The Aldgrove kennel is not one of the most famous pre-War kennels. However, its history is worth telling. The kennel was founded and led by Dr. T.R. Wilshaw and his sister-in-law Miss E.L. Mottram. In 1918 Dr. Wilshaw came from Melsonby to become the Doctor of Aldbrough St. John (Yorkshire). He happened to be a very good billiards player, but the breeding of Golden Retrievers would soon become succesful as well.
When did they start? K9data.com provides us with a list of Aldgrove dogs. The oldest of them is Rorina of Aldgrove < Rorina (12/29/1924; Rory of Bentley x Mouse). It was bred by Mr. P.H. Palmer; first owned by Mr. Jenner, then by Dr. Wilshaw. [“Rovina of Aldgrove” (Rory of Bunting (=Bentley) x Mouse) as listed in the K9data is almost certain the same dog as Rorina.] In May 1927 Golden Goblet was born (5/12/1927; Scotch Laddie x Rorina of Aldgrove). So, we can establish with certainty that Dr. Wilshaw and Miss Mottram started their kennel in 1925 or (probably) 1926.
Another interesting name in the list of the Aldgrove dogs is the name of Goldrock of Aldgrove (Goldrock of Aldbro). This dog was born in 1927 and bred by Mrs. J. Cottingham (Woolley). The double naming is interesting, because it suggests that Dr. Wilshaw and Miss Mottram orinigally opted for ‘Aldbro’ as name of their kennel. They seem to have changed their minds however, pretty soon afterwards.
In 1931 the Aldgrove-kennel is for the first time mentioned in the catalogue of Crufts, with two dogs: Kelso of Aldgrove (06/26/1929; Ch. Michael of Moreton x Sh.Ch. Speedwell Emerald) and Goldgleam of Aldgrove (03/30/1930; Ch. Diver of Woolley x Sh.Ch. Sewardstone Tess). Both were breeded by other breeders: Kelso with Mrs. Evers-Swindells (Speedwell) and Goldgleam with Mr. Jenner (Abbotts). So, we may conclude that Dr. Wilshaw and Miss Mottram hoped for a quality impulse. They wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Kelso of Aldgrove was very succesful. He became a Champion in October, 1931, at the early age of two years and and four months: at that moment the youngest Dog Champion of the breed. He won the Golden Certificate at Cruft’s in 1932, but he won also some field trials. Goldgleam of Aldgrove became English Champion and the same happened with Golddawn of Aldgrove, their first own-bred Champion (11/11/1930; Ch. Kelso of Aldgrove x Ch. Goldgleam of Aldgrove).
However, it seems that their activity soon diminished. The database provides us with birthdates up till 1936 (Honey of Aldgrove). That year appears to be the last year they were active at Crufts. So the story of the Aldgrove kennel was pretty short, but flourishing. Watch these pretty dogs.