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Obituary - Mrs Mabel Parkin (Cliffview)

Mabel ParkinIT IS with great sadness that I report the death of Mrs Mabel Parkin, the founder of the world-famous Cliffview Pekingese. When I opened the email, entitled ‘Sad News’, and read its contents, a pang of great sadness came over me. The news it conveyed closed the final chapter on the life of a wonderful lady.

I have so many vivid recollections of some wonderful dogs that Mabel bred in partnership with her daughter, Edna, and memories of kindness and encouragement that she showed to me as a young schoolboy.

The Cliffview Kennel was founded in the mid-fifties, and could always be relied upon to produce and show sound, typical Pekingese when the breed was at its zenith. The first significant winner that I can recall was the most glorious little red dog, Ku’s Yun T’Sun of Cliffview. I have a vivid recollection of this dog being shown at Crufts in 1965. The judge was Mrs H. Warner-Hill of the Caversham Pekingese. The classes were huge, with table after table, full of the world’s best Pekingese. Ku’s Yun T’Sun won all his classes, and created a real sensation. I always remember the judge’s critique, it read: ‘Out of the entire entry, this was the dog I wanted to take home most’! The critique went on to enthuse about the dog’s qualities. He won his first ticket and Best of Breed at South Wales under Mrs Y. Bentinck (Copplestone). Regretfully, he damaged an eye soon after this award and was retired, but the kennel went on to produce many beautiful examples in the breed, including some very significant Champions.

Mabel was very much a family-orientated individual. Her husband, her daughters and her grandchildren were her world. She was always happy to be the backroom girl, supporting Edna, and eventually Jane, in showing. She was a reluctant judge, which was a great loss to the breed, but I had the pleasure of stewarding for her on the last occasion she judged the breed, which was at Stockport Toy Dog Association in the early seventies. Always the dour, plain-speaking Yorkshire woman, she would come back to me at the conclusion of every class and pass a constructive comment. I always remember her final words on completing her assignment: ‘If they are not sound, they are no use to me or anybody else.’

Even in her nineties, Mabel continued to go into Sheffield independently, and to bake for the family. She was such a warm and loving lady. The last show that Mabel attended with her daughter Edna and granddaughter Jane was Blackpool Championship Show 2009. Mabel was a glowing example of one who sees the best in everyone, putting others before herself.

To Mabel’s daughters, Edna and Shirley, and to her grandchildren and great-granddaughter, and all other family members, we extend our sincere condolences on the passing of a truly incredible lady.

Geoffrey Davies


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