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Steve and Tina Dickenson's Ch. Kool as Ice, Photography by Alan Raymond.

Reproduced by permission. 


EDITORIAL by Ann Gatenby



THE DOCKSIDE BOYS by Kathy Grattan


IT'S A DOG'S LIFE by Adam Wilson






Nettle Cottage

Dear Members and Friends,

You may well be looking at the very last newsletter of the Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, as unless I can get something to put into the Newsletter I shall come to a grinding halt. Unfortunately I do not have Extra Sensory Perception, so unless people tell me of news and events in the Stafford world, I cannot print them. However, I am sure that this little reminder will spur some of you to contribute something - whatever it is. It can be news, articles, quizzes, crosswords or anything of interest to our members. I did start a "letters to the Editor" page, but only had one contributor, so had to discontinue that one.

First of all, many congratulations to Steve, Tina and Amy Dickenson on gaining the third ticket for their bitch "Kool as Ice" They have campaigned her fearlessly, and deserve their success. Congratulations.

As you all must know by now, the Kennel Club have decreed that we will only be able to have two shows a year as from 1995. If we are unable to persuade them to let us have our third show back in this, the breed's Diamond Jubilee year, we are hoping (indeed intending) to put on a special event in place of the Midsummer show we normally run. This will probably be in June or July and details will be sent out to members in good time. If anybody has any suggestions as to what they would like to do at this event, we, the committee, will be happy to receive them and will consider them all very carefully. Negotiations with the Kennel Club regarding the 'lost' show are currently in progress and we will keep you posted as to the outcome.

Now I'm going to be controversial. Although I haven't shown my bitch this year because she had a litter of puppies in the spring, consequently I have no personal axe to grind, nevertheless I have been most disappointed in the standard of some of the judging. I am not talking about the actual quality of the dogs and bitches, but what I am talking about is the fact that there is something happening in our breed that happens in a lot of other breeds, but I hoped would not creep in to Staffords. This is judging the wrong end of the lead! I think it is very sad when a good specimen goes unplaced because the handler's face is not a popular, winning one. Another aspect of showing nowadays, is that some people feel that you have to get a well-known "face" to handle your dog if you want to win. How do you think that these well-known "faces" got to the top? Simply by working hard, having consistently good stock, and doing their own handling. The above thoughts are my own. Many people will disagree with them, and if you do, why not put pen to paper and send your comments to the Newsletter for publication in the next issue.

There - that's cooked my goose, hasn't it? I know I will never do any top winning because I am who I am, but I go to a show for a good doggy day out. Of course, it's nice to win, we wouldn't be natural if we didn't enjoy a bit of glory, but if you don't, never mind, you've had a nice day out with plenty of chat, perhaps a little more knowledge of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and you still take home the best dog in the world! To new exhibitors, I would say this: have the courage of your convictions, start at the bottom, and earn your place in the top winners. It is much more satisfying.

I hope that readers have noticed that, thanks to a new and enthusiastic member of the editorial team, and with the assistance of the membership secretary, the newsletter has a new and improved look about it.

Ann Gatenby



At the Downlands Committee Meeting held on April 10th, it was decided to set up a subcommittee to deal with the production of the Newsletter, As founder and existing editor of the Newsletter, Mrs. Ann Gatenby (Club Secretary) was appointed chairperson of the sub-committee. Fellow committee members Mrs. Kathy Palmer (Treasurer) and Mrs. Vickie Robinson (Membership Secretary) volunteered their assistance, Ben Kemp was co-opted from the Membership.

The sub-committee was instigated in response to a number of comments made regarding the newsletter. It is hoped that the format and general content will remain in the same vein, whilst the potential influx of other ideas proves beneficial.

A further advantage is that the newsletter will from now on be typeset using a word-processor rather than a manual typewriter. This will allow the contributors the additional flexibility of being able to correct errors before printing, and should enhance the final quality of the printed matter.

For the interest of any computer buffs, the software being used is Lotus AmiPro version 3.0 running on a Novatec 386 DX40 and Novatec 486 DX33, the printer a Hewlett Packard DeskJet 520.


Membership of the Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club has now reached an all-time high of three hundred members. This is a very healthy membership total for such a recently-established club. It is to be hoped that this number continues to swell as the club carries on in its quest for Championship Show status.


