The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel Association

Our History

The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel association was formed in 2000 from an amalgamation of The Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club, and the Black Cocker Spaniel Society

Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club

Founded 1928

When attempts are made to record events long passed one is obliged to rely on the memories of persons who may have had experience of the times or to endeavour to glean as much information as possible from old records. When the events are as long ago as the nineteen twenties it is a sad fact of life that those who lived through the times are no longer able to share their experiences, and so the written word is all that is left.

As I came to consider events surrounding the formation of The Red & Golden Cocker Spaniel Club in 1928 the recent bequest to The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel Association of a Commemorative Year Book for the period 1928 to 1934 proved a wonderful source of material, containing as it does two articles by the then Secretary and Treasurer Mr E E. Todd (Arabian) entitled "The Foundation of the Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club", and, "Some Sidelights on the History of the Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel".

The President of The Red & Golden Mr W H Edwards (Pinbrook) penned a foreword for the Year Book which clearly and simply gave the aims and objectives of those devotees of the little golden cockers of post first world war years, and I feel that there can be no better testament to the debt of gratitude that is owed by the modern exhibitor and breeder to the twenty four people who met in May 1928 at Haslemere Show to discuss the formation of a Club devoted to the red and golden cocker spaniel, than to reproduce in full both the foreword of the President and the article on the formation of the Club.

The Black Cocker Spaniel Club

Founded 1968

It is apparent from the article in 1934 on The Foundation of the Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club by Mr E E Todd the first Secretary of the Club, that the paramount reason behind the foundation of the Club was to endeavour to ensure the survival of the red and golden cocker. It is well documented that the black cocker was in a far better position its survival was ensured, it being far superior both numerically and importantly in type. Photographs and prints of the cockers of the 1920's and 30's attest to this.

The continuing popularity of the cocker spaniel as a show dog saw the formation of some seventeen regional cocker Breed Clubs between 1920 and 1960, with The Midland Cocker Spaniel Club ( Founded 1923) leading the way. As now, the majority of exhibitors of the solid coloured cocker were members of the various regional clubs as well as members of the parent club, The Cocker Spaniel Club, and as now, the majority of these exhibitors had in their kennels both red/golden and black cockers. It was the wish of a number of influential exhibitor/breeders that there be a Club specifically and exclusively for the black cocker.

In 1968 a meeting was held of like minded people intent on the formation of such a Club. The inaugural meeting was held at Lower Grove Hill House, Bodicote, the home of John and Jean Smith (Sorbrook). Amongst those present were Miss Joan MacMillan (Lochranza), Mrs Veronica Lucas-Lucas (Sixshot), the sisters Miss Dorothy Hahn (Misbourne), Mrs Eve Cox, Peter and Vera Hillary ( Bidston), Stan and Phyllis Wise (Astrawin) and Mrs S and Mr N Green (Leithacre), the later being elected as the first Secretary of The Black Cocker Spaniel Society, Miss Joan MacMillan was elected Chairman with John Smith as Treasurer.

The first Show for the newly formed Society was a 15 Class Open Show held on 4th January 1969 in the Church Hall, Horsefair Banbury, the honour of being the Judge for this inaugural Show fell to Mrs Peg Price ( Sandover). Some thirty six exhibitors entered fifty six dogs with a total entry of 149. Cocker mythology remembers this as the Show where at the end of the afternoon there were no unbeaten dogs !, not so, a marked catalogue of the Show indicated that there were in fact two unbeaten cockers. Miss D Hahn exhibited Valijolca of Misbourne a puppy bitch born 13.2.68 in three classes Puppy bitch, Maiden and Novice winning all three, whilst Mrs A Bailey with Hazari Hey Boy born 3.5.68 won Special Puppy and Puppy dog. Valijolica of Misbourne was declared Best in Show and Best Puppy in Show with Hazaria Hey Boy as Reserve Best in Show.

The Black Cocker Spaniel Society grew in stature holding two Open Shows each year, one near Guilford and their " Northern" Show near Oxford !. As with the Red and Golden Cocker the Clubs activities were mostly confined to the South of England. During the 1990's dwindling numbers at Open Shows at both the Black and Red and Golden lead the committee's to the conclusion that in order to survive there must be a move to amalgamate, the need being the more urgent for the survival of The Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club than the Black Cocker Spaniel Society. It is fair to say that from time to time over the years it was suggested that the Clubs combine, however vehement opposition from various quarters precluded such a course of action until raw economics dictated otherwise.

Following the de-registration in 2000 of The Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club and The Black Cocker Spaniel Society ( 1968 to 2000) our Club The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel Association was founded to promote all solid coloured Cocker Spaniels.

Lorraine Palmer
February 2002