How It All Began
In June 1981 Elain MacDonald and Marjorie Devine called a meeting at Blackpool Championship Show to discuss their idea of a Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club. A further meeting was then held at Leeds Championship Show which showed an excellent response and the inaugural meeting was then arranged at the Chadderton Arms Hotel, Chadderton, near Oldham for Monday evening the 14th September 1981 commencing at 8.30 p.m.
The meeting was well attended by 37 people. Mrs MacDonald chaired the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and showing interest in the new club. We had 70 members to date; ballot forms for electing the “caretaker” officials had been given out to the members and of these 58 forms were returned with the following officials being elected.
Chairman: Mrs J Leadbitter
Secretary: Mr R Metcalfe
Treasurer: Mr P Dowson
It was clear from the response at the meeting that there was a very strong need for the club in a strong breed.
It was agreed that application should be made to the Kennel Club to register the club and in November 1981 this was made with 100 paid up members and a bank balance of £400. Until approval was made we could only hold special events and no judging could take place. In March 1982 we received acceptance for the Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club and at the Annual General meeting Mr Peter Kaye was appointed the first President and Dr Ben Raven was elected as Patron of the Club.
Over the next few years we ran very successful events and shows and in 1983 we applied for our first Championship Show. On the 23rd March 1983 we received confirmation that championship show status had been granted for 1985.
Our first championship show was held on the 14th January 1985. The judges were Mrs V Yates – Dogs, Mrs J Leadbitter - Bitches, Mr R Metcalfe - Referee.
Mrs Yates was a very well known all rounder who judged many breeds but this was her first appointment judging CC’s in Shih Tzus Mrs Yates had also worked very hard on the club’s behalf being instrumental in getting the club accepted without the backing of any other breed club.
The rest is history with the club enjoying great success with many great events and the production of the excellent book of champions, a mammoth task that was undertaken to a large degree by the late Mr Harry Baxter who was Chairman of the club at the time. This was very successful and a sell out worldwide.