My Prefix

We have thought for a long time that a good series of articles for this Newsletter would be one on "How I started in Cardis". There must be many different stories of just how this happened, but can I get anyone to start it off. Anyway, my brother the Hon.Treasurer, passed me some scrappy bits of paper the other night, which I am blessed if I can read, so in sheer self defence, I am re-writing it myself, using his scraps to jog my memory, if I need to.

During those long dark days and nights of World War II, I amongst many others, was far from home, and I made many friends. One of these friends used to tell me of her home. Living in London, she had been evacuated to Wales with the school of which she was Matron. It was then that she found a little Farm up in the Welsh Mountains for her Mother, who was still living in London, to move to, and for her Air Force Father to come home on leave to. This farm was called Werndwyll and it was up on the side of a mountain, at a small place called Farmers which is about 10 miles from Lampeter, maybe more. I used to picture the place, but never thought that one day, I should be invited to go there.

When one life finishes and another one starts, one usually, shall I say, loses track of the friends one knew, but this friendship flourished and is still alive. When my friend met me at Llandovery station and we proceeded on a 20 mile drive to the farm, I really wondered where the blazes she was taking me to, and made a few appropriate remarks, but upon being told to shut up or walk, I shut up and just looked.

I had been to Wales before, but never this sort of Wales, and I was truly silenced. I still feel the beauty of it as I write this. We duly arrived, and it was there that I met my first Cardi, old Shan, a daughter of Marlais Premier, who of course did not live very far away.

Quite honestly, I was not keen, I had always been used to a long legged down to earth mongrel, and these were way out as far as I was concerned, but before I left that farm, after having Shan under my feet for a few days, there was that something there, and I really looked forward to going again and getting to know her more.

My Father was not at all impressed when I told him about them, could not see what a dog with short legs could look like. Then, as we no longer had our old faithful and as Shan had had an affair with the Collie on the farm, along came our first anything-like-a-Cardi dog, known as Taffy. The only difference between Taffy and a pure bred Cardi was that he had, not short, not long but 3/4 legs.

Alas, my sweet Taffy was, as my Father said, too good to live. He was the most intelligent animal I had ever seen and nothing will ever equal him. This is not just a case of saying that my dog was better than anyone else's, I am just stating a fact. As I said, he was too good to live and I was too unintelligent to know anything about inoculation, and at 18 months old there was no more Taffy (presumably from distemper - editor's note). Dad and I swore that we would never have another dog in the house.

To cut a long story short, my Brother thought differently and before long, we had two, Cardis of course, a dog and a bitch. They were brother and sister, which I suppose was a bit daft, but there it was.

In due course, Gloria was mated, but again, lack of knowledge by myself to a great extent, but also to a so called Vet, who we found out too late was not a real vet, we lost both Gloria and the pups.

The sire was "Withybrook Caesar, and when Mrs. MacDonell heard what had happened, she was not only annoyed about the vet, but that it should happen at all, and insisted on giving me, Withybrook Gloria, known to her friends as Bridget.

We still had our dog, who was known as Monty, hence my Prefix BRIDGEMONT. Those two taught me a lot, we could not show My Bridget, and Monty was such a happy chap, that no judge, however good, could tell much about him, he just wagged his tail at all and sundry, and when his tail wagged, he wagged.

Ch. Bridgemont Saffron, born 14.10.1959
Ch. Edenwell Ner Nodedig x Bridgemont Mari Noel

Here featured on a stamp (1972)

But we had our fun. They gave me my Shan, who at 10 years of age, is 50% of both of them, and "My girl". Taking Shan to the shows, I met the people who have in some way, had something to do with my breeding effort, Mrs. Roberts (Gleghornie) Mr. Bob Eden, Mrs Barker (Wildfowl) and my latest line Mr. & Mrs. Parkinson, and in using their dog, not chosen by pedigree, but because I liked him, I found that his pedigree took me back to where I started to Withybrook Gloria, for there are her sire and dam at the beginning of the line.

Bridgemont Soba (left) & his sister Bridgemont Suzanne
Born 19.10.1982
Kentwood Elwyn x Ch. Downholme Serena of Bridgemont

Now, when I watch a ringful of Cardis, I see those Welsh hills, and sometimes I wonder, how many of those before me, could chase up one of those hills, I doubt very much if they have seen one. They are not so lucky as I, because always in my mind's eye, though I may never go there again, my friend does not live there anymore, are those sweeping hills, and the quiet valley below.

Bessie Witheridge

From the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association newsletter 1964