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Mr Cyril Johnson

ON THE 25th June, Cyril Johnson (Cragfell) died peacefully in hospital after a short illness.

He was treasurer of the Lakeland Terrier club for over 20 years, with his wife, Karen, as secretary. He also produced the newsletter and yearbook and ran the club shows.

Cyril awarded CCs in Lakelands and judged many of the terrier breeds. He also awarded CCs in Shih Tzus, and served for a very long time on the committee of the Shih Tzu club. He and his wife showed both breeds for many years.

He leaves his wife, Karen and son, Paul. The funeral has taken place.

Miss Gillian Ussher MRCVS

The whole of the committee of the Birmingham Dog Show Society Ltd are saddened to learn of the death Sunday 23rd June of one of their Management team - Gillian Ussher. Although she had suffered some health problems of late none of us were prepared for this news.

Gillian was only recently fulfiling her public announcement duties and commentating on the Breeders stakes in the main ring at our show at Stafford and attended her first Birmingham Dog Show Society Committee meeting at the same time as Margaret Everton in March 1980.

This quietly spoken lady was firm in her loyalty to the Birmingham show and its traditions yet fully aware of the needs of the modern day exhibitor. She was known for her Inishkelltr kennel of Whippets and was a Championship show judge of the breed and also awarded CCs to Miniature and Toy Poodles.

Her grandfather owned Smooth Fox Terriers and her father Airedales while Gillian’s own first dog was a Lakeland Terrier. This was given to her when she qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon after the Second World War. In the first instance showing was difficult because of the restrictions of her career and the necessary anti social hours but she managed to breed a few litters. Domestic circumstances dictated that she should work from home and she built up her own practice and boarding kennels.

Her mother bred and made up a number of Miniature Poodles assisted by her daughter with Gillian’s interest in Whippets commencing in the late 1950’s. Her contribution to this breed included founding the now internationally famous ‘Whippet Bienniel’ of which she was Editor. There will be many in the breed who will I am sure submit their own breed specific knowledge of her.

As far as the National is concerned however we will miss this gentle lady as a member of our team.

Annette Oliver (Birmingham Show Society Ltd)

With the death of Miss Gillian Ussher MRCVS the world of dogs has lost a lady of dignity and style and for the dog folk of the Marches she was known for her devotion to Ludlow & DKA and the fancy throughout Shropshire and the West Midlands.

Others will no doubt catalogue her work for Birmingham National, the Whippet biennial and her many years showing her Inishkelltr Whippets.

As a past Secretary of Ludlow & DKA I remember her chairmanship of the Association which must have spanned 40-50 years and it would be no exaggeration to say she was Ludlow & DKA. Her introduction to the Association Limited shows became a part of the day and she made it her duty to speak to everyone on her way around the show selling the raffle tickets and welcoming all to what she regarded as a social occasion as well as a days competition.

Committee meetings at Linkers Hill were also a mixture of business and on evenings chat and memorable for sorting out world affairs as well as the canine ones.

My wife and I also remember going to her practice as a Veterinary Surgeon some 40 years ago and many dog folk in South Shropshire well have happy memories of her in her professional capacity over many years.

We were so pleased to see Gillian enjoying her work at the National last month, displaying the cool and distinct work on the tannoy , but unforgettably showing that sense of humour that was her trademark.

She will be sadly missed and forever remembered.
Roger Thomas Squirreldene

Mr Tom Hilder - an appreciation

I WAS very sad to hear of the death of Tom Hilder, the immediate past president of The Northern Pug Dog Club. He was a devoted supporter of the breed and judged at championship level since 1977. He first joined The Northern Pug Dog Club committee in 1973, becoming Chairman in 1974. His regular ringside presence at club shows helped to make everyone feel welcome. He will be much missed.

As a Pug owner and occasional breeder he clearly came to favour the blacks over the fawns. After making up two fawn Champions his last show dog was the black Rubatum Shoeshine Boy (2 CC). At his last appointment which was Three Counties 2001 he found a black for the CC & BOB.

His funeral took place on June 17 2002, and was well attended. It was clear how his philanthropy was widely appreciated outside the world of dogs.

Deep sympathy goes to Audrey, his wife of 52 years and fellow Championship Show judge.

Rita J Storey