Yorkshire Pembroke history

This weekend sees the return of Pembroke CCs to Leeds show, now that this has become one of the ‘all-breed’ events. I always felt that the loss of CCs here, along with WELKS and possibly Richmond, was a great pity for the breed, especially considering how strong it was in those days in the three ridings. Without a great deal of news this week I thought it might be interesting to look at the great breeders from Yorkshire (inspired by a recent post by Geoffrey Davies on famous Pekingese kennels from God’s Own County). I think the first champion Pem bred in Yorkshire was Ch Byworth Bullseye, owned and bred by Mary King of Keighley. He had a sister Ch Fitzdown Byworth Biddy who was sold to Jessie Fitzwilliams who at that time was living in Ireland. Mrs King did not stay in the breed for long (many years later there was another champion carrying the affix but it was one she bought in and then sold before her run of success) but she did breed a famous Miniature Longhaired Dachshund, Mertynabbot Byworth Comet. The first major kennel in the region was Brome, owned by Rose Johnson of Monk Fryston Lodge. She sprang to fame in the early ‘50s with Ch/Ir Ch Zephyr of Brome, homebred from several generations of Brome bitches. He was one of the most sensational Pembrokes ever, and after a rapid run of success took the CC record from his sire Ch Knowland Clipper, retaining it until Ch Caswell Duskie Knight took over. He was also the first male Pembroke to win BIS at a general championship show in the UK. His stud career was a short one but he left a lasting mark. Several Brome exports were influential in the US but it was many years later that there was another UK champion, the Crufts CC-winning tri bitch Ch Brome’s Black Opal, who was handled for Mrs Johnson by Peter Cawthera. Founded on a Zephyr daughter bred by Mrs Johnson was the greatest of the Yorkshire kennels, Blands, bred by Peggy Gamble from Whitwood. I won’t say too much about their amazing record as we featured Peggy in the current League handbook, but she was a fantastic mentor to so many people and her breeding skills speak for themselves. A few of her great Pems include the major stud dog Blands Telstar, Ch Kathla’s Dusky Sparkler of Blands (sire among others of two BIS-winning CC record holders including Ch Blands Solomon of Bardrigg), Blands Marmoset (the first bitch two produce four UK champions), the great sires Ch Sonny Boy and Status Symbol, Crufts CC winners Chs Imagination and Expectations, group winner and successful sire Ch Blands Limited Edition of Belroyd, and the first champion of the bobtail project, Blands Finnish Affair. There were many other champions and few kennels have made a comparable impact on the breed. The Corgwyn kennel of Elsie Collins in Wakefield did well in the ‘60s with two champions out of Corgwyn Lucky Lady of Blands (bred by Peggy), Ch Merrylegs and the tri Ch/NZ Ch Shillelah (litter brother to Telstar). Shillelah won a Crufts CC before going Down Under and like his brother was influential worldwide. Mrs Bull’s Trewake kennel, another based in Wakefield, was well known in both Pembrokes and Griffons around the late ‘50s. I always admire the photos of Ch Trewake Cleopatra, and Thornbelle Cointreau of Trewake (one of the few examples of close inbreeding in Pembrokes) played a key role in the success of the Yorkshire bloodlines. A young lady from Huddersfield, Miss Lambert, made up Ch Point Duty in the late ‘50s. Based in Scalby was Joan Ross whose main claim to fame is three generations of stunning tricolour champion males, Jomaro Midnight Special (by Shillelah), Midnight Sun (bred at Blands and sire of the Kathla brothers) and Midnight Again, the latter sold to Lincolnshire and used successfully by the Belroyds. Consistent producers of top class Pembroke were Kathleen and Eddie Lacey from New Sharlston whose first champion was the tricolour Telstar daughter Ch/Ir Ch Dusky Muffin of Kathla, a Crufts CC winner. Her sister Dusky Rosaday was a great producer, whelping the great brothers, Dusky Sparkler and their own Ch Kathla’s Dusky Curacao who was a top winner including three CCs and a BOB at Crufts. Later Rosaday produced the exquisite