A reprint of the club rulebook has been approved by the committee. It is intended that this will be a professionally-printed A6-sized (i.e. approximately 4 x 6 inches) card-covered reference guide containing the rules and constitution of the Downlands. The club has been in contact with the printers, Derby-based Higham Press Ltd., over the course of the last few weeks and it is hoped that the new books will be with the membership around Christmas time. The new version will incorporate the map delineating the "Downlands Area" in which the club operates and the minor rule changes that have been put in place since the last edition was printed.


Owing to the untimely death of Terry Giles, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dogs at Crufts 1995 will now be judged by Mr. Mike Homan. The Bitches will by judged by Mrs. J. Hemstock as before.


In an exciting, new, development for our club, it is hoped that the membership records for the Downlands will be transferred to a computer-based system in the very near future. Approval was granted at the April Committee meeting and investigations are being conducted into the feasibility of this project. There are significant benefits to this, not least the possibility of computer-generated labels which will save the show manager a considerable amount of time and effort. The membership secretary will also have an easier time adding new or maintaining existing membership user records and it will be possible to obtain lists of all members of the club. It should be pointed out, however, that there is no intention of circulating this list outside the club in any way, shape or form, other than as part of the annual returns to the Kennel Club (Rule 15).

The only stumbling block to this major advance and improvement is the Data Protection Act. This is a law designed to protect individuals from having their personal data misused. A yearly registration fee of 75 may be required to be paid to the Data Protection Registrar, but it is hoped that the club will be able to claim exemption under section 33 as it is a constituted member's club and not a business. Enquiries are being made, and we will keep you up to date in the newsletter with this innovative project......


The Downlands has been given an honorary mention in the latest Animal Care Trust Newsletter. As you probably already know, Kathy Palmer collects used stamps and sends them on to the Animal Care Trust in the name of the Downlands. As we know all the members of the Downlands have recently received mail (i.e. the Newsletter you are currently reading), if you remove the stamp from the envelope this could be the first in your collection. With Christmas approaching the Royal Mail will be busy, and people's letter boxes crammed full of stamp-bearing envelopes. Why not remove the stamps, and either send them to Kathy (her address is on the inside front cover of this magazine), or, to save postage, perhaps send them along with your membership renewal form for 1995? The Membership Secretary has agreed to forward these on to Kathy. Come on, fellow Downlanders, let's see if we can get another mention for our club in the next newsletter of this very worthy cause!


All club members are reminded that they should notify the Membership Secretary, in writing, as soon as possible (preferably before and with an effective date) in the event of any change of address. This will minimise any risk of your Communications from the club (schedules for shows, Newsletter, Renewal forms etc.) being delayed. Write to Vickie Robinson at the address on the inside front cover.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind members that according to the rules of the club all subscriptions fall due on the first on January each year, regardless of what time of year you originally joined. The only exception to this is if you are a newly joined member whose application for membership has been approved after the first of October (see Rule 9).


Did you know that since this Act became law, hundreds of dogs have been taken into custody who have, in fact, done nothing wrong?

Did you know that they are detained in unknown locations; that their owners are not allowed to see them and that they can expect to stay in solitary confinement for periods in excess of twelve months?

Did you know that at least two in-whelp bitches have been taken and their litters destroyed when born?

Did you know that every dog is at risk under this Act? Although the Act was supposed to have been introduced to cover Pit Bull Terriers, under section three any dog can be taken if a member of the public complains of being frightened. No proof is required!

Did you know that a fourteen-year-old Pekinese dared to bark at someone passing her owner's gate? The passer-by complained to the police who came to the house and removed her. Her owner has died!

Will you be happy when it's your turn?

Did you know that on the 25th April 1993 the JUSTICE FOR DOGS Campaign was launched? The meeting had the backing of some 2-300 people, including five Barristers and two Solicitors. It was decided at that meeting to attempt to raise sufficient funds to appoint a Barrister who would be willing to take a specific case before the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. Mr. Anthony Pickford, an International Barrister, has agreed to act for us and he has stated that there are strong grounds to proceed immediately to Europe. It is his intention to take a number of cases to be placed before the judges who will be appointed.

A Building Society Account has been opened to receive donations and I have a solicitor as my co-trustee. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP. Send what you can to me:-

at FINLOREN COTTAGE, WEYTHEL, OLD RADNOR, POWYS, LD8 2RR. Telephone: 0154 422 213. Please make your donations out to JUSTICE FOR DOGS.



