of a sort have been in existence for well over a 100 years and DCC member, Tim
Brock has done quite a bit of research in this regard with a somewhat mismarked
Dutch appearing in an engraving from Buffon's Natural History Book of 1807.
existence of a Dutch Cavy Club is first mentioned in an English Self Cavy Club
yearbook that was owned by the late Margaret Elward and that I originally
understood was for the year 1906. However, thanks to the kindness of Madelaine
Coomber, I have recently been able to sight this book and have discovered that
it is actually dated 1908 but covers the years 1906 to 1908. The principal
specialist clubs for rabbits and cavies are listed therein with the secretary of
the Dutch Cavy Club shown as Mr J. Mortimer of 28 Ashfield Road, Morley. No
county is mentioned and my current atlas for the UK, lists three such towns in
Derbyshire, Durham or West Yorkshire. As a result of this publication spanning
three years, it does now cast some doubt on the inauguration year but it has
been deemed as 1906 for some years now and, at this point in time, no one is exactly
around to question matters!
can be established from a Fur & Feather cutting of 1933 is that, forty
years previously, Dutch cavies were shown carrying three colours and that they
evolved from Tort and Whites. It appears that sometime around the turn of the
century, there was discussion on the future of the Dutch cavy. It was then
agreed that they should follow the example of the Dutch rabbit and carry only
two colours; red and white or black and white. Also, from Tim Brock's research,
it is evident that Agouti Dutch (Golden and the then Grey) were also in
existence and, to a lesser extent, Cream Dutch (source: Boy's Own Paper of
Chocolate Dutch appeared is not certain although the writer of this 1933
cutting, Mr W.H. Wright, states: I often bred choc Dutch marked from choc-red
and whites but never Agouti Dutch from Agouti red and whites. Strange to relate
too, the choc Dutch so bred were all sows and well marked but I never bred a
boar anywhere near a Dutch marked specimen. It is apparent, though, that they
were in existence before WWII and it was Margaret Elward that nurtured the
colour through the wartime years and surprised everyone by exhibiting a
Chocolate Dutch at the Bradford Ch. Show in the early fifties.
there is now little documented evidence on the Dutch Cavy Club (in my
possession at least) prior to WWII but I can relate that the basis of the
current DCC rules was Adopted at the Annual Election 1929. These were left unaltered for decades until
an EGM at Writtle, Chelmsford on 5th November 1989 and further
amendments and additions have since been made.
abovementioned Mr Wright could well have been the DCC Secretary during WWII as
I did have the opportunity to sight bound copies of Fur & Feather for 1942
during a visit to Eric & Pat Gaskin's home in August 2007. DCC notes were regular contributions by a Mr
Wright of Sutton in the Forest, York during that year but I cannot recollect
much other than in the January, a red and white Dutch shown by Mr Rae took
Best in Show at the Bradford Ch. Show. Dutch were quite popular then with both the adult and young Red classes
attracting 16 exhibits each. Entries in the AOC classes though were rather
sparse and failed to justify a claim for a separate Black class.
Club's minutes only date back to 1946 when a general meeting was held at Myrtle
Park, Bingley on 14th August. A total of eight members were present.
Club funds at that time stood at £34.2s.6d and Mr Wright was still the
secretary but, at an early point in the proceedings, was soon to resign. The
appointment of a new Sec & Treas. was then discussed and it was Pro. Mr J
Ward Sec. Mr Hurst that Percy Ashley, 102 Gt. Jackson St., Manchester be
appointed Hon Sec. & Treas. (carried un) However, Percy was more a mouse
man than a cavy fancier and although he retained an interest in the DCC, his
role as secretary was short-lived and a Mr Wilson replaced him at the next
meeting in 1947. The notable names of
Mather and Tipper made a first appearance in the Club's minutes on this
too sensational was raised at these meetings until January 1948 when there was much
debate over a proposal to have flesh ears on Dutch cavies, a failing deserving
of disqualification. This highlights how serious a flesh ear was considered and
it is still a bad fault. Later, in the October 1948 a meeting with the NCC was
proposed to discuss and draw up a uniform standard that included a
disqualification for flesh ears.
November 1949, the flesh ear controversy was still ongoing along with a
decision to have DCC prize cards printed for the Annual Stock Show (that was
the only DCC event in those days). After this meeting, Mrs B. Mather took over
as secretary; a position she held for many years. Subsequently, at a special
meeting held at Cleckheaton on 9th October 1950, the flesh ear issue
was finally put to rest when it was Pro Mr Craven the standard stayed as it
was as the National would not alter its standard again for the Dutch
Club. Passed by the meeting.
1955, Mrs E.M.Elward makes an appearance as committee member and club judge;
the only southerner. Things change in 1959 with Margaret now a Vice President
and the committee and judging panel split in two (Northern and Southern). The
names of E. Reynolds, L.J. Badcock, C.V. Hammon and C. Collins are now
recorded. September 1968 sees the DCC Stock Show come south to Guildford with
Eric Reynolds, Jack Price and Joan Radeglia very much instrumental with the
organisation of this event. Margaret Elward, Sid Mather (Guildford classes) and
I (DCC) were all busy judging on this day.
years later, the DCC Annual Show was again at Guildford and at the AGM, it was
agreed that the south could have an area show when the ASS was not in the area
and provided it was arranged with no cost to the parent club. Margaret took
over the mantle of Southern Area Secretary and held the position until her
death in June 2005. It was at this 1970 event that I first met Brian Passmore
of St Austell. Brian was, of course, the driving force behind the DCC South
West Area Shows until an allergy to the dust from hay forced his untimely exit
from the show scene. In addition, he was involved in the production of the
Club's first newsletters with full show reports from the judges and AGM news.
has transpired since then with new colours evolving (Cream Agouti, Lilac and
more recently, Chocolate Agouti), the Club staging as many as five area shows
plus the Annual Stock Show and now a roving Margaret Elward Memorial Show.
my departure as DCC Secretary/Treasurer in 2005, Chris Peachey of Fareham
kindly took over the reins and she did much to keep the Club active and to the
fore on the U.K. cavy scene. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Chris felt it
necessary to resign in 2009 and these positions were then taken up by Maggie
McKay of Dover. Unfortunately, in September 2011, she was diagnosed with liver
cancer with the sad inevitable consequence that her days on this earth were
numbered. The end still came as a shock as she remained amazingly upbeat and
good humoured when I last spoke to her; losing the battle on 11th
a consequence, a new secretary/treasurer was needed but because of some
internal personality problems the job was, initially, seen as something of a
poison chalice. However, the chairman, Graham Godfrey were successful in
persuading Amy Heale to consider the posts and at a September Executive
Meeting, she was duly elected as the Club's new Secretary/Treasurer. After an
eventful AGM in December 2012 and events at the Bradford Ch. Show in January
2013, the Club returned to normality and ever since, Amy has done a brilliant
job and members could not be more pleased.
together with the new Executive, continues with the ethic of doing all possible
to improve the Club and promote the breed throughout the UK.