The stage was set and the inaugural meeting was advertised in both the dog press and Welsh National press, this opened the doorway for all enthusiasts, pet and show owners alike. The meeting was held at the Bryn Sion Hall, Barry in South Glamorgan, on the 28th April 1991. Welsh Hound Specialist Mr. Dennis Simpson chaired the meeting, which was attended by most of the prominent hound exhibitors in Wales and indeed beyond. An introduction followed which included the background of events, which lead up to this meeting. The assembly were told how the Breed Clubs had been asked to support the foundation of the Basset Hound Club of Wales to improve the lot of the Basset Hound in Wales. The hope was such a club would seek to draw purchasers towards bona fide UK Basset Breeders and away from puppy farmers through advertisement. The club might also promote the welfare of the Breed through educational means.
The objectives of the Club were set out thus:
a. To encourage the improvement of the breed as recognised by the Kennel Club.
b. To promote the welfare of the Basset Hound.
c. To hold educational seminars.
d. To hold shows and other functions and activities as the Committee decide and to encourage classes for Basset Hounds in Wales.
e. To advise and encourage members who have no previous experience of the breed.
As was the club constitution Voting took place on the day to fill vacancies of Officers and Committee. Those would had given either the major part of their lives and/or dedicated time and effort to the breed, were elected to those positions.
Patron: Mrs R. June Hallett (Aberthin)
President: Mrs Marianne R. Nixon (Brackenacre)
V. Presidents: Mrs Joan Wells-Meacham (Fredwell)
Dr. Elizabeth Andrews (Langpool)
Mr Arthur C Reed (Meddgoed)
Chairman: Mrs Lavinia Ness (Viness Vinell)
Secretary: Mrs Ann Roberts (Islwyn)
Treasurer: Mrs Judith Armstrong (Lauralee)
The Committee consisted of founder members that attended the inaugural meeting Mesdames: Armstrong, Brown, Crawford, Davie, Evans, Majeed and Savory, along with Messrs: Armstrong, Davie, Ness, Roberts and Savory. As his final act as chairman, Mr Dennis Simpson was to declare the club established.
A submission to the Kennel Club for recognition soon followed. The Kennel Club advertised the application in its Kennel Gazette, and the awaited letter of confirmation from the Kennel Club arrived on July 29th 1992. The Basset Hound Club of Wales had accomplished its much-awaited ambition. The news broke at the prestigious Hound Association Championship Show.
Mr. John Roberts was given the job of producing the design for the club logo/badge. As it had to be representative of Wales he put considerable thought and many hours into this project. There are many such emblems and symbols that represent Wales, and after detailed discussions and planning it was decided to incorporate the national flag of Wales, the Prince of Wales feathers and a Basset Hound. The shape of a triangle was chosen to represent Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain. The result is impressive and speaks for itself.
During our formative years, so much hard work was put into promoting walks and social activities, starting with our newsletter, which would keep our members informed and up to date. The most obvious prize was working for and putting on our first Open Show in October 1993. This was held at the Memorial Hall, Usk, in Gwent (formerly known as Monmouthshire). Who better to have as a judge for the very first show than the club's Patron- Mrs. June Hallett, who willingly travelled form Minorca for the pleasure?
Today the club has moved on and in doing so has gone from strength to strength, obviously some of the Officers and Committee members have changed over the years. It should be said of all of them, whether instrumental in the Club's formation and/or its continuation this club and its membership is indebted to them for their sterling work.
When the club decided to apply for a licence to hold an additional show each year, they had to choose a month in which to hold it. Little discussion was needed when the suggestion was made for the month of March, as it was an obvious choice. Wales has a patron saint - St. David who lived In the 6th century and who brought Christianity to Wales, he also founded what is today the cathedral city of St David's in Pembrokeshire. Wales celebrate the life of this remarkable man on March 1st - St David's day, although the show is held towards the end of the month not to interfere with Crufts, whose dates can vary considerably at the beginning of the month.
Our Patron June Hallett and our President Marianne Nixon have both been stalwarts to the club. We held open shows annually in 1993, 94 and 95 and from 1996 onwards we have held two shows each year. June travels from her island home of Minorca three times a year, once when she visits Crufts after which she returns home, sometimes for as little as ten days only to return for our spring show in March and again in October for our autumn show. During all of these years she has only missed one show, spring 2001, which was the year our countryside was ravaged by the dreadful outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease. Marianne too, travels to support us, anyone who has read her book “The Basset Hound” knows she lives in Plymouth Devon, which is a good 300-mile round trip when she attends any of our functions AGMs, shows, seminars etc. She's certainly not missed many events put on by the club. These are two great ladies and ambassadors for the breed, who are very dear and close to this club, and to whom the club owes a great debt of gratitude.
Our current Committee members are listed on a previous page.
The existence of Basset Hound enthusiasts has been strong in Wales since the 1950s. At one time during the 1970s there had been a Welsh Branch of the Basset Hound Club. But there had been no appearance of a national club along the lines of those that existed in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However the club as we know it today owes its existence to the hard work put in by three people.
It all began back in the spring of 1990, at the West of England Ladies Kennel Society Championship Show (WELKS). An article about welsh puppy farms in a colour supplement belonging to a national newspaper, containing a half page photograph of a pitiful Basset bitch used twice yearly, housed in what could only be described as the most appalling conditions with her puppies infuriated three Basset Hound exhibitors, Jeff Savory, Ann Roberts and Marion Brown. So much so, they set about the task of forming a national organisation to promote all aspects of Basset Welfare, this was the foundation of the Basset Hound Club of Wales. After discussions on the best way to proceed, Ann Roberts and Marion Brown set about canvassing exhibitors and collecting the necessary 50 signatures of those who were to become the founder members of the Basset Hound Club of Wales, the number required was exceeded and passed all expectations.
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