28 Jun:
Before There Was ‘Crufts’

Rerun: The first modern dog show took place in Newcastle on 28th June, 1859. Essentially a sideshow to the annual exhibition of cattle, it featured just 23 pointers and 27 setters. The owners of the champion breeds won a gun.

Allegations of inbreeding and nepotism plagued the contest from the very beginning; controversies which eventually sparked the invention of The Kennel Club in 1873.

In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion consider the competition’s historical connections to pigeon-fancying and eugenics; unearth Charles Dickens’ sceptical opinion of the 1862 ‘Monster Dog Show’ in Islington; and explain how Charles Cruft maneuvered himself up from dog-food salesman to create the premier event in canine display…

Further Reading:

• Early 20th century dog shows at Vintage News Daily:

22 Lovely Photos That Capture Vintage Dog Shows in the Early 20th Century

• ‘The Surprising History of Victorian Dog Shows’, (History Extra, 2009): https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/the-surprising-history-of-victorian-dog-shows/

• British Pathé visits Monkstown Championship Dog Show (1950): 

‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’

Each Thursday and Friday we repeat stories from our archive of 800+ episodes, so we can maintain the quality of our independent podcast and bring you fresh, free content every Monday-Wednesday… 

… But 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴members get an additional full-length episode each Sunday! Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices