Below is a reproduction of a booklet printed by Fosse Data which outlines the early years history of the MESS.
The idea of an English Setter Society for the Midlands area was first suggested around 1976 but although discussions took place between interested parties nothing definite emerged until early in 1979. As our breed had grown numerically it was felt that it would be possible to support another regional English Setter orgarusatton without any detriment to the existing breed clubs. It was also thought that although exhibitors will travel from one end of the country to the other to a Show they were more regional when It came to Social functions, talks and teach-ins. At this time it was also evident that English Setter owners were demanding more information, advice and opportuntties to exchange news, views and techniques. Early in March 1979 a notice was placed in the Dog Press and letters sent to interested parties inviting them to a Cheese and Wine Party on 25th March at Binley Woods, Coventry. The purpose of the event to be to discuss the formation of the English Setter Society for the Midlands area. It is probably of historic Interest that the English Setter Association was born some 28 years previous just about 6 miles away. Many people attended this first meeting and a further 30 sent messages expressing interest and wishing the new Society good ruck. The strength of this encouragement led to an application to the Kennel Club for the name Midland English Setter Society and to the formation of a holding Committee to guide the Secretary through to registration. The proposed names were published in the Kennel Gazette, April 1979 and on 12th September the Kennel Club letter 'was received giving approval for the application to proceed further towards registration under this title. The next Open meetlng was held on 30th September. At this meeting the rules were approved and Offices and Committee were elected, the members of the holding Committee forming the nucleus of the first Committee. Officers elected were - President Mrs. M Pearson (Monksriding), Chairman Mr. D. Christie (Jetsettj, Secretory Mrs. H. M. Green (Fosscott), Treasurer Mr. M. Grassby (Scratchwood). The registration processed smoothly and in mid October the name of the Midland English Setter Society was added to the Kennel Club register. An early November Committee meeting decided that an Open Show should be held without delay and adventurous plans were made to organise this for the 8th December ,at Coombe Park, Coventry subject to Kennel Club approval - Just five weeks from date of registration. Such was the support from members and the hard working Committee we were able to hold the show as planned which was judged by our Founder President Mrs. Pearson. The entry was 142 dogs making 222 entries In a 23 Class Show. Another indication ofthe success and enthusiasm was that by the day ofthe Show we had Trophies donated for 15 classes and B.I.S., R.B.I.S. and Best Puppy. We chose Coombe Park for the Show as being a centrally situated and readily accessible venue. Despite Intentions to move our Shows around the region this has not proved practicable in our first years of life but we hope to be able to do this in future years. The only cloud on the horizon came the day after our first Show when our Cup Steward Mick Slater (Bonmicmarnie) died suddenly. At the wish of his widow Margaret a fund was started In hls memory. The fund has been invested and income from it is used to purchase Rosettes for our Shows, recently also part of the fund has been allocated to the purchase of Memorial Trophies for the two Novice classes at our Championship Show. These classes were chosen as Mick always felt that the winners of these classes should receive extra encouragement. Margaret Slater was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Society at our first Annual General Meeting. In March 1980 we held a full scale social function with talks by our first Patron Mr. W. Parkinson (Daviam) on show English Setters and by Mr. R. Goutorbe (Upperwood) on working Setters. A film of English Setter judging at the National Gundog Show the previous August was also enjoyed. In May the second Open Show was held outside Coombe Abbey on a beautifully sunny day. The judge Mr. Gerry Branston (Childerditch) had an excellent entry of 207 dogs making 344 entries. A rally was held in July on a day as wet and miserable as the May Show day had been hot and beautiful. Nevertheless the English Setter owners gave full support both in attendance and financiallv and all the proceeds of the day were donated to the English Setter Association Rescue Scheme - a magnificent sum of £125 was raised. By 1981 we had settled into the pattern of a Annual General Meeting a March Social event in the Coventry area, two Open Shows and a series of regional rallies, matches and associated suppers. There were cider suppers in the west and veteran gundog rallies, three cornered rallies between ourselves and other Societies, quizes and talks by Vets, trimming demonstrations and show handling advice. Such was the support that we never made a loss on any function and the Society's finances were on a such firm enough footing by April 1981 that we were granted Championship status for 1982. Our first Championship Show is now upon us and we are just three years old we have an excellent entry of 137 dogs and 177 bitches making a total of 503 entries. Once again peoples generosity has overwhelmed us we have trophies donated for 28 of the 33 classes and Best in Show, Reserve Best in Show _ and Best Puppy. We are lucky to have the expertise of three very knowledgeable ladies to officiate at our Show. Mrs. Dawn Goutorbe Judging dogs whose Upperwood prefix is so well known and has been actively showing and breeding for many years a very sporting exhibitors who is so looking forward to Judging this Show. Our bitch judge is Mrs. Gwen Broadley of the world famous Sandylands kennels she is now our Patron and has supported so many of our social functions she has a great love of our breed. Our referee is Mrs. Maguerite Pearson of the Monksriding prefix who needs no introduction from us but has been a tower of strength to the Society. The Society has been served by a large Committee throughout ItS short life including Officers we can call on 22 bodies to help. No task is to menial for them and this total willingness to help has prevented one or two persons being loaded with a large amount of the work. Committee members have taken it in turns to organise the regional functions which takes so much work off the Secretary and also means that members in the various areas can get to know their Committee member and can go to them for advice or help if necessary. It is interesting to note that Committee attendance at both meetings and Shows' has averaged 90%. So we English Setter folk of the Midland counties now have our own firmly established Society which aims at giving enjoyment to all, help and guidance as required. However, we never forget what the Society is all about - English Setters - the dogs themselves. We wish you all a happy and successful day on Saturday and look forward to your continued support in the future.