Jo Northcote writes....."I have a penfriend in New Zealand and asked if she would write something for our newsletter. I have enclosed the article that she sent over."


My name is Kathy. I live in a small town called Lyttelton, which is the sea port for Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. My husband Rob and I share our lives with one Siamese cat (Staffy), an Australian Silkie Terrier (Yabby) and four lively Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These being; Tyson (alpha dog), his partner Molly, their son Frankie and his little playmate Patsy. Our involvement with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is extensive. I show Frankie's litter brother Arthur. He lives with good friends nearby and joins our clan for rabbit hunts once or twice a week as well as coming along with me to shows. Patsy, our newest member, has just started in the show ring in a very limited way. You could say I show one and a half dogs as Patsy's behaviour, so far, in the ring doesn't justify us calling her a show dog as yet. The biggest part of my time is taken up with duties as South Island, and just recently, the New Zealand SBT Club secretary. From this article you will see we have other bits and pieces as well that help fill in the day to overflowing. Jo Northcote and I have been friends for three or four years now. We both write the occasional letter, keeping each other up to date with family events. Jo has asked me to submit something for her local club newsletter, hence this article. I will try to get an article together on showing in New Zealand in the future and send this in as well. We have Joyce Shorrock judging our Championship Show in October so I will send the results to your newsletter for the interest of your readers. If any readers have specific questions relating to New Zealand please pass these onto Jo (same address as Chris Northcote on inside front cover) and I will do my best to answer them.

Dockside Boys Find Employment

In our household everyone works. The definition of work varies amongst the species, but the principle remains the same. The Australian Silkie keeps the Staffordshire's safe by being the best little alarm system in Lyttelton. She is taken for walks with these big burly dogs to show the public that they are not the man/dog eating monsters that the media would like us to believe they are. The Siamese kitten has a similar job to the Silkie. She roams around in the thick of these "terminators" sharing food and warmth, generally creating a picture of harmony in a household filled with many shapes, sizes and strengths.

Having dealt with the job descriptions of the smallest members we come to the big boys (and girls). Molly baby-sits my sister's children. The first day on the job Molly spent her time bonding with the children and giving everyone lots of washes. My sister , Donna, and husband happily went out for the evening leaving the fourteen year old and Molly in charge. I phoned later that night to make sure Molly was not getting the boys too excited, but all was well. Molly was having to sleep on all three beds at once to save fights. A couple of hours later my sister and husband arrived after an enjoyable time with friends. They got as far as the foyer and no more. Yes, you guessed it! Molly, the baby-sitter from Hell, was not going to let anyone near her new family of babies, not even their own parents! Donna made it as far as the phone, we gave her a few key words to pass onto Molly, and they were able to regain their family. Needless to say, Molly's baby-sitting abilities have become legendary in Governors Bay and her services are required often (except in households with cats!). With Molly on the job the children are safe from intruders and everything else.

Patsy will only get a small mention as she is only a puppy and most of her time is taken up with harassing the other animals and digging up my garden. Three Jasmine plants, just starting to take off, were amongst her victims. This did not make me very happy, as you can imagine. So in the meantime, until something else comes up, Patsy has taken on the job of gardener. Enough said on that subject.

This now leaves the two boys Tyson and Frankie. Although Frankie did his very best to try to convince us that hunting rabbits was a job (I know Ruth Wearing's Morse would give his full support on this - Morse being a DOC volunteer with their eradication programme) but this did not wash with the powers that be (myself) and employment was sought for both the boys. What could two has-been show dogs do? Tyson loves dressing up and will wear his Captain Tyson the Pirate suit as often and as long as we will let him. This made the choice of his work easier. Children love pirates and Tyson was just the person for the job. His first appointment was to attend the Canterbury Branch of Heart Children's birthday party. Along we trotted, Tyson with his flash costume and his drunken sailor swagger and myself carrying a treasure trove full of Crunchie bars and lollipops. It started off very well with the children most intrigued with his costume and chest full of sweets. Tyson played his part well, agreed to be poked and prodded, to eat the Shrewsberry biscuits thrust under his nose and to share his cutlass with the adventure seeking little boys. But once a Staffordshire always a Staffordshire, and sure enough it came out! Halfway through the party Tyson showed his true colours and let his wind go free! It was a party stopper and he did not stop there! In the end he was causing such distraction with the gas build-up from the previous night's Chinese takeaways that he was removed to the car. The moral of this story is: 'never let your dog go to work with your spouse where he will be fed by well-meaning workmates, Asian food, that will cause a nasty chemical reaction twelve hours later when he is out with you doing public relations work for the breed'. This was only last week so it's too early yet to know if his children's party work has been jeopardised by his unsociable digestive system.

