Eastern Counties Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Society

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Early History of ECCKCSS

Back in the 1960s/early 70s it was quite common for dog show exhibitors to band together and hire a coach or mini bus to go to championship shows. It was on the way back from one of these shows that Molly Marshall suggested to her co-travellers that it would be a good idea to form a society for Cavalier owners in the East of England. There were regional clubs in some other parts of the country but not one that covered the East Anglia region. After a few meetings with exhibitors in the area an application was made to the Kennel Club on 6th August 1974 for the registration of the Society. The objects were to cater for the interests of the owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas. Seven weeks later the Kennel Club announced that their committee had approved the application and advertised it in the Kennel Gazette. There were no objections to the application and it was sponsored by The Cavalier Club. Subsequently the founding members drafted the rules for the society and a formal application was sent to the Kennel Club who granted registration on 2nd April 1976.

The Society's first organised event was held in Newmarket on 18th July 1976 and consisted of the first General Meeting where a committee and officers were elected and rules of the Society were agreed. The original officers were: President, Miss M. Marshall (Kormar); Chairman, Mrs S. V. Barwell (Charlottetown); Secretary, Mr R. Ford (Hazelbury); Treasurer, Mr R. Fox-Carter (Janton). The committee comprised of Mrs H. Alvarez (Fairchild), Mrs D. Archer (Jia), Mrs P. Cousins (Fentiger), Mr P. Nunn (Petsendas), Mr W. Pettit (Jellibank), Mrs H. Seager (Waggoners), Mrs P. Thornhill (Kindrum) and Mr G. Walker (Breklaw). Following a meeting there was a match judged by Betty Miller of Otterholt Cavaliers.

Kindrum Carousel

In the October of that year the Society held a judging teach-in led by Pat Thirkell and Michael Quinney. It was at this event that the club decided on an amendment to the rules and remove the geographic restrictions to the membership. Although the club would be running events within the Eastern Counties area it would still be open to membership from people from outside of this area.

The very first show held by the Society was a Limited Show held on 16th January 1977 with Susan Burgess of Crisdig Cavaliers judging an entry of 109 from 87 dogs. Best in Show was Pam Thornhill's Kindrum Carousel. The following June the club's first Open Show was held which attracted 144 dogs. This show was judged by Lady Forwood and Best in Show went to Pam Thornhill's ruby Kindrum Jason.

Amantra Harbour Queen of Milkeyn

It was in the summer of 1980 that the Society held their first Championship Show on the Rowley Mile Racecourse at Newmarket with Barbara Stanley judging dogs and John Evans judging bitches. Bitch CC and Best in Show went to Amantra Harbour Queen of Milkeyn and the Dog CC went to Ch Huntbank Vagabond.

Over the years the Society has held many of its events at Newmarket, mainly because it is situated quite centrally within the Eastern Counties area. But coincidentally Newmarket has a great historical connection with Charles II after whom our dogs are named. Throughout his reign he spent virtually every summer in Newmarket and the Rowley Mile Racecourse is named after his favourite horse, Rowley. Apart from his beloved spaniels, (and his many mistresses!) horse racing was his other great passion.

With the Society now firmly established they set up their own regional rescue service and began holding events for their members. Over the years the Society have invited guest speakers along to meetings to speak on all manner of topics such as judging procedures, caring for young puppies, tips for photographing dogs, etc. In addition there have been many social events such as dinner/dances, a barn dance and a great many Christmas parties for members and their dogs.

Picture of the Trophies taken at the 1st ECCKCSS Championship Show, the cloth was made by Mrs Heather Seager

In 2013 the Society had the privilege of organising the Joint Cavalier Clubs Championship Show which was held in July at Peterborough. This event is rotated around the UK Cavalier Clubs and is an additional set of CC's which is awarded to the breed annually by the Kennel Club. It usually incorporates some form of social event and encourages a weekend of 'doggy fun' similar to the past Amice Pitt Rallies.

The Eastern held their event on the same weekend as the East of England Championship show thereby offering exhibitors two Champ Shows in the same area, on the Saturday night we organised a 'trip to the races' at Peterborough Greyhound track who nominated a race in our honour. We also organised a special raffle and from the proceeds donated £500 to the Edinburgh Veterinary School Charles Darwin Scholarship which is investigating heart valve comparisons in Cavaliers.

In March 2014 we were sad to report the death of our President Molly Marshall at the age of 98. She was one of the original founders of our Society and had been President since day one. She had been involved with the breed since the 1950s and specialised in wholecolours.

