London Cocker Spaniel Society


Show Cocker Head StudyIn 1932 a group of enthusiasts formed the London Sporting Spaniel Society, but after the War a slight change of direction and of name brought the London Cocker Spaniel Society into being and enabled the Kennel Club to grant it Challenge Certificates. Long-standing Secretary, Mr W. J. Riley, remained in that position and the first championship show was held in Westminster in 1946, the judges being Mr A. B. Nicolson (Glenbervie) for dogs and Mrs V. Lucas-Lucas (Sixshot) for bitches.

The Society from this time grew and attracted members from all over the British Isles and from other countries where Cockers were bred and shown. The following decades saw the post of Secretary taken on by Kay Baldwin and there is no doubt that she and her husband, Stan, worked tirelessly to make the Society the success that it is today. Indeed, it was said ‘Kay is London Cocker’. She established the gundog training classes so that owners from urban areas could see their dogs respond to their natural instincts in the field, and many a relaxed Sunday afternoon was spent in the Buckinghamshire countryside thanks to the hospitality of Jim and Eve Cox (Beechshaw). Kay and Stan started the Newsletters to bring information to the members and soon afterwards the first Yearbooks were published. The pattern also became established for holding two members’ limited or open shows and the championship show each year.

Several well-known breeders and personalities have been closely connected with the Society. Mrs Judy de Casembroot (Treetops) was President and was a great ambassador for the breed and the Society, encouraging members from other countries during her numerous overseas judging appointments. She was followed by Mrs Kay Doxford (Broomleaf) who, apart from being a highly successful breeder, was an accomplished artist and her drawings of Cockers are used by L.C.S.S. to this day.

Dr Esther Rickards was Chairman for a long while and when she died in the mid-70s the position went to Kay Baldwin, the Secretary’s job then passing on to Bob Crisp, another long-standing officer. Thelma Dulley, who had worked with Kay, served the Society in more than one capacity and was Chairman at her retirement a few years ago.

Our current Patron, Jimmy Keizer, was Treasurer for many years working alongside ‘Doc’ and Kay. He has a long family association with the Society, his father, Max Keizer, having been a founder member of the London Sporting Spaniel Society.Betty Rice-Stringer (Kennelbourne), another loyal supporter, is now our President. The previous Vice-President, Dolly Leach, took over from Kay Baldwin the organisation of the gundog working tests, a task she carried out for many years. In 2008 a Field section sub-committee was formed under the guidance of Frank Geraghty.

The present Officers and Committee are working well together. We hope to serve the Society and the breed as well as did our predecessors and continue to take the Society in the right direction as one of the leading Cocker Spaniel clubs in the world.

Old Newspaper Cutting featuring members of the London Sporting Society
Archive photo above taken at the London Sporting Spaniel Soc Members' Show at Bloomsbury
Committee & Officials. Front Row L-R: Mrs Cheffins, Miss Higgins, Mrs Riley, Mrs Lucas-Lucas, Mrs Bradley,
Mrs J A Bridgford (judging Cockers), Mrs Steen, Hon Mrs Salmond (seated behind), Miss Coralie Fuller,
Mrs Matthews. Back Row: Mr Jas. Saunders, Mr Coates, Mr C F Matthews, Mr H S Lloyd, Mr A J Stokes,
Captain Lucas-Lucas, Mr Riley (Secretary), Mrs Wiltshire, Mrs Hinds-Duffield, Mr Cox,
Miss D Morland-Hooper, Miss Taylor, Mr Harris, Mrs Sharman, Mrs Harris