoors in the middle of Summer, rather than our traditional date of the first Saturday in April.

The Centenary Show in 2003 attracted a record entry of 1,832 dogs, with SBTs topping the entry with 271 dogs, followed by Borders with 214 entries, WHWTs at 137, and Cairns at 121. The Show was sponsored by Pedigree Petfoods, who provided generous sponsorship and support and through their parent Company, Mars Foods, the Club were able to distribute copious supplies of Mars Bars to Exhibitors and visitors.

Specially commissioned ceramic gifts were also presented to each Exhibitor, as well as souvenir plates to each Best of Breed Winners, Judges and Officials and souvenir clocks to the principal winners. These clocks and plates, together with the Bench/Ring cards were decorated with the Club Logo and a head study of the 26 Terrier breeds that were recognised by the Kennel Club at that time. These head studies were later incorporated to adorn the cover of the Schedule and Catalogue to appear alongside the Club Logo, being made up of the words ‘National Terrier' in the shape of a dog.

The honour of Judging Best in Show at the Centenary Show went to Liz Cartledge and she selected Jennie Griffiths' West Highland White Hopecharm Willie Makeit for Karamynd as Best in Show, who won his second CC on the day a later became a Champion winning a total of 12 Ccs.

Following the registration of Monica Shuttleworth in 2003 as Secretary/Treasurer, it was decided to split these roles and advertise for both positions. Max King was appointed as Treasurer, a position he held till 2009 when he was appointed Chairman. Jennie Griffiths was appointed Secretary and she held this post for 11 years.

The increase in popularity of Dog Shows and the level of entries experienced in the 1980s and 1990's saw a gradual decline in the new Millennium. The Club decided to try and support and encourage entries at all levels and in 2006 they obtained permission from the Kennel Club to hold a separate Licenced event at the annual show, and decided to call this 'The National Terrier Open Show Dog of the Year”. This event was for the BIS winners from each of the regional Terrier Clubs throughout the UK and the winners were invited to compete for what is now affectionally known as 'TOP TOTY” (Terrier of the Year) and the name of the Judge , as it still does today, remained a secret until the day of the Show.

Maureen Micklethwaite, the President of the Club, was invited to Judge this award and for the first winner of TOP TOTY she selected Paul Eardley's Australian Terrier Silhill Red Rock at Sherex, who not only won this award, but also his first CC on the day under Bill Browne-Cole and Best in Show under Frank Jones.

In 2011, this event was augmented with the introduction of Best Puppy in Show at the regional Terrier Clubs, so in addition to TOP TOTY the Club also had on offer TOP POTY (Pup of the Year).

2014 saw the resignation of Jennie Griffiths as Secretary, as she was appointed Secretary of Birmingham National Dog Show. The new Secretary appointed was Stuart Plane, making him the eighth Secretary of the Club in 111 years.

The number of Terrier breeds recognised by the Kennel Club increased in 2016, with the introduction of Jack Russell Terriers. The National Terrier Club had the honour of scheduling this breed only days after the breed became fully recognised. The entry was very well supported with exhibitors from all over the UK and Europe and the interest around the ring was something to remember and a credit to all concerned.

This additional breed meant a change in design in the Club's image of the individual breed head profiles, but this was incorporated with minimal issues, and is displayed on the Schedule, Catalogue and Bench Number cards. In addition, a commemorative pop up banner featuring the now 27 recognised breeds was commissioned by the Club to recognise the contribution of the President, Maureen Micklethwaite who passed away in the previous year. A similar banner was presented to the Club by the Patron, Brian Baxter and his wife Pat. These banners are proudly displayed in the Best in Show ring.

The 100th Show held by the Club was in 2017 and as a special recognition of the history of the Club, Dr. Desiree Scott, an Archivist with the Kennel Club produced scrolls and donated them to the Club, to be displayed, which featured the names and breed of the Best in Show winner at all the previous shows.

The National Terrier Championship Show in April each year is considered the premier event and highlight of the Terrier calendar, receiving many complimentary comments and support universally, and now receiving an ever increasing entry from overseas exhbitors.

This accolade is highly appreciated and prized by the Officials of the Club who strive to put on the 'best Terrier Show for Terrier folk'.