Goodbye Frank

Today Frank Jones is laid to rest at Rochdale Crematorium. Many reading this won’t know the man but anybody of a certain vintage will pause for a minute and remember another era; a time when handlers and their charges ruled the exhibition world and top of the tree were the terriermen-the most professional in the game-and Frank was there.

Dig out the old Crufts catalogues from the late 60s and you’ll see his name but you’ll also find it right up to 2007 when he retired after judging Best In Show at National Terrier; he considered it the ultimate honour and so his obvious swansong. Glen of Imaal Terriers first came to his notice in the late 70s and by the early 80s the Glen “affection” kept him awake all night. Back then coaches used to run from the UK to the St Patrick’s Day Show and a missed ferry meant an all night site on the dock. Frank, with his Irish Terrier, was sat across the aisle and back one from Liz and her Glen. The owners attempted to settle down for a cramped night but the Irish noticed a head watching him round the corner of the Irish can settle if another dog is looking at him. Berg, in true Glen style, just nodded off but Frank’s Irish couldn’t see his eyes so spent the entire hours of dark ready…in case. Frank, in true Northern style, thanked Liz for his restful night and indicated he would be keeping closer connection with a dog that could sleep with his eyes open

He became President of the Glen of Imaal Association and regularly attended any event where Glen people got together, he thought a breed that did gardening as well as socialising very worthwhile. He was the first person to shortlist a Glen in a Championship Show Terrier Group (Madach Jackadandy At Malsville, Leeds 1984) and judged the breed often. He refused CCs, because he knew he was going to retire, but did act as an assessor for one of the breed’s more popular judges and he found it somewhat of a challenge. A few ringside knew what he was there for-he told them-so were able to remind him that he was looking at ring demeanour, handling of the dogs etc. etc. and not sighing heavily at every placing he disagreed with and asking quite audibly “what the heck have they done that for!”

2007, the ceasing of his judging, and he virtually disappeared. Such a shame that such a man has gone and how should he be remembered by Glen of Imaal Terrier people? Maybe by the photograph below. It was taken at Welsh Kennel Club well over 20 years ago and it was used on a pinboard at a get-together to show “Friends of the Glen”. He was shown the photo and asked if he minded? He laughed, the caption is what he said he was actually saying and he asked for a copy for himself.

Frank Jones: A top judge, a top pro-handler and a top man of strong views who had time and enthusiasm for every level of the dog game. He was a friend.

frank jones