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Obituary - Marlene Bryden

OUR DOGS was sorry to learn of the passing, on New Year’s Day, of Marlene Bryden.

Marlene BrydenMarlene and husband Archie held the Gantocks affix with their Staffords and were both active members of the North West Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club from its early days.

Marlene was born in Montrose, Angus and moved many times as a child as her father was in the RAF. She eventually settled in Gourock, where she met and married Archie in 1965.

After owning a pet Cairn and then a pet Stafford, the pair joined the NWSBTC - and thus the show fraternity - in 1981. The same year they became the proud owners of a white bitch and both Marlene and Archie took to the ring, campaigning under the Gantocks affix until illness curtailed her ability to show actively.

Marlene first judged in 1988 and achieved Championship status in 1997 at SKC, in her native Scotland. Her illness also curtailed her judging career as a full classification of Staffords would have been too much for her. However, her last outing officiating in the ring was at the NWSBTC Open show, as referee, in March 2008 when she was called to make all the decisions!

Marlene was unable to participate as fully in Club activities as she may have wished when her children, katie, Gordon and Douglas, were younger. However when Katie was old enough she joined the NWSBTC committee and served for a number of years until her illness and its treatment prevented from participating as much as she would have liked. Her strength was in the support she gave to Archie and his various activities in the club, breed council and literary.
Marlene also served on the Preston and Dist CS committee.

Sadly Marlene and Archie lost their elder son, Gordon, in 2002 in a cricketing accident. He was 36 years old.As well as Archie she is survived by Douglas and Katie, and grandchildren Molly and Max.
On a personal note, I shall always remember Marlene as the most kind and gentle of ladies, always on hand to give advice and chat about anything you wanted, particularly if Staffords came into the conversation. She was committed totally to Archie’s interests and could often be heard shouting up the stairs to his ‘office’ after one of Archie and my two-hour long telephone conversations.

My last memory of marlene is of her holding my three-week-old baby in one arm and my three-year-old daughter’s hand in the other, whilst myself and my husband wrestled with a particularly exuberant Stafford at ringcraft!

The funeral was held on a cold but sunny day in Preston and was attended by a packed church, Marlene would have been very pleased with the head count!

She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Ali Smith

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