John Cottrell of the Warwells Standard Poodles and ETTs sadly passed away on Wednesday 24th January. John will be sorely missed by his numerous friends in the world of dogs, particularly his colleagues on the Midland Counties Poodle Club which he served for over three decades.
John joined the committee in 1972, in those days an honour to be serving amongst some very prestigious Poodle people from the Midland area, with famous affixes such as Longnor, Lochranza, Frenches, Jolda, Piccolli and Gypsyheath containing many influential dogs that are behind today’s pedigrees.
He served as a Treasurer for many years and only gave up his position due to failing health and mobility in 2000. He was made an Honorary Life President to the Club and was thrilled to receive this accolade. Although John had to retire from judging when his mobility failed, he had been invited to do Best in show for the Club this February and was greatly looking forward to this.
Always an enthusiastic and active member of the Club, he was particularly good at running social events to which he was partial; many will remember the parties held at John’s house at Warwells.
John organised the annual dinner dances for Midland Counties Poodle Club which were looked forward to by members and friends. This event was run in the early 70s at Measham where John and his family would greet arrivals with a smile. He would provide the music and cabaret – ‘sometimes he was the cabaret’. John would dance the night away until the early hours, he was incredibly light on his feet for such a big man. He would always take an active part in any Club events.
His first Poodle was purchased together with his wife Pam in the late 60s In the 70s he gained a Standard bitch from Betty and Ken Sillito of the Malibu kennels. This bitch was behind the line in which he produced five Champions including the well known Ch Warwells Machoman owned and shown by Ron McAuley, also the lovely bitch Ch Warwells Jenny Wren owned jointly with Karen & Bob Swerda handled by Karen.
John’s health which was never good started to fail in the 90s, at which point he no longer could continue with his Standards. He then joined forces with Jean Denton and the affix came into partnership. Jean continues to show the Standards with considerable success.
John branched out into English Toy Terriers acquiring his foundation stock from Shirley and Ted Ellis-Jones of the Brynlythe kennel. He achieved considerable success in this breed. Breeding several Champions and passing on his breeding to others who equally successful with his stock.
He became Secretary of the ETT Club for several years, he continued his interest and was still breeding his ETTs up until his death. He was able to follow the show scene through his computer in the latter years and kept up to date with everything via the internet.
A dedicated dog man giving up his time and expertise to novices through his local ringcraft that he ran for many years at Wythall, Solihull, John was a controversial character to say the least, but underneath was of a generous nature,with a heart of gold and a terrific sense of humour.
John was a loyal friend to many dog people and will be a great loss to dogdom, and to his many friends, especially those in the Midlands who knew him well. To his sister June and family we extend our sincere condolences.
Barbara Cherry and Catherine Lawton-Anderson
Midland Counties Poodle Club
Margaret Somerton sadly lost her brave battle with cancer on January 28.
We had been friends for 35 years having met at the local Junior School gates when collecting children accompanied by our first Golden Retrievers. Both of these bitches became the foundations of our respective small kennels!
Margaret’s ‘Kimwhany’ affix was very successful over the years producing CC and Res.CC winners in the UK and overseas. These included her own Sh Ch K. Next Step, K.Cy-Issa, and K. High Jinks, Jackie Leybourne’s Sh Ch. K Optimist, the Hennessys’ K.O’Rourke and in Sweden CH. K. Melodie Fayre. There were also a few junior Warrant winners and, of course, numerous much loved family pets.
She judged at Championship show level both here and abroad in most European countries, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand. She served on the SWGRC Committee for many years and also on the West Country Dog Club committee where she was also Chairman for some time.
She was one of the founder members of the WCDC Training classes which she continued to support for 30 years.
Immaculate herself, her dogs were always beautifully groomed and presented to perfection. She was able to enjoy the company of her three remaining dogs even visiting her in the hospice where she spent her last few days.
Our sincere condolences go to her son, daughter and four grandchildren and to the rest of her family, as well as all her many friends who will miss her greatly.
Chairman, Golden Retriever Club