THE REPORTS DOGS : First may I convey my thanks to the society for their kind hospitality and to the exhibitors for a lovely entry. I was just sorry that so many lovely dogs had to go cardless. Also a special thank you to my excellent stewards who were most efficient and made the day even more enjoyable. The quality of the dogs today was very high, only three suspect mouths, but please watch the weight of your dogs, many young dogs were much too overweight. Minor Puppy (17): 1 Chilver's Syford Lucky Star. I loved this tri as soon as I saw him enter the ring and was not disappointed when I went over him. Most gorgeous head .and neck, excellent front. good body in excellent coal, lovely mover. best puppy dog; 2 Thomas' Rohan Dark and Gold, super puppy, excellent Head and expression, short coupled body with plenty of bone, I am sure he will have a promising future; 3 Colt on's Coldynnc Yorkshire Relish. PUPPY (15): 1 Henry's Beechanger Wood Leopard, o/b, good head, dark eyes, good rrom. well bent stifles, well presented. Was not so positive with his hind action in the challenge (or best puppy; 2 Brooks' Syadeseu Midnight Flyer, a lot to like about this handsome dog, beautiful head and neck, sound body with good ribcagc. Will go far when he learns to settle down on the move; 3 Field's Fcnstons Even Keel. Veleran (5): 1 Fuller's Sh Ch Northgate Dubcnnct , this handsome dog still looks every bit a champion at nine years. in lovely coal and condition, a credit to his owner; 2 Grassby's Sh Ch Mr Mucawber of FOSSCOII, well known and popular champion who needs no comment from 'me, as always in good order; 3 French's Ecclesmore Ensign. Jun (28): 1 Whitehurst's Holdgrange Golden Frolic. I have often admired this flashy fellow from the ringside and was pleased to go over him. good head. long: reach of neck and excellent that he gained his Junior Warrant today; 2 Timm's Shandarrat Hiawarhar , good one having all the essentials, excels in head. Was pleased to see him settling down in the nng now, good mover; 3 Barlow's Malnasett Sgt Pepper of Sondrew. Yearling (14): 1 M Sg' Pepper of S, very similar in type to Frolic, shown and presented well; 2 Page's Settcndra Super Sebastian. attractive dark b/b, good shoulders. just a bit erratic on the move, another good one: 3 Greens' Askenni Augrae. Maiden (16): 1 Jones' Annapura Stroller, attractive headed o/b with lots to like, has all the essentials but would like a bit more of him; 2 B Wood Leopard; 3 Martin's Sunhouse The Lire Fantastic, Nov (20): 1 Weston's Bournehouse Private Eye, good o/b, lovely head and expression, long neck, good body, moved well when he settled down; 2 Fields' Fenston Even Keel I went over this well grown b/b in puppy class, looks a real character! Well presented and handled. Just needs lime, then will trouble the best; 3 S The Lite Fantastic. Tyre (13): 1 H Golden Frolic! 2 Bolton's lrcquois Sorcerer, handsome olb youngster gorgeous head and neck, the best of fronts and good body, lqveiy stylish mover. Just needs time to mature and gain his coat; 3 Cotton's Femgate Olympic Target. Grad (19): 1 Slack's Seugarth The Piper of Rafas, I enjoyed going over this attractive young dog. not big but full of quality, a good Setter. Beautifully presented and handled; 2 Collins' Midenday Mast er Templar of Wynsceu , a handful for his owner in the ring! Attractive bib of a nice type. Not quite so good ill front as 1. Good mover when he settled down; 3 Smith's Sobcrhill Sun dancer. Post grad (23): 1 Limon's Tragus Nightingale Moon. tri, a real-showman won this class with his freedom of action when on the move. Best of heads. nice short coupled body, in lovely condition; 2 Grimsdell's Taucrsctt Star Attraction, well known o/b, super bone and construction, always presented well. Just carrying too much weight for me on the day and did not have the zip of 1; 3 Wilkinson's Hurwyn Easter Parade. Mid limit (10): 1 Marsden's lnvogue Headliner, what a lovely Setter this young dog is. 1 have often admired him. Just coming into maturity. Beautiful chiselled head with correct "Seller;' expression. Best of bodies, super mover, carried his tail well today! Is beginning to carry a little too much weight; 2 