Frankie, being the gentlest and the intellectually challenged member of the family, required something less outgoing. Dick and Mary Leeflang tried to help us with the problem of finding something for Frank to undertake. I'm sorry Dick and Mary, but Frankie was just not up to the task of learning all those new commands involved in trailing. This called for some imagination. Well, if Tyson was covering for the young set, why couldn't Frankie go to the other extreme? Canine Friends were looking for suitable dogs to visit old people's homes. This was just up his alley, or so I hoped. Off went the application form accompanied by a cutsie photo of Frank, Molly and the kitten curled up sharing a chair. Rob was sure 'they would not want one of those dogs, he would scare the old ladies into an early grave'. I patiently waited to hear back to see if we would get as far as an interview. We did. The day arrived and off we went. Frankie all freshly bathed and wearing his highly polished show collar and lead set. I thought he looked a picture, Rob thought he looked menacing! The visiting home had three cats! While our dogs live happily with their own, any other cats are fair game and Frank was game to try his luck with the resident cats. I just managed to drag him past that test and we entered the home in quite a rush, with Frank keen to see if they had any more of those C-A-T things inside. Far from scaring the old folks, he sat on their feet and put his head in their laps just like a professional Canine Friend. One old girl summed him up with her very loud commanding voice booming out 'he's pathetic, just look at the expression on his face, I thought they were supposed to be vicious these dogs!' Oh dear, so much for Rob's theory. The rest of the afternoon was passed .with Frankie doing his frog
impersonation stretched out on a mat in front of the heater. We are hoping to be given our local retirement home to visit. This is only a short walk from home and will serve the double purpose of giving the breed a good local image, as well as making Frankie earn at least some of his keep.

We will keep you posted on the further adventures of the Dockside boys in their employment. I know there will be more in store, because there is never a dull moment when you have a house full of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Kathy Grattan and Rob Tucker
Dockside Saffordshire Bull Terriers


The club secretary has recently received a letter from EXHIBITORS SELECT ADMINISTRATION, a London-based insurance company that feels it may have an opportunity to offer the members of the Downlands.....

The text of the letter follows....

For many years now, pet insurance has been available for pet and show owners alike.

It has been brought to our attention that show exhibitors have a more specialist need in this area and pay more attention to the health and condition of their animals.

With this in mind, we feel that an opportunity exists to offer specialist insurance to exhibitors with specialist needs, and it is felt that an insurance scheme that would only be available through clubs and associations like your own, exclusively to members, may well be attractive.

But how will this insurance differ from schemes already available?

* Lower premiums due to fewer claims instances. Exhibitors Select is more comprehensive and cover is available only to exhibitors.

* Commission to your club. If your members take out the cover, a direct deductible commission will be payable to you.

* Competitive rates for multiple exhibits

As we have said earlier, this scheme will only be available to members of clubs and associations and we would appreciate your co-operation in helping us launch this new, exclusive product by in the first instance, informing us if this would be of interest to you and secondly, by advising how many of your members would be interested in the scheme.

The letter then goes on to thank us for our assistance. If anyone is interested in finding out further details then please write to the club secretary, Ann Gatenby, at the address inside the front cover as soon as possible. The Newsletter subcommittee was, however, somewhat offended at the implication in the second paragraph of the letter that those members who show their dogs care for them more diligently than those members who do not!


It's that blackberry time of the year again and my "entourage" sniff out every hanging blackberry within reach as we meander along the field's hedgerows. But this time events were enlivened by the sudden appearance of a small Muntjac deer halfway across the open ground. First to spot it was EMBLAKE TOUCH OF CLASS (Dolly) who is somewhat portly of late. She gave chase, closely followed by EMBLAKE HANKY PANKY (Hannah) and BOUNCE BUCKRAM OF EMBLAKE (Rosie). JACK THE LAD and SAVANNAH SMILES (Bunty) were missing the event because they had previously gone ahead to the next field, thinking the "grass was greener".

