midland GRC It was at Crufts in 1975 that the late Mr Ron Bradbury (Nortonwood) first spoke of the ideas for forming a Golden Retriever Club in the Midlands. At that time the breed in the area was particularly strong, with an interesting blend of well established kennels, one or two from before the war and some up-and-coming newer kennels of which some were to become household names in the breed.

This idea of a Golden Retriever Club in the Midlands proved to be immensely popular and there was no shortage of potential founder members.

Ron Bradbury continued with the formation of the Club, and once the Kennel Club had given its permission and the name approved, an inaugural meeting was arranged. This was held on 8th February 1976 under the chairmanship of Mr Owen Grindy. Seventy-three Founder Members were present, the Byelaws were approved and the first Committee elected. Subsequently, Ron Bradbury was elected as Chairman, which he held until 1991, Mr Roger Taylor (Maundale) was elected as the Secretary and Mr John Simister (Lacons) was elected as the Treasurer. In 2005, Mrs Madge Bradbury became the Patron until January 2006 when she passed away, some 10 years after Ron.

Fred Hathaway (Melfricka) was the longest serving person on the Committee, having been a founding member, eventually becoming President and held that position for many years before he died in 2017.

midland grc 1On 11th July 1976 the first Open Show was held at The Abbey Sports Centre in Redditch, with Mrs Audrey Woods as the judge; with a second Open Show held in December the same year. This format continued until 1978 when, having been granted Championship Show status by the Kennel Club, the first Championship Show took the place of the December Open Show. This first Championship show being held at The Tate and Lyle Hall Stoneleigh, where L C James was to be the judge. However, due to the very large entry, permission was obtained from the Kennel Club to appoint a second judge – Mrs Valerie Foss who was due to officiate at the next Open Show. The following year the roles were reversed!