I have been actively interested in purebred animals and poultry, and pedigrees since my early school days. As a youngster I keenly bred purebred Minorca poultry and also ran Black Orpington and bantam breeds.
Years later, as I gained an interest in genealogy, I was to learn that my great grandfather, W A Sowman of Blenheim was a major breeder and significant judge of poultry.
I had a near neighbour and mentor in Stan Derbyshire, who instructed me not only n the practical husbandry aspects of poultry-keeping but also the finer points of structure and breed characteristics.
Prior to leaving school my interest turned to afghan hounds where my passion for exhibiting, breeding, and intense breed pedigree knowledge grew.
In 1992, we acquired our first Birmans, who literally ‘came with the house’ when the property was purchased from Peter Pearce who had been a fellow breeder and exhibitor of afghan hounds. At the same time we met and were excellently mentored by Janice Davey and Margaret MacDougall.
The breeding was done under Val Richard’s Tajomeer prefix until 2006 when I registered Chalfont, named after Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, England, the village where generations of my Payne family predecessors lived.
I maintain an avid interest in Birman pedigrees, breeding and exhibiting along with my passion for judging and interpreting standards ‘hands on’.