Origins of the club
The Four Counties Beagle Club was formed in 1967 to cover the area between Scotland, the Midlands and the Northern Counties. The Four Counties being the old counties of Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland and Westmorland.
The original secretary, Mr W D McInnes (who is still on the committee and along with his wife hon. life members). Bill was also a founder member of the Scottish Beagle Club and was only too well aware of the Four Counties area, having lived in at least 2 of the counties! The original plan was to move around our area holding a show in the east, west, north and south of the counties, but objections fom other societies meant we settled in the east!
The club was very against members selling beagles to be used in experiments and stated this in the original constitution and is still there today. In 1967 beagles were not common as pets and so it was mainly the showring where beagles were visible, members travelled many miles to support classes and these could be AV Beagle/Basset and were more often than not judged by a Basset judge!
The most prominent kennels in the area were:
Bill & Mollie McInnes (Teesbarn)
Norman Graham (Ravold)
Rose Webster (Nearayett)
Jean & Wal Western (Deanery)
Noel & Joni Jobson (Glenivy)
Arthur Carter (Singabeam)
Bill & Margaret Foster (Gamelands)
The area has some strong historical connections with the breed as long ago as Roman times. A small 12-14 inch hound that resembled a beagle has been found and identified by it's remains along the Roman Wall, but in some number at the Fort of "Vindolanda" in Northumberland.
The engraver Thomas Berwick used a local beagle in his studies and these can still be seen as original wood blocks at his birthplace musuem at " Cherryburn" in Northumberland. The image below is taken from his "Quadrupeds" books.
The local working pack of beagles "Newcastle & District" is an old established line and most current show beagles can be traced back via Mr Appleton's Appleline Beagles to foundation stock from the Newcastle & District pack.
We have a long tradition to uphold, so may we look to the future with the beagle as a popular pet, a force to be reckoned with in the showring, and the end of animal experimentation.