'Welcome to the Welsh Family'
I'm Jock ,I have been a shepherd all my working life, as had four of my five brothers. Anton, Jimmy, Wullie and Andy. Geordie, the fifth brother,left Scotland,family and the sheep behind and emigrated to Australia where he and his wife Anne still take a keen interest in how we are all doing on the trials field. There were also four sisters in the family, Nettie, Margaret, Agnes and Babs. Unfortunately Anton and more recently Agnes have passed on.
I have been married for over forty years to Christine and are the proud parents of three sons, grandparents to six grandsons and one grand-daughter, thanks to daughters-in-law Helen,Jan and Marie.
Two of our sons work on the land, Billy the eldest is a full time shepherd at Lochurr Moniaive, Dumfriesshire. He rents some ground of his own which gives his son John employment. November 2011 seen some changes, Billy has now branched out(but still at Lochurr) and taken on a working partnership at Beoch Loch Doon Dalmellington, his younger son Wullie left his job at Ovibreed and has taken over the shepherding at Beoch. Glen and his family have moved back to Scotland and taken up employment at Greenock Mains Muirkirk. Frazer, our youngest chose a different path into electronic engineering and runs his own business PPS, although I suspect his heart is still in his roots as he now has a small herd of Dexter cows. Our family are all around us and we couldn't be happier!
Sheep, and sheep dog trialling is a passion that runs throughout the family, not only our son Billy has followed in the family footsteps, also nephews,Wullie, Lindsay,Tony, and more recently Anton's grandson Robbie,(10yrs, 2005). Unfortunately Anton didn't live to see him take to the trial field, he would have been a very proud man!
Grandson Wullie was the latest in a long line to take to the trial field making 3 generations in the one family trialling ie. Papa (that's me) son Billy, and grandson Wullie (I wonder if this is one for the record books?)who incidentally was the only 'Welsh' who qualified for the Nursery finals in 2009. 2010 saw a new family member stand at the post, and breaking the mould, Sandra my niece, the first female , showing us all it's not just a man's world in the Welsh family!
In all, three generations of the Welsh family are competing against one another most Saturdays throughout the year.
I have had the honour of judging at both National and International Trials, have twice been to America to judge where Christine and I were greeted with great hospitality and have maintained contact with many new friends. It was there we met Anita who we unofficially adopted as our American daughter! Billy and his wife Helen have since been and judged, and were met with the same friendship with and outwith the sheep dog trialling fraternity. More recently I was judging in Belgium. I am not the happiest flyer and this short hop suited me better.
For 16 years I managed the farm at Ballantrae and lived there until my boss rented a farm near Ayr as an extension to our rearing programme. The farm at Ballantrae has recently been put out to rent, and the lease at Ayr has finished leaving me more time in my retirement for my dogs and trialling, and available for a helping hand when the'phone rings!
If you happen to be at one of our trials in Scotland and you look in the catalogue and see all these Welsh names taking part,I'm the one with the Blackwatch tartan bunnet.Come and say Hello!