The History of Oundle and District Dog Training Society
The Society was founded in 1962 when a group of likeminded individuals decided that obedience classes were needed for the dogs of Oundle and the surrounding area.
The first meeting was held on 12th February 1962 at the home of Mrs I. P. Spurrell at South Road, Oundle. Mr Bedford from Whittlesey Dog Training Club took the chair and explained the aims of this type of club. The new Chairman was Mr Murphy, Secretary Mrs A Spurrell and Treasurer Mr Moisey. The committee were Mr Peachey, Mr Gray, Mrs Spurrell, Mrs Watts Russell, Mrs Greatrix, Mr Spence, Mrs Murphy, Mr A Spurrell and Mrs Harrison. Alternative names were considered The Nene Dog Training Society and The District and Oundle Dog Training Society. Application for registration at the Kennel Club cost a guinea per annum. The annual subscriptions were set at 10/- single, 17/- double and 7/6 junior. The Crown Assembly Rooms were chosen for meetings. Ways of raising money including tea, biscuits and raffles were discussed.
By April The Conservative rooms were considered to be too small for classes but The Drill Hall might be too expensive. A rota had been drawn up for serving tea and washing up. Tea 3d per cup or 6d with biscuits. A raffle prize was to be donated by a member each week and tickets were 3d. The rules were ratified and the requirement that all dogs must be vaccinated before going to training was included.
A September meeting recorded that The Drill Hall had been used on 4 occasions on the first Monday of each month and there were two classes. Captain Parker from T.A. Headquarters in Peterborough allowed the use of the hall. By September the classes were so popular that the Drill hall was used each week and the weekly subscriptions were increased to 1/6 per week.
When the hall was leased out as a snooker hall the Society moved to Wadenhoe Village Hall. The hall was rebuilt in 1989 so the Society found itself in an open sided barn at Aldwincle in the middle of winter.
The Oundle Town Council allowed the Society the use of The Queen Victoria Hall on West Street. The parking was inconvenient and classes had to give way to the annual Gilbert and Sullivan and pantomime productions.
Eventually the Drill Hall came back to the Council and was renovated in 1993. The Society moved back to the original home and remained there for 15 years, two nights per week. Outside training at BarnwellCountry Park became a feature for a few weeks each summer. Unfortunately the anti- dog lobby got the upper hand in 2008 and the Society faced the prospect of being homeless again. Even an 850 signature petition could not change the outcome. The Society managed to stay in the hall until the AGM.
Fortunately the proprietors of Halefield Farm, Woodnewton came to the rescue and the Society is now installed in a new equestrian arena. The space available enables three rings to operate at the same time so all classes can be accommodated on a Wednesday. There is also provision for outside training in the summer.
The Society is strong and held in high regard by the local vets and community at large. It hopes to continue to serve the community as it has for the last 47 years.
If any members past or present would like to contribute memories or photographs to this section we would like to hear from them.