Talbot Radcliffe was a larger than life personality. He was a dynamic person with a love of life and an inquiring mind. He was always interested in new things. After a trip to the U.S., he was interested in central heating and he went home and designed a home that literally had central heating. The furnace was in the middle of the house and the rooms surrounded it. After another trip where he saw an elegant cast iron wood stove, he went home and installed one in his living room. 1-le watched the tower shoot at Ray Cacchio’s club and tried to duplicate it with ducks on Anglesey.
Chris and I first met Talbot 30 years ago when he came to visit, bringing Saighton’s Signal with him. We drove to California where he placed Sig 2nd in a puppy stake. We had a number of laughs on the trip, starting when he asked me to “knock me up in the morning” at the motel We stopped to eat at the ‘Blue Gum Motel-in ‘Willows and the next thing we knew, Toll saw some people with dog whistles, (retriever people returning from a trial) went over and made friends, and set up a training session near San Francisco. On the drive into the training grounds we stopped because the muffler had fallen off the truck We all piled out to look for the muffler and when we found it Talbot said, “Oh, you mean a silencer. I was looking for a scarf”
Over the years we maintained a close friendship with Talbot. We went to Presaddfed many times, and he came to our house as often. It was as a breeder of fine spaniels where Talbot made his mark ‘During the 60’s, 70’s and-80 ‘s, Saighton ‘s dog dominated the nationals. A brief look at the national catalogs shows 5 amateur national wins with another 9 placements, and 6 open wins with another 12 placements. In addition, there were another 3 NAFC and 6 placements, and 1 NFC and 7 placements with dogs sired by Saighton dogs, and at least 2 NFCgrandchifdren. Talbot had an incredible knack for figuring good breedings, and produced a line with certain characteristics. Saighton dogs had size, leg, excellent heads, and superb game finding abilities. I saw a litter of 6 six month old puppies once (the litter included Saighton’s Scout) where the puppies were uniform in looks. This is unheard of in field bred spaniels. Talbot had a goal of what he wanted to produce, and he bred a lot of puppies and culled those that did ‘t come up to the standard he wanted: He linebred withgreat success. Saighton ‘s Scud was the result of a nephew/aunt breeding, and every male line went back eventually to the great Saighton ‘s Stinger.
Talbot quit breeding spaniels around 10 years ago. ‘We have missed the influence of his dogs for a number of years. ’14’e will miss the influence of the man for many more. Talbot’s daughter Rosemary received a very fitting comment that “It was a sad shock to hear of Toll’s death but 1 could not help but think of the wonderful way that he had obviously ridden his race right out to the finish.”