Gwen Broadley was born in 1906. She is on record as saying that as a child she was crazy about animals but not interested in dolls and such. Gwen’s first dog, a pet Labrador , was born in 1929 and registered as Juno of Sandylands. The prefix Sandylands was registered with the English Kennel Club in 1931 and so the Sandylands kennel has owned, bred and shown Labrador’s for some 90 years.
Gwen got into showing when someone admired Juno and said that she was worth showing, at her first show Juno won two first prizes and that was the start of what has become one of the most celebrated kennel of show Labradors of all time. Only Countess Howe’s Banchory kennel can claim that sort of fame that Sandylands enjoys, but Countess Howe brought in most of her top show winners whilst most of the Sandylands champions are homebred.
Like so many people before and since, Gwen started to do a bit of winning in the ring and she was hooked. She bought in a black dog and registered him as Jerry of Sandylands, he became the first Sandylands champion. Jerry was the first of many big winners at Sandylands and he and Juno are behind the top Sandylands winners of the present day. Over ten years Gwen bought in stock, but always there was bloodlines back to the originals, Jerry and a Juno. In this sense there is continuity to the Sandylands Labrador’s and it runs on to the present day; It’s continuity is something Mr & Mrs Anthony and Erica Jayes are keen to maintain.
In the 1930’s, Gwen moved to the English Midlands to set up and manage a boarding and breeding kennel at Shotton for Michael Withers. With Gwen in charge the Shotton prefix rose to the top in English Springer Spaniels. This time at Shotton was to prove invaluable apprenticeship for Gwen for here she was dealing with all sorts of dogs as boarders and at the same time making a network of contacts in the dog world which were to serve her well across the years. During the time at Shotton, she kept her own Labrador’s and made up three Champions in the 1930’s namely Jerry, Janice and June.
In the 1930’s Gwen married Cyril Broadley and she moved away from Shotton. She continued with her Labradors and English a Springer Spaniels, now in her own name, also adding Cocker Spaniels to the kennel. The war years were very difficult for the dog game but Gwen was determined to keep her kennel going and when the shows restarted after the War, Gwen was in an exceptionally strong position in Labrador’s, Cocker’s and Springers. Within ten years she had made up a whole string of champions including the Labrador’s Blackberry, Princess, Belle, Beau, Bob, Superb, Jilly, Justice, Juno (the second Juno!) and Landyke Patrick. In springers she took Showgirl, Shrubly, Shot, Sherry, Shandy, Secret and Castlecarry Cameronian to their titles. In partnership with Mr Topott she made up the famous Cocker Spaniel Ch Harley Cherrybank Gentleman. In pointers she took Owlsmoor’s Lammoran Myrrh and Sandylands Neashope Candytuft to their titles. It was a special time for Sandylands and no one can deny that in the decade after the Second World War, Gwen Broadley’s Sandylands kennel was at the very top of the show Gundog world.
In the early 1950’s Gwen went into partnership with Countess Howe, what a combination Banchory and Sandylands together. The partnership ran for two years before Countess Howe had a serious accident and gave up on Labrador’s. Gwen returned to the Midlands and met and married Frank Truslove and set up the kennel at Lower Shuckburgh whee she lived and bred her many famous Labrador’s over the next 40 years.
It was through Frank Trueslove that his nephew Allan Taylor became involved with Sandylands. Soon, Allan had introduced Gwen to his friend Erica Jayes who, close on sixty years later is now the sole owner of the Sandylands prefix with Ed Casey. Allan Taylor, in partnership with Idris Jones, owns the prominent Belford kennel, well known for their famous Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
It was at a similar time in the 1950’s when Sandylands was in need of a new stud dog and Gwen asked for a puppy from a litter bred by Mr & Mrs Cairns and so the legendary Ch Sandylands Tweed of Blaircourt arrived at Sandylands. Tweed proved to be a critically important influence upon the show Labrador and added a new level of authority to an already important kennel. Tweeds grandson, Sandylands Tandy became the first major yellow stud dog for the kennel.
As the show Labrador science expanded with new prosperity in Britain in the 1960’s, the Sandylands prefix became more and more central to the breed. After a slow start to his stud career, many breeders started to realise the potential of black dog, Ch Sandylands Mark, a son of the lovely Ch Sandylands Truth and he produced champion after champion for so many great full breeders. To date Mark still holds the record as the leading sire of all breeds in the UK with 28 champion offspring, all born from natural matings.