To the chase: this little deer decided to run in circles, figures of eight, any twist except making for the safety of the copse. It didn't take too long before Dolly decided that enough was enough (and it was a silly game anyway!) and she watched the others in their pursuit. A few minutes more endeavour, and Hannah conceded to her eight years.

Which left Rosie: the deer teased Rosie with doubling, twisting and short bursts of speed until they both disappeared into the copse. I called Rosie immediately before she badly scratched herself on brambles, and she appeared in an exhausted state, tongue dragging the ground. However, if she could have talked, she would probably have spun a real yarn about how she nearly caught the deer. In reality, the deer could have left unscathed anytime, for they, like foxes, seem to have a fifth gear when necessary.

From the above, may I offer a point regarding "short back with level topline", a phrase often used to describe winning dogs at the shows. The above three dogs pursuing the deer are of somewhat different construction. Dolly is "shorter backed, leveller topline", Hannah is "slight rise over loins, balanced, fifty/fifty bull and terrier", Rosie "taller than Dolly, same as Hannah, but longer cast with definite rise over loins. Balanced, but more terrier."

"Runs like a whippet" is a common phrase. Have a look at the spinal construction of a whippet, greyhound, Borzoi, Bedlington etc. I do not say a Staffordshire Bull Terrier should have an arched back, but must have some length and bend in the spine to enable the use of terrier agility to be seen in the breed. Rosie ran the deer well because she had these points in her make up. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are being more and more entered into agility competitions - and I know that no "short-backed, level topline" dogs can compete. It all boils down to the old argument of bull and "terrier" but this argument would certainly fall flat if the original bulldog (long legs, back!) was considered.

Some of you may remember that I wrote a short surmise about nutrition in the last Downlands Newsletter. Whilst on holiday (caravan, what else with seven dogs?) at Bournemouth championship show and Welsh Kennel Club at Builth Wells, I heard a lot of discussion on various breeding and behavioural problems which was being tentatively attributed to dog food.

Could be the tip of a very big iceberg. Something to discuss on those informal discussion evenings for members organised by societies and clubs!

"Do they?" you say. "When? Where?" - Good idea though, eh?

Adam Wilson


So you think you know all there is to know about Staffords? Here's a chance to win a crisp fiver whilst determining the limits of your knowledge of dogs, owners and breeding with this testing quiz by JAMIE MACE. Please send your answers to him at the address inside the front cover.

1. Clare Lee judged Crufts in 1985, who was awarded the Dog CC and the Bitch CC?

2. Jean Short judged dogs at the 1985 Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club championship show and awarded the dog CC to EASTAFF GUARDIAN who went on to win Best in Show. Which class did this dog win the award from?

3. Who bred Ch. MUD GUTS?


5. DOSANTORS MOLLY MAGUIRE won her first CC and BOB at Manchester championship show on 23rd March 1985 at only 17 months old. Who was the judge?

6. Who awarded Ch. CONTESSA OF ELVINOR her third ticket and crown?

7. In which year did Ch. BOLDMORE BLACK SABBATH win the CC and BOB at Crufts?

8. Name the six dogs and six bitches made champions in 1992.

9. Who are the owners of Ch. INDIANA JET SETTER?

10. Name the dog on the front of the Spring 1991 issue of "THE STAFFORD" magazine.

11. Name the sire of Ch. EASTSTAR ULTIMATE WARRIOR.

12. Name the dam of Ch. MAKEREADY HUNTSMAN'S LASS.

13. Name the dam of Ch. LAWBURY CADIZ KID and Ch. LAWBURY SPIKER JOE.

The winner and the answers will be published in issue 15 of the Newsletter. Closing date for entries is 30th January 1995.



24th April 1994, The Bohunt Centre, Liphook

Hosted by the


Judge: Mr. P. Walker

Downlands Team:




Mr. & Mrs. A. Prentice SECOND EDITION



Mr. & Mrs. K. Woodage POLAR ICE PRINCESS (Reserve)

Mr. & Mrs. S. Palmer RANDY RED RASCAL (Reserve)


(Southern Counties Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society)

(Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club)

(Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club)


1. Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club - 33 Points

2. Potteries Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club - 25 Points

3. Southern Counties Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society - 20 Points

4. East Anglian Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club - 15 Points

5. Make Weights (Reserves from various clubs) - 12 Points

Jamie Mace

Last modified: 10 May 2017
The Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, 2017