LOWDOWN Summer 2010 page 2

Hi everyone. Is it just me, or is time speeding up? It seems only a few weeks that I sent off the winter issue to the printers and now I am facing a blank laptop screen, about to write this latest missive.

However, there is quite a lot of Basset Hound news to report just what a newsletter editor wants!

I will leave it to Brian to update you as to the latest Branch developments and I will briefly outline Basset Hound Club matters.

In February, you probably received a letter from Mr Colin Wells, announcing his retirement as BHC Hon Secretary, after serving only ten months in that office. Many members will have been mystified by its contents.

You may also know that this was followed by the resignations of the BHC Chairman, our own Michael Errey, and the Hon Treasurer, Mr Colin Whittock.

Both have been respected, long serving members of the committee - in Michael’s case serving on it for thirty three years. They deserve the gratitude of members for their outstanding service to the Club and the breed.

Michael has been a very steady skipper, through some very choppy waters; especially of late, when the breed has been under attack from certain quarters. Many thanks, Michael, from all of us!

Another established committee member, Mrs Carol Daykin who was responsible for puppy enquiries, also resigned.

Many of the general membership will be baffled by all these changes.

It is probably wise, and certainly diplomatic, for me not to go into too much detail of what has led to this situation, though it is fair to report that it has been a very unsettling year for the BHC and one that had exposed tensions that existed on the Club’s committee.

During his brief spell in office, Mr Wells saw fit to raise concerns he had about the South East Branch. I think I speak for almost all the committee when I say how surprised we were that the branch had attracted such scrutiny. We were, after all, a very successful and thriving branch.

One of the complaints was that the Branch had not been fully serving the members in parts of our area, specifically Kent. It noted that we held a disproportionate number of our walks in Ashdown Forest - the location of which was mistakenly referred by Mr Wells as being in West Sussex!

As you know, we hold the majority of walks in Ashdown Forest because it is at the hub of our area. It is fairly central for most of our members, part of it being in Kent. Importantly, it is one of the few available venues in the south east with suitable parking, having broad pathways away from busy roads and relatively clear of free-ranging livestock. Interestingly, a walk in east Kent a few years ago proved very disappointing,

Mr Wells also highlighted the fact that South East Branch cheques had only the signature of our Treasurer on them, and not two officers’ signatures, as stated in the BHC rule book.

It is notable that this single signature practice had been in operation for over forty years, ever since the Branch’s inception. This method has worked perfectly throughout this time, to the complete satisfaction of every Branch committee since 1968. However, now that this technical error has been pointed out, the committee has corrected it.

In the opinion of all of us now serving on the Branch committee, these concerted criticisms, most of which are clearly spurious, have been fully and completely answered.

Why we, perhaps the most vital and rejuvenated of all branches, should suddenly have warranted such attention one can only speculate. Especially at a time when there are failing branches which could really benefit from help and advice from the parent club.

At the Basset Hound Club AGM in April, Mr Nigel Luxmoore-Ball was elected Chairman and Ms Sandra Allen, Hon Secretary. Ms Judith Murray took over as Acting Treasurer.

Though the committee is almost exclusively made up of breeders, the BHC should not be merely a breeders’ club. I think that the Club should appreciate who makes up the majority constituency of its membership, and acknowledge that ‘pet owner’ is not a dirty word.

Also, one can only hope, at this critical time, that the new regime understands what terrific work is done by many of the branches.

Finally, and on a lighter note, I must thank all of you who took the trouble to complete and return the Branch survey. We have had a terrific response. The full results are published on page 18 and show that you are generally very satisfied at the service that the South East Branch provides.

We will never forget that it is for you and your wonderful hounds that this Branch exists.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed so brilliantly to this issue of Lowdown. Let’s do it all again this winter!

editor@bassethoundowners.org.uk

Ronnie Irving

The Chairman of the Kennel Club, Mr Ronnie Irving (left) with your Editor, enjoying a Basset Hound
related conversation at the ringside at this month’s Southern Counties Championship Show

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

Hi everyone. Is it just me, or is time speeding up? It seems only a few weeks that I sent off the winter issue to the printers and now I am facing a blank laptop screen, about to write this latest missive.

