The seventies

The Jilgrajon  prefix , since the mid-1950s , became firstly known for its  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels owned & bred by Mrs Jill Hicks .  Her son Graham documented  the first steps into  Mastiff affairs  - In 1970  Jill , her husband & Graham himself took on the glasshouse Kidmore End Nurseries near Reading - Berkshire and around that time  the nine month old Lisken Rowena  (Frideswide Kis Balint ex ch Weatherhill Thor' daughter Buckhall Esme) was purchased  from Kisumu breeder Mrs Irene Creigh as birthday present for Graham ;  Byhatch Bede  b April '71  was the next purchase , bred by Byhatch breeder Mrs B Stamper out of Oxhaege Thorkel' aunt Oxhaege Uffhild sired by Hollesley  Sebastian  , brother of ch Hollesley Cleopatra (see her pic within the sixties page) . End '72 Bede' one year older brother Inniscorrig Arthur Crown was acquired from a Mrs C Barrett .  Bede' & Arthur Crown' dam Uffhild was out of Weatherhill Bellringer' daughter Rhossnessey Masquerade sired by  Frideswide Oliver, the latter  a son/dam  inbreeding to ch Havengore Balint .

So the 1st Jilgrajon litter (Arthur Crown ex Rowena) goes along both parents back to ch Havengore Hotspot' son Balint & Hotspot' daughter ch Milf Manetta (dam to Thor & Bellringer)  and it produced ch Jilgrajon Lady Victoria - see below centre - . In the meanwhile pater familias Jack became the first OEMC Rescue director assisted by the family whereas  Jill assisted with the Club'  Puppy Line .    Visiting the Hicks family in the late 1980s I had the kind permission to copy a whole number of relevant photographs  collected &/or taken by Graham and  from this source  comes a lot of the illustrations  displayed all over this Mastiff website .

Ch Jilgrajon Lady Victoria' sis J- Melisande was purchased by Forefoot breeder Mr Cowe of  Shepton Mallet - Somerset  and mated her to ch Wayside The Devil' son Ch Forefoot Prince of Darkness resulting in ch Forefoot Prince Igor owned by the Bredwardine breeders Mssrs Thomas & Tugwell  . Four years later the 2nd Jilgrajon litter was born out of J- L Victoria sired by their home stud Cemaes King Edward (Spud) and it gave a 2nd Jilgrajon champion , ie J- Sir Gladstone b Aug '77 , a very nice quality male but remained without progeny - sold as a puppy to Cornhaye breeder Mrs Janet Roberts and about May '79 tranferred back to the Hicks family who entered him at East of England '79 where he got 1st Open under Mrs Edna Harrild 2nd ch Forefoot Prince Igor 3rd B- Hamilco – cc Bredwardine Beelzebub res ch Parcwood W Bear - and a month later at Welsh KC ’79 under Mrs Degerdon res cc – cc MM. Sir Gladstone'  sis B Queen , mated to MM , produced the last Jilgrajon litter including Madame but also without issue . Lady Victoria 2nd litter , sired by Lesdon Alexander (Farnaby Lucky Attempt ex Shute Alice - see below at left -) , presented the Hicks family a 3rd & last homebred champion , ie  Jilgrajon Rebecca West whose brother Tom Bowling became owned (for stud fee ?) by Wyaston breeder  Douglas Oliff .

Here below - a pic  of ch Jilgrajon Rebecca West' brother J- Tom Bowling owned by Douglas Oliff ; at right a pic taken end 1980s at the then Hicks family home Upfield Penton Harroway Andover -Berkshire ; from l to r - Jill  & Hollesley Archer  (out of Hollesley Mermaid) , Jack & Grangemoor Brenda ( ch Hollesley Dare Devil' son Grangemoor Beau ex ch Copenore Rab' granddaughter Grangemoor Oona) and Graham with  H- Archer' sire Grangemoor Archie Gander (ch Copenore Rab' grandson Grangemoor Buster ex ch Hollesley Dare Devil' daughter Grangemoor Alvinia) .

In the sixties 186 litters were born in the UK , a decade wherein Copenore Jason , his sons ch Copenore Friar & Weatherhill Bellringer together with ch Havengore Balint may be considered as the most prolific studs . In the seventies figures became more than doubled ; prominent studs , born in the 70s , were Balint’ son Frideswide Kis Balint (10) , Balint’ grandsons Farnaby Lucky Attempt (17) & O’Nantymynydd Cynan (9) , Friar’ sons Shute President (10) , Lisken Sungod (9) & ch Buckhall Mr Micawber (7) , President’ son ch President’ Lad (14) , Buckhall Baron Wolsey’ son Oxhaege Thorkel  (9) , Wolsey’ grandsons Vandepere Andy Cap (10) & Celerity Count Magnus (13) , the import from Venezuela Cayacoa Exilado (15) , the US import ch Wayside The Devil (9) , Devil’ sons Bulliff Hamilco (10) & ch Forefoot Prince of Darkness (8) , Prince D’ son ch Forefoot Prince Igor (19) , the US import Garstars Eric (9) & Eric’ son Graig Goch Gethin (9) , Gethin’ son Graig Goch Alcwyn (27) , ch Parcwood W Bear Esq (17) and finally ch Hollesley Medicine Man (10) .

Of course , such figures are NOT a linear reflection of breed quality thereto , so only presented to sketch some framing of breeding practices without forgetting  to mention in the sequel of this page the less prolific but certainly valuable studs ; broods are certainly of equal , not to say perhaps greater , importance but to provide a framing for the  much more numerous broods may become an endeavour  far too complicated .

The Venezuelan import Cayacoa Exilado b Jan ’72 was bred by Dr Pedro Andres Perez Cabral (following some source  a professor political science at the Central University of Venezuela) and imported by the Plaisance breeder Mr Anthony Michael McKenna , mentioned by the London Gazette as - 'trading from 16 Weymouth Court , Grange Road Sutton - Surrey under the style of Plaisance Show Dog Agency as a buyer and exporter of pedigree dogs'  .

Plaisance had already made some fame in the Collie breed and became also involved into Afghan Hounds , Chow Chows , &c .

Hereabove pics of Mr Mr Micawber vs Dr Roman Garcia Machado' Venezuelan & Grand champion Plaisance Orestes , a giant Mastiff (claimed at 34i for 245lb) b Sept ’69 and bred by Mrs J Streateld (so not Mr McKenna) out of Kisumu Beverley (ch Kisumu Bardolph ex Beaucaris Marcus’ sis B- Minx) sired by ch Copenore Friar .

To indicate the great difficulty in combining huge size AND correct type , a comparison with a 32 ½ inches at shoulder , Friar' son ch Buckhall Mr Micawber , one of the very few really large ones who got great appreciation from a considerable amount of breed stalwarts . This comparison may make clear that nevertheless Orestes’ huge weight , there still remains too much air beneath the body , and a head not only lacking squareness but also the mass required for matching up his overall size .

Exilado’ KC recorded pedigree – dam Cornhaye Humourist was out of Warren’ daughter C- Firebird sired by Balint’ son O’Nantymynydd Emrys and sire De Bardayle El Maniel was out of ch Blackroc Falcon’ litter sis B – Kestrel sired by Kisumu Tiger Lily’ brother Bardayle Peregrine , the latter de facto uncle to the Taddingtons Diamond Lil , - Emma & - Pride . Cayacoa Exilado has been described by people who’ve known him in the flesh as – ‘ good temperament and sound but of the size of a Labrador , so very small ’.

Exilado’ son Plaish Satan grandsired ch Balclutha Minerva (see above at left) , foundation brood of Mr/Mrs Duval' Chevelu kennels and Exilado’ daughter Dicarl The Snowscene (the centre) , mated to ch Longendale Bernard , produced ch Longendale The Protector  - at right - , the latter recipient of the challenge ticket at the OEMC show ’86 at Towcester . Dicarl The Promise  , Dicarl'  The Snowscene half sis by Exilado , was also bred by Exilado' owner Mrs Di Johnson (of the reputed Dicarl Great Dane kennels) and got a CC under Mrs EJ Baxter (reserve cc ch Copenore Rab' daughter Grangemoor Graina)

Garstars Eric' grandson Graig Goch Alcwyn b June '79 (bred by Ken Lewis of Gilfach Farm House Gilfach Goch nr Porth - Mid Glamorgan) was by far the most prolific stud in the eighties  (sired 27 litters) , seemingly without  leaving any trace in  pedigrees of champions but , of course , it's ridiculous to presume all quality Mastiffs should have had a show career ! Good example is Graig Goch Alcwyn' son Balclutha Caleb - see below centre - , owned by Mr Brian Booth of West  Yorkshire , who has lived  - dixit -  'a quiet life as a family pet , never shown  , and it was not until the formation of the Northern OEMC Branch that the owners discovered that he was admired as a very good  specimen of the breed  '.  GG Alcwyn' son Balclutha Caleb  b July '80 was bred by Mrs M C Smith of Fiddlers Green Attleborough nr Norfolk , out of Balclutha Zemla  ,  sis of B- Viola who produced ch Balclutha Minerva by Monterosa Yours Truly, iow Minerva & Caleb being cousins both going back to G3 C- Exilado . Here below at left Graig-Goch Brychan sired by  Balint' grandson O'Nantymynydd Cynan .

