I.G.B.A. Silver Jubilee Seminar held On Sunday 20th October 1991 at the
Festival Hall, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.  Notts.
In the chair:            Bob Hall
 
Speakers:            Colin Bowyer, CM Harris, Gerry Wolfendale
 
The Chairman Bob Hall opened the meeting at 9-30am and welcomed over 100 members from home and overseas.
 
 
The Chairman explained that the three speakers are some of the founder members of the I.G.B.A and would start by giving the history of the Association.
 
Cliff Harris: It is nice to be here on the 25th.  Anniversary of the I. G. B.A. Some of you know that I was the first secretary of the association. I will give you a little bit of the history.
 
There was a meeting which I called with Gerry Wolfendale to form a Gloster Club to he known as 'The Oxford, Bucks and Berks'.  We had this meeting and a lot of discussion took place.  Gerry, the comedian, suggested we should call it something better and he had the idea of an International club. Eventually it ended up as the International Gloster Breeders' Association.  We did not have a very good attendance at the meeting.  There were only six people present and from those I was elected secretary and Gerry the chairman.  The rest of the members present formed the committee.  The membership fee was set at £1 per year and we all had very big ideas which I am pleased to say have materialised over the years.  We decided to advertise our presence and offered two full patronages in our first year.  As there were only six members present, money had to be found.  The members offered to sponsor the patronages if the money were not available from the funds later in that year.
 
 
The Derby cage bird society (CBS) and Northampton C.B.S. were the first two clubs to receive an I.G.B.A patronage and we had to find about £40 to cover the patronage cost of the two shows.  We got the money and everything when well.
 
 
Mr.Mrs.Tipson made a Stand which we took to the shows.  We took the Stand to all the patronage shows which proved to be a very successful means of promoting the Gloster and membership.  As you would expect, we had a few teething problems which we overcome with assistance.
 
 
I was secretary for about five years, but then I decided not to seek re-election as I was also secretary of another large ‘The city of Oxford CBS.’ At the A.G.M. I stressed that I was not prepared to stand for another term in office and Mr Mrs Watkinson took the office of secretary.
 
I think the I.G.B.A. has done a wonderful job for the fancy.  We started off the Gloster Convention because of the need to keep unity within the fancy.  There were only five Gloster Clubs at the time and the Convention was needed to keep the unity of standards in the hobby. I consider the I.G.B.A is one of the finest Gloster Clubs and are very fortunate to have the secretaries and the organisation to run the club.  It is well supported from home and overseas.
 
I know Gerry can do a lot of chatting, so I would like to thank YOU for all your support.  Many
thanks for you attention and I will probably be back to you later.
 
The Chairman then asked Colin Bowyer to speak.
 
 
Colin Bowyer: I prefer to be a backroom boy.  My involvement with the Gloster started in 1955 when there was only the Southern Gloster, G.F.C.C. and the Midland.  There where basically only three clubs. I come from Berkshire and in those days could never get a panel judge.  Glosters were not very fashionable.  We saw the advert Cliff placed in 'Cage Birds' and I went down with Bill Fisher.  We went there for selfish reasons, to get patronage for some of the Berkshire Clubs.
 
In those days if you got a panel judge you got a gift.  There were only 2 or 3 in the south of England.  If you couldn't get a panel judge, you couldn't get patronage, so you were in a 'catch 22 situation'.  I got roped in with Cliff.  We took a coach trip to Derby where we had a Stand and it has all spread from there.  We now get about 300 Glosters at our show, so we got a spin off in the end.  I would now ask Gerry to take over from me.
 
Gerry Wolfendale: There you are again, it goes back 25 years and they pass the buck to me again.  When you think back to those early days, it is amazing to see how things are today.  In those days there were a lot of people coming from the continent, so I had the idea about an International Club.  We had the first meeting and in the course of the conversation which took place, some people wanted a club with subscriptions at 5/- a year.  I thought 'No, let's have something really decent'.  It only got off the ground through Cliff and Colin because I am really a backroom boy!.
 
We decided to have two patronages but had no money in the bank.  We went to Derby, as Cliff says, and Mrs Tipson had made a cover for our Stand out of yellow and black linen.  One of the fanciers there was Fred Pantry who was going blind, I said 'Let's have him up here - he can sit there giving advice'.  This went very well.  When we went to the patronage shows we used to have a meeting to discuss any improvements for the club.  You would not be able to do that in a day now, as you have around ninety patronages.
 
The I.G.B.A. has really grown and what got me at the time was the enthusiasm.  I used to work for Kodak so I could get free films and I used them to take pictures at the shows and process them.  Sometimes I took as many as 144 pictures and I would carry on even with an empty
camera case because it created a good atmosphere.
 
I once went to the Gloster Fancy Canary Club at Cheltenham, Fred Bryant, Bert Lockstone and Bert Widdow were there.  The room was full and they were standing outside.  Bigger is better in my book, because we have spread our tentacles all over the world.  In those early days, it was the enthusiasm from the top which generated through the ranks.  You need a good sergeant in the platoon-it does not matter about the lieutenant! The idea in the first instance was to give good patronages and hope that this would encourage other clubs to get started.  I must say I thought there were nine members at the first meeting, but Cliff will be right if he says there welcomed six.  When we said we wanted to give£20a patronage some of them nearly swallowed their false teeth!
 
I discussed a possible constitution for the club with Ron Warlow and Jimmy Houston, then brought the ideas back to cliff and we talked it over.  You must remember that this club was only a little nucleus in those days and although good guidance is one thing, you have got to have the enthusiasm from the grass roots.  When I think what we have done, it is absolutely magnificent.
I could go on to the International scene abroad.   
 