Probably her most famous dog was Ch. Don Miguel of Kormar, a black and tan born in October 1958 and bred by Mrs K. Plowright. He was sired by one of Molly's own dogs, a black and tan called Ramon of Kormar out of a tricolour bitch known only as Kathalan. Don Miguel was quite an important wholecolour stud dog in the early sixties and through his breeding Molly managed to produce both solid black Cavaliers and black and whites. She tried several times to get the solid blacks recognised as a colour but this request was rejected by the Cavalier Club. Amice Pitt was complete against the idea of blacks and black and whites being accepted and claimed that they were merely black and tans and tricolours with the tan missing. In the meantime Molly continued with her wholecolour lines and became quite an influential wholecolour breeder in the 1960s.

Molly Marshall celebrating her 94th Birthday with ECCKCSS Secretary at our Open Show.

She was fluent in several languages and during World War II she actually worked for the Secret Service behind enemy lines. As well as Cavaliers she also kept cats and was a successful breeder of rare breed chickens, having great success exhibiting her poultry at the London Championship Show that used to be held at Alexandra Palace. She was also heavily involved with the Ricardian Society, an organization that aimed to exonerate and promote the life and memory of King Richard III. She would often turn up at our shows wearing a badge featuring a portrait of Richard III. For many years she lived in a cottage with no electric power and kept many of her chickens inside her house. Despite her eccentricities she was a highly intelligent woman with a very wide knowledge of a vast array of subjects. RIP Molly.

Photo © Laura Davies
The 2017 ECCKCSS Committee with Ruby Anniversary Open Show Judge Evan Ryan (4th from left) cutting the members celebration cake.

© Laura Davies

15th January 2017 saw the Ruby Anniversary of the very first show held by the Society almost 40 years to the day. Our Open Show judge was Mr Evan Ryan and during the lunch break members were treated to a celebratory drink and a piece of cake.

The entry was 117 dogs slightly up on our first show entry of 87.

Photo © Dennis Homes

13th April 2019 saw the Ruby Anniversary of our 1st Championship Show, the event was held at our usual Champ Show venue One Leisure, St Ives. some 172 Cavaliers were entered and exhibitors were treated to free tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival, a goody bag and during the lunch hour some Bucks Fizz and cake.

Photo © Dennis Homes
The 2019 ECCKCSS Committee with Ruby Anniversary Championship Show members celebration cake.

In July 2023, ten years after we had the privilege of organising the Joint Cavalier Clubs Championship Show in Peterborough, we organised the final Joint Cavalier Club's Championship Show which was held in conjunction with the final East of England Championship Show at the Rutland Showground.

Original artwork commissioned for 2023 Joint CKCS Clubs Championship Show organised by ECCKCSS

Best in Show winners at ECCKCS Society Championship Shows

1980 Amantra Harbour Queen of Milkeyn
1981 Ch Amantra Roxy Music  
1982 Ch Homaranne Carson  
1983 Hurleaze Boy Oh Boy    
1984 Ch Emlin Epate    
1985 Ch Chamanic Finistere    
1986 Witsend Cinnamon of Charmsbourne    
1987 Ch Milkeyn Mascot    
1988 Ch Craigowl Replica    
1989 Ch Charlottetown Davy Jones    
1990 Toraylac No Trouble    
1991 Ch Lymrey Top of the Pops    
1992 Harana Hanky Panky    
1993 Ch Springtide at Alansmere    
1994 Ch Darozel Des Moines    
1995 Ch Telvara Karbon Kopy    
1996 Ch Deeriem Magic Moments    
1997 Ch Leogem Lothario    
1998 Ch Aldachell Victoria Rose    
1999 Ch Maibee Sandra Dee    
2000 Ch Ricksbury Royal Temptress    
2001 Ch Tameline Northern Dancer
2002 Ch Tameline Northern Dancer
2003 Ch Volney Quest
2004 Ch Pascavale Enchanted
2005 Ch Keyingham Branwell
2006 Ch Loranka's Enchanting
2007 Ch Beauella Radzinski
2008 Ch Aranel Scrumptious
2009 Ch Bonitos Companeros X-treme
2010 Ch Loranka's Sherrie Baby
2011 Ch Loranka's Sherrie Baby
2012 Ch Miletree La Vie en Rose
2013 Leogem Rhapsody
2014 Cavaleigh Jacob
2015 Lochbuie Cappuccino
2016 Multi Ch. Gillespie Diamond Chaser of Pascavale
2017 Ch. Leogem Renaissance JW  
2018 Ch Crimbledale Jemima at Beaudale  
2019 Pascavale Hudson at Lovetrac  
2020 Ch Pascavale Haiden  
2021 Ch Ricksbury Royal Heritage  
2022 Ch. Emberlace Tullamore  
2023 Am/CKCSC/Can Ch Chadwick Pursuit of Perfection  
2024 Show 1 Ch. Ellemich American Express  
2024 Show 2 Ch. Ellemich American Express