The KCBR Supplement of April ’73 mentions the import of  GG Alcwyn’ grandsire Garstars Eric b March ’72 and bred by Peter Gaar out of Blackroc Penny sired by Garstars Attila; his importer was Mrs Irene Creigh  of Kisumu . She bred and exported Eric’ grandsire Kisumu Goliath (Havengore Adam’ Beaucaris Marcus ex ch Kisumu Batsheba)  ; Eric’ dam Blackroc Tuppence - see below at left - (Havengore Gipsy’ son H- Matey ex Balint' daughter ch Blackroc Tuppence) was bred and exported by Bill Hanson . Eric’ remaining grandparent Willowledge Margo was a Havengore-Zimapan-Mooreleigh  mix .

Garstars Eric was transferred to Canonbury breeder Mrs Sylvia Shorter and Eric' 1st Stud Book entry was a show end ’73 getting a 3rd place Open Class under Moonsfield breeder  Mrs Harrild (cc ch Copenore Rab - reserve cc ch Canonbury Autobiography aka ‘Teddy’)  ; further on he collected four reserves and one challenge award (incl BOB) at the National Working Breeds Dog Society under allrounder Stanley Dangerfield (reserve cc ch Wayside The Devil) .

Garstars Eric sired Kisumu Una (dam of ch Grangemoor Bevis by ch Hollesley Dare Devil) , Canonbury Gemini (dam of ch Honeycroft Crismas Cracker by MM) and her sis C- Goldilocks (dam of the Dutch bred Titanen Arpad by Bulliff Tiglath Pilesar) ; Arpad’ son  ch Sanguis Nobilis Kludde , owned by Mastiff Club Belgium President Mr Bruno Stoffelen , deserves to be mentioned as Kludde was type-wise a first-class large one   .

Ca ’75 Gildasan Hidee - see first row centre - was transferred to the Darkling breeder Mrs Sue Rice and , mated to ch Craigavon Selina’ sire Forefoot Lucifer (Oxhaege Thorkel ex Autobiography’ niece Canonbury Delouisia) , produced Darkling Arabella , the latter dam to perhaps one of best females bred in the 70s - ch Darkling Bridie - see at right - (by ch Wayside The Devil) and to ch Darkling Casper (by The Devil’ grandson Nandina Bilbo Baggins) .

Frideswide Kis Balint’ close relative Farnaby Merrick (both by Balint out of Taddington sisters , resp - Emma & - Diamond Lil) sired Farnaby Lucky Attempt aka ‘old Dudley’ , a tall brindle of good conformation but - dixit - 'who never put on any substantial weight or substance , reason was that he had to counter a severe attack of hepatitis in puppyhood' .

Lucky Attempt’ probably best known progeny was ch Artifex Arabella - see at right - , from a litter born Jan ’72 ‘in the back room of a pub in Wareham – Dorset’ , bred by Mr R N Smith of out of Friar’ daughter Buckhall Jennifer . Arabella , owned by Farnaby breeder Mrs EJ Bensley , got in ’74 her 1st cc under Bardayle breeder Mrs Maisie Anderson (reserve cc Mr/Mrs Say’ ch Astelle Oven Ready) ; next year she got the Crufts reserve cc under Parcwood breeder Mrs Mary Hector (cc ch Copenore Petronella) and was made up via all-rounders Joe Braddon (reserve for Kisumu Utopia) & Bill Siggers (reserve for ch Astelle Oven Ready) .

Mrs EJ Bensley bred three litters from ‘Bella’ , resp sired by Shute President , ch Wayside The Devil’ son Bulliff Hamilco & ch President’ Lad . Bella/President’ daughter ch Farnaby Rainy Patch - see below centre - was purchased by the Crufts ’75 judge Mrs Mary Hector who mated her to Friar’ son ch Buckhall Mr Micawber which produced three ch’s , ie Falmore Langton , Parcwood W Bear Esq & Cornhaye Smudge . Bella/Hamilco daughter Farnaby Voodoo Priestess was transferred to the Bredwardine breeders Mssrs Thomas & Tugwell who mated her to ch Wayside The Devil’ grandson ch Forefoot Prince Igor ; their daughter ch B- Beau Ideal should become standard-bearer of an upcoming name – Bredwardine .

Lucky Attempt sired to ch Cornhaye Kenneth’ daughter Gildasan Elevitia (owned by Mrs EJ Bensley) produced Hubbadane Marnie purchased by Hubbastone breeder Miss J Bulloch , of Northam - Bideford , who mated her to Shute President resulting in two ch’s , ie Mr/Mrs Say’ President’ Lad (see below in the centre flanked by ch Wayside The Devil and a fawn male , perhaps ch Canonbury Autobiography' son Canonbury Edward) & Countess Caroline , the latter owned by T Jeffery of Pinewhispers , Stratton nr Bude – Cornwall . Other littermates were a/o President’ Lass (who got a cc against ch Jilgrajon Lady Victoria under Mrs EJ Baxter - Lass' purchaser Mr Robin Leonard Goffe of Wayford Manor  owned , as already mentioned ,  the OEMC ‘71 BOB Rhosnessey Casper) and Hubbastone Lucky Octavia who, mated to ch Parcwood W Bear Esq - see at right -, produced Mrs EJ Baxter’ home stud Hubbastone Radulph .

Mr G Alcock of Chulmleigh - Devon , known for his Ragtime Newfoundlands , has also bred Mastiffs in the early 70’s . He owned two Gildasan broods , sisters of Mrs EJ Bensley’ G- Elevitia, ie G- Elfreda & G- Elligance  and both were mated to Lucky Attempt . Elfreda’ daughter Farnaby Far Away Places got a cc under all-rounder Harry Jordan , that in strong competition , ie reserve cc for Open Class 1 ch Hollesley Macushla’ Sheba , O2 ch Copenore Rab’ sis ch C- Czarina . Elligance’ daughter Ragtime Tiger Lily was mated back to Lucky Attempt which produced two important broods , ie R- Ma Piggins & R- Dame Twisty .

Ragtime Ma Piggins mated to ch President’ Lad brother Hubbastone Tristan resulted in the high-quality Yarme ch sisters Jane & Susan - see centre -bred by Mr R S & Mrs M D Forshaw ; R- Dame Twisty mated to CanonburyAlkabar’ son Vandepere Andy Cap gave Gildasan Valentine Daisy, maternal grand-dam of another high-quality one ch Cedwalla Sweet Ellenor . Above at right - Lesdon Lord Alexander .

Ragtime' penultimate litter , dd Feb '73 was a half sis/brother combination towards Farnaby Lucky Attempt , ie Ragtime Wicked Lady ex Ragtime Flash Harry  .

Their son Ragtime Shambling Phantom was purchased by  Grania Phipps née Guinness , Marchioness of Normanby - Mulgrave Castle Lythe nr Whitby North Yorkshire - see at right -.

In '79 the Lady also purchased Bulliff Thaiter (Capper Be Lucky x Bulliff Giselt)See at right - Bulliff Captain Hamilco & his son Capper Be Lucky.

There are no show or breeding records to be found for Phantom or Thaiter (powerful warrior) , so it's fair to guess they were kept as  pets and/or guards keeping alive a long tradition of Mastiff ownership by nobility .

Farnaby Lucky Attempt has produced a number of valuable broods but it  took until his last litter , ie out of Shute President' sis S- Alice ,  to produce a   son of grand quality , namely Mr Douglas Oliff' Lesdon Lord Alexander but unfortunately - dixit - ' when he was a puppy he broke his hind leg , a so-called greenstick facture and it set with his lower leg at an angle .

The  last litter sired by the then 8 1/2 y old ch Havengore Balint was bred by Mr T H Bradley , of Pynes Farm Ide - Exeter , out of Weatherhill Bellringer' daughter Copenore Ensign and produced Pynesfarm Caesar & two  champions , ie  Pynesfarm Gelert owned by the actor Gordon S Edwards and Meps Portia , the latter owned by Mrs  Marguerite E Griffiths née Perrenoud of Meps kennels started by her father of Helvetia House.

Mr Oliff of Woolaston kennels mentions in his Bull Mastiff  & Mastiff handbook that ch Meps Portia 'retired unbeaten' but the Kennel Club Stud Books mention thirteen championship shows whereon ch Meps Portia got placed in female Open/Limit Class and only at eight of those shows she was awarded the challenge award  including BOB at Crufts '72 .

Mrs M E Griffiths née Perrenoud  mated her to  ch Buckhall Mr Micawber  resulting  in M- Tristan b May '72 (transferred to Mrs Funk - US where he became a winner at Westminster & the MCOA Specialty and sired a/o  the brindle quality male ch Greenbrier Shambeau) and Meps Nydia   , made up in Britain. In '73 youngster Meps Nydia - see at left - got three reserve cc's   , each time beaten by ch Copenore Petronella ; in '74 she was made up after winning three  cc's (reserves for respectively - Shute Alice ,  Buckhall Clementine  & ch Copenore Czarina) and ending up her show career in '75 totalling six cc's .  Ch Meps Nydia never produced a litter and this female branch of Balint died out.  It took until 1983  a next Meps litter was bred , that from other bloodlines.

