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21 July 2014    14:00
home from home

We will soon be moving into the new Kennel Club building at number 6 Clarges Street. Here are a few facts about the Kennel Club's previous 'homes', which you might find interesting.
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The Kennel Club's first home in 1873 was a small three roomed apartment in Albert Mansions, Victoria Street, London SW1. These premises were shared with John Edward Shand a Wine Merchant. It was whilst at this address that one of the first tasks was performed: the production of a stud book containing the pedigrees of over 4000 of the main winners during the previous 14 years. The book also contained Rules for the Guidance of Shows and Field Trials.

The first book had ten simple rules for running a dog show and eleven rules for running a field trial in comparison with today's separate Kennel Club Year Book with its 257 pages of rules and regulations. Gradually the unacceptable practices at the early dog shows became subject to discipline and showing dogs acquired a more respected status. The breeding of dogs for sport and exhibition purposes became a fashionable pursuit and the high standards at shows attracted the support of royalty. In succession to Edward VII, every monarch has been Patron of the Kennel Club.

From Albert Mansions the Kennel Club moved to 29A Pall Mall, London SW1 in 1877 and six years later in 1883 to Cleveland Row St James's, London SW1. The date of the next move was probably 1895 to 27 Old Burlington Street, London W1. Why so many moves? They were necessitated by the rapid growth in Kennel Club activities. The next move was in 1900 to 26 Southampton Street, The Strand, London WC2; then in 1902 to 7 Grafton Street, off Old Bond St, London W1.  This was followed in 1910 by a move into a temporary office at Carlton House, Regent Street, London W1; then in 1911 to 2 Saville Row W1. In the middle of the First World War in 1916 the move was to 84 Piccadilly W1 where the distinctive bronze staghound Forager (now in the Reception area) was sited over the porch and for 27 years gazed across Green Park.

During this period the Kennel Club activities continued to grow. An opportunity arose in 1956 to acquire the freehold of 1-4 Clarges Street which was then a bomb site and the General Committee of the day showed great foresight in purchasing the property in 1957, and even greater foresight in acquiring the freehold of 5 Clarges Street in 1964. So when the Kennel Club moves into its 11thpremises very soon, it will be a great achievement.

Two other buildings must be mentioned: since 1999 the Aylesbury building has housed the Kennel Club Registration Department, Pet Log and the Call Centre. Also, the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park (formerly known as the Royal Agricultural Society), which is the only venue created to suit all canine educational needs from dog shows and training sessions to seminars and meetings. Its central location has easy access, parking and excellent facilities.

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