Tunbridge Wells & District Canine Society
Est 1884. One of the UK's oldest canine societies
"The first Tunbridge Wells Dog Show was held in the Calverley Park Gardens, Tunbridge Wells on Thursday and Friday 21st and 22nd August 1884. There were 50 classes of Sporting and Non-Sporting dogs - open to all England, and 6 local classes - for residents within a 10 mile radius of Tunbridge Wells.
The catalogue showed an entry of over 500 dogs. The main breeds represented were Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes or Boarhounds, Collies and Sheepdogs, Greyhounds, Pointers, Beagles, Fox Terriers, Spaniels, Setters, Hunt Terriers, Rough Terriers, Black and Tan Terriers, Bulldogs and Pugs. In addition to the breed classes there were also some fun classes.
The show was held over two days. There were promenade concerts and the gardens were decorated with floral displays and arches together with 2500 Chinese lanterns and ornamental lights - all gas of course, as well as balloons and magnesium and coloured lights all donated and supported by local tradesmen. This enabled the displays to be kept open in the evening. There was a grand firework display in the evening on Thursday and the Tunbridge Wells Military Band and Ceylon Band attended on the Friday.
Rosettes, medals and cups were presented in various classes by tradesmen and societies in the Kent area and also the Society’s president, the Marquess of Abergavenny who, followed by his nephew and this son, remained Patron until 2000."
This short extract is based on an article produced for us by the Kent and Sussex Courier for our Centenary Show in 1984, which in turn was taken from a booklet researched by Phil Tutchener, a member of TWDCS, now sadly no longer with us.
Our thanks also goes to Linda Grinham, who kept these valuable archives, thus enabling us to relate this history here.