Newgate History

Over the last 50 years Newgate Kennels and Cattery have grown from one employee, the founder Jess Millett, to a workforce of over 30 employees.

To allow you to find out more about how Newgate has progressed over the years we have compiled a timeline of the most significant events throughout our history.

Newgate Kennels and Cattery Ltd was founded by Mrs Jess Millett when she purchased the freehold of Newgate House, Wilmslow a three-quarter acre small holding situated in Lindow Moss, Cheshire.

When purchased, the site was not connected to mains electric, water or sewer. The site consisted of a two bedroomed house and one kennel block of five kennels (for the resting of Racing Greyhounds). Jess Millett immediately expanded the boarding kennels, added a cattery and diversified into breeding Bulldogs and Airedales.

  • The house and kennels were extended.
  • The limited company was formed, Jess, her son Joe and daughter-in-law Erica, became directors.
  • Joe Millett completely reorganised the kennels.
  • The company bought adjoining land which increased the size to 16 acres and included Newgate Farm and Cottage.
  • Mrs Jess Millett retired but maintained the directorship of the company.
  • Mrs Erica Millett took over the day to day running of the company.

Mr Rolfe Millett served in the Blues and Royals (a division of the Household Cavalry) before joining the Company full time in 1982.

Mrs Erica Millett retired, Joel Millet and Rolfe Millett took over as joint managers.

Mr Rolfe Millett (due to ill health) stepped down as manager, leaving Joel Millett in sole charge of the day to day running. New and replacement kennel blocks were built (Arley, Gawsworth and Tatton).

  • Increase in size of the replacement kennel blocks (Windsor, Balmoral and Paddock cats).
  • Mr Joel Millet was made director of the company.

On October 9th, Mrs Jess Millett (founder) died at the age of 96. The Kennels and Cattery will continue to trade as a limited company.

Planning approval was finally granted (after a two year process!) for the replacement of four kennel blocks (48 kennels), two catteries (17 chalets), two staff rooms, small animal room and trimming room. Work started in October.

  • The company achieved the prestigious ‘Investors in People’ award and produced the first newsletter.
  • Staff were issued uniforms for the first time.
  • Building work progressed well, with the completion of the new dog kitchen, staff toilets, staff rooms, trimming room, small animal room and Paddock cattery.
  • Staff training is on-going, and three more employees achieved NVQ II in Animal Care.
  • We received two prestigious awards this year, National Training Award and NTA Special Award.
  • The Long Run Cattery was completed and work commenced on the top kennels.
  • Patsy Ashton left after 36 years of service. Staff continued with training and gained more NVQ qualifications.
  • Building work continued on the top Kennels, the walkways were renewed and improved, together with a new six foot high perimeter security fence.
  • The top Kennels were completed, and called the Woodland Accommodation. Jersey Sark and The Germans are relocated, work starts on the sound proof fence.
  • Staff continue with their training and we continue to be recognised as an Investor in People company (for a further 3 years).
  • Building work continues on replacement catteries and kennels.
  • Four more staff gain their NVQ II in Animal Care and a further six their NVQ in animal care.
  • Erica Millet officially opened the two new catteries bringing the total number of chalets to 57!
  • We had our first baby. Marie a supervisor and groomer gave birth to Bailey – a bouncing baby boy!
  • Two more staff achieved their Management NVQs.
  • This year welcomed a further two replacement kennel blocks being completed and further celebrations with two staff gaining NVQ’s Animal Care.
  • We welcomed our first hens this year, Pip and Tal, Rhode Island Reds.
  • After celebrating her 80th birthday in April, sadly Erica Millett died in December from Motor Neurone Disease.

Sixty years young! Newgate Kennels and Cattery were founded in 1948 by Jess Millett.

It was a double celebration when we continued to be recognised as an Investor in People organisation and three staff achieved their customer service NVQ’s.

A further two kennel blocks were completed this year.

Nearing the completion of the 10 year refurbishment plan the final two replacement kennel blocks were completed.

Now all that’s left is the refurbishment of five existing kennel blocks and the snagging list!

The Newgate Kennels shop reward scheme was launched to reward customers for their loyalty.

All the covered walkways were completed this year. With a combined length of over 1 mile they connect all areas of the kennels, allowing pets to be moved and exercised whatever the weather.

This year a further 4 staff completed NVQ training in both Management and Animal Care.

This brings to an amazing total of 36 separate NVQs held by current staff and this number is soon to rise on the completion of further training.

Due to demand an additional hen house and run were built this year. Hens who board at Newgate appear to settle in quickly, which is proven by the fact that they never stop laying! Our “Hen-neries”, each with a covered grass run can accommodate families of up to 6 hens.

In November 2011 we continued to be recognised as an Investor in People Company. The following quotes are from the assessors report:

“I am satisfied beyond doubt that Newgate Kennels and Cattery continues to meet the standards”

“Pet owners can be assured the highest standards of customer support for themselves and the highest standards of care and professionalism for the animals staying or receiving attention”

“Newgate Kennels and Cattery is an exceptionally run organisation where staff are engaged to the highest level to deliver a standard of excellence”

A third walkway was finished this year. The 1km path meanders over heathland and through Birch, Oak and Rowan woodland.

Colin (wearing the flat cap) is Newgate’s resident builder of over 15 years, assisted by staff and a motorised wheel barrow and using locally recycled tarmac from Hawthorn Lane and Oak Lane created this stunning walk.

All 3 walkways are within the kennel’s 16 acres and for your dog’s security are enclosed by a 6 feet high security fence.

With ever increasing electricity and gas prices drastic measures were called for when the combined heating and lighting bill topped £29,000 in 2012.

After much research and advice a wood burning boiler seemed to be the way forward. After the design came the costing, a staggering £300,000!

Commissioned November 20013, the boiler heats all the kennels, catteries, staff accommodation and supplies a constant supply of hot water.

Figures so far suggest that the annual bill has been reduced by almost 1/3 to £11,000. It’s still a lot, but warm pets are happy pets!