Around 1895/6, an owner in the Liverpool area formed a small club with several like-minded enthusiasts, calling themselves 'The Japanese Spaniel Club'. They registered their dogs with the Kennel Club, often with the annotation 'age and pedigree unknown' - possibly due to the fact that often seaman had found it easy to conceal these small dogs, and had brought them into the country from the Far East, as gifts or barter. For a period of three years there were Toydog shows, at which both Pekes and Japs were shown. However, it was in 1897 when the 'Japanese Spaniel Club', gained official recognition from the Kennel Club - the Pekes being classed as 'Foreign' - and even by 1899, the Kennel Club, had only recognised 33 special breed clubs. By 1901 there was just over one hundred Japanese Spaniels registered, and it was in December of that year, that the club amalgamated with the 'Asiatic Spaniels Association', and applied to the Kennel Club for recognition of the new title 'The Japanese and *Pekinese Spaniel Club'. (* Pekinese - as spelt and registered.}
Within three years (1904) the Pekinese registrations had overtaken the Japanese Spaniels, and at the General Meeting in October, it was proposed and approved that the clubs should be separated, as recorded in the minutes by the words "each side might stand by itself.
It was therefore on January 1st 1905, that 'The Japanese Chin Club' became independent, and the Club's first secretary Mr George Liddell, accordingly requested registration of the new title, which was subsequently approved by The Kennel Club, It was shortly after this date, to celebrate their independence the Club Committee commissioned a special medal, which was presented to the 'Best Dog' and 'Best Bitch', at 'all-breeds' Shows that put on 'Japanese Chin' classes, as a form of sponsorship. In addition, and in order to foster a relationship with the newly formed Japanese Spaniel Club of America, the club sent two of these medals to be presented at their own Speciality Show. The American club reciprocated this gesture by sending two medals struck in America.
Royal and Titled Gentry..
During these early years, the Chin continued to receive a great deal of attention, as Her Majesty Queen Alexandra and her daughter Princess Victoria, were often seen and indeed photographed carrying their own favourites, to whom they were absolutely devoted. This encouraged other titled gentry to become owners and breeders, and some becoming members and officers and committee members of the club, and most helpful in the formative years of the club. Many were members of the original Japanese & Pekinese Club formed in 1901. Among these were Sir Bernard Samuelson (President in 1906) and Lady Samualson, Sir William and Lady Ingram, Lady Mostey, Lady Gooch and her husband Sir Daniel, Lady Decies, Lady Moor, the Hon. Mrs Bagot, and the Hon. Mrs MacLaren Morrison.
During the following years, the Club requested that Toy Shows putting on classes, should have separate classes stipulated for exhibits 'over 7lbs' and 'not over 7lbs', indicating that the weight range was just as diverse then, as it is today. In this period breeders despite their small numbers, were trying to consolidate the breed, but 'distemper* was very rife and ravaging many litters, the disease virtually liquidating some kennels. The Club, after a heated discussion during which the secretary (Mr G.Liddell) offered to resign, agreed to co-operate with the Wellcome Research Laboratories in their research to find a vaccine.
In 1913, there was an attempt to form a club called 'The Northern Pekinese and Japanese Club', and a letter with this title was received by the club. However, as there was no further activity, so it appears that the club never became officially recognised.
The Great War.
The Club became very depleted during the 'Great War' and at the end of the conflict in 1920, was reduced to just 22 members, which included 6 honorary members. The bank balance was reduced to under £8, and it was only due to the efforts of Mr Samuel Smith, who was treasurer and also the secretary and practically ran the club on his own, that the club survived the crisis. However the monetary crisis continued until 1924. Then at a Committee meeting at the Southern Counties show, which was then held in Brighton, it was suggested 'that a Prize Fund be established, whereby all members would support the guarantees required by the promoting societies' (instead of relying on just a few generous committee members and fellow breeders!)
It was in 1926, when Mrs Stuart Rogers instigated a 'Points System', restricted to members of the club, with points for the first three places in a class. This was the beginning of the vast array of trophies, that are to this day, presented annually at the end of our Annual General Meeting.
The 'All-breed' Open Shows which put on 'Chin' Classes, were supported by the Club Members by providing guarantees, which proved a terrific drain on resources, resulting in the Club struggling to hold its head above water! In 1927 Mrs E.M. Knapp became Secretary, with Mrs J.H. Hudson as Treasurer, and they duly raised the alarm at the A.G.M, in 1932, when they stated that the £24 paid out in guarantees was more than the total of 18 guineas received from membership subscriptions! The members rallied with immediate monetary support.
