Family in Sheffield about 1958
My love affair with whippets began at a very young age. I was just 3yrs old and had a fall from my scooter resulting in having stitches in my lip. Feeling sorry for me, my parents took me visit to an uncle who had a litter of Jack Russell pups. Of course, like any child, I thought they were wonderful and pestered to have one. After much deliberation my dad said if I saved my birthday money I could have a dog but not a Jack Russell.
My birthday came and I hadn't forgotten, like they thought I would. My Dad asked me, "What do you want for your birthday?"
"A puppy!" was my immediate reply.
So for my 4th birthday we went to look at a litter of Whippet puppies which my Dad had seen advertised. I remember it was a family outing, after choosing a dog puppy (Ricky) we travelled back with him curled up in my Nans hat!
When my Aunt saw him, she fell in love with him, so we went back for the litter brother for her!!
The pups' were racing bred and so we decided to go along with Dads friend to some race meets, where they raced his dogs, Gyp and Nelson ( a one eyed flyer).
I remember the excitement watching them chase the lure and couldn't wait for the day I could race my pup. However what a disaster that was. We made the mistake of trapping them together, the lure set off, the traps opened, both came out and ran 10yrd then turned tail and ran off in the other direction playing.
I loved the racing but somhow knew it wasnt for my pup but did continue to take Gyp and Nelson for many a year, often taking the role of 'Lure Girl' at these meets.
When Ricky died my Dad looked round for another Whippet and heard of a litter bred by Molly Head (Demerlay) which was sired by Akeferry Jimmy. This dog was the litter brother to Richard's Bojangles Buccaneer although we'd never meet until many years later.
Demerlay Dawn Breaker
My father and Bill about 1958
The genesis of APHRAEL Whippets was through my father's interest in dogs and birds.
My first whippet recollection is holding a tiny white bundle whilst sitting crossed legged - I was six years old. This puppy, Trix, was bought from 'a man in Manchester' who I've realised was Arthur Badenach-Nicholson (Glenbervie). A second dog, Bill, was bought and the start of a kennel initiated.
During this period I recall going to several local shows, not to exhibit but just to look at the dogs. My parents went to CRUFTS whilst it was still held at Alexandra Palace.
Whenever Trix came in season, Bill went to live at my grandparents home. This was not a success as he often escaped from there and headed back home, unless he was distracted by another bitch!
Ultimately this was Bill's downfall as he was hit by a car andhad to be put-down at the scene of the accident. Unfortunately this had a severe affect on my father, who never completed the kennel nor bought a replacement for Bill.
When I was aged 11 we moved from the city to a small village where I was an 'oft'cummed 'un' as they say round here.
My father and I built an aviary and I became even more interested in birds than he had been; he had birds flying free in the attic when he met my mother.
I recall that there was always a canary, in a cage, in the house, its song filling the long summer days.
After my first marriage, Carol, who'd had GSD'S, wanted a dog of our own. "Any breed except a whippet." Following her lead we looked at Boxers, English Setters and even Dalmations but were unable to find anything suitable.
In desperation we looked in the yellow pages and found the NEVEDITH kennel (I did not know at the time that they kept whippets, it was a just a lucky chance). Edith Newton invited us to their home to look for any addresses which may be useful in our search for a suitable dog.
On arrival we were ushered into the kitchen and several whippets came bounding in, including Ch Akeferry Jimmy, and Carol was literally knocked over by them. Her attitude immediately changed and she became set on owning a whippet.
After a short wait we collected our first whippet a dog we named Bojangles Buccaneer (Buck).
He was a tall skinny brindle/white parti-colour with atrocious movement and we adored him. Nev Newton suggested we show Buck, which we did but never won anything with him.
At a local Championship show Nev took us aside and suggested we get another dog, "It just happens we have one suitable."
We took Nev up on his offer and collected Trevelmond Turnstone (Turner) who was shown and did very well at Open shows but never qualified for CRUFTS. Turner lived with my parents and died, aged fourteen, only a couple of weeks after my father.
Meanwhile Carol and I had acquired All is Loneliness (Lonely) from Vic Ibbotson, bred from Claire de Lune (Ch Hillsdown Tobique's litter sister).
Vic named all his dogs Kim and all his bitches Tina, the logic being that when called all of them would come running.
Lonely won locally and qualified for Crufts - our first dog at Crufts - what excitement, although he didn't even get placed it was a wonderful day.
Richard P Mason March 2000