(Beechrise Yorkshire Terriers)
Les Griffiths was a dog-man through and through. His knowledge was sought in many breeds and he was highly respected through his work with a variety of dog clubs and dog training. However, it was with his beloved Yorkshire Terriers that he achieved such fame, both here and across the world.
It all started in the village of Hemsworth near Pontefract, Yorkshire. Les was born in Thomas Street in Hemsworth and although he moved several times in his life, he returned to Thomas Street and has spent most of his life there.
As a child the family gave him a Yorkshire Terrier called Topsy and that gave him his first interest in the breed, but it was in 1946 when he married Hilda and gave her a Yorkie registered as Wee Taffy (known as Taffy) that the interest really started. Hilda set her heart on the Yorkshire Terriers too, and decided to breed a litter and show the dogs.
In 1952 they bred Super Solitaire who did lots of winning for them; they decided to have a kennel name and so the Beechrise Yorkshire Terriers began.
Their Beechrise Pixie was dam to Ch Beechrise Superb and later Pixie was mated to Ch Pagnell Peter Pan, and this produced their most famous Ch Beechrise Superb.
In 1947 the Nothern Counties Yorkshire Terrier Club was formed, both Les & Hilda were founder members and the first Secretary was Mrs A Swan. Les took a great interest in the Club and when Mrs Swan retired he was elected as the new Secretary. He is now the Club's President and a Life Member, he is also a Life Member of The Yorkshire Terrier Club.
Les and Hilda were both totally involved in the breed, always helping newcomers and that included me with my Ozmilions, many thanks Les, you really have been a Godfather to me.
As previously mentioned, their first champion was Ch Beechrise Superb and he was sire to seven British Champions between the late 1960s and mid 1970s.
We now come to another famous Beechrise champion, a son of Ch Beechrise Superb, Ch Beechrise Surprise, bred by Mrs E Dean. This champion was used by Mr & Mrs Lister and produced for them their most famous and top winning dog of his days, Ch Blairsville Royal Seal.
The highlight of his show career was winning the DCC and BOB at Crufts with his Ch Status Quo Of Beechrise bred by Mr Joe Magri.
Les has been judging for very many years, not only in this country, including Crufts, but he has also judged many times in Japan, in Argentina, Ireland, Germany, Belgium Sweden and America. He has judged at the Club Championship Shows and at many of the top prestigious Championship Shows all over the world.
Les and Hilda have gained immortality through the lovely dogs they gave the breed.
We will miss Les so much, he was a big part of my life for more years than I can say; his loss will be sadly felt by so many people, not only here but in many other countries too.
Our sympathies go to his sisters Sheila and Gwen and his nieces and nephews.
Osman A Sameja