We live in the heart of the Scottish Borders in the town of Lauder, the main
town in Lauderdale, the valley of the Leader Water. Set 600 feet above
sea level and bounded on three sides by the Lammermuir Hills, the town
preserves its original medieval form with a single main street widening
into the Market Place, dominated by the Old Tolbooth. The A68 through
the town follows the oldest established route between Edinburgh and England,
and has witnessed the passage of many armies. Today the Southern Upland
Way, Britain's first coast to coast footpath passes through Lauder on
its 212 mile journey.
Thirlestane Castle was originally built as a defensive fort in the 13th century. Rebuilt in the 1590's as the family home of the Maitlands ,it is also the seat
of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale and has been enlarged and embellished
over the centuries to reflect it's importance. One of the oldest and finest
castles in Scotland, and now one of the seven Great Houses of Scoland,
it is noted for its plasterwork ceilings of the Restoration period, its
historic toy collection and Border country life exhibitions. The Castle
is also host to the Scottish Championship Horse Trials held in May.
Having owned dogs all of our married life, we were bitten by the show bug when
we bought our first Golden Retriever in 1991. Helnlea Jabberwhocky or
Jay to his friends started his show career in fine style although, to
be honest, he preferred his days in the beating line at local shoots.
He was joined in 1994 by Helnlea Loxwana. Enya was a beautiful bitch who
also started her show career in fine style, but unfortunately, at age
13 months she failed her first eye test. It took us a long time to get
over the dissapointment and that was when we dedided that a sideways step
to another gundog breed was our best move. Sandra had owned Red Setters
before we were married and whilst looking at the Reds we saw our first
Red and White. The rest as they say is history.