The Friar’ sons Shute President - see at left together with ch Astelle Oven Ready & Bulliff Captain Hamilco - , Lisken Sungod & ch Buckhall Mr Micawber sired together 26 litters . President sired five ch’s – 1) Rhosnessey Bula’ daughter Astelle Oven Ready bred by Mr/Mrs A Astle of Court Farm , Eastside Lane , Bawdrip nr Bridgwater - Somerset (who bred also the Astelle Newfoundlands), 2) Farnaby Marnie’ son President’ Lad bred by Miss J Bulloch of Northam – Bideford , 3) Lad’ sis Pinewhispers Countess Caroline , 4) ch Artifex Arabella’ daughter Farnaby Rainy Patch , 5) Rhosnessey Melissa’ daughter Eddington Sarahband b Sept '74 bred by Lady Fermoy , probably Ruth Roche , DCVO OBE , 1908-1993 , friend & confidante of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the maternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales . Lady Fermoy resided at Eddington House , Hungerford – Berks and owned also ch Hollesley Cleopatra' sis H- Cazziopeia (sic) b May '67 (Warren ex ch MoonsfieldBaron' dau H- Leonora) ; one of the  Eddington litter mates was named   Diana … Champion Eddington Sarahband was owned by Mr E G Nash of Long White Cloud , Waterperry Road – Holton nr Oxford  , who mated her to ch President' Lad which produced the Tridescent litter b Sept '78  -  containing Aphrodite , Cumulus Nimbus & Ghengis Khan .

Lisken Sungod sired a/o Gildasan Fame (maternal granddam to ch Gildasan Silver Ghost) and  ch Longendale King Louis' grandsire Kithurst Dominic (bred by Miss A Margetts , St Christopher's - Kithurst Lane Storrington - Sussex , also known as breeder of Kithurst Scottish Terriers)  . Ch Buckhall Mr Micawber sired the already mentioned ch’s bred by Parcwood breeder Mrs Mary Hector , ie Falmore Langton , Parcwood W Bear Esq & Cornhaye Smudge and , of course , also ch Forefoot Little Emily , maternal granddam of the Glynpedr ‘champagne’ litter including five ch’s , ie Dom Ruinart , Dom Perignon , Taittinger , Billecarte & Jamin  .

The scheme here below presents the growth rate of one of the prominent specimens of the seventies , ie Mrs How' Ch Buckhall Mr Micawber who may be considered as an example of the slow maturing kind  . At one year having 39 i girth of chest for a height of 32 1/2 i means a tall lanky outline which is a quite favorable feature , ie no unnecessary load or call it ballast for a bodily structure in full 3D development . At adulthood , ca 3/4 y old , he indeed became a Mastiff magnificently filled out .

Mr Micawber got his 1st cc under Bardayle breeder Mrs Maisie Anderson  who gave the reserve ticket to ch Hollesley Macushla' Dagda , his 2nd cc under Miss B Blackstone at Crufts '73 (reserve ch Pynesfarm Gelert) followed by five other cc's , the last one at Crufts '74 under Copenore breeder Mr Cyril H Lindley (reserve ch Canonbury Autobiography) , perhaps due to Mrs How' decision to not any further campaign  her big brindle .

Mrs How   had  a good story and Miss B Blackstone wrote about it  - 'driving from London to her home at Petforth - Sussex  , one evening a man thumbed a lift . It was a miserable wet evening and on a country road - so Mrs Howstopped and asked where he wanted to go and gave a lift . A little later on the man said 'I wonder that you cared to give me a lift . Mrs How replied 'Oh , you haven't seen what I have in the back' . Whereupon the man turned to look and a large Mastiff head reared up . The man said not another word until his destiny was reached '. It was quite a sight when that tiny but wealthy lady entered the show grounds driving a huge old      fashioned  Bentley car including her huge Mastiffs ; she was a well-known expert on silverware antiques .

Mr Micawber' brother ch Buckhall Lord Jim was owned by Hildedun breeders Mr B J &  Marion Morgan of Hill Farm Orchard Close , Ruislip - Middlesex  . Jim got his 1st cc at the age of ten months , that under Miss HM Loughrey (of IWH fame) who gave the reserve cc to Mrs Vivian Corbett' Oxhaege Thorkel  ; his second & thirth cc was given by Mr Joe Braddon , reserves for ch Hollesley Macushla' Dagda &  Oxhaege Thorkel . He was made up under Mr Percy Whitaker at the Welsh KC '74 , reserve for Inniscorrig Sir Arthur Crown . Mrs Phil Teversham of Twinoaks kennels  wrote in her report about the Open Show at Chalfont St Giles Sep '79 - 'To me the older Mastiffs are rather special , perhaps because they have developed that 'extra something extra' in their characters . It was a pleasure to see them in the ring - Veteran 1st - CH Buckhall Lord Jim , enormous head and bone , a grand old gentleman and truly magnificent Mastiff . Jim  sired only  one litter , dd July '71 out of Kisumu Roxana (ch Kisumu Jasper ex Beaucaris Marcus' daughter Kisumu Henrietta) resulting in seemingly a-one-pup litter , ie Hildedun Simon , a male without progeny or any relevant show records .

Poor breeding results of Mastiffs alike Jim are unfortunately not an exemption , and quite some breed stalwarts do pretend that the Mastiff does not breed true ...

Ch Weatherhill Thor has been covered in the sixties page  ; his sons ch Buckhall Baron Spencer & Buckhall Baron Wolsey are well represented in pedigrees of top-class Mastiffs . The latter is not mentioned as a winner at championship shows but Wolsey sired an interesting son , ie Mrs Vivian Corbett' Oxhaege Thorkel  - see below centre - at right his son Autobiography - , b April '70 out of Oxhaege Ingeborg (Balint' son Frideswide Oliver x Bellringer' daughter Rhosnessey Masquerade) . Thorkel was a first-class specimen but , nevertheless extensively shown , never made up - he got two cc's , under Mr Warner Hill (reserve ch Buckhall Baron Spencer) Mr Percy Whittaker (reserve ch Hollesley M Dagda) & and thereby not less than five reserve cc's , resp beaten for the cc by ch Buckhall Lord Jim (2x) ,  ch Gildasan Eminance , ch Pynesfarm Gelert 1 ch Hollesley M Dagda. Thorkel' aunt  Oxhaege Uffhild became grand-dam of ch Jilgrajon Lady Victoria & her sis J- Melisande (ch Forefoot Prince Igor' dam).

Hereabove at left  - ch Wayside The Devil aka 'Devvy' as a pup including splinted leg , a picture taken in front of the old Devon country house Ashley House at Tiverton  where the Corbetts lived in the  mid-seventies ; the two other pics present a ca one year old 'Devil' , the right one next to Mrs Vivian Corbett' home stud Thorkel.

Below  - Ch Wayside The Devil' daughter Jakote Lady Glencora - see below at right - was bred by Mrs Corbett out of Crouch Hall Beth , a sire/daughter inbred to Thorkel -  in the centre - next to his pups  bred by Mrs Corbett  who was only few years into breeding practice , ie  1st litter b Aug '71 , 7th & last litter bred Sept '74 . She had five broods  , ie Buckhall Angela & her daughter Crouch Hall Hecuba , Hecuba' daughter Crouch Hall Beth , Buckhall Penelope & Kisumu Salome .  Below at right  Thorkel' shaggy son Hollesley Merlin out of ch Hollesley Macushla' Dagda sis H- M Melody , a quite impressing face but lacking flatness off forehead .

Other breeders of repute but unfortunately also only  active during a rather short space of time were Mr Graham V & Mrs Margaret Cowe of Great Rusham Shepton Mallet - Somerset .  The Forefoot litters were bred between '73 - '78 out of four broods , 1) Buckhall Baron Wolsey' daughter Remargae Nina , 2) Nina' maternal niece Canonbury Delouisia , 3) ch Jilgrajon Victoria ' sis J- Melisande & 4)  Nina' daughter Forefoot Rosa Dartle , iow three broods were related to Buckhall Baron Wolsey , the other one , J- Melisande had Baron' Wolsey' sis  Buckhall Esme as maternal granddam .

The 2nd Forefoot litter , Oxhaege Thorkel ex ch Canonbury Autobiography' paternal niece Delouisia produced a/o F- Lucifer who not only sired ch Craigavon Selina (out of Mr Micawber' granddaughter ch Craigavon Emma) but also grandsired the  Darkling ch's Bridie & Casper ; the 3rd F- litter , The Devil ex Nina ,  gave ch F- Prince Darkness & F- Rex Mundi ; the 6th , Mr Micawber ex  Nina gave ch F- Little Emily (already discussed) & Rosa Dartle, the latter dam of the 9th  (last) F- litter sired by the homebred ch F- Prince Darkness  and which contained ch F- King Kong . The 7th litter , Prince D ex J- Melisande , produced ch Forefoot Prince Igor who sired ch Bredwardine Beau Ideal , once breed cc recordholder , and daughter to Farnaby Voodoo Priestess by Bulliff Captain Hamilco  . Here below pics of Prince Darkness ,  his son Prince Igor  as a puppy & an excerpt of  an article  headed 'The Judges' Choice' publ by the KG Dec '90 .

