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Mrs Joan Macmillan (Lochranza)

It was with great sadness I heard of the death of Miss Joan Macmillan on Boxing Day , she was 88. A kindly lady who always had the time to talk about what she loved the most, that was dogs. Born in Coventry she was of Scottish origins and the prefix Lochranza came from the village on the Isle Of Arran, it was registered in the early 30s and was to become world famous for its solid Cocker Spaniels.

The first Lochranza Champion was born in 1947, Lochranza Latchkey was a full champion and forerunner of many more famous black males to come, yet it was his gold grandson Sh Ch Lochranza Dancing Master, sire of 8 Sh Champions who had such a tremendous influence on the breed.

His progeny included Sh Ch Lochranza Merryleaf Eigar who was twice BIS at general Ch Shows and Lochranza Quettadene Marksman a Crufts group winner.

In 1950 Jean Coull went to Lochranza for a short stay but, liking it, stayed on and later joined as a partner, others who trained at Lochranza and went on to more success were Daphnie Darby Classicway and Jackie Marris Bray, Helenwood.

In the early 60s John Gillespie joined the kennels and later he and Jean married, his expertise at presentation and handling ensured the Lochranza dogs always looked their very best.

The black Sh Ch Lochranza Strollaway went on to win Res BIS at Crufts. Sh Ch Newsreader of Lochranza, Sh Ch Lochranza Man of Fashion and Sh Ch Lochranza Black Onyx were all group winners. Sh Ch Lochranza Newsprint was a great favourite and the red Sh Ch Lochranza Like Your Style were just a few of the Champions bred at Lochranza.

The poodles were just as successful with Champions being bred in both toy and miniature, the black Ch Lochranza Hell For Leather features in the pedigree of many top winners. American Cockers were also featured and the import Lochranza Evdons Escort was a big winner before CCs were awarded in the breed, siring several Sh Champions.

Several other breeds were kept and both the Pug Lochranza Mr Magoo and the Shih Tzu Lochranza Choo Ling of Cathay became champions for their owners. Joan Macmillan was a strong supporter of the breed clubs and was a life member of the Cocker Spaniel Club and Midland Cocker having served on both committees for many years.

She awarded CCs in several breeds but I think she loved to show her dogs - especially the up and coming youngsters - rather than judge.

The Lochranza Cockers were the hallmark of the breed for decades, admired all over the world and the foundation of so many of today's successful solid kennels.

She will be sadly missed but never forgotten. Our sympathies go to Jean, John and Jamie at Lochranza.

Penny Lester