Dad was a very competitive showman of animals. He would show anything and learnt how to be an expert on every type of fur and feather as well as large animals like cows.
He was a King’s Cup judge at an early age which was the pinnacle for cattle judges in Guernsey. He had a magic ability when breeding cattle and produced some absolutely wonderful cows.
Just before the war his show cow was Evandale Flower II and she won several King’s Cups but lost the chance to get more as there were no shows for five years. Cows age quickly and the five war years weren’t really the best ones for man or beast to stay in tip top condition.
Therefore it became something of a surprise that the teenage (old for a cow) Flower won another one when the shows started again. Flower was long gone before I was born but she lived in so many conversations over the kitchen table and I actually got to see her flicking her tail on a Pathe news reel. If I say to you “What a cow” when I am referring to Flower then understand it is a compliment.
Princess Elizabeth visited in 1949 with the Duke of Edinburgh. As always our Dairy industry was important enough to be part of her itinerary and dad had had a good year and his animals were chosen amongst others to be shown to the royal visitors.
Dad had a good chat with the Duke who told him a joke about a bull that was deemed to rude to ever be told to me so I can’t share it with you. His conversation with Princess Elizabeth was devoid of profanity.
When the Royals returned to the Island as Queen and Prince Philip a few years later Dad was again presented to them. To his great surprise the Prince seemed to recognise him and made reference to the bull joke.
Either Prince Philip has the most amazing memory or a first class staff who keep him extremely well briefed. Which ever way my parents were the most ardent of royalists and incidents like this only reinforced their admiration.