The History has been
compiled by Mr Maurice Marshall
Contrary to a belief in certain quarters that the W.F.T.A. was formed as a break-away of the Fox Terrier Club it was, in fact, created by a large number of like-minded fox terrier (wire) exhibitors, breeders and judges who felt that the more clubs that could be established the more interest could be established for the good of the wire.
In the first year book the following report was made:-
The Wire Fox Terrier Association was formed at a meeting held at the Grand Hotel, Birmingham, on the 22nd of January 1913. Previous to the date a number of gentleman had been actively engaged in sounding public opinion on the matter, discussing the prospects of such an Association, and taking other steps. The following formed themselves into a Provisional Committee
Lt.Col. B.J. Way
Lt. Col. G.O. Spence
Capt. Graham Woodwark
Capt. S. Owen
Dr. W.W. Fenton
Mr G.C. Anne acted as Secretary.
Early in January 1913, a circular was posted to a large
number of wire fanciers to obtain their views, and the replies
received indicated that over 250 of those persons approached would be
prepared to join the Association on its formation. The names of the
majority of those wire owners who so expressed their intent have been
included in the list of members now published. The entire cost of printing
and postage before the Association was actually formed, had been
subscribed for privately, and would not therefore be a charge on the funds
of the Association.
At the Birmingham meeting the first committee was elected
and the rules governing the Puppy Stakes were adopted. At a further
meeting held at Cruft's show on February 12th, the rules of the Association
and the Description of Points, as now published, were fully discussed and
adopted, and seniority of the committee was balloted for.
To retire in 1914, H.H. Enfield, A.H. Drillien, C. Houlker,
H.G. Sellors, W.E. Pitt-Pitts, Lt.Col.G.O. Spence, George Raper.
To retire 1915, F. Howard Sanderson,
F.Calvert-Butler,Capt.G. Woodwark, Dr.W.W. Fenton, R. Williamson, Robert
Vicary, J.H. Wright.
To retire in 1916, George Calvert, A.E. Hill, Lt.Col. B.
Way, J.H. Pardoe. The President A.E.G. Way. Hon. Secretary and Treasurer
G.C. Anne, Burghwallis Hall, Askern, Nr Doncaster.
(it is interesting to note that wires were so popular then
that the Association elected District Secretaries) F.W. Morris, W.J.C.
Haywood, Capt. G. Woodwark, Miss P. Gilbert, T. Huthens, F.Calvert Butler,
H.G. Sellors, A.E. Hill, Lt.Col.Way, J Gilzean.
It was decided at the meeting held in Birmingham, that
members resident in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, should elect gentlemen
from amongst their fellow members to represent their country on the
There followed the rules of the association, a description of the wire, much more descriptive than that at present published in the year book. It also includes a scale of values of individual points, which was recommended by the Fox Terrier Club, although I understand their year book did not start until 1925, so it was not published as such. In this first edition, it is interesting to note that there is an advertisement for two dogs at stud in Coventry, Antiseptic and Ramadam, owned by Mssrs. Sellors and Barlow, of Coniston Road, Earlsdon, Coventry. This was of course our own Bob Barlow at the start of his career who eventually became known as Mr Fox Terrier. He was at this time working as a tailor's assistant in the middle of the city. He once (I assume) jokingly said to me, that if anyone stopped to look in the window, he would "drag-'em-in by the collar to measure them up". Another advert was for 10 dogs at stud, including 3 champions for Mr A.E. Way who had the Brockley Kennels in Bristol. This it will be remembered was the Prefix of Margaret Coombs, also from that part of the country. I cannot establish whether or not she was related, but it seems very likely. There appears to be 21c.c.s awarded for Dogs and 18 for Bitches for the year ending February 1st, 1913. I don`t know the reason for this.
Top dog was Ch. Collarbone of Notts with 8 c.c.s owned by Mr A.E.G. Way . Mr Way also won another c.c. with Ch. Brockley Gamester, in bitches with 5 c.cs was Ch. Greenlands Retort owned by Mr Drillien.
In 1914, the year book was produced in hard back as it has been done ever since.
Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle ( Affix - Of Notts ) was made Patron. Mr. Way remained as President. The first show was held at the Corn Exchange, Leicester, on 28th October 1913. Mr George Raper judged dogs and mixed classes and Mr Robert Vicary, the bitches and working terriers. The special prize for best exhibit in show was won by Mr H. Trimble`s Matford Vic, she was also best bitch. The entry was, wait for it.......858 It would appear that no CC's were on offer at this time. Ch. Matford was sold the same year for £400 and was fed on Spratts food. Ch Collarbone of Notts won 5 of the 18 c.c.s for dogs 4 by Ch. Corker of Notts, both owned by Mr A.E.G. Way. In bitches Ch. Gypsy Moth owned by Mrs Crawford and C.H. Perrin won 4. 3 were won by Ch Collarette of Paignton, owned by Miss Lewis and 5 went to Ch Matford Vic.
In our own Association a diversity of opinion caused great unrest, and perhaps a little bitterness, now happily overcome, and doubtless soon to be forgotten.
The Association`s Annual Show was abandoned, and a small Sanction Show was held in order to judge the Puppy Stakes, Derby and Oaks. The acceptances for the latter two Competitions were most disappointing. Mrs. Cecil Clare`s Walpole Startler won the Brockley Cup, although ringsiders greatly admired Mr. G.H. Barker`s Little Countess. Mr W. Howard Jones had the honour of winning the first "Derby" and Mr. J. M. Fitzwater the first "Oaks". Mr. George Raper made the awards. As was inevitable, the expenses incurred a loss, and this is largely responsible for the deficit on the year's working. Class "A" members during the past year have derived great encouragement from the manner in which they were catered for. It is, however, a pity they do not enter the Association`s competitions (specially devised for their encouragement) more freely. Competition No.1 was won by Messrs. Haywood Bros., with Mrs. C. Browing the runner-up. Competition No. 2 rests with Mr. J. Hudson for bitches, and between him and Mr. E. Henshaw for dogs. The sensation of the year was the dispersal of the famous kennels of Mr. A. E. G. Way. The Brockley prefix had world-wide fame and that the dispersal was due to an outside cause will be a matter of regret to every fancier. Mr Way has done yeoman service in improving the breed, and future generations will look back upon his labours with gratitude, and then recognize that he was indeed a pillar of great strength in the building up of the wire fox terrier. We hope that in the not very distant future he will be able again to actively participate in the fancy.
That our Association has come to stay there can be but little doubt. Already coats are manifesting a great improvement, and the trouble seems to be chiefly the question of size. On the whole the "little uns" seem to be preferred, but the writer has a decided preference for the medium Terrier, and does not think a 19 or 20 lb. dog too big.