On the 16th July my Mum, Peggy Grayson, passed away peacefully at the age of 100 years and eight months. For someone who had been so active during life to be restricted by lack of sight and movement it was a welcome release for her and we should not be sad but should celebrate a life well lived.
As many readers will be aware, she had a lifetime knowledge of dogs freely shared and enjoyed the same in the world of horses. As a respected judge she was sought from all corners of the world to judge the many breeds she enjoyed.
She was a prolific country journalist for most of her life and wrote for both Dog World and Our Dogs on a regular basis. Her portfolio is a large one and I can confirm this as I have recently read my way through it. She also appeared on television several times, particularly at Crufts where they were keen to hear her opinion on many of the dogs. As a broadcaster she would travel to the BBC at Bristol regularly to record her farming stories for the Farming Programme back in the 1950s and 60s.
She leaves a wealth of knowledge through her books and I am sure will be remembered for some time to come.
The cremation is private on 29th July. No flowers but donations are welcome in her memory and can be sent to: Matthews Independent Funeral Directors, 7 Burnham Road, Malmesbury, SN16 0BQ
The charities are: The Orders of St John Care Trust, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the British Heart Foundation.
The sad announcement of my dear friend Peggy Graysonâ€™s death, given in so humble and quiet a manner by her daughter Storm, was so fitting. It made me stop short and catch my breath and I spent the next few hours remembering the many years we spent together at LKA meetings and shows where her smiling demeanour and sharp brain, quick wit and no nonsense approach to everything made her so many friends.
Before I was elected onto the LKA Committee I worked in the Press Office, which at that time was overseen by Peggy â€“ a fitting position of course with her close associations with the dog press. There were six of us â€“ myself the only young and undistinguished one among them - marking up catalogues by hand, so we needed to concentrate or suffer the wrath of our Secretary Sybil Churchill should she find an error at a later time.
One year someone bought an Xmas gift of Sherry for Peggy and in her usual generous manner, she offered us all a â€˜tippleâ€™. Pens down we all relaxed to partake and it all got rather jolly until someone put their head around the door to our office â€˜Sybilâ€™s coming!â€™ at which there was a deathly silence followed by a scrabble for pens. When our Secretary entered the room we were all studiously working, Peggy grinning broadly at her, but I believe she had a sense that something was not quite normal. Nonetheless she left none the wiser, and from that year on Peggy ALWAYS bought a bottle with her, just because â€¦.. and she was never found out!
Peggy joined the LKA Executive in 1986, just a few years before me and we had an instant rapport, she saw something of her own maverick spirit in me I think, and we also both had a huge love and interest in show ponies.
For many years I was seen as the young upstart of the Executive, yet early on she proposed me as Vice Chairman, stating â€˜Well, we need young people, weâ€™re all getting passed itâ€™. Needless to say I was not elected at that time but I will never forget the grin and wink she gave me across the Boardroom.
She had such a sunny disposition and a dry sense of humour, yet she could be stern and authoritative in equal measure when required. In her 30 years as a Committee member we enjoyed the benefit of her vast knowledge of dog people - she had an uncanny memory - and were so pleased that on her retirement she agreed to become our President, a position she deserved and was justly proud to hold.
We kept in touch on birthdays and at Christmas time and as an Association were held dear to her. These are sad times but to say Peggy was one of the â€˜Greatsâ€™ in dogs really is a truth. Condolences to Storm who has been such a wonderful daughter, I have no doubts where she gets that from.
Jackie Kitchener (LKA Chairman)