Having purchased the lovely Sh Ch Sandylands Star of Jayncourt from Gwen previously, in the early 1970’s Mr Garner Anthony of Hawaii became a partner with Gwen in the Sandylands prefix and kennel. The 1970’s proved to be another golden era for the kennel. A string of top winning Labrador’s were taken to their British titles throughout 1970’s namely Girl Friday, My Lad, Midnight Magic, Blaze, Honesty, O’Malley, Come Rain, Colour Print, Columbus, Storm Along, Mercy, Bush Liz, Sparkle, My Rainbeau and Rosy and all titled from Sandylands itself. As well as these dogs owned by Gwen and Mr Anthony the kennel bred a great number of dogs whom became champions for other people through the 1970’s namely Giselle, Magic Moment, Clarence, Sonnet, Mirth, Not Tonight and Steptoe. Along with breeding champions for other people, the stud dogs were also well known for breeding on for other breeders.
Sh Ch Sandylands Longley Come Rain in particular became a wonderful brood at Sandylands and she underpinned much of the breeding programme of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Across the 1980’s and 1990’s Gwen Broadley and Mr Anthony continued to produce top winning Labrador’s, the typical Ch Sandylands My Guy was a great ambassador for the breed with his lovely quiet style and in Sh Ch Sandylands Bliss, the kennel had one of the very best show Labrador’s of any era. Tragically Bliss died whelping her first litter which included Sh Ch Sandylands Gad-About, one of four puppies hand reared by Erica. Erica’s hard work and patience paid off with Gad-About becoming a successful sire and a dog who stills features heavily in many pedigrees today.
Erica had started off at Sandylands as a child just helping out. For many years she worked for Fwen as the kennel help but as Gwen became less able to manage the kennel, Erica took on more and more responsibility and became Gwen’s friend and confident, eventually she became as clos3 as a daughter. When it became apparent she was very unwell, Gwen made it clear that she hoped Erica might take over the Sandylands prefix – that was her wish. Now in 2021, following Mrs Anthony’s death the kennel and the Sandylands prefix are in the sole name of Erica Jayes and the kennel has relocated to Greystones, just 6 miles from the old Sandylands at Lower Shuckburgh.
Gwen Broadley was one of the most respected and loved people within the dog show world. Everyone knew her and she had innumerable friends and acquaintances world wide.gwen had a charismatic personality, people were drawn to her and her Sandylands kennel. Her kindness was legendary. Gwen hates to be put on a pedestal but she did like to be treated with respect – why not she had earned it – and just as she could be very kind she could also be very direct with anyone who tried to take advantage of her. Simple courtesies were important to her, she liled t be called Gen and not Mrs a Broadley but she preferred to be called Mrs Broadley until she asked you to call her Gwen. Gwen Broadley was loyal to her friends and elicited tremendous loyalty in return from them. Allan Taylor, possibly Gwen’s closest confident of all, also remembered she could be very impatient always wanting to get things done; it could be said that whilst she was very kind she did not suffer fools gladly. She always counselled people to be prudent and careful and would often say “do not do anything in a rush, think about it for awhile dear” Gwen’s sound advice and leadership of the show Labrador world are much missed.
Above all Gwen Broadley cared for her dogs. Of course, puppies and sometimes adults had to be sold but the welfare of the Sandylands was paramount to her. Gwen set great store by the good temperament of her dogs – she rightly asserted that the number one priority in a Gundog was a good temperament. Much earlier than any of the official health schemes were introduced by the Kennel Club, Gwen was health screening her Sandylands dogs. Like every breeder, Gwen had her setbacks, but she tried hard to do the right thing by her own dogs and for the Labrador breed.
A detailed history of the kennel was recorded in a book Sandylands Today written by Richard Edwards and is available to purchase from him directly.
I first met Gwen Broadley when she married Frank Trueslove and came to live at Lower Shuckburgh almost 60 years ago. Frank was Allan Taylor’s uncle and Allan and I were best friends. We both loved dogs and both soon became regular visitors to the Sandylands kennel. Although Gwen was over 50 years old by this time she did not seem old to us because she was so modern in her outlook and had so much energy, she was always doing something and planning for the future of her kennel.
Allan and at were so soon helping out with the dogs and doing chores around the place and although air did not realise it at the time, I was absorbing the kennel routine, her animal husbandry and Gwen’s approach to dogs and the show scene in general. Later s Gwen became less active and was no longer able to work around the kennel, I took over many of the daily tasks but it never occurred to me to change anything. Right down to the present daily tasks, the whole kennel routine, even to the way we feed the dogs, exercise them receive visiting bitches and their owners is based on Gwen’s example. I am very keen to maintain this continuity at Sandylands as it enters 90 years as a kennel. Gwen is no longer with us and I miss her and he wise advice so very much, but the kennel and the way she ran it continues and this will be the case as long as I have anything to do with it. I cannot begin to explain how much I owe to her.
Before she died, Gwen made it clear that she would like Sandylands to continue after her time. A new three way partnership was formed between myself and Mr & Mrs Anthony and it was decided to move the kennel to Napton Fields Farm, a short distance from old Sandylands. The kennels were housed inside the farm buildings with inside and outside runs offering comfortable conditions for the dogs all year round. The fields were double fenced to allow the dogs free exercise and there was the advantage of two large ponds for the dogs to swim in.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, situations changed and in order to keep the Sandylands dogs together, the Sandylands kennel moved on 15 October 2010, still within 6 miles of the original Sandylands. Although we still have the facilities to keep large numbers of dogs, we prefer to keep less dogs so that they all receive more one on one attention, with plenty of land for free running and their beloved pond, suffice to say the dogs are very happy here.
Since Gwen’s death we have continued to be successful within the show ring. Ch Sandylands My Guy and Sh Ch Sandylands Gad-About were made up during a Gwen’s lifetime. Both proved to be important stud dogs with Gad-About producing top winners at home and overseas. For the kennel Gad-About produced the neat yellow bitch Sh Ch Goldfinch of Sandylands. Sh Ch Sandylands Lovebug was bred by Gwen and Mr Anthony and she gained her title shortly before Gwen’s death.
Gwen saw Sh Ch Tapeatom Ginantonic as a puppy before she came to the kennel from Betty Howard and in the opinion of many respected judges she proved to be as good as any of Top Labrador’s taken to their title from Sandylands over the years. It was a special day when Ginatonic won ten group at Wells Ch show 40 years to the day Gwen had won it at the very same show. Gad-about’s son Sh Ch Tapeatom Gadding around at Sandylands took his title with ease whilst Sh Ch Rockabee Blue Peter at Sandylands was a little slower to become a champion. Mrs Hopkinson asked if she could mate Sh Ch Rocheby Powder Blue to Gadding Around, from this combination Sandylands came to own Rocheby Purple Shades at Sandylands. More recently the kennel acquired Rocheby Purple Shades at Sandylands, a daughter of Sh Ch Tapetom Gadding Around at Sandylands whom when mated selectively became a prominent brood bitch for the kennel. From her first litter came Sh Ch Sandylands Wait Awhile and her brother Sh Ch Sandylands Wait and See. In a later litter when mated to Sh Ch Rockabee Blue Peter at Sandylands she produced three black champions from a litter of 5, Sh Ch Sandylands Perfect Chance and the Crufts CC winning duo Sh Ch Sandylands Pressed for Time and Sh Ch Sandylands Pandora owned by my lifetime friend Allan Taylor. Pressed for Time and Pandora won both CCs at Crufts with Pressed for Time winning BOB. These 5 champions makes Shades the TOP BROOD BITCH of all time. Sh Ch Sandylands Wait Awhile was mated to Sandylands Gentle Touch at Lembas to produce Sh Ch Sandylands Tread Softly. Tread Softly is grandmother to Sandylands Hit the Road, the current male being campaigned who is currently on 2 CCs. To date the kennel has titled 92 UK champions.
The kennels at Greystones **insert photo**
All these dogs go back to the original Sandylands born in 1929, Juno and Jerry. I am very proud of this unbroken line back through the generations and continue to try to maintain this link with the original dogs and retain the type that is so essentially Sandylands, I think this is well demonstrated Through one of our recent yearbook advertisements.
Undoubtedly Gwen’s partnership with Mr Anthony allowed the lines to flourish and enable Gwen to produce the strength within the Sandylands lines. My partnership with Mr & Mrs Anthony was a very happy period and a time when our lines converged it enabled me to continue the policies of the kennel and fortunately to continue its success in the show ring. It was Mr & Mrs Anthony who facilitated the moved to Napton Fields Farm but it was always Mrs Anthony who came in, took her coat off and sat on the floor waiting for me to bring in a dog or some puppies and I miss her almost as much as I miss Gwen, they were two wonderful people I had the great privilege to have known.
I try to follow a Gwen’s example in having the dogs health and welfare as paramount. Good temperament remains very important and the kennel continues to have all its adults fully health tested.