The following is an extract from an article
by Peggy Grayson which appears in "Starters In the Valleys",
a book published by the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of South Wales in 1993.
"Spaniels In Wales" get a mention In most old books, mostly as the Welsh Cocker which at one time was referred to as liver, but may have been dark red, and then later as a red and white spaniel. In Stonehenge on the Dog, published In 1859 there Is an Illustration of Welsh and English Cocker Spaniels, and although reproduced in black and white It is to be presumed the broken coloured spaniel shown as Welsh Is red and white.
No doubt It was from these old Welsh Cockers that the Starter was bred and the Blandy Jenkins' Llanharron strain developed. Whether the nomenclature of Welsh Springer and English Springer would ever have been adopted had not Field Trials for spaniels been started In 1899, is uncertain, but once these were successful, a large number of spaniels with no breeding, appeared in the registrations under the breeds they most resembled.
Born: 25 June 1893
A strong representation was made to the Kennel Club for recognition for these working spaniels, and In 1902 the registers for the English Springer and the Welsh Springer were formed.
Prior to this date, the red and white spaniels soon to be Welsh Springers, had been listed as Cockers, as Indeed they were of the Welsh variety, the most famous of which was CORRIN bred by Col Blandy Jenkins. CORRIN remained in the Cocker register although his son CORRIN OF GERWN appeared under the Welsh Springer register.
|CH Longmynd Megan
Born 27 September 1904
Thanks mainly to the diligence of Mr A Williams of Ynisgerwn, near Neath, whose spaniels under the Gerwn affix kept the breed well to the fore, and to Mrs Greene whose Longmynd kennels contributed greatly to setting a type, the Welsh Springer had emerged triumphant from the medlmval swamp of common spaniels, as a bright and shining example of all that was best In the variety. And then came the 1914 War. When this was over no Welsh Springers appearing In the registrations could claim any registered parents.
There Is no written reference to any of the pre-1914 dogs and bitches although the post war dogs must surely have had close connections. Why whole strains could have gone missing in five to six years Is a mystery, but John Phillips confirmed that when researching his book on the breed, he had not been able to trace any Welsh Springer pedigrees back beyond 1920, and I have to confess I have had no better luck.
So the Welsh Springer had to start over with those red and white unregistered dogs and bitches that surfaced after the cessation of hostilities, and It Is these unknowns that form the background of the breed today. Careful breeders who came along in the 1920's and 1930's managed to set a type which has been faithfully copied by those who followed on.