ON the 60th Anniversary, I last reviewed the clubs history,
Wendy Bower had just become the secretary and now has just
retired, so its very fitting that she should judge this
show, and had drawn an entry of more than double that at recent
general championship shows.
Its a relief to be able to say how harmonious relations
between club members have been whilst she has been in office,
it wasnt always so. The first secretary, Nonie Fleming
(out of the West) resigned after 14 months and the club split
into two camps. However, Mrs Fleming was persuaded to come
back and continued for a few years. Reading through the early
minute book reveals one major dispute after the other, its
a wonder we ever got through the first seven years, never
mind seventy! The first disputes were about the use of professional
handlers, many of those objecting had their own dedicated
kennel staff, but apparently didnt consider them professional.
Lakeland Terrier Association was long established and breed
had received championship status in 1931, when, at Crufts,
Holland Buckley awarded the first CCs to Evergreens Double
and Egton Lady of the Lake.
Four sets of CCs were on offer in 1932. The Association was
northern based, and the desire to promote the breed in the
south of the country was the main reason for the formation
of the Lakeland Terrier Club. The desire was to support entries
at general shows, especially the prestigious championship
shows, by sponsorship and guarantees of paying the prize money
if the entry didnt cover it.
Progress was rapid, the year after the clubs formation, the
number of CCs had doubled to eight (the way entries are going,
we might be back down to this number soon). Immediately following
the second world war, the club held its first championship
show followed by two others. When general all-breed
shows were re-established, the club quickly abandoned plans
for a fourth show and didnt have its own independent
show again until 1979 when Herbert Atkinson judged at Hailey,
Prior to this, the club had designated one of the general
championship shows as its breed show and nominated judges
to the committee of the show. In general, the breed shows
nowadays get a better entry than the general shows, people
might wonder why the club was so late in holding its own.
The main difficulty for a small championship show was the
benching requirement, in the 1970s the KC started to give
exemption from standard benching to breeds of small stature
and numbers and northern based Lakeland Terrier Society held
championship shows with trestle tables on which travelling
boxes could be placed, my boxes still have the removable lids
with mesh covers underneath that were specified, any exhibitor
without such a box had to be supplied with one by the society.
By 1979, these requirements were mostly forgotten abut and
it was considered just to be exemption from benching.
Over the years, its a recurrent theme of the minutes
that too many people from outside the breed are doing Lakelands,
though there is little objection to genuine experienced all-rounders.
Attempts are made to promote breeders as judges with the KC
but the KC say they will not make exceptions, judges must
have a certain amount of judging experience before being approved
to give CCs the club complains that its difficult
for Lakeland breeder to get this experience. Nothing changes.
Founder vice-president, Tom Meageen (Mockerkin) who used two
professional handlers, followed Mrs Fleming as secretary and
continued until 1937 when Miss Claris Edwards (Kildale) took
over. The clubs first meeting was informal and
a chairman was not considered necessary. After Mrs Flemings
day, everybody forgot about this, and chairmen were elected,
the first being Capt Hudson, who stayed at the helm until
the second world war. As late as 1979, difficulties arose
over who should take the chair, only in 1981 was the constitution
amended to include a chairman, when Mary Gutteridge (Lakeridge)
pointed out that KC licence applications require the signature
of the chairman.
to the outbreak of war, the Lakeland Terrier Club became dormant
from 1940 until June 1945. Victory in Europe had been declared
on the 8 May and the war in the Pacific raged right up to
Japans sudden surrender in August so the club had wasted
no time in resuming. Catherine Fisher (Whinlatter) took over
as secretary and her husband Col Fisher was vice-chair (and
always very prominent in the club until his death in 1962)
the treasurer was the Fishers companion, Miss Muriel
Vaughan. Bobby Gibbons (Kiniside) became chairman. Pre-war
membership had reached 50, now the membership grew very rapidly
In his lovely little book on the breed, Archie Kirk says of
Catherine Fisher She lived and breathed for the
Lakeland Terrier. Perhaps it was this intensity that
caused her to get into a number of long running disputes with
at least three different members. It was she that was suspended
by the KC but Eddie Johnston (Blackwell) was considered the
pariah by the club they passed a motion of censure
on him for getting her suspended but were ordered by the KC
to hold an extraordinary AGM and withdraw the motion.
During Catherines suspension, Miss Vaughan was secretary
for a couple of years but quickly handed over when the suspension
was lifted, not even waiting for an AGM. No sooner was Catherine
back than she had the club pursuing Eddie Johnston with solicitors
to report him to the KC for colouring the white feet of Ch
Blackwell Minute Marvel. The general impression given by the
minute book is of turmoil during her time in office but its
poignant to see the record suddenly stop in 1961.
Miss Vaughan (now Mrs Fisher) tried to continue as secretary
(no election) but by now the colonel must have been very ill
and she tendered her resignation. After the colonels death,
she succeeded him as president. About 1965 she married the
handler, Ernie May, and was known as Mrs Fisher-May. It wasnt
just Catherine Fisher who lived and breathed for the
At the National Terrier Show in May 1962, an AGM was held
Miss M E Jones (St Bega) was elected secretary and Bob Wagstaff
(Cottagepark) chairman. The club continued on a steady course
for another decade, when Miss Johns stated her wish to retire
and Karen Johnson is asked to become secretary. Karen agreed
to do it with the support of her husband, Cyril, as treasurer.
They hold office for the following two decades, a long stretch
by any standards. Joe Blackburn was prominent as chairman
when the club started to hold championship shows in the late
1970s and early 1980s.
It is not possible to mention even a small proportion of those
who have contributed to the club over the past 70 years but
special mention must be made of Miss Irene Morris, whose Kelda
kennel was in the vanguard of the breeds re-establishment
after the war. Biddy has been a member for over
60 years, and most of the time on the committee.
In a clipping from OUR DOGS breed notes, June 13 1940, Biddy
is described as being in disagreement with the policy that
Catherine Fisher is advocating, of a total ban on breeding
dogs until the end of the war is in sight. Catherine
says Miss Vaughan and I were obliged to pay 8d (3.3p)
a pound this week for some very inferior dog meal, and considered
ourselves lucky to get it.
What a time for our patron to be starting a kennel, most others
were giving up true grit continues to this day.
Lets all wish for continuing harmony for Kirsty Peak
as secretary, there are not enough Lakeland enthusiasts nowadays
for the breed to survive the kind of divisions that racked
the early days.