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Obituaries

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor, well known mastiff breeder, exhibitor and judge, died suddenly and far too young on the 23rd October 2006. It goes without saying that he will be much missed.

Keith spent much of his working life in the car industry, retiring early from Rover in 2000 to spend more time with his family and dogs. His popularity at work was emphasised by the number of his working colleagues who attended his funeral on the 10th November. Keith was a practical man, and always willing and able to help whoever asked for assistance.

Although best known now for his mastiffs, in actual fact he started out in Great Danes, under his Tresylyan prefix, breeding Tresylyan Minstrel who won 2 CCs and Seamist of Brookview, who took one CC. His first mastiff was Gildason Portland Portia but his real foundation bitch was Brookview Lucy Lastic of Tresylyan, who produced the two champions Tresylyan Brogan and Tresylyan Bitter Sweet. His Ch Tresylyan Dolly Daydream of Ormonstow owned by Miss Critoph went BOB at Crufts in 1994.

At the time of his death, he and his daughter Gina were doing well with their Tresylyan Guylian and Chevelu Godric Gryffindor at Tresylyan. He was particularly pleased that his daughter Gina was just setting out on her own judging career.

He started his own mastiff judging at Leicester Ch show in 1992 and his last appointment was the OEMC Ch show in 2005. Overseas, he had judged in Germany and Russia and in the USA on two occasions. In fact only in September he had given me the results of his latest appointment there for the breed notes. As a judge, he was fair and honest and handled the dogs with gentleness.

As well as mastiffs, he was also a member of his local canine society; a Kennel Club member since 2003 and an enthusiastic and extremely useful member of the Health Concerns Working Party which was set up by the Mastiff Association a few years ago. In fact, at the last meeting at his instigation, a local veterinary surgeon came and gave a most interesting talk.

His family and his dogs were of paramount importance to him and to Maureen, who does not enjoy the best of health and who looked to Keith for support and to Gina whom he was eager to see embark on a career in dogs of her own, we send our heartfelt sympathy.

Betty Baxter


Hampton Buckley (Harry) Dunn

It is with great sadness that I write this obituary on the death of Hampton Buckley Dunn, known affectionately to everyone as ‘Harry’.

In writing this I am fulfilling an obligation that I made to Harry several years ago.

Harry was born in Whitwell, Derbyshire on 16th March 1917 and would have reached the grand old age of 90 in March 2007.

From the early days he was member of the local choir and cricket club, two passions which would stay with him all his life.

Harry was a staunch supporter of what is probably known as ‘old labour’ and had been a member of the Labour party for over 50 years rising through the local political ranks to become Mayor of Worksop, a position of which he was justly proud. This of course prepared him for the role of Chairman of very many canine societies, he was both skilful and masterly in the art of chairmanship and had all the right answers, which he often quoted from Lord Citrines guide to Chairmanship and I remember on more than one occasion he warned committee members of using un-parliamentary language, so serious was he on the use of correct protocol and fearless in debate, he invariably was always one step ahead of the game.

It was his tenacity that made him one of the best Chairman of that generation that I ever witnessed. This translated to a life time dedicated service, for such organisations as Worksop DCS, he was Founder Chairman of the Border Collie Club of Great Britain, North Notts Dog training Club and more particularly the Dukeries Gundog Club where he was Chairman even before its recognition by the KC and remained in that position until his death. Secretaries came and went but Harry was the one constant that remained over the years and ensured that the Dukeries remained on top.

The Dukeries Gundog Club was particularly close to his heart and he was proud of the progress it made particularly in its infancy, they were one of the first clubs to initiate seminars over 30 years ago and had all the experts of the day to cover all the gundog breeds. They organised Dinner Dances and had a wonderfully talented committee of about twenty five, such was the enthusiasm of Gundog folk in our area. There was also a working section and although Harry was not a gundog working man per se, he was a staunch supporter of that side of the club in times of adversity, when other committee members were less supportive.

He had a super collection of canine badges with which he occasionally raised funds for organisations over the years. In fact he was responsible for three fun days and raised £1000 each time, twice supporting Thornbury Rescue, once supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind
Harry always had time to encourage new people in dogs and helped many a novice improve their handling skills at match nights and training classes.

Harry’s great passion in dogs were his Labradors, under the Raytonbank affix, he awarded CCs in Labradors and Irish Red and White setters, of which he had been a founder member and committee member of the Irish Red and White Setter Club of Great Britain, another breed which he always supported and of which he had a very high opinion. He judged Green stars in all breeds for the IKC and Best in Show, he also judged his main two breeds in Holland and Germany and I know how sad he was when he gave up his last Labrador.

He was a Vice President of National Gundog Association, which was in recognition of the work that he had put in as Show Manager on a number of occasions at their Championship show. Harry had a great sense of humour and often at fraught times he would rise in the meeting and break the ice with some humorous tale which would quickly return the status quo.

He bred foreign birds, loved brass bands and choral singing; he was a member of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, he was also a great supporter of Doncaster Rovers football team.

Harry met and married his late wife Mary before World War II and did his National Service in the RAF at Leaming in Yorkshire. After the war he went to work down the pit, which was common place in Nottinghamshire in those days. He later decided that working underground was not for him and worked on the railways for the rest of his working life, this was also useful if you were a non driver and he travelled to many a dog event by train.

Sadly Mary took ill with Alzheimers and Harry characteristically nursed her for 10 years until she passed away. During those years I am sure it was very difficult for him, but I never heard him complain. I am sure very many of us would have placed our loved ones in care under such circumstances, but he had said to me that he would not dream of doing such a thing, he was married for life and that was what it meant. This was the measure of the man.

Harry is survived by his two sons; Philip and David he was always so extremely proud of them and their accomplishments.

When I was considering standing for Secretary of the National Gundog Association I asked Harry for his opinion, he without hesitation gave me the thumbs up and straight away without prompting he declared that he felt the Dukeries would be proud to nominate me. He was certainly true to his word and the rest is history.

Harry was a man of great principles and strong conviction, who was respected by so many people who crossed his path. The dog fraternity has lost a great ambassador; the National Gundog Association and the Dukeries Gundog Club have lost their most senior statesman.

Chris Bexon