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Angelfields

Mrs. Gunilla Anderson 'Aroscas' remembers...
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My dear Gwen,
 
I sit here and try to remember when we met the first time.  Must have been at Olympia in London where Crufts was held at that time.  It was 1967 and again at Crufts 1968.  Autumn 1968 you were in Stockholm to judge Labradors for the Swedish Kennel Club at Storangsbotten.  That was the first of three times we ever showed under you.  We showed our first breeders group, five blacks and you really like the bitches.  When you had finished your judging you came over to talk to me.  A few months later, feeling very brave, I wrote you a letter and asked if maybe you would have a bitch for us.  I shall never forget your answer; you did not have anything now but maybe next year but we were welcome to come and see your dogs. 
 
So we decided to go over the following Summer to see a Summer show and visit Sandylands.  At the same time Brit-Marie Brulin asked us to collect a black male for her and that was Sandylands Alfa as yet unseen by her.  He was a lovely dog and proved to be a great sire over here.
 
So many years ago before plastic cards or travellers cheques, with only cash - some English pounds but mostly Swedish Kroner, that if we need to, we could change at a bank.  And we did need to, many times.  Every time we wanted our 1000 SWKr note exchanged at a bank, they asked us if we didn't have anything smaller (at that time it was about 75 English Pounds)!
 
When we eventually arrived at Sandylands we were shown all the dogs and some puppies.  there was a marvellous little black bitch that we fell in love with.  It was Sandylands Mamba (Ch. Sandylands Mark x Ch. Sandylands Dancer) that Gwen had kept for herself, and her kennel-mate Sandylands Alphina (Sandylands Alpha x Curlswood Tinkerbell).  They were no way for sale.  We went away to the show and came back again for Alpha.  At the same time we started to run out of money and could not get our large note changed anywhere.  We went to the Bank of England in London, I think we tried everywhere but always the same story, 'So sorry, don't you have anything smaller?'  When we spoke to Gwen on the telephone, she thought her bank could take it.  So, next morning we met Gwen outside the bank, but no.  We needed money for petrol and food and for the vets papers for Alpha.  To cut a long story short, we left Gwen's with Alpha for the Puhs kennel, Mamba and Alphina for us, all the papers for three dogs and some money for petrol and food!!!  That tells how nice a person Gwen was.  When we reached the ferry at Hull. there was a bank that would change our Swedish Kroner so our problems were solved and we had the money to send back to Gwen from there.
 
 
By the way, Mamba became a Swedish, Finnish Ch and Swedish Field Trial Champion and Top Winning Retriever in Ft 1972.
 
Our next Sandylands was born in 1971, the black male Sw. Fin. and Norw. Ch. Sandylands Midnight Maestro.  He also qualified in the field and was a great sire.  He was by Ch. Sandylands Mark x Ch. Sandylands Katrinka of Keithray.  After him, the next one to come to us should have been a black bitch but she was stolen from the kennel just before she was ready to leave.  So, Maestro was followed by Sandylands Happy Jim a 14 month old.

We went to Sandylands to pick up a puppy but I wanted Jimmy.  Do you remember that Michael Boothroyd?  Jimmy was not for sale, he was bought in to the kennels.  He was by Sandylands Jayncourt Tally-Ho x Wendover Black Agatha, born in 1974.  Gwen's words, when we left her house were 'You cannot have Jimmy'!
 
Two days later when we sat there after a nice meal and before bedtime, Gwen looked at me and said 'Gunilla, I have had Jimmy x-rayed and he has very good hips so you can have him'!  That shows how nice a person Gwen was, and Jimmy became an International, Swedish and Finnish Champion and also qualified in the field.  Tragically, Jimmy was killed by a car at only 6 years old but he had already proven himself to have been an excellent sire.
 
When we stayed with Gwen in 1984, we met a very nice 15 month old black called Sandylands Night Flight (Ch Sandylands Newinn Columbus x Ch Sandylands Longley Come Rain).  We could not go home without this lovely male.  He made-up easily and later on, with Gwen's permission, he made the trip to Denmark because the were in need of a good stud dog at Dee-Fair.  There, owned in partnership with us, he was campaigned to his Danish and German titles and also qualified in the field to become an International Swedish, Danish and German Champion.
 
It was two years later that we received a letter from Gwen asking us if we wanted a one year old yellow male with good hips.  That was Sandylands April Madness, a lovely dog with the most sweet temperament.  'Maddi' was by Sh. Ch. Armargha Mad Hatter x Ch Sandylands Longley Come Rain.  You can see him in his favourite position in the Yellow Lab Club's Year Book.  He was another one who proved to be an excellen sire.  Unfortunately he had to be put to sleep aged only 7 years old with a kidney problem.
 
Something worth nothing is that over the years, all of our Sandylands had 0-0 hips in Sweden and they were all good workers which has been very important to us.
 
So Gwen, I will miss you badly. - I'll miss your letters - you were such a good writer, miss our Champaign drinking and your good cooking.  Leif loved your breakfasts!  I also feel very privileged to have known you for such a long time and seen all your famous old dogs, Tweed, Tango, Mark, Blaze, Come Rain and of course your beloved Trinka.  I also know how you liked to stay with us.  You would enjoy a drink with us sitting, looking out over the Baltic Sea.  I will forever be grateful to you for letting us have sperm from Ch Sandylands Blaze and Ch Sandylands Charlston in 1978.  We would not have been where we are today without you and your Sandylands dogs.
 
So thanks Gwen, for having been such a lovely friend to us and I finish with your own words, "Goodbye my dear.  Take care.'
 
Gunilla
P.S. I would like to use Price Jessup's words "To own a Sandyalnds Labrador was an honour.  To have a relationship with Mrs. Broadley was a priveledge.  To have her affection was a joy."

Remembering Gwen...