Above at left -  A group , fr l to r - Astelle Bardolph b April '72 out of ch Hollesley Petalouda' sis H- Phiomela (ch Weatherhill Thor ex ch Hollesley Macushla) sired by Ragtime Hell' Angel (Lucky Attempt ex  Gildasan Elligance) , The Devil' daughter  ch Jakote Lady Glencora b June '74 &  the puppy 'Max'  aka ch Hollesley Dare Devil b April '75 annex a profile pic of the 6 mths old Max ; in the  centre the puppy Max ; at right Bulliff Cyning Aelle and his fawn son Faerdorn Talk of The Devil , litter brother to ch Faerdorn Big Daddy .

The Crufts '80 show report by judge Mrs Maisie Anderson of Bardayle fame mentions a/o  - 'There was a good entry of 41 and few absentess this year .  The Mastiffs were worthy of the breed , all were  of perfect temperament , sound & typical . Many good dogs went cardless , the process of placing being decided on very small eliminations . Limit Dog 1st - Cowes' Forefoot King Kong , lovely young brindle (18mths) has great promise , size & quality combined , temperament excellent , outgoing , moved easily and freely , a joy to judge & handle . CC & BOB ' - Reserve cc was for ch Falmore Langton .

Kong'  1st mention in the KCSB/Calendar is at Three Counties where Douglas Oliff gave the 10m old  Forefoot King Kong the reserve cc  , ch Hollesley MM taking cc & BOB; next year Douglas Oliff gave him another reserve at the LKA , cc went to ch Hollesley Devil' Advocate' son Bulliff Cyning Aelle ;  no show records for '81 but  in '82, owned by Mssrs Thomas & Tugwell he got two cc's (both reserve cc's for ch Longendale Lord Bernard)  & ditto nbr reserves , respectively beaten by MM son' ch Honeycrofts Danny Boy &  MM himself . The BOB at the Welsh KC show  August '82 under Mrs Phil Greenwell was the last KC recorded entry for the then 4y old Kong .

King Kong sired only two litters , ie 1) out of ch Astelle Oven Ready' sis A- The Enterprise resulting in Apollon Great Grizzly Chief bred by Mrs Richardson , 2) out of his paternal half sis Bredwardine  Billet Doux , dam tof Bredwardine Bagwyllydiart who , mated to  MM' son ch Glynpedr Dom Ruinart , produced a/o  ch Bredwardine  Bwchlygroes & Bertvedv , the latter dam  to the Bredwardine ch brothers Bedwyr & Brongest sired by the Am import ch Arciniega' Lion  . Brongest , his ten Bredwardine litters aside ,  produced another series of 24 litters for 14 different breeders , a breeding record unequalled  in the pw II era until 2000 after which the writer here didn't any further collected statistical breed data  . Here below KK pics , do notice the difference between  being stacked or not ,    a snapshot amateur vs a professional photographer  .

Jakote Lady Glencora , Forefoot Prince Darkness & Darkling Bridie were not the only champs sired by  ch Wayside The Devil as perhaps his most splendid litter may have been out of the almost six years old ch Hollesley Macushla' Dagda' sis ch H- M Sheba (b June '69) , purchased from her breeder Mrs P Day by Miss Jane Hine of Nottingham who entered her at Paignton '71 and got the reserve cc from Mrs Phil Greenwell who awarded the cc to ch Copenore Mary Ellen (ch Copenore Rab' dam) ; there are two other KC Calendar entries for H- M Sheba in '71 , namely at the OEMC Show where she got 3rd in Limit Class under Miss Margaret Harrison  & at Birmingham end '71 where Sheba got 3rd Open Class under Mr George Leatt (cc for ch Meps Portia) . Her owner , Miss Jane Hine b '82 , passed away and Sheba came to Mrs Phil Greenwell who campaigned her further on during the next two years  , winning 7 cc's in hot competition annex 3 reserves , resp beaten by ch Meps Portia , Farnaby Far Away Places (bred by Ragtime breeder Mr Alcock) & Mr Graham Cowe' Remargae Nina (dam of ch Forefoot Little Emily & 'Konky' dam F- Rosa Dartle) .

Note - Nottingham’ most prominent Victorian architect was Thomas Chambers Hine ’13-’99 of 25 Regent Street who married Mary Betts of Stamford and had seven children. The three sons, architect George Thomas b ‘41, factory inspector James Augustus ’51 & surgeon Harry b ’55 married resp in ’70, ’84 & ’78. So perhaps this Miss Jane Hine b ’82 may have been Thomas Chambers Hine’ grand-daughter.

Three images of ch Forefoot King Kong. - In those days The Devil (b April '73 & bred by Mr David O Thornsbrough of Alvin - Illinois) was a controversial Mastiff , great overall quality incl the soundest of hind quarters but also having a pedigree which several times traces back to the Dogue de Bordeaux brood Fenelon Fidelle owned by the Mastiff breeder Merle Campbell of Oregon . So The Devil became ignored by a part of UK breeders but others , a/o Mrs Greenwell , realized the great opportunity here for British stock. The Devil , transferred to Grangemoor breeder Mr Liz Degerdon , died in May of  '79 , far too young .

That ch Hollesley Macushla Sheba litter , b 21th April '75 sired by The Devil , produced for Mrs Greenwell two males & two females , ie Dare Devil (so not Daredevil) , Devil' Advocate , Devil Dancer & Devil' Delight , the latter without any further breeding or show record .

Mrs Greenwell kept the brindle ch Hollesley Devil' Advocate who sired only one litter , ie  the Bulliff litter dd June '78 out of ch President' Lad' daughter B- Giselt which gave a/o the splendidly headed Bulliff Cyning Aelle , the latter on his turn sired ch Faerndorn Big Daddy (out of ch Foreforefoot Prince Darkness' daughter Astelle The Enterprise) . Devil Dancer & Dare Devil became owned by Hollesley breeder Mrs P Day ;  for some reason Dare Devil was transferred.

At left Dare Devil next to a group photo taken at the OEMC Show '76 , at that moment those The Devil' sons & daughter were about 15 mths old ; fr l to r Dare Devil , Devil Dancer & Devil' Advocate and at the extreme right Mrs Vivian Corbett & her ch Wayside The Devil . Mr Joe HJ Braddon  awarded BOB to Dare Devil (reserve cc for ch Copenore Rab) , BOS  ch Eddington Sarahband (reserve cc for Hollesley Devil Dancer) .  Three years later Copenore breeder Mrs Maisie Lindley judged an entry of 84 at  the OEMC ch show '79  and wrote in her report - 'ch Hollesley Dare Devil  - Grand dog , lovely expression , broad head , black ears & mask and the right amount of wrinkle , heavy . We need this . Moved very well , in excellent condition' . CC & BIS  (reserve cc for ch Hollesley Medicine Man) ;  in females she  awarded the cc to Mr Richard Cogan' Craigavon Elsa (ch President' Lad ex Mr Micawber' granddaughter ch Craigavon Emma) while the reserve cc went to Dare Devil' sis ch H- Devil Dancer  , described by the judge as - 'lovely head , tall heavy boned bitch . Did not move quite freely as I know she can , but a true Mastiff all through .

At left - Ch Hollesley Dare Devil at the Clearwell Castle Open Show in '79 , judge of the day Mrs Jill Hicks  of Jilgrajon  standing next to  Grangemoor breeder Mrs Liz Degerdon & her Grangemoor Ludamila b Aug '77 (ch Wayside The Devil ex Garstars Eric' daughter Kisumu Una) .  It was Douglass Oliff  who ran that legendary show at Clearwell Castle (only six mls N of his living place Wyaston - Woolaston Glos)  , that on the same day & location as the show for The Welsh & West of England Bull Mastiff Society of which he was the long-standing Secretary . 

At right - Clearwell Castle  - Wiki quote - 'A mock Gothic mansion built for Thomas Wyndham in 1728 . For a time after 1947 it lay empty and deserted but in 1953 it was bought by the son of the former estate under-gardener, Frank Yeates , who has sold his Blackpool’ bakery business  . The Yeates family , together with friends , restored the Castle room by room to its former glory .

In the 1970s Clearwell Castle was used regularly as a rehearsal & recording studio by several bands incl  a/o Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath, the latter seeking inspiration after a series of fruitless writing sessions in California and found what they were looking for in an underground recording studio built by the Yeates family there , writing the critically acclaimed album ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’. 

At left - a pic taken at the OEMC Centenary Show - Pyleigh Manor July '83 - presenting the 8y old ch Hollesley Devil Dancer & two of her youngest daughters, ie H- Mermaid & H- Mavourneen b  June '82 sired by Oxhaege Thorkel' son Hollesley Merlin. 

