1960 - 1969.

Willowbeach and Joseter Years 


Certainly this period became wildly known as the Swinging Sixties, it became for me a decade of huge gambles, self employment, hard work, marriage followed by becoming a family man. 

You could buy a new detached three bedroom house for £2,250.00 and have a motgage of £12 01p a month, life was good. 

My parents let me handle all the dogs and the kennels first champion was the red and white Wildfowl of Willowbeach. Wildfowl became the first of a long line of best in show winners at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Ass championship national speciality. Wildfowl was the gran sire of Samantha of Joseter who later produced Ch Joseter Mudwin.

In 1963 Oliver Jones bred a male that in the years ahead would transform the bred. His name was Pantyblaidd Pip, a dog I felt before his time. In articles written years later renowned breeders considered him the greatest of all time. This was a dog whose pedigree carried a number of dogs and lines I highly respected and should be used in my line in the years ahead.

The First Champion.

 Ch Wildfowl of Willowbeach.


 Sire Lisaye Ranger.    Dam Gleghornie Aquatint. 

Born 28 April 1958


B.I.S Cardigan Ass Ch Show 




Ownert Mr Mrs C Barker.
Handler Peter Clifton.

Rose Marie of Willowbeach

Sire Ch Wildfowl of Willowbeach  Dam Lisaye Rachel


Born 23.12/1960

Peters Poodle Parlour, Fitzwilliam Street Peterborough. 

In 1960 I opened my first poodle grooming parlour within a couple minutes walk of Peterboroughs city cente. One of my clients had just purchased a very large town house called Manor House. They launched Romans a high class ladies hair salon on the second floor, the ground floor was rented to Pterborough Building Society, a flooring comany rented the double garage and store, and I rented one of the rear buildings.

To gain extra punlicity we had fitted a wooden poodle with sign written name on the sun visor, and this certainly help find extra clients. 

We occupied these ptemises with staff of four untill moving to a shop in Eastfield Rd Peterborough in 1969, which became the first venture into pet foods, running alongside the poodle parlour. 





Peter's Poodle Parlour

Fitzwilliam Street< Peterborough.


In 1968 we purchased in auction at the Waterton Arms, Deeping St James, the Railway Inn and two acres of land at Deeping St James. Formally the Manor of Deeping Wake, its early history can be seen by clicking on the following link


URL: http://issuu.com/zerosixdesign/docs/deeping_july_2020/16?ff&fbclid=IwAR3yHf3Vj8zPzhfiv7h9ZNQuZosmkd437s7jitPSKDioH3Bl2xM6PheB8gU


It had been part of the Watney Mann brewery group, and was one of three pubs being sold that night, and when closed in 1996 its last landlord was Mr Simmonds. When I inspected the house, it  was all boarded up and snow was on the ground and the wind was blowing across the fens, it seemed like a setting for Wuthering Heights.  My only inspection before bidding was kicking in the back door and looking over it with a flash light, When my hand went up with the purchasing bid which was a £100 more than I wanted to pay, we did not haver a clue to what we had just purchased. Over the coming weeks it soon became obvious that we had purchased a couple of years hard labour, seven days a week work, and long hours, and yes it took its toll.

Our parents thought us mad taking on a building in such a dilapidated state, but in life one needs dreams, and a vision, and over the coming months we once again turned the old pub into a family home. Once we sold our home in Whittlesey we moved in with my parents while working on the new home, but soon found things being stolden from the site. This made us rent a mobile home which was parked in the house drive, and probably due to the extreme winter cold weather Ashley turned up nine months later.

The Railway line from Peterborough to Grimsby and Cleethorpes was still in operation twnty four hours a day, with steam trains, but due for closure under the Beeching act. Deeping St James station which was a mile out of the village had closed in 1961, and the main line to Grimsby finally closed in 1970.

By the end of the decade we had te first block of ten kennels completed, and the the Railway Inn was back in business, but this time boarding kennels.


Home featured in local paper.

MORE than 120 years ago weary travellers used to break their journey at a small taveren next to the old station at Deeping St James. Now the building serves as a resting place for about thirty dogs ,whose owners are away on holiday.

And, of course, The Railway Inn is home to Mr Peter Clifton, his wif e Josephine and

children Nichola (five) and Ashley (two).

When Mr Clifton first saw the house nearly three years ago it was a rainy, dark winter night and the whole building was derelict and boarded-up.

had heard that the house was to be sold by auction so I drove round to have a look," Mr Clifton said. "I had to break the back door to get in and took round with a torch ."

Mr Clifton decided that he liked the old tavern which had been empty for two yea rs, and bought it in the auction.

Both sets of parents thought we were rather silly to take on the building because of its dilapidated state," the couple said.

At the time they bought the. Railway Inn the family minus Ashley who had not then arrived ·- were living on a new estate at Whittlesey. I had always l ived out of town so I did not mind the thought of moving right out into the country," Mrs Clifton said.

The first job was to strip out t he ruined interior w ith its winding staircases and corridors then the whole of the ground floor was re-covered with parquet flooring.

The couple have done most of the work themselves and the conversion work has taken u p all their spare time since they moved in.

It was about nine months from the time the couple bought the property until they moved in. During that period they spent some time living with Peter's parents - Mr and Mrs Ba rker, who run Willowbeach kennels at Peakirk.

"I ha ve ahvays lived where there have heen dogs and I wanted to find some­ where large enough so that my wife and I could have our own kennels," Mr Clifton said. ·

The Railway Inn proved ideal. There are many large outbuildings which have, been converted into boarding kennels. Previously these were store rooms for drinks for the tavern.

"While we were living with my· parents we were t rying to do some of the conversion work but we found that some goods were being stolen while we were away so we moved here in a caravan in the yard where we lived for several months until the house was habitable," said Mr


The Clifton family have eight dogs of their own - including Alsat ians, poodles and a corgis  and a litter of puppies. The house is almost directly next to the railway line but t h is is hardly used now - except for goods trains-so the house is quiet except for harking dogs.

The large entrance hall has a parquet oak block floor with plain wooden stairs leading straight up inside the front door to a very large landing.

They have large dining room with a parquet oak block floor and a large lounge which was my favorite room. The floor is almost covered by an Indian-style carpet m pastel pinky colours...., and the walls have been papered with a fawn patterned paper. High ceilings and  there is a large stone fireplace which almost covers one wall and the­ three-piece suite makes the room seem very large.

The farmhouse style kitchen which as a low beamed ceiling, answers the needs of most housewifes having plenty of room, tiled floor, fitted units, large fride and freezer, and a window looking out onto the garden. Leading from the kitchen one finds the old pub ground level cellar thats been converted to a store room for dog food. The orginal kitchen now become the dog kitchen along with being the domain of one corgi and puppies all looking very contended.

There are four bedrooms, three facing west with large windows, and one south facing bedroom. The homes fully oil fired central heated giving a cosy warm feeling, and its thick walls ensure its warm in winter yet cool in hot summers. 

The out buildings part of which have now been converted into kennels for the Cliftons own dogs along with others for boarders. The property sits on two acres of grounds that will be grassed and planed with trees,

When asked what the alterations had cost the Cliftons said the only way they could afford it was to do most of the manual work themselves, but felt it all most worth while.



Drawing Room.


plus cat that had to

get in the photo.


This used to be the pub lounge bar.