South Western Counties Cat Club



Club History

The following club history has been updated by an article taken from a booklet by the late Mrs JF Paddon, written circa 1966:


One summer's day back in the year 1931, a group of cat fanciers gathered together in a room at St Luke's College Exeter, with the object of forming a cat club for the South West peninsula, and the title selected was The South Western Counties Cat Club. Officers and Committee members were elected and the new club was launched.


During the 1930's several championship shows were held, always at the old Drill Hall in Exeter. Then came 1939 and the war, during the blitz on Exeter in 1942 the Drill Hall was one of the casualties.


After the war the club almost went into liquidation, as no subscriptions had been paid over the war years and funds were very low, but in 1949 the mere handful of those left - exactly three, of who Mrs Paddon was one, decided to advertise and try to arouse enough interest among cat breeders in the South West to resuscitate the club. This led to a number of enquires, new members joined, and from this nucleus the club was reborn.


A small non championship show was held in Torquay the same year which netted about £80.00 (quite a sum in those days!) and from then the club went from strength to strength. The show eventually regained championship status, but in those days in was held bi-annually, at various venues. In 1960 it returned to the city of its birth, Exeter, and held a successful show in the Civic Hall.




By 1970 the show had become an annual event, but a crisis occurred when the news came that the Civic Hall was to be closed, demolished and the site redeveloped.


The show manager at that time was the late Mrs Frankie Paddon, one of our founders. In her day she was a well known judge and breeder of Brown Tabby Persians, with the "Trelyston" prefix. Through a contact (her hairdresser, as a matter of fact) she was put in touch with the manager of the racecourse at Newton Abbot where a new building had been erected, this turned out to be an ideal venue.


We stayed there for many years until we first moved to the Riviera Centre, Torquay in 1989.


The club is a member club of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.


In 2011 the club celebrated it's 80th birthday, and is very proud of its long history.