tri Ch Kathla’s Dusky Serenade. Subsequently Kath and Eddie had another great brood in Kathla’s Dusky Lulu, dam of Chs Kathla’s Gigi, Melissa of Goronwy and Dusky Solero of Aderyn (owned by Mrs Bird from Ardsley). It always seemed an injustice that Kath never judged the breed at Crufts, especially in view of her success there. The same can be said of some more well known Yorkshire breeders (and others from elsewhere). Irene Rodgers from Stocksbridge campaigned Ch Cherryhome Clipper, a Telstar son, to multiple CCs, while Joyce Pillinger of Killamarsh had some gorgeous sables, notably Ch Newville Pandora. Mrs Jones (Berjen) from Whitby made up Ch Alnsea Christmas Topper of Holmside. A great worker for the breed and the League is Brian Wilson who with his wife Shirley had the Sparkler son Ch Vanrell Dusky Gaylord, yet another of the handsome tricolour males who epitomised the Yorkshire type of the '70s and ‘80s. No one will forget the ‘Twinnies’, sisters Elsie Walton and Annie Hill from Romanby. These dedicated ladies bred a consistent quality line of bitches with many winners for themselves and others at home and in the US, the star being Peggy’s superb Ch Anzil Elegance of Blands. Peter Hopwood is the son of successful Lancashire breeder Marjorie Hills (Benomley) and was himself breeder of one of Nan Butler’s champions. Settled in Wath-upon-Dearne in Yorkshire with wife Pat, he made up the exquisite tri Ch Bardenford’s Wood Fay of Jofren, bred by Mrs Bingham of Edale. Jofren Nabob went to Scandinavia and did much to establish the bobtail lines there. Continuing the tradition, another top kennel from Yorkshire carrying on the above lines is Perrymist, of Carole and Brian Saxton from Micklebring. They too had a distinctive ‘look’, making up Ch Perrymist Captain Scarlet, Ch/Norw Ch Red Adair, the especially handsome Ch Shades Of Glory and Ch Forecaster, and several who had a big impact in the States. When Peggy used their Red Adair, they had one of pups, Ch Blands Mystique of Perrymist, who became one of the breed’s great show bitches. Breeding on similar lines, and still successful today, we have the Jonlorans of Lol and John Boulton from Rawmarsh. Four UK champions have emerged - Flamin Linen, Another Page, her brother Dark Desire of Pemdofran (owned by the Birdsalls from Scarborough) and Sweet Juliet - and others in Scandinavia. Pemwell was the affix of Cliff and Marion Whitwell of Knottingley, with the Status Symbol daughter Ch Pemwell Pekoe. They also co-operated with Peggy in the early days of the bobtail project, and Vaquera of Pemwell is an important link behind many current bobtails (and was the dog used in Bruce Cattanach’s audacious bobtail Boxer programme). Brian and Pam Drake (Warrenhouse) from Huddersfield were long-term supporters of the breed and, like many of the others I have mentioned, did much for the clubs. For many years their own opportunities to show were limited but latterly they made up Ch Blazerae Challenger at Warrenhouse who took one of his CCs at Crufts. I must also mention their good friend Michael Boothroyd. Although his own successes came mainly in Labradors, he was passionately interested in Pembroke and was highly respected as a judge of them and many other breeds. Mary Goude (Malsis) from Keighley was another who worked hard for the clubs and co-owned Ch Blands Patent Applied For, while Alan Hardingham co-owned third generation Blands champion bitch, Optimist. Although today there are only a few serious breeders in Yorkshire, compared with the great days, the county remains at the top not only with Jonloran but with the long-stablished Ellhars of Ena Ellwood and her mother Ann Harper, from Scarborough and now York. The tricolour Ch Ellhars Knight Errant was very much of a ‘Yorkshire’ type and more recently we have Chs Luminos and Maksimos, the latter a tri bobtail who won a G2 award just a few weeks ago. I’ve aimed to mention off the Yorkshire kennels which have owned or bred a UK champions - my apologies if I’ve forgotten any and please let me know. As you can see there have been many great Pembrokes from the area and let’s hope it remains so. SIMON PARSONS

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