The London and Home Counties English Springer Spaniel Society started at the beginning of a new world era, immediately after the 2nd World War when Europe was getting back on its feet after physical and political upheaval.
With a new vision, free thinking and the awakening of a hibernating population, the dog world started to develop once more. Gundogs were already an important part of war torn Britain, with many families relying on the “fruits of the countryside” as a welcome addition to their rationed food.
From these dogs a new show scene started to emerge, although the main show in the diary, Crufts had yet to start up again. It would be 1948 before we saw its re-emergence with BIS going to the father of a current SESSS member, Jennifer Lloyd Carey…..H S Lloyd’s Cocker Spaniel, Tracy Witch of Ware
The formation of an English Springer Spaniel Club was a much needed boost to the region and their respective owners in London and the surrounding Home Counties. Formed on 23rd October 1946 the Society serviced the needs of an ever expanding, already popular breed.
The Minutes of the inaugural Meeting noted the attendance of such notable personages as H.S. Lloyd, Dorothy Morland Hooper ( of the famous ' Ranscombe ' affix), and author of the 'English Springer Spaniel', a standard text on the Breed , first published in 1963 and Major Horsborough to name but three. It was proposed that Mr Lloyd took the Chair. Then followed what must be the most profound motion ever passed by a Committee
Major Horsborough proposed that the Society be “Open to the world”.
Alas we have lost David Webster, our President who died in office, he was the last member who could recall 1946. A year where we saw a chilling term used for the very first time in a speech by Winston Churchill. In his address to Congress at Fulton, Missouri. “From Stettin (Szczecin) on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an IRON CURTAIN has descended across the continent." This term was to last for another 50 years!
America exploded an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. It cost £8 million in those days to build. In the same year hostilities broke out against the French in Indochina. In South America Juan Peron became President of Argentina. Italy abolished its monarchy and the Philippines gained independence from the USA.
On the home front rationing got worse. Butter, margarine and cooking fat was cut from 226 gms to 200 gms a week. The Ministry of food helpfully circulated a recipe for Squirrel Pie! Bread was also rationed in the UK due to the slow economic growth. Goodness only knows what they fed the dogs.
Not all was doom and gloom the first Bikini, invented by French engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim appeared at a fashion show at Piscine Molitor in Paris. The inaugural ceremony of the UN General Assembly opened in London. Norwegian Trygve Lie elected first Secretary-General....Not sure which was more important!!
With the economy slowly beginning to revive the following prices set a new standard for the cost of living; Average wage £4.50 for 48 hr week, bread 2p per loaf, although still rationed, beer 3p per pint. The average saloon car £400, and the average house price was £1957. Petrol was 5p per gallon…if you could get it!
The British Broadcasting Corporation introduced. the first TV licence, at a fee of £2.00, although a radio licence was already in existence.
In sport Lovely Cottage won the first post-war Grand National horse race and Airborne won the Derby. Liverpool pipped Manchester United to the Division One football league championship by just one point. In December 1946 Australia won the cricket by an innings and 332 runs. Australia leads the 5-Test Ashes series 1-0
We heard the first playing of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the partially animated Disney movie, Song of the South The publishing of Waugh's, Brideshead Revisited and the birth of singer/actress Liza Minelli, unfortunately we also saw the deaths of writer H G Wells and actor W C Fields.
If we believe global warming is a new phenomena, think again…..A record was set on the 4th November 1946, The warmest UK November day ever recorded was in Prestatyn, north Wales, when temperatures reached an impressive 21.7 degrees!
Three ESS breed clubs held shows during 1946. The English Springer Spaniel Club had Mr E Trimble judging where he awarded the Dog CC, his first to Lady Lambe’s Whaddon Chase Bonny Tom and the Bitch CC to Gwen Broadley’s Sandylands Sherry, who was made up the following year. The Midland ESSS had Mr W Humphry officiating. He also found the merits in Whaddon Chase Bonny Tom, who took the Dog CC, his second with Morgan’s Leymore Bink Bin taking the Bitch CC, which was to be her only CC.
The last breed show was the ESS club of Northern Ireland where Gwen Broadley travelled to judge. Her Dog CC was Joe Braddon’s Starshine of Ide, who was made up the following year, with Mrs Dawson’s Carnfield Christabelle, again being made up the following year, taking the Bitch CC.