History of the Southern English Springer Spaniel Society

Serving the south for over 70 years


It wasn’t until 1947 that the London & Home Counties ESSS held their first and only Championship show with popular judge Mr S H Till awarding Dog CC, his second, to Broadley’s Sandylands Shot and Lady Lambe’s Waddon Chase Snipe taking her crowning Bitch CC.

Several Championship Shows in 1947 were held by clubs which no longer exist such as Sandy & District Horticultural Society where Carnfield Christabelle took the bitch ticket; Wembley & District Canine Society where Christabelle’s kennel mate C Field Marshalltook the dog ticket and Altrincham Agricultural Society where Ch. Invader of Ide won the dog CC.

Amongst the most successful at this time was Mrs Gwen Broadley with her Sandylands kennel. Being shown were Champions Sandylands Sherry, Shot, Showgirl and Shrubly all of whom have had an influence on the modern day springer. Gwen who was born in 1906 started her illustrious dog career with a Labrador but it was in the 1930’s that she moved to the midlands to set up and manage a boarding and breeding kennel at Shotton for Michael Whithers.

With Gwen in charge the Shotton prefix rose to the top in English Springers. This proved a valuable apprenticeship and as we all know Gwen went on to found one of the most famous Labrador kennels in the world, but she obviously maintained a soft spot for our breed. Another top winning dog of this time was Ch. Starshine of Ide owned by the late Joe ‘take em round’ Braddon. He won four of the limited CC’s on offer in 1947.

The London & Home Counties ESS Society held meetings where some interesting matters were discussed and decided upon;

 Subscription fees for Ordinary Members would be 10 shillings (50p nowadays); Vice Presidents would pay £1-1-0 and Gamekeepers/ex gamekeepers and professional trainers 5 shillings (25p), all payable on 1st September.

 The Committee would hold Field Trials as soon as possible.

 An advert for the Championship show would cost 12/6d (62p) for a half page & £1-1-0 for a full page.

 Entry fees would be 1/6d (7p), catalogue 2shillings (10p) and 2/6d (12p) per dog for benching.

Moving on to 1948, the Society now had 70 members but this was deemed insufficient to ensure success.

 Lack of funds was attributed to the expense of shows held during the year.

 A raffle was suggested where eggs would be donated as a prize - after all it was post war!

 A communication from the Kennel Club regarding Breed Standard was read, discussed and generally agreed, with the exception of colour which should be liver/white; black/white or either of these colours with tan markings definitely not solid colours or any of the roan colourings, red, orange, blue etc. Nothing has changed in 60 years!

At the AGM of 28th January 1956 Mr Archie Phipp was elected President and Chairman was Mr Uppadine.The Treasurer reported a balance of £70-12.-6d due to much hard work and appeals to the generosity of a small number of enthusiasts. The meeting discussed the Kennel Club’s request for the qualifier to continue in its present form. 11 members voted for continuation and 15 against.

Another 10 years on and the AGM in 1966 was chaired by Colin Muihead (Shipden) although the Society Chairman was Dr. Campbell-Durie. By this time Mary Lyons (Kylemore) was a committee member along with Frances Sherwood (Woodbay).

The East Anglian Cocker Club had been approached about a combined Open Show but they never took up the offer.

The Secretary, Alf Spearing reported that they were looking forward to the day when the bank balance reached three figures, it was in fact £52.3.6d. Mrs Ilsa Durie was made a Life Honorary President and Miss D. Morland Hooper was approached with a view to being President of the Society, however she declined although she would help with finding grounds for a Field Trail. Mrs Olga Hampton was asked to join the Committee and she replied that she would if we held our show nearer to her, but the Society were clear that they represented the South and were not prepared to go further North.

At the AGM held on the 11th March 1973 substantial changes occurred in the holders of the main offices. The Chairman became Peter Odell, the Treasurer Iris Brooks and Secretary Don Miller. The subsequent Open Show at Chingford drew a record entry, but unfortunately there were absentees due to hardpad in the Sussex area'.

At the AGM held in 1974 two particular matters of importance occurred. It was confirmed that the application for Championship Show status in 1975 had been granted by the Kennel Club. In addition a Motion was carried that ' the Secretary should apply to the Kennel Club for the name of the Society to be changed to the 'Southern English Springer Spaniel Society'.  It was felt that with the granting of Championship Show status the Society should endeavour to encompass the whole of the South in its area of activities; the former name by comparison perhaps being rather restrictive in pinning the Society to a small area of it.