However, there is quite a lot of Basset Hound news to report just what a newsletter editor wants!

I will leave it to Brian to update you as to the latest Branch developments and I will briefly outline Basset Hound Club matters.

In February, you probably received a letter from Mr Colin Wells, announcing his retirement as BHC Hon Secretary, after serving only ten months in that office. Many members will have been mystified by its contents.

You may also know that this was followed by the resignations of the BHC Chairman, our own Michael Errey, and the Hon Treasurer, Mr Colin Whittock.

Both have been respected, long serving members of the committee - in Michael’s case serving on it for thirty three years. They deserve the gratitude of members for their outstanding service to the Club and the breed.

Michael has been a very steady skipper, through some very choppy waters; especially of late, when the breed has been under attack from certain quarters. Many thanks, Michael, from all of us!

Another established committee member, Mrs Carol Daykin who was responsible for puppy enquiries, also resigned.

Many of the general membership will be baffled by all these changes.

It is probably wise, and certainly diplomatic, for me not to go into too much detail of what has led to this situation, though it is fair to report that it has been a very unsettling year for the BHC and one that had exposed tensions that existed on the Club’s committee.

During his brief spell in office, Mr Wells saw fit to raise concerns he had about the South East Branch. I think I speak for almost all the committee when I say how surprised we were that the branch had attracted such scrutiny. We were, after all, a very successful and thriving branch.

One of the complaints was that the Branch had not been fully serving the members in parts of our area, specifically Kent. It noted that we held a disproportionate number of our walks in Ashdown Forest - the location of which was mistakenly referred by Mr Wells as being in West Sussex!

As you know, we hold the majority of walks in Ashdown Forest because it is at the hub of our area. It is fairly central for most of our members, part of it being in Kent. Importantly, it is one of the few available venues in the south east with suitable parking, having broad pathways away from busy roads and relatively clear of free-ranging livestock. Interestingly, a walk in east Kent a few years ago proved very disappointing,

Mr Wells also highlighted the fact that South East Branch cheques had only the signature of our Treasurer on them, and not two officers’ signatures, as stated in the BHC rule book.

It is notable that this single signature practice had been in operation for over forty years, ever since the Branch’s inception. This method has worked perfectly throughout this time, to the complete satisfaction of every Branch committee since 1968. However, now that this technical error has been pointed out, the committee has corrected it.

In the opinion of all of us now serving on the Branch committee, these concerted criticisms, most of which are clearly spurious, have been fully and completely answered.

Why we, perhaps the most vital and rejuvenated of all branches, should suddenly have warranted such attention one can only speculate. Especially at a time when there are failing branches which could really benefit from help and advice from the parent club.

At the Basset Hound Club AGM in April, Mr Nigel Luxmoore-Ball was elected Chairman and Ms Sandra Allen, Hon Secretary. Ms Judith Murray took over as Acting Treasurer.

Though the committee is almost exclusively made up of breeders, the BHC should not be merely a breeders’ club. I think that the Club should appreciate who makes up the majority constituency of its membership, and acknowledge that ‘pet owner’ is not a dirty word.

Also, one can only hope, at this critical time, that the new regime understands what terrific work is done by many of the branches.

Finally, and on a lighter note, I must thank all of you who took the trouble to complete and return the Branch survey. We have had a terrific response. The full results are published on page 18 and show that you are generally very satisfied at the service that the South East Branch provides.

We will never forget that it is for you and your wonderful hounds that this Branch exists.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed so brilliantly to this issue of Lowdown. Let’s do it all again this winter!

editor@bassethoundowners.org.uk

Ronnie Irving

The Chairman of the Kennel Club, Mr Ronnie Irving (left) with your Editor, enjoying a Basset Hound
related conversation at the ringside at this month’s Southern Counties Championship Show

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts