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The History of the Club

In 1908 The Secretaries of the Bulldog Clubs were requested to author an article about their club to be printed in the book 'Bulldogs and Bulldog Men' England


What follows is and extraction from that book.



 Cyril Jackson, Major Jackson, E. H. Bower, W. T. Rylance





(Established 1892. Registered 1902)


President, Major L A Jackson, 3rd Bat-Suffolk Regiment, Vice President, D J Cassels (Glasgow) W. W. Crocker (London) I. Atkinson-Lowers (Bradford) J. W. Proctor (Manchester) and W. T. Rylance


Subscriptions: One guinea per annum. This club, the junior of the two national clubs devoted to the cult of Bulldog, while not neglecting the claims of the great Metropolis, and to some extent taking both hemispheres under the aegis of its fostering influence, makes the United Kingdom outside the Metropolis, especially the sphere for the development of its objects, which are stated in its constitution to be: "To promote and encourage the breeding of Bulldogs in all of the world, but more especially in the provinces of England, to Ireland and in Scotland, and to protect and advance in every legitimate way the interest of the breed and of the members of the club." 



The founders of the club were Messers. Jas. Taylor, S. Woodiwiss, L N. Woodiwiss R. J. Harley, Captain J. L. Piddocke, J. T. Roe, H. Shaw, G. G. Tod, E. Harper, J. P. Henshall, G. Raper, and H. S. Bennett, all of whom met in conclave at the Oxford Inn, Manchester, on 22nd March, 1892, and there and then formed the club, and launched it on the then stormy waters of Bulldogdom, having first, with due libations, christened it with its expressive and comprehensive title, which did not at that moment deserve, it has at all events since earned.
The proverb says, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but strange to say it turned out that this particular rose by any other name would have smelt much sweeter, for its title was the fons et origo of all the troubles it had to contend against in the early years of its existence, as the title caused so much annoyance to the London section of the fancy, who naturally, extremely jealous of the formation of the club, were able to make their influence prevail on the Kennel Club to refuse registration of the title until 1902, by which time the old spirit of jealousy and opposition had died out, and the good work the club had succeeded in accomplishing was fully recognized.
Since 1892 a lot of water has run under the bridges, and time has earned off in diverse ways many of the pioneers of the club, so much so that of the original members there only remains inscribed on its roll of membership the names of R. J. Hartley, C. F. W. Jackson, E. A. Jackson, G. Raper, W. T. Rylance, G. G. Tod, and myself.
The club has from the first been exceptionally fortunate in the generosity of its members, with the result that it now owns fourteen Challenge Cups and trophies, of which eight can be won outright. They are: a fifty guinea vase for dogs presented by S. Woodiwiss, a fifty guinea vase for bitches subscribed for by Members, a twenty-five guinea cup for dogs presented by I. N. Woodiwiss, a twenty-five guinea cup for bitches presented by the late Capt. J. L. Piddocke, a thirteen guinea goblet for dogs presented by C. F. W. Jackson, a thirteen guinea goblet for bitches presented by R. J. Hartley, a pair of ten guinea silver candlesticks for dogs presented by J. Atkinson-Jowett, a six guinea silver mug for bitches presented by W. W. Crocker, a five guinea “Melampus” cup for produce stakes for dogs presented by G. I. Weinberg, a four-guinea silver bowl for dogs presented by W. Jefferies, a four guinea silver bowl for bitches presented by Mrs. Heinemann.
The munificence of its members has also been signally displayed in another and possibly more effective way, namely, the dispensing of princely hospitality by J. Atkinson-Jowett, who invited every member of the club to a banquet at Bristol in 1903, on the occasion of the club’s annual show being held in that city, and entertained all who accepted the invitation to bed and breakfast at his hotel; and by Mr. J. W. Proctor, who did likewise in 1904, when the club held its annual show in Manchester. This form of hospitality gave rise to a journalistic wag asserting that the club’s initials, “B B C ~ stood for “Bed and Breakfast Club,” a nickname which has stuck to it ever since. Mr. W. Buckler also gave the club, at considerable personal expense, one of the best fillips it ever had by undertaking to make good all the loss arising on the club’s annual show at Leicester in 1907, without which assistance the club could never have held, on its own, the enormously successful and popular show it did on that occasion, and which led to one of the after-dinner speakers claiming that the British Bulldog Club had taught the Bulldog world “the great freemasonry of Bulldogs,” a freemasonry which another member, Mr. C. T. Stableforth, has intimated his intention of maintaining to the fullest at the annual show in 1908, to be held at Tynemouth on 7th and 8th October.
Among the many good things which the club has initiated in the interest of the Bulldog and its breeders and exhibitors may be mentioned the substitution of specially designed Silver Forks, Spoons, and Serviette Rings for the less useful Medals previously given as Special Prizes; the inauguration of competitions, called Produce Stakes, at which valuable cash prizes are offered; the institution of Honorary District Representatives, the abolition of the restrictions of its club judges to its members or to any limited number; and the institution of the “New Century Trophies,” which annually provided a five guinea and a three guinea prize for the two most successful breeders and exhibitors of the year.
During the sixteen years of the club’s existence there have been very few changes among the responsible officers of the club. Mr. S. Woodiwiss was the first President, and held office from March 1892, to March 1893, when Mr. R. J. Harley succeeded him, who held office until July 1906, when Major E. A. Jackson took over the reins. Mr. Jas. Taylor acted as Secretary pro tem for a few months during the formation of the club, but its first Hon. Secretary was Mr. Cyril Jackson who practically shaped and controlled the destinies of the club for fourteen years up to July, 1906. On his resignation I was appointed to the Secretaryship, in addition, to the post of Treasurer, which I have held since February 1898, when W. T. Rylance, the first Treasurer, resigned the latter office in favour of the Vice-Presidentship.
In addition to those named at the head of this article, Capt. J.L. Piddocke and Messrs. R. J. Hartley, H. Shaw, I. N. Woodiwiss, J. T. Reid, G. G. Tod, F. H. Bowers, A. Jackson, W. H. Fortescue, and A. Hardcastle, have also held the office of Vice-President.
The club has in recent years held a very successful series of Bulldog shows, commencing in 1903 at Bristol with 264 entries, then 1904, Manchester 294, 1905 Cheltenham 305, 1906 Edinburgh 277, culminating at Leicester in 1907 with 341. All of these shows were held in conjunction with the local shows at these towns except Leicester, which the club held on its own.
An extraordinary feature common to all these shows was the exceptional support obtained in the shape of special prizes, the list of which at Leicester numbered no less than 313, contributed by all the principal Bulldog clubs of the United Kingdom, by many of the Bulldog clubs in foreign countries and in the colonies, as well as liberally by the members of the club.
By B. H. Bowers
Of these trophies we still have the Woodiwiss Trophy for best dog, The Members trophy for the best bitch, the Melempus Cup presented by G. I. Weinberg, the N. Woodiwiss trophy for Limit dog.
The spirit of the British Club lives on.

Our Championship Show is held in November each year. Numbers are smaller than they used to be averaging between 120 and 160 dogs. Money prizes are offered for the dogs placed in each class.
A Puppy of the year contest with three judges is held each year alongside an Open Show to be held in conjunction with the Puppy competition.


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