Devil Dancer died the  day after the OEMC show, shortly afterwards followed  by the death of her daughter ch Hollesley Rowella (Medicine Man' sis). Devil Dancer' brother ch Hollesley Dare Devil - at right - has been/is considered by quite a number of breed stalwarts as an overall outstanding breed ambassador . In that respect , it's merely nitpicking to mention his coat could have been a bit less heavy  and it certainly remains such a pity he only sired four (Grangemoor) litters , three out of Kisumu Una & one out of ch Jakote Lady Glencora but none of Dare Devil' progeny has played a prominent role in regard to first-class breeding in Britain .

That  mainly due to troublesome circumstances taking also into account his owner Mrs Degerdon seems to have been quite  reluctant  in regard to  access for stud purpose envers other breeders  , even those having real quality broods .     In  short , an almost incomprehensible page of British P-W II Mastiff breeding .

Longendale breeder Mr Louis Anthony McDonald 1928-2010 , of Moorfield House - Mottram Moor Hyde Cheshire , was one of the staunchest show people during quite a long time . His first show dog was Ranulf' son  ch Longendale King Louis b May '77 & bred by Cuerden (also Clumber Spaniel) breeder Mr Alexander A  Roskell  of Greenbank  Wigan Road - Leyland Lancs out of Kithurst Dominic’ daughter Vernlam Candida  , a Vandepere Andy Cap niece grandsired by ch C- Friar' son Lisken Sungod ,  bred by the Vernlam (also Great Dane) breeder Mr W A Cowlam of Darlington  who also owned Gildasan Mr Grumpie  (Andy Cap' son G- Mr Butler ex Ragtime Dame Twisty) , BOB at Blackpool Ch Show '81 under Dr S Monostori of Frideswide  who wrote the following about him - ' A fine 4 years old brindle  . Very sound in body with a nice head , good mouth and moving well . He should go on well and be made up '.

Mr Cowlam' Mr Grumpie  seems to have been an example of quality Mastiffs who , due to certain circumstances , were only very rarely entered into the show ring as , his BOB aside , there's only one other KC registered show prize , ie 3rd Open at Birmingham '82 under Mrs P Day , the cc for MM' son ch Honeycroft Danny Boy  and Craigavon Elsa' paternal nephew Bulliff Rendon taking  the reserve cc .

Rendon was bred by Merripit breeder Mrs Hazel Gwendoline  Havill née Rooke b '39-97 of 'The Brake' at Yelverton’ moortop village Postbridge lying by the coach road of Dartmoor Park , well known as the location of Conan Doyle’ bestseller - publ 1902 - 'The Hound of The Baskervilles'  , including Chapter 7 - The Stapletons of Merripit House . Postbridge has three of the four real place names mentioned as local to the area - ie  Laughtor House (spelled Laftor House by Conan Doyle) ,  Bellever Tor   & Merripit . 

Here at right - Nuns Cross farm house sits in splendid isolation . It was almost certainly the inspiration for the original Merripit House in Conan Doyle' The Hound of the Baskervilles . An excerpt - ''You will , I am sure , excuse my presumption , Dr Watson , said he as he came panting up to where I stood .  'Here on the moor we are homely folk and do not wait for formal introductions .

You may possibly have heard my name from our mutual friend , Mortimer. I am Stapleton of Merripit House .' 'Your net and box would have told me as much ,' said I , for I knew that Mr Stapleton was a naturalist . But how did you know me ?

Mrs HG Havill -  b Blandford  '39 - d Torbay '97 - of Merripit kennels bred 17 litters between ’74-’89 ; her foundation brood Smartie Yanaritch (Farnaby Lucky Attempt ex Farnaby Faro Jim’ daughter Rhosnessey Sara) was bred by Mr G Alcock of Ragtime Chulmleigh - Devon and , mated to Shute President , she produced 1)) Ranulf (who sired ch Longendale King Louis, grandsired ch Longendale Lord Bernard & great-grandsired ch Longendale The Protector , ch Bulliff Warrior & sis ch B- Walkeska) and  2) Scamp , the next Merripit brood who , mated to The Devil’ son Bulliff Captain Hamilco , produced A) Capper Be Lucky of whom Mr Graham Hicks of Jilgrajon wrote in his OEMC Ch Show ’82 report – ‘Dark brindle , quality looking dog , has my idea of a perfect head’ (see pic hereabove at this page) , B) Kermit  which, mated to Lisken Sungod’ daughter Coopell Merry Shadow (owned by Coopell breeder Mrs A R Elworthy ***) , produced Coopell Malanese ,  dam of ch Trevabyn Ice by Belbeck Plantation Boss . Another Scamp litter , this time mated by her home stud Craigavon Gaylord b ’77 (brother of C- Elsa – ch President’ Lad ex ch Craigavon Emma) gave Rendon owned by Bulliff breeders Mr/Mrs Say , C)  Su Sue wich , mated to Mrs Havill' next home stud MM’ son Glynpedr Roederer b '82 (littermate of five G- champions) , produced Merripit Star Trophy , a quality one (see pic here below) exported to Washington State  and owned by Mr/Mrs Shearon  & Mr/Mrs Everard of Overmoore & Panmaric kennels  .

*** Little is known about Mrs A R Elworthy , breeder of 22 Coopell litters between ’72-’87 , but perhaps there’s a connection with the Amy Rose Collection (Fine Fibres) Limited launched in the mid-1980s by hand-spinner & knitwear designer Rose Elworthy of Lampeter – Wales , a smallholder , breeder of Cashmere/Angora cross goats called ‘Cashgoras’  . Present-day her brainchild , the Amy Rose Collection business , continues in The Natural Fibre Company (based in Launceston - Cornwall)  , UK’ only small-scale full range textile mill . By adding value to naturally coloured raw fleece bought from farmers , smallholders & rare sheep breeders ,   it provides support in the preservation of those rare breed sheep .

Now back to good old King Louis . Douglas Oliff reported about Lou (bred by Vernlam breeder Mr Cowlam)    - ' Top class silver fawn , excellent bone , great depth of chest , good mouth , plenty of pigmentation , strong straight back , free mover . Very good skull but when challenging for the cc I thought his fuller eye detracted from his expression  ' ;  the cc went to ch Honeycroft Danny Boy .   

Ch Longendale King Louis' sire Ranulf , Rhosnessey Casper' grand-nephew  by Shute President , sired also ch Bulliff Warrior’ grandsire Khan & Lizzie Drippin , the latter dam of Mr McDonald’ 2nd champion ,  Longendale Lord Bernard , b June '80 & bred by Kenstaff (also Bulldog) breeder Mrs M Rutter who bred also Bernard’ sire Kenstaff Mark .

Louis A McDonald bred three Longendale litters – 1) out of Dicarl The Snowscene (Venez import Exilado de Cayacoa ex ch Cornhaye Kenneth’ dau Tiopepi Beau Bella) sired by his Bernard resulting in a/o ch L- The Protector & L- Lady Bess – 2) out of Lady Bess’ dau ch L- Lady Megan (by Lizzie Drippin’ son Baron Henry Kinder) sired by his ch Glynpedr Sandeman which gave L- Megan’ Pride (see pic here below at left together with Mr & Mrs L A McDonald) , recipient of a cc under allrounder Mrs An Arch – 3) out of ch Longendale King Louis’ daughter Tresylyan Anouska sired by Kenstaff Mark’ son Longendale The Defender resulting in a/o ch Longendale Princess Athenée .

One could presume Mr McDonald , Director of  'L A Mcdonald & Son (North West) Limited' - Wholesale electric household goods  - Manchester , stamped an alternative strain of show winning Mastiffs , rather independent from the well-known lines as p ex Hollesley , Buckhall , Forefoot  , &c .

The dark apricot Ch Longendale Lord Bernard got his 1st cc at the age of 17mths under Mrs EJ Baxter (reserve for ch Aicama Captain Morgan) , 2nd cc under Mrs Phil Greenwell (reserve for MM' son ch Bellabees Blunder) and was made up under Graham Hicks - Jilgrajon (reserve for Honeycroft Danny Boy' son Bulliff Ranger)  ; also his 4th & last cc was awarded by a breed specialist Mrs Pamela Day - Hollesley (reserve cc once again for ch Bellabees Blunder) .  Longendale The Protector’ pic (here above at right) shows a really well balanced sturdy dog about whom Mrs Jill Hicks of Jilgrajon wrote the following in her report re the OEMC Ch Show ’86 – ‘A large apricot , very wide right through , excellent bone , good pigment , large head . I was very keen on this dog’ movement and he was sound . He is a credit to his owners (ed –Mr/Mrs Cottrell) . Many must take heart from his 100% recovery from an accident . CC , I understand this crowns him . Well done .’ – Protector got his 1st cc from Mrs Teversham - Twinoaks & his 2nd from Mrs Day -  Hollesley.

The Craigavon breeder Richard W Cogan 1920-2007 of Carmarthen  bred some 26 litters between '67-'98 .  His 1st homebred champion was Craigavon Emma b March '75 out of ch Havengore Balint' granddaughter  C- Tish sired by ch Buckhall Mr Micawber' son Bournewood Crispin.

