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Angelfields

Michael Boothroyd remembers...
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I first went to Sandylands in 1963 with Mary and Jack Wilkinson to mate two Champion bitches, one to Tandy and one to Tweed.  I can remember it as though it was yesterday.  I was made extremely welcome.  After the bitches were mated, Gwen cooked us a mixed grill, she was an excellent cook and could rustle-up a meal in no time.  No matter how many were present, it was no trouble.  Over the years we became more and more friendly.  In those days I always addressed her as Mrs Broadley, until one day at a show I said something and she said "oh don't call me Mrs Broadley, call me Gwen dear".
 
Later, I often went to her house to stay while judging or to travel to shows together.  I could chat away about dogs, ask questions and you knew you were going to get an honest answer.  There are so many memories that come flooding back; like the time Jim Cudworth and myself travelled to Paignton Championship show with Gwen and got there in record time, she was an extremely fast driver - but very safe.  She even had a notice sent from America "There goes Gwen' to put in the back of her car!  She told me of the story how she was going to Crufts and was stopped for speeding by a policeman, she explained to him that she was rather late and due in the ring shortly and would keep her speed down in future.  So he let her off.  Only on the return journey, the very same policeman stopped her again!  She made some excuse about illness and never did get fined to this day!
 
On another judging trip to Scotland, someone in Labs brought Gwen a whole salmon.  It was a really hot day and we set off back home with the salmon in the back of the estate car.  As the heat of the car became more intense so the aroma got worse and worse until at the bottom of Shap Fells, Gwen stopped the car and said "Throw that damned salmon out.  I can't stand it any longer'!  So I did and I think of it now each time I go that way to Scotland!
 

gwenkatrinka.jpg
Trinka went everywhere with Gwen

Gwen bought a yellow bitch of about a year old from the Wilkinsons to send abroad but after a while she decided not to part with her.  She campaigned this bitch to her title. Ch. Sandylands Katrinka of Keithray was to become her devoted companion and lived all her life as a house dog.  She proved to be an excellent brood and produced champions both here and abroad.  Gwen took 'Trinka' everywhere possible with her, she hated leaving her at home so when the end came, she was extremely upset when she had to be put to sleep.  Years later I asked her, 'Why don't you have another dog inside?'
 
Yes dear.  I have one or two that could live in but I don't think they would somehow fit in like Trinka'.  Was her reply.
 
I visited Gwen when she was very ill last November, convinced I would not see her again, but she made a wonderful recovery and I went to see her in hospital just before Christmas, to find her much better and cheerful.
 
I shall always remember how we chatted and laughed.  It was a great shock when Erica phoned me in the early hours of Sunday morning to let me know Gwen had died.  But it has been both a privilege and pleasure to have had such a long and valued friendship.  It is to me the end of an era.

Remembering Gwen...