Grassby's Bradshaw's Armapuna Strider, really sound Setter great body and attractive head. Just prefered the glamour of I; 3 Simpson's Mindcnday Master Thief. Limit (16): 1 Williams' Bournehouse Dancing Boy, a great favourite in the breed and of mine .. Beautiful type. He is just coming to maturity, I am sure he will soon gain his title. Res CC;-2 DangerfieJd's Lanbar Country Boy, beautiful headed bib in lovely show condition, moved and showed well. Unlucky to meet 1; 3 Simpson's Kylegen Ccntairus. Open D (8): 1 Tait's Suntop Far Gale, true Setter in every way teeming with quality, lovely chiselled head with dark eyes and correct expression, long-arched neck and good shoulders. I was impressed with his great topline and bend of stifles. Glided round the ring, today. Delighted to award him his third CC and to watch him go onto BIS. A worthy champion and a credit to his owners and breeder; 2 Davies' Bournehouse the Waltz King. true Setter with plenty to like about him. Just not the glamour of I; 3 Pattie's Brenholm Only Boy. Champion (3): 1 Masson's Sh Ch Sirius of Cedar, lovely champion just lacking in weight today and would not settle down when on the move; 2 Sh Ch N Dubonner: 3 Sh Ch Mr Macawber of F. Beginners (14): 1 L Country Boy; 2 Page's Settendra Super Sebastian; 3 Clark's Tegviv Jen Boy. Stud D: 1 Green's; 2 Grassby's: 3 Green's.
DAWN GOUTORBE (Judge)
THE REPORTS BITCHES: I considered it to be a great honour to be invited to judge at the Society's first championship show. A tremendous effort had been made by all the committee. Mr Christie, the chairman is a splendid host and the Greens do a wonderful job. There was an impressive display of trophies and the specialised prize cards must have been appreciated by the winners. My thanks to my excellent stewards. BITCHIES - Minor Puppy (19): I Watkins Valsett Spandu Ballet, delightfull/b sweet head and expression. very good mover for age. good front, hindquarters and feel. Best puppy; 2 Findlay's Valseu Chorus Dancer, lovely blue. Not quite so forward but very promising. Litter sister to 1, moved very well; 3 Jarvis' Merryseu Sweet Sue. Puppy (21): 1 Bowen's Sahdowood Blue Moon of Chernset , very pretty light blue, well presented. good outline and anractivc on the move; 2 Downer's Upperwood Moonlight Sonata, lovely head in profile, I hope she grows on a little. Very elegant outline and moved well; 3 Bedford's Beechanger Orange Tip. Veteran (6): 1 Wilkinson's Hurwyn Dawn Chorus. 10 years old, has kept her beautiful head and expression, very good mover; 3 Lightford's Penrnist Capers. Yearling (20): 1 A Astral Melody: 2 Fairbairn's Suntop True Blossom of Daraquist , dark blue. beautiful coat. very nice head and body. Shade gay in tail carriage but a free good mover; 3 Wilkinson's Hurwyn Cupie Doll. Maiden (19): A Astral Melody; 2 S Blue Moon of C; 3 B Orange tip. Nov (16): 1 P Change Partners; 2 U Moonlight Sonata; 3 B Orange rip. Tyro (14): I Wilkinson's Hurwvn Paper Star, will finish a star. Rather at an 'in between stage, needing more finish of body. Super head and neck, excellent hindquarters. excellent substance. superb mover; 2 Halstcd's Northgate Rhapsody. very attractive head, beautifully clean presentation, looked very well; 3 Kelly's Bossyboors Pride of Clyde. Grad (16): 1 Philpotts' Spinberry of Yeo Standerwick , high quality I/b, beautiful outline, clean head, good mover; 2 Swannells' Tragus Shimmering Night, pretty blue of good type and balance. nice head and expression; 3 Davies and Jeffery's Penchurch Summer Mist. Post grad (32): A lovely class. 1 Plunkett's Fencefoot Floss. lovely blue of great quality and type. very sound in excellent condition. had no easy win; 2 Andrews' Colverset Caprice of Kenidjack , very good bitch, close up, good mover; 3 Chilver 's Beaman's Tamarisk. Mid limit (12): A difficult class. many failing in movement. 