September 25th 1931 - September 14th 2004
‘The Old Soldier’ taken just before he went off to
the Rememberance Day Parade in Middlesbrough last November
George was a truly "gritty" Yorkshireman, a son of the Cleveland Hills that he so loved to walk with his terriers.
He grew up in Redcar in an area well known for the strong winds blowing off the North Sea and where small fishing boats are still launched from the beach when the tides and weather prove favourable; I have no doubt that the local climate helped to fashion his hardiness and strength of character.
He was one of eight children reared by his parents Frank and Ada. At the age of just 17 he was called up for National Service and within a few weeks found himself fighting for his country in Korea, an experience that he seldom mentioned but the memories remained to trouble his conscience to the end.
On his return to Yorkshire in 1953 he married Vera, and they settled in Guisborough where together they reared three children Maxine, Shaun and Fiona. He was immensely proud of his children and of his grand-children and would speak fondly of them and their achievements.
Vera and George celebrated 50 years of marriage last December with their family; they were a devoted and loyal couple. Despite her own ill health it was Vera who nursed George throughout the final few weeks of his illness - a mark of her own strength of character and her great love for George.
George will be remembered by all terrier folk who have come into contact with him for his quick wit and warm sense of humour, and his great depth of knowledge of working and showing terriers. His Howlbeck affix was granted when he registered his terriers with the Kennel Club; previously he had bred and shown his terriers under the Ground Hill affix. His terriers have been highly sought after and they and their offspring have taken top honours at shows both here at home and overseas.
Howlbeck terriers have been exported world wide and George loved to get news of their exploits, whatever they were doing, either in the show ring or simply as much loved companions. He would never boast of their achievements but would proudly remember and tell of their winning ways if quizzed about it. He loved nothing better than to "talk dog" and always had time for you no matter what trivia you wanted to chat about.
The news of his awful illness was broken to me on 5th November last year. In his characteristic fashion George was determined to put up his best fight and coped bravely with his failing health voicing regularly his concern for Vera and how she would manage in the future.
It was with immense and overwhelming sadness that I heard the news that he had finally left us - the world of terriers will be a poorer place without you George.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of George Simpson on 14th September 2004 at the age of 73.
George was a very prominent breeder in Parson Russell Terriers. He was a Championship Show Judge having judged Crufts in 2002 and he had also judged overseas.
George will be best known to most people for his Howlbeck affix, the foundation of many of today’s breeders’ lines and top winning Parsons both at home and abroad.
We first met George in the early 1970s due to his involvement with the Fell & Moorland Working Terrier Club. His line of terriers was already well established in those days when he used the Groundhill affix. This affix was altered to the well known Howlbeck affix when his terriers were Kennel Club registered.
After a long spell working on the committee of the Parson Russell Terrier Club George was elected Vice President two years ago and was President and a founder Member of the Northern Club.
George and his wife Vera celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in December 2003 with a toast and gift from all present at a match meeting of the Northern Parson and Northern Border Terrier Clubs.
George will be remembered by his many friends for his quiet demeanour, dry sense of humour, constant cups of tea from his flasks and the inevitable "roll ups" which were produced from his tin with regularity.
We send our deepest sympathy to Vera and their family.
Arthur & Elaine Cuthbertson