The League's Golden
A Feature in Our Dogs May 1988
By Doris Mason
The Welsh Corgi League will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee on May 13/14, 1988 at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh.
Members from all over the world will be congregating to make this event the largest festivity there has ever been in the history of the Welsh Corgi League.
It was 1938 that Miss Thelma Evans (Mrs T. Gray) initiated the first meeting which was held at the home of Mrs Barbara Fletcher (Mrs Douglas-Redding) and attended by some 22 founder members including Miss P. Curties, Miss J. Fitzwilliams, Miss E. Boyt, Miss R. Early (Mrs. R. Lee), Mrs Frances Hill, Mrs B. Gale and Mr John Holmes. They founded the Welsh Corgi League und without their hard work and enthusiasm we would not be celebrating our Golden Jubilee this year.
Four of the founding members photographed at the Golden Jubilee 1988
(from left to right Jessie Fitzwilliams (Fitzdown), Pat Curties (Lees),
John Holmes (Formakin), Rosemary Lee (Cogges)
The League has continued to grow and ever since now, 50 years on, we proudly boast 1,424 members. This includes 608 overseas members.
The country was divided into five sections to cater both for show and pet owners and to promote the breed in their areas - the Scottish Section, the Northern Section (with its Northern Ireland Sub-Section which was actually formed only three years ago), the Southern Section and the East Anglian Sub-Section.
From photographs in the first handbooks one can see how the breed has progressed both in type and quality over the years.
The first recording at the Kennel Club of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi was in 1919, a bitch named Rose owned by a Mr Jim Davies.
But it wasn't until the thirties that the breed began to gain popularity both in the show ring and through the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of York purchased their first Corgi, "Dookie", from Mrs Gray in 1933 and Corgis have remained a firm family favourite ever since.
Miss Evans bought a six week old puppy from Mr Gwyn Jones in 1932. He was by Ch Crymmych President ex Felcourt Flame, and later became Ch Rozavel Red Dragon. His influence on the breed as a dominant sire was spectacular and he still holds the record of the top stud dog in the breed, Ch Caswell Duskie Knight being the runner-up.
Miss Patsy Hewan, of Stormerbanks fame, who sadly died in 1986, contributed a great deal to the breed and there are few pedigrees today which do not contain the famous Stormerbanks prefix.
The Lees, Wey, Fitzdown and Hildenmanor strains made a big impact on the breed and many of our present day winners go back to their lines.
In the breed today we find many of both sexes who fit the present Standard as laid down by the Kennel Club.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a lively, inquisitive and highly intelligent little dog and makes an ideal companion for young and old. They are very adaptable being at home in town or country. Most Corgis live to a ripe old age.
As a working dog they will drive and round up cattle by nipping their heels and being low to ground are able to duck to avoid the inevitable kicks that follow!
With the exception of the year 1948, the Welsh Corgi League has published a handbook every year since 1946 containing many photographs and pedigrees of past and present champions, both from this country and overseas. A newsletter is also published three times yearly.
Corgis have done well in obedience. The Jubilee show includes a three class open show which has attracted 22 entries. On the eve of the championship show a wine and cheese party will be held. This is free to all members, and will include a parade of 52 champions with a commentary by Mr Les Crawley.
The championship show on May 14 has an entry of 363 (562 entries) dogs so our judges Mrs B. Peachey (dogs) and Mrs M. Winsome (bitches) will be well occupied!
A photographic competition organized by Miss M. Cole has been very well supported and will be judged by Mr Art Smith from USA.
A dinner after the show will finalise the celebrations which have all been brought about by a common love and interest in this happy breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
A seldom reproduced picture of the immortal Ch Rozavel Red Dragon as a youngster.
Photo: Moore, courtesy Rosemary Lee.