Bulldogs on parade at Hartlepool event

HOUNDS OF LOVE: Bulldogs galore at the Rossmere Centre in hartlepool.
HOUNDS OF LOVE: Bulldogs galore at the Rossmere Centre in hartlepool.

IT was a day for dogs when an annual Hartlepool attraction with a canine twist returned for another successful year.

More than 100 bulldogs turned out at the Rossmere Centre in the town’s Rossmere Way for a fun day of competition which included the waggiest tail, handsome dog, cutest pup and prettiest bitch.

The canines were joined by more than 200 people and organiser Michelle Stonehouse said: “There are a lot of like-minded bulldog owners who don’t show them in champion shows. This is held to reach out to those people and let them have a fun day for the whole family.”

Other categories included the bulldog fancy dress section, and the rescue parade for any bulldog which is on its second or more home.

Stalls, refreshments, children’s corner, tombola and raffle, fun classes, crafty cakes and a colouring and drawing competition were also held.

Michelle added: “We had 108 bulldogs and we also had Buddy the Bulldog who is the mascot for the Bulldog Rescue charity.”

The event was called Bulldog Day UK and is one of only two events of its kind held in the UK. One is held in Newark for the south of the UK and the other takes place in Hartlepool each year.

Vicky Collins-Nattras, who is the founder of Bulldog Day UK, had a drop in centre with information, advice and demonstrations.

Michelle added: “There were a lot of educational things going on and there was a chance for people to ask questions.”

The day’s fun also included lots of fundraising. The organisers of each stall at Bulldog Day UK donated £10 for the privilege of taking part. Most stallholders also gave a prize for a raffle, said Michelle.

She added: “We also had sponsorship and people donated to the cost of the venue and the cost of the kitchen.”

She said the event was so popular that visitors even came from Ireland for the Hartlepool event.

Others came from Hartlepool, the surrounding area, Norfolk, Scotland and southern England.

Although the amount which was raised has yet to be revealed, money will go to the Bulldog Rescue charity.

Each year Michelle also invites a Hartlepool charity to the day to promote their work and this year it was the honour of the Handprints art studio.