At the General Meeting in 1937, it was decided that the Officers (President, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer) should be chosen by secret ballot. Thus the first democratic ballot, proclaimed Madam D'Antonio as President, Mrs Stuart Rogers, as the very first elected Chairman, and the continuation of Mrs E. Knapp and Mrs J. Hudson, as Secretary and Treasure respectively, all continuing in office until unfortunately the Second Great War broke out in 1939., which caused a complete suspension of the Clubs activities.
The Second Great War..
After the war in June 1946, eight former members met at Trinity Church Hall in Great Portland Street, London W1. With Mrs E Bartlett in the Chair (a position she held for 7 years, plus 11 years as Secretary!), and together with Mrs E. Knapp rekindled the club, with Mrs Knapp acting as Secretary and Treasurer until 1952. The meeting had followed a Championship Show, requested by the Kennel Club
With a vaccine against 'Distemper' being marketed in 1954, giving puppies protection at last, the club quickly flourished with an increased membership, even attracting members from various countries from around the World.
A Club Championship Show event, was requested by the Kennel Club to regenerate Dog Shows after the War, and to save expense the Club had shared the venue with Griffons, Maltese and Papillons. Thus the Club in 1946 achieved Championship Show status for the first time, when this show was arranged in London W!., with Mrs Stuart Rogers judging the Chins. Mrs Eileen Crauford's Tuku of Riu Gu" winning the Dog C.C. and Mrs E. Bartlett's bitch 'Oriental Chrysanthemum' the Bitch C.C.
At the Second Championship Show later in the year at Hammersmith, with Mr T. Moffatt officiating, the same two exhibits again won the top honours.
In 1947, the two sets of Challenge Certificates were again granted, again with the proviso that the shows took place in London. Mrs E.G. Lloyd judging at London W1, in April, and Mrs May Tovey judging at Hammersmith in the Autumn.
Picture of Miss Tovey Here
After these two special events, it was not until 1968, that the club were again granted Challenge Certificates by the Kennel Club and the first Independent Championship show organised by the club was held. Thus the Club's Annual Championship Speciality Shows commenced at Oxford. The judge Mr George Down (an 'all-rounder') awarding Best In Show to Mrs Eileen Crauford's Ch. Nyorai of Riu Gu...
Until 1970, the Club had supported classes at various Open Shows around the country, however after sampling the success of the annual Championship shows, it was decided that the Club would hold their own 'Open Show'. The very first Club Open Show was held in 1971 and judged by Mrs D. Hamilton and was held in Mrs J. Greenwood's garden at Crookham village. By 1974, due to the great success of these Open Shows, the Club then decided to have an additional annual Open Show, arranging one in the Spring plus a second Open Show in the Autumn of every year.
o Compiled by Bryan Bond from KC Records, and the 'Minute Books'...
© JCC/Bryan Bond
The Year Book was first introduced in 1960, originally called the 'Bulletin', it was compiled by Mrs Rita Evans, and it was later re-named the 'Year Book' on the production of the '90th Anniversary Edition in 1985.
The 'News Letters' were first issued in April 1994, now renamed the Chin Wag
(The archives were restored in 1999, and most of the missing Year Books were retrieved where possible and placed in bound folders, and all the Minutes Books were rebound.) In September of that year the Club, organised the first Breed Seminar at Weedon.
Lastly history was again made in 1987, although only for six months when Mr Ian Richie was made Chairman from April to August, ending the ladies long domination of the 'chair' by being the first elected male Chairman of the club. Then in 1997 Mr Bryan Bond became the next male Chairman, a post that he held until 2002.
The 2000 Year Book, featured a complete 105 year reference guide and record of the Club, including a listing of all the 'Officers' and the main 'Winners' of all the Club's 'Open' and 'Championship' Shows, plus a special Photograph Gallery of all the Champions of the last decade. Special Commemorative medals were designed and commissioned for the Millennium Year, together with the introduction of a new 'Official Club Badge' manufactured in gilt metal, and coloured in red, black and white enamel. A very special 'Millennium Championship' Show weekend was arranged for August 5th. & 6th. at Coventry. It was an historic event, when for the first time since the club was formed, the Championship show was judged by a non-British subject, in fact the judge elect was Dr Satoshi Nishi a Japanese National.
In 2005, August the 6th and 7th, we held a weekend of celebrations for our Centenary Of Independence Show. We had a record entry of dogs, these were judged by Mr Tom Mather. The show attracted many overseas visitors, altogether we had 15 people from around the world, these included Mr Kamisato (Chief Executive of Japanese Kennel Club), the Secretary General Mr Kiyoshi Hasegawa, and their interpreter Mr Fukutoshi Ueno.
The Committee has continually strived to improve and upgrade every aspect of the club, and look forward to the day in the very near future, to hosting the first truly International Japan