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The WCSS Committee is hugely shocked and saddened to hear of the recent death of Jim Winter. Jim has served on the committee for the past six years, quickly becoming appreciated as a hard- working and influential member.

Jim’s love of Clumber spaniels was a very important part of his life, this came across clearly in his vigorous support of WCSS at every opportunity. Many people now own a working Clumber after meeting Jim and his excellent dogs, his deep knowledge of the breed always accompanied by an enthusiasm and joy freely and naturally given.

Over the years Jim became a mainstay and leading light of the WCSS presence at Game fairs across the UK. His contributions to the breed handling displays showed a skill and affinity with his Clumbers which presented the ‘white spaniel’ to a very wide audience. His assured handling spoke very effectively to the increasing bands of working spaniel enthusiasts starting to consider the working Clumber as capable and sensible additions to their team.

After the display, Jim could be seen chatting to all types of visitor and potential Clumber owner, always honestly ensuring that Clumbers were best placed with owners who would appreciate and love them. It was then, quite natural, that Jim also took on the business of providing a commentary to the working demonstrations and again his easy, flowing style made him the complete showman.

In his time on the committee, and his wider work with the breed, Jim was primarily a man of honesty, fairness and unity. His ideas were underpinned by a sincerity and kindness which always commanded respect throughout this committee. You could be sure that we were all benefiting from his reasoned convictions, persuasively presented. Jim ultimately sought unity at all levels and that made him universally popular and respected.

The breed and this Society are both the richer for Jim’s input over many years, and the poorer for his passing. The committee and all WCSS members will always remember Jim with affection.

All our thoughts and condolences are with Mel and Jim’s family, friends and associates at this very difficult time. From all Jim’s colleagues on the committee.

Some thoughts from other people who knew and cared for Jim. We know there will be many other members greatly affected by the loss of Jim. Our condolences to them all.

“My heart bleeds for Jim and aches for Mel and those who loved him. For me he was a friend and partner in the shooting and deer stalking we enjoyed in each other's company. In the breed we both admired I had high hopes that he would take a vital role in the future, using his skills as trainer and handler, and his good sense and good judgement. His is a loss to us in every way.” James Darley

“A great chap who loved his dogs as much as they loved him. A true field sports enthusiast” David Chilvers

“Jim was so generous with his time and knowledge about dogs particularly his beloved Clumbers. I will miss watching him work his dogs it was a real partnership.” Sarah Watters-Carver

“When Mel asked me to write a few words about Jim I wondered if I should mention how attractive his leg was to a particularly frisky clumber at the game fair. Or, if I should highlight how he was the first person to stand up to bullies that trolled our demos. But then everybody knew that about Jim, he would defend the underdog because that is what Jim did.

For me, Jim did something very special in my life. Jim once told me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my wild child past because that’s what’s shaped the man I am today. Jim had a way with words, he said things as they were. He had the gift of seeing the good in people. Through Jim’s words of wisdom I was able to let go of some of the regrets I carried. For that I will be ever in his debt.

Jim was a man of morals and ethics. A true gentleman and inspiration”. Mani Nixon

Mel, family and friends will be celebrating Jim’s life with a picnic on the 8th August from 12:30pm at Hole Park Rolvenden.

Writen By John Smith-Bodden

Edited by Sarah Watters-Carver

Photos by Daisy May Defined and Heidrun Humphries

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