Ch Craigavon Emma'  1st cc under Frideswide breeder Dr Sheila Monostori (reserve cc for her sis Craigavon  Pearl owned by the Hicks family) , 2nd cc under  all-rounder GJ Gadsden (reserve cc for Farnaby Voodoo Priestess)  and made up inder  Mrs EJ Baxter (reserve cc for ch Parcwood W Bear' sis Withyparc Tigress) . 2nd Craigavon champion was  C- Selina - see at right - (Forefoot Lucifer ex ch Craigavon Emma) who got her three cc's under Overnoons breeder Mrs How ,  Mrs Greenwell & Grangemoor breeder Mrs L Degerdon , reserve cc's went resp to  ch Balclutha Minerva,  MM' daughter ch Bellabees Cader Idris &  ch Zanfi Tanya .

Another Craigavon who left his mark in the breed was the brindle C- Taboo - see at right -, a really dark brindle of sound conformation , b April '92 out of  C- Royal Lady (Brookview Bill Sykes x Craigavon Elsa*) sired by MM' grandson ch Dignified John (bred by Miss M Perrenoud - Meps) .

Taboo sired the  Prixcan ch's Mordred & Blasine (out of Prixcan Esprit d'Amour) and ch Jengren Pluto, the latter   sired ch Dajenis Peacemaker (out of ch Bredwardine Brongest' granddaughter Tara Truetoyou) , he also grandsired ch Bulliff  Dom & sis  ch Bulliff Dacie (out of ch  Bulliff Warrior' double great-granddaughter B- Bwy) .

Ch Lady Lavinia  (once breed cc recordholder bred by Regallian breeders Mr J S & Mrs L Lock of Cardiff - out of Ocobo Lana) was a f2/f3 linebreeding  back to  Craigavon Taboo' son Jengren Pluto . Hereabove at extreme right - the only pic in possession of C- Taboo , unfortunately not stacked  but still showing  great  virtues .

Mr Cogan'  perhaps biggest show succes may have been winning the Challenge Certificate  at the OEMC Championship Show '79 with an entry of 84 for Copenore breeder Mrs Maisie Lindley who wrote about   Craigavon Elsa  (ch President' Lad ex ch Craigavon Emma) - 'True dark brindle , very black mask & ears , good reach of neck & topline , legs strong & firm with lovely tight feet ... showed herself perfectly . CC & Best of Sex ' , (reserve cc for ch Hollesley Devil Dancer) . Great start for the 19 months old C- Elsa (maternal granddam to Craigavon Taboo) , but in her further show career she only got two 2nd Open Class placings (under Mrs EJ Baxter & Mr W E Foster) and five 3rd Open prizes (under Dr S Monostori  , Mrs P Day , Miss M Harrison , Mr Graham Hicks & once again Mrs P Day) ;  the then cc's went to MM' sis ch Hollesley Rowella (2x) , Exilado' daughter Dicarl The Promise , ch The Devil' daughter Darkling Bridie , ch Copenore Rab' daughter  Grangemoor Nell , ch Hollesley Devil' Advocate' daughter Bulliff Aethelflaed  & MM' daughter ch Honeycroft Dolly Daydream . 

Reasons for this may be found in judge reports , a/o Mrs Maisie Anderson' judge  report Crufts '80 - '3rd Limit - Craigavon Elsa , in top condition as usual , very typical Mastiff , sound mover . Dark eyed , mask conform to standard . If size were on her side would be very difficult to beat  ' ; Mrs P Day wrote in '80 - ' Craigavon Elsa , beautifully shown and well made , she moves well , for me she lacks bone & size ' , two years later her judgment was even harder - 'Craigavon Elsa , far too fat , made her head look small and out of proportion' .

Lesson may be here that proper size does not include fatness . So trying to compensate  lack of large 3D skeletal framing by overfeeding is merely an illusion as every  well-skilled judge shall look through that misleading , or  call it , silly fat approach ,  which  moreover may almost certainly lead to a  massive burden threatening the wellfare of the Mastiff in question ,  having also possible consequences regarding fertility in the sense of 'big & barren'.

Thanks to ‘Radnorian’ , a splendid researcher of Welsh history , many elements has come above water (via ‘Tredelyn blogspot’) for an interesting cameo about perhaps the most controversial P-W II breed fancier in Britain , ie Grangemoor breeder Mrs Elizabeth Rosemary Degerdon née Jones . The story goes as following -

Elizabeth’ father , Thomas Irfon Austin Jones 1898-'80 (from the garage in Newbridge-on-Wye Wales) , was son to Daniel Jones of Penrhiwmoch - Llanafan and Flora Thomas , the latter born in the gold mining town of Ballarat - Australia , later on working as a schoolteacher in Abergwesyn . Elizabeth’ mother was Annie Alice Jones, daughter of George W Jones , a Newbridge butcher & wool dealer and his wife Elizabeth Lloyd . Elizabeth Rosemary aka ‘Liz’ Jones was in the early sixties , along with her rivals Christabel Carlisle & Anita Taylor , one of the fastest saloon car racers in the country .

Her Mini-Cooper had the registration number LIZ 1 . Mainly a track racer , Liz certainly did enter the Monte Carlo rally   In the 1964 event she took the rather unusual option of starting from behind the Iron Curtain in the Belarussian city of Minsk .

Elizabeth was one of the top half-dozen or so graduates from the Cooper Driving School entitled to an occasional outing in the school' FJ (Formula Junior) Car during the 1960 season , she also competed in an Austin Healey 3000 .  In 1961 she married Donald Arthur Degerdon , ARICS * Associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors , b Willesden Essex 1925-1979 , and resided at Midmede Speen – Bucks until their divorce in 1974 ; he re-married and became voted as Conservative politician for the London region of Camden (Adelaide – Hampstead) and she moved to ‘The Great House in her parental village Newbridge-on-Wye, Llandrindod Wells , Radnorshire and it’s there her Grangemoor breeding began .

Now , coming back to her racing career - From '62 through to '64 she drove Mini-Coopers , first for the Downton Engineering and then the Alexander Engineering teams . Liz also competed in the RAC Rally ; the '63 Tour de France & the '64 24 hour race at Spa - Belgium .  A highlight must have come in the 1963 Brands Hatch 6 Hour race where she finished 2nd in class , her co-pilot was one Timo Mäkinen but Liz was actually the lead driver in that race. She ended racing in the mid-sixties .

From '76 until ’84 she bred not less than thirty-six  Grangemoor litters , that from perhaps the finest stock in Britain , after which she moved to the States including her fleet of ca 50 Mastiffs but disaster took place , including huge animal abuse & human tragedy . She finally came back to Britain to live an anonymous life until her death at Ashford - Kent , May 2010 ; Mrs Elizabeth Rosemary Degerdon née Jones b ‘30 is buried in Newbridge churchyard.

Hereabove a Newbridge-on-Wye country house in stunning landscape , lying on the road to Llandrindod Wells which starts off 'The New Inn' , according Mrs Degerdon’ acquaintance Mrs Jo Kromhout , within walking distance of The Great House ; some three hundred uphill that road lies 'Great House Garage' and another hundred yards further uphill lies the old stately house (incl extensive rear grounds) pictured at left here  ; so probably also the place where the Grangemoors were located .

Mrs Jo Kromhout reported about her visit to Mrs Degerdon as following - 'The New Inn is a real country hotel , rather quaint . Now and then we could hear the Mastiff Chorus started up and dying down in perfect unison , just like when we arrived at Mrs Degerdon' house , &c .' As aforementioned Mrs How & her Mastiffs used to arrive in her old fashioned Bentley but Zanfi breeder Mr Nick Waters recalls Mrs Degerdon entering the showgrounds even more spectular , ie - quote - My first real introduction came in the mid-1970s when I met ch Copenore Rab sitting in regal splendour in the back of a Morris Mini-Traveller .'          It seems so as if the interest for the car brand of her sporting years was not  faded away ...

Before treating in globo the  Mastiffs owned &/or bred by Mrs Degerdon in Britain , some  brief note about what happened after she left Wales for the States , that in order to place things into a larger context .

Neighbors noise complaints and , according to Mrs Degerdon herself , the ‘atrocious’ Welsh weather may have convinced her to move to the States , taking also into account her contacts with Mrs Edna Waterhouse , of North Kingston – Conn US , but living for some time in Britain where she imported some Am breds , a/o Am ch Oranshire Brutus Britt who sired a/o a Damaria litter out of ch Damaria Count Magnum’ daughter Queen Dalukah  resulting in ch D- Sweet Georgia & D- Durango who sired ch D- Princess Nina .

She sold her home in Wales and , on March 18th  1985 , fifty-six Mastiffs were shipped to Rhode Island US via Pan Am , that at a cost of about $20.000 . Their first destination , arranged by Mrs Waterhouse , was Robin Hollow Road , West Greenwich - Rhode Island . But things went badly wrong for the dogs and Mrs Degerdon on the sly moved to Waterford - Connecticut (some forty mls SW of West Greenwich - RI ) .  She was there for one year before her dogs were seized by the State authorities ; her dogs were returned to her after she found a satisfactory environment for her dogs , ie Mr John Sellar , a postal employee , & his wife Karen gave her & her dogs ‘shelter’ at their home in Hopkinton – New Hampshire (some 150 mls N of West Greenwich - RI ) .

