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An absolutely splendid affair!
The Northern Boston Terrier club celebrates thirty years

Best in show was Mrs M & Mr F Wildman’s Ch Wildax Hurricane
seen here with the judge Joyce Briggs and chairman Dominic Browne

The Northern Boston Terrier Club held its 30th anniversary championship show at Goosenargh Village Hall on Sunday 5th October 2003, and what an absolutely splendid affair it turned out to be.

The venue looked wonderful and the show was undoubtedly a resounding success; due of course to the hard work put in by the committee which was obvious to all who attended. However, one must not forget the help and support given to the club by their many friends both old and new.

The Northern Boston Terrier Club’s inaugural meeting was on the 3rd of June 1972 when a group of fanciers got together with the aim of promoting the Boston breed in this part of the country. They felt the time was right and the popularity of the breed now warranted a second breed club and the motivator of this was of course Joyce Briggs; a doyenne of the breed today who inspired any who would listen and she did indeed win over all unsure of the necessity of a second breed club.

The newly formed society held its first show on the 28th April 1973 at St Augustine Memorial Hall Bolton, where the judge elect was all-rounder Arthur Westlake, a very popular, well known respected figure and the profit on the show was the grand sum of £36-65p, proving the show was a resounding financial success. The first annual general meeting of the society was held on the 24th February 1974 at the Trades and Labour Club Doncaster. Income over expenditure for the year was the grand total of £161-32p.

The Northern committee is expertly guided these days and headed by Chairman and organiser extraordinaire, Dominic Brown, who apparently just waves a magic wand and everything falls into place, or that is how it appears. Dominic has a habit of making everything look so simple and of course that is his style; reality tells us different of course.

The food, on offer to all free of charge on the day, could easily grace the table of any five star hotel. The attention to detail was impeccable and told us the committee had worked tirelessly for days in the preparation of their big day. They wanted to make an impression and they did, big style, as the show went off superbly. On entering the show one was struck immediately by the décor as the hall was awash with colour. My first thought was "who has been up all night doing this?" Whoever it was had done a wonderful job. The hall was bedecked with flowers and flags of both our country and the country of origin of our wonderful breed, America. Union Jacks and Stars n Stripes of various sizes covered the walls and tables. Splendid floral arrangements of vivid colours were placed around the hall. The platform was loaded down with the many prizes and specials on offer to all and surpassed anything previously offered and was just another touch to make a good show great.

The Boston merchandise on the club stall run by the lovely Debbie Traynor held pieces, some of which I have never seen before, and was laid out as if it was on sale at Harrods; I would defy anyone to walk past and not buy. Jackie and Cynthia, brought in to help in the kitchen, were wonderful and young Paul Conway who judged the Junior Handlers was superb. Ring steward Arthur Houghton ran a tight ship; efficient and friendly with it. Yours truly got roped in to do the raffle, so a few titters there and a huge sigh of relief because we were not subjected to those terrible Peter Hounslow jokes; for this year at least. Secretary Janet Metcalf was kept busy all day making sure everything was running smoothly and it was, because the committee all worked tirelessly together to pull it off. Congratulations and well done to the officers, committee and all their helpers for putting on a fantastic and memorable anniversary show.

The show started sadly at 11am with a minute’s silence in remembrance of Peter Taylor who had sadly passed away the day prior. Peter, along with his wife Hazel, was a founder member of the society and instrumental, along with others, in setting up the club. The only other founder members are in fact Joan Plac and judge elect on the day Joyce Briggs, both of whom were presented with beautiful floral displays from the members in recognition of this and for their services to the club. Joan was not in her usual place in the kitchen and instead was stewarding in the ring, which was lovely, because she is such an expert in all she does one just knew the ring was in good hands and would run smoothly all day.

A distinguished visitor from Philadelphia USA, Lloyd Amodei, breeder of the world famous Al-Mar’s Boston Terriers, was introduced to the membership before judging and presented with many gifts from the club and souvenirs of the show. Lloyd later lunched with the officers of the society and judge Joyce Briggs, whom he had met on a number of occasions in America and was in fact treated regally for the rest of the day. He said the hospitality shown to him by the committee was wonderful and the generosity and kindness of all he met definitely made this a show to remember and it was in fact the highlight of his trip to our shores. Another who had an extra special day was Joanne Barclay-Murphy, who not only won a super second in a very strong class with her dog Walter but also got a wonderfully harmonised, melodious rendition of happy birthday sung to her by the world famous Merseyside choristers and friends! The judge for this special anniversary show, chosen by the members from a secret ballet was none other than the Diva herself, Joyce Briggs, who definitely does not need any introduction from me as she has always been there, or that is how it appears, and until the last couple of years was an officer of the committee holding the position of President.

Joyce is known to all and exhibits under the world famous Brigwood affix that has in fact graced the name of many Boston champions. She looked lovely, which she always does, however, she looked especially elegant in a beautiful black ensemble which was set off by the most exquisite white diamond and platinum ear-rings and pendant by Cartier. There were eleven classes for each sex and with an entry of ninety-six dogs meant the classes were mostly well filled and a treat to see. It was mentioned by many how good the judge was with the dogs, especially the puppies, as she managed to get into the mouth of the most stubborn of pups without any effort or distress to them. The show finished in good time, however, people appeared reluctant to go home and stayed behind chatting and socialising and enjoying the last of what was a very very special day. Lovely show, lovely people, lovely atmosphere, lovely anniversary, well done Northern.

Reserve Best in show was Mmes KM Glynn & J Williams’s Ch Coppergold Simply A Star (left) and Best Opposite Sex was Miss S Grace’s Esangee Star Attraction (right)