This year’s Herts and Middlesex show will mark a double celebration. It is sixty years since the club was founded, which coincides with the big Six-O for Show Manager Gill Cornish, so the club hopes to celebrate in style.
The club was founded in 1947 by a group of enthusiastic fanciers led by the redoubtable Mrs Lucy Price. The cat fancy was only just beginning to recover from the Second World War, which had ended only two years earlier. A high percentage of the country’s pedigree cats had been neutered as food was short and many families disrupted.
In 1947, rationing was still in effect for many items, so breeding and showing was much more difficult and expensive in real terms than it is now. Never-the-less, Mrs Price decided that the area to the North of London needed it’s own club, so set about contacting owners who had bought kittens from her and other breeders whose names appeared in show catalogues.
The first president to be elected was Miss Kit Wilson, and under her guidance, the club was affiliated the following year, and held the first show in September.
These early shows were very different from what we are accustomed to today. Pens were hired from the Rabbit Fanciers, and they were often held on Wednesdays, as it was early closing day for many shops.
Needless to say, most exhibitors were relatively wealthy and did not have to bother about missing work – “ladies” rarely had jobs, especially if they were married; what a contrast with the plight of most of us nowadays, rushing around to fit feeding and litter trays around jobs, homes and families!
This year’s show, on September 1st, will be the show’s 57th, and the third to be managed by Gill Cornish, assisted (as last year) by Kim Hill. Hopefully there will be a party atmosphere in the show hall at Stopsley Leisure Centre (Luton), with specials to mark the anniversary as well as the usual wide range of stalls and generous awards for Best of Variety.
The Club looks forward to seeing friends old and new with their exhibits, so get those entries in now – closing date is August 7th.