My Family have had a long association with Rough Collies. My great grandfather had them in the nineteenth century from around 1883 and almost up until his death in 1944. Though he had died several years before I was born I was told that he even had a white collie back in the late 19th Century, of which he remained very proud - a proper American style white with sable markings not a defective merle albino type. Such proper whites were very popular and expensive back in the 19th century and were owned by Queen Victoria and Andrew Carnegie. The rest of his collies were all sable and whites - as he was not a fan of tris or merles.

Glenlusset Velma (1949- 1959)

Roll on to 1949 and my parents had moved into the family home and purchased a S/W bitch from Commander Wm Tew, the then Secretary of Scottish Collie Club. This was  Glenlusset Velma. She cost 8 Guineas which at the time was almost double my engineer father’s weekly wage. Her sire was Alec and Peggy MacAdam’s S/W Ch Helengowan Starboy and her Dam was a tri bitch Chabelburn Glorious, bred by the two Misses Stewart. Velma’s litter brother Glenlusset Thane was campaigned to his title. Velma was always placed when shown.

Wakeman of Raglan (Rupert) 1950-1960 with Crawford
(then aged two) brushing him at a Scottish Collie Club Show at Coatbridge YMCA Hall

Roll on a couple of more years and we acquired a male collie. Rupert, or Wakeman of Raglan, was bought at 20 months old from an ad in the dog press. He was a son of Int Ch Lochinvar of Ladypark and his dam was a Beulah’s bitch. He cost 25 Guineas and was sent up loose in the guards van by train from London all the way to Greenock. When collected he had a sign tied round his neck saying ‘my name is Rupert. I am very friendly. Please give me a drink of water All the shows we attended were in Scotland. Our showing stopped at the Suez crisis when petrol was rationed and never resumed, as the dogs were getting on by then.

We bred Velma twice - both times successfully. The first litter was by the late Andy Hunter’s dog, Benefactor, which I think was also a Helengowan bred dog and we sold all the pups from that litter. Andy Hunter was later to become one of the founding fathers of the Ayrshire Collie Club and was Secretary of it for many years. The second mating was to Rupert and we kept the only tri from that litter - a bitch we called Enchanting Lady. Sadly Lady died at a relatively young age before we had bred her, so we were left with nothing from these collies.


Photo of Velma playing with her tri puppy (Lady)  (note a very young Crawford Taylor in the background)

Photo of Rupert and a more grown up Lady with a family relative

I had grown up with these collies and they were always there in my childhood. Velma was my guard and Rupert was my playmate.

Velma died aged 10 in 1959 and Rupert a year later in 1960, also aged 10. They each died of old age in their sleep so we were spared the heartache of having them put to sleep. As a then an eight year old I wanted another collie but was overruled and given a wire haired fox terrier bitch for my ninth birthday. While I accepted her and walked her regularly etc it was always a collie I yearned for and I was determined that some day I would have one.


Crawford Taylor

Tel 01821 650384
Email crawfordtaylor315@gmail.com