Things went even more wrong , ie  severe animal abuse & human tragedy , and February ’89 she left her dogs except for five of them of which she thought it were the best ones ; they were shipped back to England . Mrs Degerdon was arrested for several offenses of crime but released on bail . Her visa ended May 1 ’89 . So Mrs Degerdon' 'American dream' became a nightmare lasting four years ; it left the Mastiff community & other people involved with a really sad memory full of deep abhorrence about what happened with that , once so proud & mighty Grangemoor  fleet in the States . Mrs Degerdon obviously overplayed her hand and having in mind other large-scaled Mastiff kennels which wretchedly went down , it’s only fair to point to eventual pittfalls accompanying  such huge enterprises as it may not only break your heart but also your purse . So , look before you leap .

Mrs Degerdon’ first Mastiff , that according to the KCSB records , was 1) Milf Soames b Nov ’59 & bred by Mrs S M Mathers out of Sparry Serena sired by Havengore Samson . Next ones were 2) Milf Murias b  June ’60 (Sparry Serena ex ch Havengore Hotspot) , KCSB* transfer dated March ’62 , so it’s possible Murias was purchased by her as a grown up youngster  ; 3) his litter brother Milf Myrdpin ; 4) Weatherhill Rufus Bell b Dec ’60 (Crispin’ daughter Withybush Izod ex ch Havengore Hotspot) , * transfer June ’63 , so same note as for Murias ; 5) O’Nantynymydd Dafydd , a male b Nov ’66 (ch Havengore Balint ex Balint’ daughter Zilgul Brigid) ; 6 & 7) ch Hollesley Macushla’ Dagda & brother H- Tara , b June ’69 (ch Buckhall Baron Spencer ex ch Hollesley Macushla) ; 8) ch Gildasan Eminance’ brother G- Egmont , b Aug ’68 (ch Cornhaye Kennet ex Copenore Katrina) , * transfer Sept ’69 ; 10 & 11) Copenore ch’s Rab & Czarina  (the latter the 1st female purchased by Mrs Degerdon) b  Nov ’71 (ch Hollesley M Dagda ex ch Copenore Mary Ellen) ; 12) Kisumu Una , b   b April ’74 ; 13) Am import ch Wayside The Devil b  April ’73 (Kenacres Marcus ex Wayside Delilah) ; 14) ch Jakote Glencora b June ’74 (The Devil ex Ashley House Beth) ; ch Hollesley Dare Devil b April ’75 ; 15) Celerity Isobel b b May ’76 (Canonbury Alkabar ex Buckhall Clementine) ; 16) ch Darkling Bridie’ brother D- Bombardier b June '78 ; 17) Am import Deer Run Gena b Nov ’81 Am ch DR Jonathan ex DR Gelda) . It's not surprising that quite some then breed fanciers , a/o the Hicks family , considered Mrs Degerdon' stock as about the then finest stock in Britain .

The above picture was taken at the City of Birmingham Canine Association summer show '63  where the 3y old Milf Murias , handled by Mr Donald A Degerdon , got the cc from   judge of the day , Dr Stephen Young FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons) & JP (Justice of Peace) . Reserve cc went to his brother M- Morgan & 3rd Open for another brother , ie Milf Myrdpin ; BOB went to their sis ch Milf Manetta  . The lady standing in the background near the  board is Mrs Lucy Scheerboom who bred the sire of that Milf litter , ie ch Havengore Hotspot . Dr Stephen Young was Chairman of the Scottish Kennel Club and also on the General Committee of the English Kennel Club and , judging also the next year at the Birmingham in December , his BOB there was  ch Milf Manetta' son ch Weatherhill Thor , nephew to Murias .

To 15 countries 50+ Grangemoor Mastiffs were exported in toto ,  a number quite higher  than she sold in Britain . Main destinations were USA (16) , Italy & The Netherlands  (each 5), Spain & Denmark (each 4) & Germany (3) .

Interesting specimens were   a/o Mr/Mrs  Zahnke' G- Druid , Mr/Mrs Kromhout' G- Morgan  , Thamanexo breeder Mrs Jette Tornberg'  G- Caesar & G- Lady Diana  , Mrs Hoffman' G-  Magdalen (a/o behind Fantasy' stock) , Littleem breeder Mrs J Bellin' G- Bwana , Hunzeal breeder Mrs Amasha Caffyn' G- Angel , Lazybones breeder Mr Rosingh' G- Serena   and finally G- Bettina owned by ... Giacinto Guglielmo , Marchese di Vulci.

In Britain  Zanfi breeder Mr Nick Waters had the  opportunity to purchase Grangemoor Gilda (ch Copenore Rab x  ch Jakote Lady Glencora) and  she produced four Zanfi litters  each sired by a different sire .

In extenso - Darkling Bombardier , ch Celerity Powerful Sort , Glynpedr Tizer & ch Forefoot Prince Igor . Two  Zanfi  specimens were made up , 1) Z- Princess Tanya by Sort &  2) Z- Imperial Eagle by Tizer  . Whereas Zanfi Bellona by Bombardier not only produced Glynpedr Tizer but also his sis G- Fanta , dam of Glynpedr ch's Sandeman & Ferrira (by ch G- Dom Perignon) & to ch Glynpedr Napoleon by ch Damaria Count Magnum .

Grangemoor  Gilda' brother G- Zorab grandsired ch Prixcan Drusus , Meps Eliza' Fair Daughter (dam of ch Prixcan Countach sired by ch Zanfi Imperial Eagle) & Meps Dark Ranee , the latter mated to ch Glynpedr Dom Perignon , produced (Meps) ch's  Dignified John  (who sired Craigavon Taboo) & Brave Chaka , BOB at Crufts '93 . Below at left - Mrs M Perrenoud with her Meps crew a/o Illustrious Lawyer.

Next to Grangemoor Gilda , there were only two other Grangemoor broods who gave offspring to British breeders , ie 1) G- Katie (Darkling Bombardier ex Beau’ daughter G- Banchee) , owned by Ormondstow breeder Miss Sheila Critchley of Fremington Barnstaple, - Devon , produced a litter dd April ’83 sired by ch Honeycroft Danny Boy resulting in O- Forever Anne - see centre - , Honey Blossom & Peter The Great -  note - Miss S Critchley judged Mastiffs at Bucks 2002 ; 2) Grangemoor Berry  (DD’ son G-Cadivor x Deer Run Gena) , owned by Silvercroft breeder Mrs A Ernsting , who mated her to Lesdon Lord Fortesque’ son Farnaby Fine ‘n Dandy which gave S- Logan & S- Mulberry b  July ‘87 .

Grangemoor  Gilda' brother G- Zorab grandsired ch Prixcan Drusus - see at  right - , Meps Eliza' Fair Daughter (dam of ch Prixcan Countach sired by ch Zanfi Imperial Eagle) , Meps Dark Knight & sis M-Dark Ranee , the latter mated to ch Glynpedr Dom Perignon , produced (Meps) ch's  Dignified John  & Brave Chaka .  M- Dark Knight ,  owned by Mssrs Thomas & Tugwell of Bredwardine ,  has only two KC recorded show data , ie a 2nd Limit at the Welsh Kc '87 under Graham Hicks (cc ch Arciniega' Lion - reserve cc ch Massoluv Heftylump) & a 3rd Limit at the Wales Working Breeds Association '88 under Mrs How (cc for ch Massoluv Heftylump - reserve cc for Aquasilks Boxcar Willie) , the latter grandsired by the Am bred Stablemates Bruno imported by Kisumu breeder Mrs Irene Creigh .

Note - Stablemates Bruno , mated to Gildasan Valentine Daisy , produced for Mrs Irene Prosser a well-known Aicama litter containing A- Zorba of La Susa (the world' heavyweight recordholder) but more importantly A- Saucy Sarah , foundation for the Cedwalla breeders Mr/Mrs Chidwick , who mated her to MM  and resulted in a/o the  splendid champion Cedwalla Sweet Ellenor .   

Grangemoor Barnabus , G- Zorab’ son out of Zorab’ daughter G- Lorna ,  sired 11 Megalo litters bred by Mrs J E Barnes and 1 litter bred by Mrs E Platts , Bolaine breeder (also Bull Mastiffs) ; the Megalo & Bolaine breedings had quite some points of contact but they played no prominent role in show business, but it’s only fair to mention that Bolaine Boom , ch Trevabyn Black Ice' half brother , grandsired Kumormai Muskateers Lady , dam to two Kumormai ch’s K- Pride & Prejudice & K- Miss Eliza Bennett sired by ch (Merrowlea) Brigadier' son Czaracyna Zelig Warrior .

The Gildasan kennels (also Leonbergers) are owned by Mrs C Robson-Jones of Thetford – Norfolk who bred almost eighty litters (until 2000) ; the 1st G- litter , dd Aug ’68 out of Bellringer’ daughter Copenore sired by ch Cornhaye Kenneth produced the only Gildasan bred champion in Britain , ie ch Gildasan Eminance - see below at left - but this does not detract from the Gildasan value as a whole  as a/o  a quite substantial number of champions are bred from Gildasan parent(s) &/or grandparent(s)  , &c .

