Ask Trevor Simmons how this club was started and he will tell that it was an idea conceived at a Rottweiler dinner between several interested parties who had Rotties, and liked the Komondor.
That all led to an inaugural meeting at the Brownsover Hall Hotel, Old Brownsover Rugby, on January, 15th. 1978. Present at that meeting were;
Mr and Mrs Trevor Simmons, Mrs Pat Lanz, Mr and Mrs W Davies, Mr and Mrs B Littleford, Mr and Mrs Ling, Mrs P Jenner, Mr and Mrs Eburne, Mr and Mrs A Sear, Mr K Sear, Mr C Muzzelle, and Mr and Mrs Lacey.
Those at the meeting elected a Committee and Officers, and the first years were under the guidance of:
President: Pat Lanz, Chairman: Trevor Simmons, Vice Chairman: Ann Davies, Secretary and Treasurer Combined was Noreen Simmons.
Committee: Mrs J Sear, Mr K Sear, Mr C Muzzelle, Mr B Littleford, Mr W Davies, and Mr B Lacey.
These were the people who had to sort out the rules, arrange donations of trophies, and guarantee to shows that the entry any of them would allow us, would be supported. They also had to prove to the Kennel Club that a Breed Club was viable.
A Rally was held in July 1978, again at the Brownsover Hall Hotel, and most of the Komondor owning people attended, also attending on their annual holiday in England were Marion Levy Jnr. and his wife Joy, who are familiar faces to us all at the summer shows in this country. Joy went over the dogs, Ann Davies’s Kitten had a cup of tea or coffee thrown over her clean coat by accident, and we had a superb lunch donated by Bill Davies. That’s all I remember about it – my brain cannot do instant recall from all those years ago. I do remember taking two balls of white fluff, namely Inga and Puzzle, but all else fails me.
In following years we had a match against the Bouvier Club of Great Britain, and a return match, I think we won one and lost one, but can find no records of this.
The first Club Show of the Komondor Club was held in conjunction with the Birmingham City Show, on Saturday 1st September, 1980. It was a splendid turnout, of 12 exhibits making 36 entries for our judge Trevor Simmons. (See how hard we worked to make the classes viable in those days). I quote from a newsletter of the event “The ringside was three deep whilst judging was in progress and ‘Dog World’ photographer Mr Garwood took some excellent photographs.” We had trophies in each class, rosettes in Hungarian colours and bottles of Hungarian Wine were donated to all second and third prize winners. To quote the newsletter again, “Some exhibitors were litterally staggering home – not from the wine – but with the weight of the winning.” AND don’t forget we had PRIZE MONEY too in those days, so you really could break even on a good day. The final results were: Davies Hercegvaros Cica of Borgvaale and Loaksparke Best Bitch and Best of Breed. Lanz and Lacey’s Hercegvaros Csupor of Borgvaale Best Dog. Littleford’s Javictreva Bodros Reserve Best Dog. Muzzelle’s Javictreva Carousel of Chelville Reserve Best Bitch.
Ann Davies rounded off the day by going Reserve in the Working Group with Kitten.
Two other shows gave us classes in 1979, East of England at Peterborough and National Working Breeds, both of which were well supported.
In 1980 we again had classes at Birmingham City and the Committee decided to raise funds we should put on a prize draw. Tickets were 5p. each, and I well remember seeing the judging table groaning with prizes. A portable TV was the star prize, (which we won) engraved glasses with the dog of your choice engraved on them, bottles galore, and other edible prizes. We all sold tickets as if our life depended on it, and on the accounts for that year we were able to place £154.90p. on the balance sheet for our efforts, doubling the Clubs financial status.
As for the Show itself, Violet Yates judged the ‘best ever entry’ of 15 dogs making 27 entries. We all again staggered home under the weight of wine, rosettes, and medallions donated by generous people, whom it seemed wanted us to enjoy ourselves as well as our dog showing days.
In 1981 the Kennel Club organised a Rare Breeds Parade, which the Club was invited to put forward two representatives in National Costume from the Country of Origin. Ann Davies and Brian Lacey with Kitten and Csupor were on parade. This once again put the Breed in the public eye.
Also in 1981, the club put on a Limited Show for members. This at the time caused quite a stir within the club, as some people felt that there were too few dogs to merit the cost of the hall, judge, etc. The treasurer of the day spoke strongly as the Club had few funds, but against all odds it went ahead, and made a loss, so perhaps they should have learned from the Treasurer.
From this the Club looked around for other venues to hold a show and classes were given at Dudley where it was agreed another Open Show should take place, both of these had the rosettes donated by the Club and trophies provided, from the Club.
The Club continued to jog along, with the membership rising and falling depending on the availability of stock, and the amount of publicity given to the breed.
In 1983 a rare breed symposium was arranged, and Pat Andre with Javictreva Commandant (Ben) and Kim Sear with Javictreva Csipkeroszika (Dama) attended. Noreen Simmons gave a ten minute talk on the breed. This was held in London, and it was hoped to have been an annual affair, but never appeared again. The organisers were nothing to do with the Committee, it was a commercially run exhibition.
Also in 1983 a special meeting had been called to discuss the future of the Breed in this country. There was little new stock, and little breeding was being done. Sadly it was not well attended.
In 1984 it was decided to return to Birmingham for the Open Show, and put on a Members limited Show at Watlington. This time it was financially viable, and it has gone on from there, to be an annual event, (Kennel Club Permitting).
Changes have been made in the Committe over the years, but the main stalwarts of the breed who started it in 1978 are still with us. Some have changed breeds, one or two remarried and changed names, some are still active but have lost the dogs that brought them into the breed. Be assured that those still involved, and the newer members of the Committee are working hard and supporting the club still have the interest of one thing in common- The Komondor. That’s what makes it worthwhile.