Cyril Whitham died on the 2nd January 1992 after a prolonged illness, leaving a gap in the breeding of wire fox terriers that may never be filled. My brother, Frank, and I knew Cyril from the early 50's through our parents, as a close family friend. They all shared a common interest in dogs, horses and canaries.
Cyril's foundation bitch was Tolhill Treacle, bred by Mr. H. Shepherd, sired by Ch. Axholme Double Strike ex Barkley Miss Patricia who was bred by our mother, Mrs. Albert Kellett. Those early years were filled with Cyril's good humour and friendly advice for all manner of problems. After having his breeding stock almost wiped out by distemper, he was left with one stud dog, Tolhill Masterpiece. He had the good fortune to be able to buy back a bitch he had earlier sold - Cheview Candida. She was mated to Masterpiece and the legend of Townville had a new beginning. The partnership with his wife, Edith, went on to breed many champion wire fox terriers, smooth fox terriers and Lakeland terriers. Over the years Townville achievements have been well-documented (see the Townville Story by Mr. G. Morris, published in Terrier Type USA.) The Townville Kennels produced some 26 UK champions and many more champions were bred overseas from its stock.
Cyril Whitham was a past President of the WFTA and a member of its committee for many years. He was also a committee member and trustee of the Fox Terrier Club.
Whilst serving with the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, he attained the rank of sergeant and during his service career proved to be a promising boxer. He also played professional Rugby League Football.