Gildasan Hidee , dam of ch Canonbury Autobiography & granddam of ch Darkling Bridie & ch Darkling Casper ; Gildasan Manuwatu & Gildasan Undivided , parents of ch Gildasan Silver Ghost - see centre - (bred by Mrs Sayer) ; Gildasan Midnight Mystery , dam of ch Misty Moondrops (bred by Mr/Mrs Bromley) ; Gildasan Mr Butler & Gildasan Valentine Daisy , parents of ch Captain Morgan (bred by Aicama breeder Mrs Irene Prosser) ; G- Roman Warrior’ daughter Gildasan Dolly Daydram , dam of ch Bredwardine Blanseidi ; Gildasan Elevitia , grand-dam of ch President’ Lad & sis ch Pinewispers Countess Carolina ; Gildasan Jenny Slended , granddam of ch Prixcan Drusus ; Gildasan Pittsburgh Eliza , granddam of ch Dignified John & ch brother Brave Chaka .

A quite famous Gildasan Mastiff may not be forgotten , ie  ch Captain Morgan' half brother G- Roman Warrior aka 'Rajah' b Feb '79 (G- Mr Butler ex G- Una) who got four reserve cc's before being exported at about 2 years old to the  United States and there owned by Miss Pamela Goold of Bankhouse who made him up . At the OEMC Club Show July  '80  the American Mrs M A Moore of Mooreleigh awarded BOB to  ch Parcwood W Bear Esq while G- Roman Warrior taking the reserve cc , leaving behind him  well-known show dogs such as ch Forefoot Prince Igor  , ch Jilgrajon Sir Gladstone & ch Hollesley Medicine Man .

She reported about Roman Warrior - see at left - as following - 'Junior Dog 1st G- Roman Warrior , big sound dog , nice movement, good bone . Showed too much haw . Reserve CC .' His other reserves were given by Mrs P Greenwell  (cc for  ch Jilgrajon Sir Gladstone) , Mrs G E P How of Overnoons (cc for ch Parcwood W Bear Esq)  and the long standing all-rounder Mr George Leatt (cc for Bulliff Cyning Aelle' brother B- The Squire Cygnelis by ch Hollesley Devil' Advocate)  .

Some years before Mr G Leatt judged at Crufts ’76 and awarded cc’s to ch Copenore Rab & Gildasan Lovely Looker (Gildasan Hidee’ brother G- Humoresque ex his dam Copenore Katrina) ; reserves went to ch Wayside The Devil & Buckhall Lady Jane (Mr Micawber’ brother K- Tarzan ex B- Baron Wolsey’ daughter B- Miss Elisabeth) .

Note - The Yorkshireman Mr George Leatt ,  a successful  businessman , bought the High Corn Water Mill , originally part of the Skipton Castle Estate . A mill has existed there since 1310 , rebuilt in the 18th C  . In 1954 the Estate was broken up  . In '70 Mr George Leatt commenced to convert it into an industrial museum . Mr George Leatt was portrayed in the film ‘The Miller’ dd '81 .

Mr/Mrs Lindley’ grand ch Copenore Mary Ellen (ch Weatherhill Thor’ brother W- Bellringer ex Taddington Pride) was already five years old and still without any progeny but November 14th 1971 it finally happened , ie a litter sired by ch Hollesley Macushla Dagda which contained only two pups – Copenore Rab & sis C- Czarina.    Both were purchased by the stud owner , Mrs Degerdon .

Rab' first KC recorded show prize was a 3rd Limit at Birmingham May ’73 under all-rounder Mr Percy Whitaker (cc Mr Micawber , reserve cc Inniscorrig Sir Arthur Crown but at the next ch show  , the SKC under all-rounder W E Foster he became BOB , ch Canonbury Autobiography taking the reserve . ch Copenore Rab  finished his show career end ’76 after winning 8 cc & 9 reserve cc’s in an era with only a dozen cc shows pro year . His main opponents were ch Buckhall Mr Micawber , ch Canonbury Autobiography & ch Buckhall Master Sirius . Rab’ greatest success may have been BOB at Crufts ’76 under George Leatt , biggest disappointment perhaps at Crufts ’74 where his breeder Mr Cyril H Lindley placed him only 3rd in Open Class (cc for  Mr Micawber , reserve for Autobiography).

His sis ch Copenore Czarina seems to have had a shorter career ; her last KC show record was at the Welsh KC Aug ’74 after collecting three cc’s & idem ditto reserve cc’s . She never produced progeny whereas C- Rab only sired two litters , that at older age , ie 1) dd Aug ’77 out of ch Jakote Lady Glencora containing 3 males & 6 females , 2) dd Jan ’78 out of ch Hollesley Dare Devil’ sis ch H- Devil Dancer resulting in one male & two females , ie Hollesley ch’s Medicine Man & Rowella and H- Charlotte , the latter without any KC show or breed record . Here below MM pics ,  the one at the right taken by the writer here at Lyme Hall Aug '84 in order to  provide a  head-on view  which presents the required squareness  incl blunt muzzle , a facial minor being a slight lack of width between  the eyes ,  clearly opposite to the great distance between eyes demonstrated by his sire Rab . A not quite neglible   number of MM' progeny , especially if linebred , shows up this somewhat peculiar eye set .

Ch Hollesley Medicine Man’ 1st KC registered show prize was a reserve cc at Welks May ’79 under Parcwood breeder Mrs Mary Hector (cc for ch Langton Falmore) followed by five other reserves (cc’s respectively for ch Forefoot Prince Igor 3x , Bannwater Sorly Boy & ch Hollesley Dare Devil ; MM’ last KC reg prize was at the LKA Dec ’84 getting , at an age of almost seven years , the reserve cc from all-rounder Mrs Catherine Sutton (cc went to ch Jilgrajon Sir Gladstone’ paternal nephew Luckhurst Goliath) . MM collected 21 cc’s (incl four Crufts cc’s – ’81 , ’82 , ’83 & ’84 – not entered in ‘80 or '85) and ten reserves . His sis ch H- Rowella got ten cc’s (incl Crufts cc’s ’81 – ’82) .

A photograph taken at the OEMC Centenary Show '83 at Pyleigh Manor - Somerset ;  Mrs Pamela Day , Hollesley breeder & OEMC President , sitting in front with MM' dam ,  the 8y old ch Hollesley Devil Dancer  ;  next to  her sitting , MM' co-owner Mrs Sarah Lloyd Jones (with dark  sunglasses) and  MM lying at her feet; the lady sitting at the extreme right is Overnoons breeder G E P How , owner of ch Buckhall Mr Micawber . The photograph at right shows ch Hollesley Rowella .

Here at left - A comparison of fronts between two Mastiffs (ch Copenore Rab b ‘71 & ch Hellingly Joseph b ‘25) , both considered by a then considerable part of the breed fancy as great ambassadors of the Mastiff breed . Their fronts are actually completely different ; the left one , a medium sized (ca 30i) stocky one - about whom Hollesley breeder Mrs Pamela Day once wrote  - 'to me the perfect  type of Mastiff' -, and at right a 33i tall one whose front looks narrow compared to the stocky one.

The general appearance of the KC Mastiff standard stipulates the following – ‘Head , in general outline, giving a square appearance when viewed from any point . Breadth desired and in ratio to length of whole head and face as 2 : 3 .  Body broad , deep , long , powerfully built , on legs wide apart and set. Muscles sharply defined. Size is desirable , but only if combined with quality and if absolute soundness is maintained . Height and substance important if both points are proportionately combined .’ Main quality of a great dog , no matter which breed , is balance , ie having proportions which fit within the whole framing . Respecting this principle , it may be fair to consider that a ‘square’ head needs to be complemented by a ‘square’ front . So , for the comfort grey squares are drawn on each dog , both times reaching horizontally on top to the bottom of chest and below to ground level ; in the left dog the vertical sides run through the approx outside of each foreleg that opposite to the dog at right where the vertical side on the right of the square is running way out of the right foreleg position. 

Note - fairness commands to mention that  elbows  of the left Mastiff stand approx in line with  resp shoulder outsides  whereas those of the right one are standing close or call it  'pinched'  , so not in line with the resp shoulder contours  , perhaps also due to elbows turned inwards.

Another point of observation being the different proportions of size between both heads versus their respective front framing ; the left one displaying a head proportionately more prominent when compared to the right one . Size is indeed desirable and height at shoulder is one of three factors therein but it’s only correct if  accompanied by proportionate breadth (and , of course , ditto length of body) .

Photograph taken by the editor at the OEMC Championship Show Aug 4th 1984 Lyme Hall presenting the 6 ½ y old ch Hollesley Medicine Man past his prime (having lost his once superb muscle tone) , though still a GOM receiving the reserve cc ; the cc went to his son Falmorehall Scirocco bred by Mrs Sarah Windham (to be seen at the extreme right) .

A comparative study between old Peter Piper vs Medicine Man in his prime . Do notice the differences re a/o proportional length & depth all through of body , amount of foldings and the finish off muzzle , ie strength of underjaw , divergence of forelips & flexion backwards of lips in order to create a frontal square cut off square ...