1 Lilley's Hurwyn Easter Moon, most attractive head and sweet expression. excellent body and general balance, a good mover; 2 Scoles' Berwensett Rosies Daughter, blue of similar type and size. gay sound mover; 3 H C Girl. Limit (21): 1 Smalley's Northland Flame of Barleybreak , I really fell for this exciting o/b, very rich colour, very very elegant. clean head long clean neck, good topline and sweep of quarters, very free movement, really covering the ground, good tail carriage. CC; 2 Edwards' Wistaston School January, another lovely o z'b, excellent quality and type, beautiful mover. Not quite the sweep of quarters of 1; 3 Harman's lroquios Sans Regal of Boimans. Open (14): 1 Allan-Scott's lroquois Regalia. blue of intense type and character. lovely head and expression, beautiful eye, well balanced all through, very sound true mover; 2 Hcndersorr's Invogue Charlie Girl, similar in type and size which really won her her place over the bigger blue, three lovelv bitches all good movers; 3 Cook's Merryseu Snow Sparkle. Sp Open (4): 1 Williams' Sh Ch Pen mart an Opal. lovely bitch in every way. Just a little short of coat. Res CC; 2 Grimsdell's Sh Ch Tattersett Hidden Value. good head and body, well carried tail, nice mover; 3 Davies and Jeffrey's Sh Ch Mindenday Miss Moss. Beginners (27): 1 F Floss; 2 Morroll's Northgate Starf1ight of Abbonny, good blue, fourth in open, typical all through and well shown; 3 P Capers. Brood (3): 1 H Dawn Chorus with five excellent progeny; 2 Sh Ch M Amazing Grace of S; 3 Green's Fosscorr Fragrant.
GWEN BROADLEY (Judge)
THE MIDLAND ENGLISH SETTER SOCIETY
30 years of Championship Shows
Firstly, I would like to thank the Officers and Committee for inviting me to give my observations on these last 30 years of Championship status for the Society. In some ways I feel this is a 'doubtful' honour as many of our staunch supporters/ workers have now passed to higher realms. I would just like to recall some of the names that come so quickly to my mind - obviously my late husband Pete who was my great support for so many years, my dear friend Madge Pearson, Don & Gil Christie, Mervyn Grassby, Daphne Walker, Mick Slater,Peta Evans, Gwen Broadley, Rae Furness to mention a few and anyone I have left out my apologies. My late husband and I first owned English Setters (Fosscott) early in the 1970s and together with several other enthusiasts got the Midland English Setter Society registered in 1979. I was Secretary of the Society for many years and have always maintained my interest in the breed though in latter years we concentrated on the Brittanys. I can see quite a lot of difference in the English Setter breed over the years, presentation and trimming is very different, I can clearly remember when exhibitors were criticised and penalised for over-trimming especially using electric clippers. Nowadays this seems the norm with length and abundance of coat all important and presentation the main aim. My opinion is that we should not forget the English Setter is still a gundog so good muscle development, adequate bone and good lay of shoulders giving the right sort of movment is paramount, also what about that lovely melting and intelligent setter expression? The number of KC registrations has reduced since the mid 1970s when Bournehouse Dancing Master was BIS at Crufts, as has entries for Shows which have dropped dramatically. Back 30 years ago it was usual to have 2 judges at Championship Shows as entries were almost always over 250 dogs. I suppose the cost of showing now is prohibitive to many exhibitors and with the extra time required on presentation maybe this also cuts down the number of exhibits. It was possible to look at the dogs and pretty well tell which kennel they were from but today this is much more difficult as many of the well-known kennels have died out. I hope, however, that our younger Members and enthusiasts will work hard to maintain all the best assets of the breed and remember the great importance of 'breed type' and the KC's requirements of 'fit for purpose'. The first Open Shows held by the Society had more entries than many of today's Championship Shows and 30 years ago the first Championship Show had 314 exhibits making 503 entries, let's hope this show also has good support. I trust the Society and all the Members will have an enjoyable 30th Championship Show and I wish everyone every success for the future. We must ALL always remember we are here for the benefit and improvement of the wonderful breed
THE ENGLISH SETTER