Club History

The club was started by J.V Rank and supporters in 1926. The founding secretary was Lt. Col. C.E. Beddowes OBE, who is remembered for helping Gordon Stewart set up the Send Kennels and his visits to Europe to purchase the early imports that formed the foundation of the breeding programme that evolved into the biggest single breed kennels world wide.

There is no doubt that the two millionaires, J V Rank & Gordon Stewart, were in partnership at the club in the early days, but somehow became rivals and Gordon Stewart subsequently gave up his efforts with the GDBA and then concentrated on the Great Dane Club. This is born out when you view the trophy tables at the shows. They groan under the weight of the silverware donated by the two principals, their generosity is also evident making available the studs and puppies from their kennel imports between the two World Wars. This was “The Golden Age” for the breed, for between them they imported some 75 Danes; members may like to note that the club colours of royal blue and gold were adopted from J.V Rank's racing colours.

Over the years many changes and passing of the baton of responsibility for the running of the club have taken place. In this ramble I shall name only a few that come to mind. The Jarvis brothers Mr. W.C and Mr. J.E Jarvis were both founder members. Bill Jarvis was secretary and treasurer for 20 years, he also contributed to the weekly Great Dane Growls, the name of the column in the dog press of his day. Together they owned and ran a printing company at 1-18 Cousin Lane, London E.C.4 which was near to Cannon Street. It was here that a tragedy took place during an air raid in 1940. A great part of London was set ablaze by the blitz incendiary bombing, the printing works was destroyed along with the valuable printing machinery and the club records from 1926 were lost. The brothers were able to rebuild their business and by a stroke of fate the club trophies were kept at a separate address and saved for us all to enjoy today. The brothers died within hours of each other in 1948. Historians will note their affix was Redvers.

After the war the partnership of brother and sister come to mind with Commander Lionel B. Bishop, who was Secretary and Treasurer, and Cecily P. Bishop as Vice Chair did splendid work for the club. Cecily will be remembered for awarding “Elch Edler” the C.C and B.O.B at Crufts 1953, when Elch handled by W.G Siggers was awarded B.I.S.

Mention of W (Bill) G. Siggers has brought forward one of the great Daneites. The Kennel manager at Ouborough, he gave lifetime devotion to the club and held almost all the offices of the club and at his demise was the President of the Association.

Another partnership which must be mentioned is that of mother and daughter Mrs. Hilda Lanning and daughter Jean. Hilda held the Secretary’s job for over 25 years and became Vice President, then

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