The good old days: Northfield & North Worcestershire Dog Club Show, 1949.
Maggie May Randle (second from left) with a winning Maltese.
Northfield & North Worcs CA has been forced to close after 61 years.
The four main officers had told members of their intention to step down 18 months ago, however despite the lengthy notice and extensive advertising, nobody stepped forward to take over the posts.
Chairman Bill Evans said: ‘We are very sorry to see the club close down but there was simply no other option, nobody was forthcoming to take over.’
He paid tribute to the club which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. ‘People often said it’s not just a dog show it’s a family show. They would come with a mug in one hand and their dog in the other’.
Mr Evans also expressed his thanks to all the exhibitors that had shown over the years. ‘I’d like to give my sincere thanks to all those who attended the shows, though I think most of them came for the good grub that was always on offer!’ he remarked.
Secretary & Treasurer Mrs Helen Sutton said: ‘We are currently liaising with the Kennel Club on tying up the loose ends. It’s very disappointing that we’ve had no interest from committee members wishing to take over the officers roles. I think it’s a sad fact that many more small shows will be closing, people like coming to the shows, but without willing members wishing to take over, there is no other option than to close’.
The club first began in a wooden Scout hut in 1946, founded by Maggie May Randle. It remained part of the same family to the present date. Her grandson John Clay was present at the final AGM in February.
Maggie and her husband Albert, were famous breeders of Pomeranians and began the Bournville affix in 1921. They would travel with their dogs on buses to shows, carrying them in cages. The Randles wanted a show closer to home and so Northfield & North Worcs C.A was established.
John’s father Ron continued the family tradition and was one time Treasurer of the club, later becoming President. John's mother Miriam also took up the post of Secretary for a time.
For John, who was himself Chairman for a period in the 1990s, the closure is particularly sad signalling the end of what had been a ‘family affair’.
‘It’s very sad for me as the club has always been part of my family but it’s perhaps fitting that Granny was there at the very first meeting and I was there at the last.’
Our Dogs Midlands regional news correspondent Donna Goodall said: ‘Northfield & North Worcs Canine Association will be sadly missed, not least by myself. This society operated as a family; the atmosphere at the shows was without exception friendly and enjoyable. Thank you to everyone for all the years of happy memories’.
In response to the club closure, Sara Wilde, press officer for the Kennel Club said: ‘Every year we have a handful of societies which choose to close down, mainly from lack of membership or lack of new committee members. However, the overall number of societies we register remains fairly constant as new registrations are approved regularly’.