It’s happy 40th birthday today (Thursday) to Spalding and District Dog Training Club.
It was on September 10, 1975 that its first committee meeting was held.
Since then hundreds of dogs across many breeds and of all ages have been trained to become more obedient and even better examples of man’s best friend.
Club chairman Dot Asplen – one of two founding members still involved today – said: “Forty years is a long time and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved.”
The club was formed when it took over a class run by a Mrs Watson at the former bulb auction halls in Winfrey Avenue. One of its first aims was to be registered with the Kennel Club.
Within a few years the club began renting outside space on former allotments land in Park Road.
However, when in time the bulb auction halls were demolished and the Park Road site was built upon, the club’s base became Birchgrove Garden Centre in Surfleet Road, Pinchbeck.
It still holds training there in the summer, alongside Wednesday night sessions in Gosberton Village Hall and Monday evening training in Moulton Seas End Village Hall for obedience shows and championship events.
New members usually go into Val Kirkby’s intake class, which is eight weeks long and costs £40. Dot Asplen and Debbie Back run the general classes.
Dot, who takes her border collie Kluedo and golden retriever Keepa, said: “We like to keep the classes reasonably small so that people and their dogs get as much attention as they need.”
A club team won through to appear at Crufts in the 1980s but that remains its only appearance at the world’s largest dog show.
The club’s own obedience show – first held at Springfields in 1982 – has become a popular annual fixture. For the past three years it has been held at Snowden Field in Crowland. This year there were seven classes and more than 300 entries from a wide geographical area.
The club has a strong social side too. A 40th anniversary meal is being held at The Riverside in Surfleet on Friday, September 25. Past members are invited to attend. Anyone wishing to do so or to find out more about the club should call Dot on 01775 760233.