HOW ENCOURAGING TO read of two more CBSes getting together to promote a joint open show – in this case, on the South Coast (page 5). Travel costs are such a barrier to attending multiple shows nowadays, and that applies particularly when the clubs aim to attract fanciers from the Isle of Wight; the last time I nipped over to “The Island”, paying for the car ferry was like taking out a mortgage.
So these co-operative efforts are frequently the best way to keep mixed-variety shows affordable and flourishing. Where CBS show entries shrink, the chance of the club applying for specialist societies’ patronage diminishes also, points out Bengalese finch showman Tony Edwards on page 8. Again it comes down to cost: specialist judges need to be paid for, and if the sections are small then club coffers tend to stay shut.
As a result, exhibitors in societies such as the National Bengalese Fanciers Association find their opportunities to challenge for points and rosettes are restricted. That is a trend that could be reversed, says Tony, “if a group of fanciers in an area decide en masse that they will commit in advance to showing locally”. All the more reason to encourage moves such as the South Coast one. Good luck to both societies involved, and let’s hope it’s a memorable day: Sunday, November 8, Bedhampton. Enquiry details are in the news story.
■ Like me, regular columnist Dennis Webster enjoys browsing through old volumes of Cage & Aviary Birds, mainly as part of his research into the history of the NCA. This week he sent me this gem of a meeting notice from the August 1, 1974 issue: “Peterborough CBS. August 5, New Inn 7.30pm. Travel to Rose Court Farm, Connington, to inspect and repair show staging. Take a hammer, screwdriver, and half-inch spanner.” Lends a new meaning to the phrase “tooled up”, reckons Dennis. Sounds like some club EGMs I’ve heard of, reckon I.
■ Last week’s hybrid finch (Editor’s Letter, June 17) was in fact a crossbill x redpoll, photographed by Tony Tilford. I’m guessing everyone spotted the redpoll parentage; the crossbill influence was more subtle, but the tip of that upper mandible is a bit of a giveaway.