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In 1996 having decided our next dog would be a rescue and a Collie it seemed sensible to contact BCTGB who were only a few miles away. And so Taffy came into our lives. At the time the BCTGB centre was a dream for those involved and 12 months after taking on Taffy I read that the Trust had purchased its own kennels and needed blankets etc. I arrived with a car load of stuff and after a long chat left with a volunteer application form. I spent many a happy hour walking dogs and helping out at various events including Crufts and then in April 2000 was asked if I would be willing to become a Trustee. As Ken said, this is a honour not to be taken lightly but I was more than happy to accept. In 1999 my wife Sue and I took on Sheba, another rescue collie who came to the Trust in a very agrophobic and scared state - but that's another long story!! Suffice to say she came out of her shell and was a bundle of fun until unfortuntely we lost her after a short illness in 2008. After becoming a Trustee I took on dealing with all email communication for the Trust, and became the webmaster for this site. It has been a privilege to work with all the Trustees, who give so freely of their time and effort and also the staff at our kennels who provide such a high quality of care for all the dogs who unfortunately come into our centre. A Trustees role does involve a commitment but the sense of satisfaction at seeing our achievements is second to none.

In 2002 I retired from the Police service and began doing just a few hours in the office. In 2004 Sue and I moved into the house at the centre. Since then my involvement has grown and grown at the centre, becoming an "expert" in HR, H&S, 

In 2015 I was honoured to not only be a nominated and selected as a finalist in The PetPlan and ADCH Animal Charity Volunteer Of The Year but to be announced as the winner at the ADCH Conference in Bournemouth. See highlights from the Awards Evening. A great honour for myself and the Trust.VAT, Ride on Mowers and even septic tanks! - all this from adopting a collie

In November 2008 we sadly lost Sheba and Taffy also left us in April 2009.

It didn't take long to adopt a new companion and Reilly (or Sir Reilly as he's known at the centre) joined us in April 2009

Ben Wilkes

Taffy 1995 - 2009

Sheba 1996 - 2008


Hello All

Back in 1977 having a young family & wife, a friend of the family breeding from her bitch, offered us a puppy. I said NO WAY! But under family pressure I gave in and Bill became a member of our family. He was the first of our four border collies to date. Me now being the biggest fan. In the late 1980`s following a chance meeting with Jenny Booth I found out about Border Collie rehoming. It also started my wife and myself helping raising funds for the dogs.

After the sad loss of Bill in 1990 we lasted 7 days without a dog, turning to the Trust for our next dog Winston 6 months old and never been out of a veranda. With love and patience he turned into a devoted dog who was always at my side. At the same time my wife fell in love with a border terrier Buffy who lived through half of Bills time with us and even outlived Winston. When we lost Winston in 2003 we thought it would not be fair to bring another dog into the home as Buffy by now was both blind and deaf, sadly she only lived a further 6 months after her soul mate died. Once again we turned to the Trust for another dog.

By now with the family grown up we decided to have a puppy, Smokie joined us from a litter which had come from another rescue. What a shock to the system, you forget over time how demanding a puppy can be. This however did not put us off and one year later we had another puppy Echo, unknown to us at the time the noisiest pup of the litter. As Ben Wilkes later said - the clue was in her name. A few months later we rehomed a border terrier called Tiggy. We all get on very well together most of the time, enjoying seaside holidays and camping together. If you see me about come and talk to me. I love nothing more than talking about dogs!!


My initial contact with the Trust was way back in 1995. We had previously had a Collie /Fox Hound cross who we sadly lost in 1992 and had taken on a small ball of fun called Meg just prior to Christmas 92. In 1995 we were looking for a companion for Meg and hence arrived at BCT and met with Jenny Booth. The rest is history, we came away with Bess, a companion for Meg and a promise to assist as and when time allowed. Bess’s story was told in issues 7 and 17 of Border Collie World. We attended the Christmas Party in 1998 and came away with another Christmas present in the shape of Holly, who we were to foster for a few months.

The kennels were rather full and this allowed another stray to come in from the cold. We still have the company of Meg and Holly and as the picture shows, I am the one who sits on the floor while these two pinch the chairs. I was asked to become a trustee in 1998 and as others have rightly said it was an honour to be asked and something to seriously think about. My involvement covers the last 11 years and I have watched the trust grow from seeing Jenny with puppies and dogs all around her bungalow, with dogs in kennels “just for a short time” at Birchwood, with dogs being fostered prior to being found a permanent new home, up to the centre we now have and all as a result of the support of people who love Border Collies.

I have spent most years since becoming a Trustee helping at Cruft’s, repairing bits and pieces and doing general maintenance around the site, and acting as Santa Paws at the Christmas Party. Again as others have said, the job description for a Trustee says little about all the other activities you are involved with, but it is fun and an honour to be part of this team

P.S. It is said that we tend to look more like our pets as we grow older, and if that is true then it explains the black and white colour of my beard.