About us

The committee works tirelessly to build upon and make a success of the club by not only organising and running our shows but also many different activities, to give our members an interesting calendar each year.

When the club was formed, the main objectives were and continue to be to promote and encourage the breeding of Golden Retrievers to the Kennel Club Breed Standard, to encourage and promote the training and working of the Golden Retriever and to encourage and promote shows, field trials and working tests. The health and welfare of Golden Retrievers has always been important to the club and our members. The club’s code of conduct has been devised to help support these objectives as do many of our activities.

We cover the areas of Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and Derbyshire and include North Wales for Rescue.

The club officers are as follows:

PresidentJim Blackburn
ChairmanAnn Whitby01352 770265
Acting SecretaryPat Blackburn01248 370477
TreasurerTracey Ayling-Jones07910 057589


Ann Whitby, Chairman

I have served on the NWGRC committee since 2001 and have held the role of Health Representative for the last nine years. I’m also the current Chairman of the Gundog Club of North Wales and have been a committee member since 1997.

I had my first Golden in 1968.  She was from predominantly working lines, Haulstone, Holway, Stubblesdown and Wesley, with some lovely dogs such as Dual Ch David of Wesley, FT Ch Mazurka of Winford and Dai of Yarlaw in her pedigree.  She was lightly shown and worked.  

I currently judge at Open Show level and my current dogs are all shown and worked.  They achieve consistent success in the show ring, and from October through to the end of January they pick up twice weekly on shoots. I feel it is so important for Goldens to retain the working ability for which they were bred.

I am a qualified dog groomer, have completed and passed a two-year course on Dog Breeding and Genetics and latterly completed and passed year one Veterinary Nursing.

Tracey Ayling-Jones – Treasurer

I joined the committee eight years ago and in 2019 became an Officer, taking on the role of Treasurer, something which I really enjoy doing.

I have been active in the Dog World since the 1980s, where I began showing Cairn Terriers and Standard Poodles, but over thirteen years ago my real passion for the Golden Retriever began.

Our dogs all live with us in the house and are first and foremost, a huge part of our family. I love travelling the country showing my dogs and have made some wonderful friends who are just as  passionate about the breed as me. I judge Goldens at Open Shows and am a Level 2 Judge on several Breed Clubs’ B lists.

Tracy Best

My parents bought our first golden retriever when I was 14. Since then, I have travelled the country attending dog shows, attended the Guisachan gatherings twice, initially supporting my parents and then taking part in some classes including KCJO or JHA classes, before purchasing my own Golden Retriever in 1999 and showing my own dogs under the affix Ellyest.

My interest in Golden Retrievers and dog shows developed further by becoming a member of various committees and eventually taking on various officer roles.

For the past 10 years I have been a committee member of The Merseyside Gundog Club, also serving in part as an auditor, and I have served for the same time as a NWGRC committee member.

Shortly after gaining employment as a prison officer in 1997, I moved within the prison to become a prison dog handler.  During this time, I handled two English Springer Spaniels two German Shepherd dogs and a Labrador, with roles including patrol and attack, passive and pro-active drug detection and firearms and explosives.

My dogs have been entered into The Good Citizen Dog Scheme” and more recently, both of my current Golden Retrievers have qualified as “Pets as Therapy” dogs, working with elderly and mental health.

Graham Erving

I owned my first Golden Retriever, Erv Graham’s Sunshine, in 1974. I was one of the founder members of the North West Golden Retriever Club and a Committee Member for over ten years. During this time, I judged the breed and other Gundogs at Open Show Level across the country after successfully completing the Midland Golden Retriever Club’s Judging Course under the tutelage of Meriel Hathaway (Melfricka). I regularly stewarded for the club at Open and Championship Shows. Most weekends I would be out and about showing my dogs; until the early ‘90s when I had a career change and my two daughters were born.

I am also a Committee Member of Merseyside Gundog Club which helps me to expand my knowledge of other Gundog Breeds and taking the relevant K.C. courses and exams for judges including breed appreciation days in other Gundog Breeds. I have recently started to judge again after successfully completing the North West Golden Retriever Club’s “Hands On” Judging Assessment Day. I have an interest in education, Golden Retriever health in terms of genetics and pedigrees. I have come full circle in that I once again have the honour of being a committee member of the North West Golden Retriever Club.

Sue Grundy

My first Golden Retriever was a rescue, who I was lucky to have for 18 months, and my family has always had dogs of various breeds.

I was introduced into showing Golden Retrievers in 1996 and in 2009 I was invited to join the NWGRC committee. I have enjoyed various activities with my dogs over the years including Kennel Club Good Citizen, Agility and visiting residents in a local home for the elderly with them. My dogs are firstly my companions and live in the house with me.

I am now getting back into showing after a break of 4 years and am enjoying catching up with friends I have not seen during that time.

I help with running our monthly ringcraft and with fundraising for our Rescue.

John Trafford FRICS CPAGB

I was pleased to join the committee of the NWGRC in 2020.My wife and I have had Golden Retrievers for over 50 years. They are and have been a constant part of our family of four children and now continue to play a part in the lives of our seven grandchildren.  Our dogs have accompanied us as companions for many miles on our fell walks of the Mountains in Scotland, Wales and the Lakes and continue to do so.

We have usually had two or three generations of bitches together and only bred when we wished to keep another bitch.

I started showing in 2019 with our new bitch Wynrita Misti Daze at Astleyfold. We have had success in the show ring and Misti was awarded her good citizen gold award at 12 months. I have regularly attended and enjoyed club ring craft and other events. We have received a lot of encouragement and support from the breeder, committee, fellow exhibitors and judges and have made new friends.

I will endeavour to assist the NWGRC committee to fulfil its requirements for the benefit of the breed and the members and public and act in accordance with the Rules and Code of Conduct.

Show prefix: Astleyfold

Martin Jackson

Golden Retrievers have been a much-loved part of my family for more than 40 years. With the support of my wife, Anne, and in partnership with former NWGRC president Bernard Catterall, I currently show one of our three Goldens and enjoy meeting and learning from other people who share the same passion for the breed as I do. I also play an active role in the club’s monthly ringcraft sessions and in the numerous events and activities staged throughout the year for members.

Wendy Pickup

I was previously on the committee for 17 years and re-joined in September 2018.  I have been involved with owning and exhibiting Golden Retrievers in the show ring since 1989, although our first family Golden was born in 1969.  I enjoy training our dogs for the Kennel Club Good Citizen scheme, and currently 6 of our dogs have achieved the gold award.  Our dogs live together in our house, first and foremost they are our family companions.  I award Challenge Certificates in Goldens and judge most of the gundog breeds at Open level. I also enjoy stewarding at all levels.

Tracey Shepherd

I have been a NWGRC committee member for 3 years and really enjoy being part of the club, setting up for shows, stewarding etc. 

I judge Goldens at open show level and love attending dog shows all over the country, with my mum. I have made many lovely friends through a mutual love for our wonderful breed.   

I have had dogs all my life and Goldens for 19 years. I live on a dairy farm and am lucky to work from home, so my four Goldens are with me all day, every day, in the house as part of our family. 

I enjoy spending spare time with our three daughters and two grandsons. 

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