THEY came in all shapes, sizes and breeds to the 90th birthday celebration of the Northern Alsatian and All Breeds Training Society.
But it was ‘dogfather’ Jerry Rhodes who was the centre of attention on this historic occasion for the Greenfield based club.
The origins of NAABTS, founded in the same year as Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in the world, are unclear.
And there have been a number of homes, including Keb Lane, Oldham and Middleton Junction, since the first pooches were put through their paces in 1928.
However, Jerry, now 91, and the oldest and longest standing member, has been the glue that has kept NAABTS moving forward for nearly six decades.
“I was head trainer for six years,” said Jerry who joined the club in 1953 to train an unruly Alsatian puppy, Lady, bought for the princely sum of eight guineas from a Mossley litter.
“I had three spells as chairman, I’ve been treasurer, vice president and President.
“I’m really proud the club is still going strong which is down to all the hard work of so many different people over the years.”
NAABTS moved to Saddleworth in 1974 when their present Chew Valley Road HQ was nothing more than a low-lying field.
The club now boasts more than 400 members and for details of training classes call: 07936 865550 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org