Gerry:  I am the biggest spoofer going.  To get the International scene: At the time, I saw a letter to the secretary of my local club, Gerrards Cross.  It was from Mark Whitaker in the U.S.A. asking if he could join our club.  We corresponded and I then went over there.  I went to Toronto to see my brother Tom and then I went to Missouri. I met Harry Sodeman and we discussed setting up an offshoot in the U.S.A. I told him that they must respect the constitution of the I.G.B.A, but that they could adjust it to their own local needs, as you have got to start off slowly.  They took it from there and went from strength to strength.
 
 
The following year, I went back to Toronto and got an invitation to go to Boston.  Some fanciers there had formed the North American Gloster Club.  They wanted the l.G.B.A. franchise, but I explained that we had already formed a club In Missouri.  They run their National Show for Gloster and they have their meeting at it.
 
Allan Potts has a big job as overseas secretary and I don't envy his job.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to the Glosters.  What we are doing really is embracing the whole world and we are giving them ideas.  There are a lot of things we can talk about, but I am going to hand out back to Bob.
Bob:     He asked if there were any questions about the early days of the Gloster.
 
Question: What were the Gloster like in those days?
Cliff.  I have brought some documents with me but unfortunately they have been left in the car.  If you saw them you would be disgusted with them.  I have got a number of back editions of Cage Birds and there are pictures of some Glosters In 1962.  'They were terrible and look like Rollers with crests all over the place.  There was no classification for Glosters, you had to show them in the Any Other Variety section.  The convention made a classification for the Glosters.
 
Going back to the I.G.B.A., I think one of the good things is the I.G.B.A. badge.  Mr.Fisher was the instigator of it.  He made it look like an International badge and all credit is due to him for a job well done. You must remember that it was the I.G.B.A. who started the Convention.  There was a lot to he done as there were a lot of organisations and they had to be uniform. I was involved, so I know what I am talking about.  You have good secretaries today and there must be to get the people to support them.  Bob Hall tells me that there are over 1,000 members now.
 
Colin:    When I first came in, all patronage money used to go to a few birds. we broke with tradition. I bred a lot of yellows, Grizzles and weirdoes.  I did not agree with all the money going to one bird and I argued forcibly on this point.  There were actually a yellow Grizzle class, although there were not many in it.  I once won a white class with a white grizzle.  The ideal bird in the past was a buff, dark crested, wing-marked Gloster.  People used to breed a Grizzle to a Green to get the ideal, the Yellows, Grizzles and Greens are getting more chance and I think it spreads the specials over more birds.
 
Gerry:   I have always reckoned that the best nuting in my shed was a Grizzle with T.P.D. or Green.  With that pairing you get anything you want in the variegation line.  You used to have 4-pointers, 3-pointers and 2-pointers.  A good 3-pointer drew the eye but we got away from that and I would like to get back to it.  We brought in Yellow classes to get more Yellows in.  They were hopeless, but to get the ground colour into the birds you have got to get a good green yellow and put it into your stock.  If there is no shoulder on the bird, then you get long flights and it is pretty hopeless.  They used to say 'If you want a good Gloster, go back to the Midlands'.  This was true, as they were throwing a bird of substance.  The bird should have a body like a Bully with broad backskull.  Some of them now are like hawks and some have legs like tree trunks. I like to see little spider legs.  I want to see 1/2" of leg with a nice clean cutaway and not a bird with its pants hanging down! Today's bird is a credit to the Gloster Fancy.
 
As regards organisation, I must say that the I.G.B.A. is very good.  In your clubs there are always 4 or 5 people doing all the work and the rest stand around gassing and at a local level things have not changed much.  However, in my book we have progressed from those days and we should thank those old fanciers because without them we would not have got anywhere.  In the Gloster Fancy. there are about twenty-three specialist clubs throughout the land. I hope they continue to support the Convention as they have the opportunity to have their say.  I was brought up in a mining village.  There were always canaries, usually Borders. The deputies used to take the canaries into the pit to test for gas with lamp.  My grandfather and uncles kept canaries we used to go and catch our British birds, I am still as daft as a brush about the birds.                                  
 
I when down south because in those days a job on the railways was a job for life, but it is not any more. so I got Into Kodak.  At my own little Cage Bird Show there was a strange little bird, it looked like a kid who had its hair standing up and waxed.  The Gloster looked like that.  At one time I was on the panel of the G.F.C.C. and I got a call from Les Harris.  He said that A.W.Smith had been booked for their show but was sick and asked if I could go down to judge at lpswich.  It was my first big show.  I was like when you judge the National, your heart begins to beat in case you make a mistake. There were some smashing birds.  There was an unflighted corona, the crest was beautiful, it was waxy and I could not believe my eyes.  Mr.Thorpe was the show manager.  We took the bird into the toilets because it was the only place where there were no windows.
 
Can anyone tell me how the head had been done?
 
After various suggests from the audience, Gerry told them that the exhibitor had used his sister's hair lacquer and that when he took the bird in his hand, it all collapsed.
 
At the same show, George Lynch came up with a Yorkshire Canary as his best canary, but it had a primary sticking out.  I said it should not have won its class. I was not prepared to agree to it getting Best Canary in Show.  A  Mr.Atkins was showing Borders and he had a bird there which was beautiful. I took it up for Best Bird and asked if anyone could fault it.  That bird went on to win the International, the Scottish National and the British Border.  George Lynch when off in a huff. You have got to have the courage of your own convictions.
 
Going back to the Yellows, there are two types of yellow, one with hard coarse feathers and the other with soft feathering. I have seen hard feathered yellows with lumps.  It should be stressed, mainly for novices, that they want to be using soft, fine feathered yellows.
 
Gerry:   You have got to bring yellows into your stock.  You want to breed a coarse feathered bird with a soft feathered bird.  I once went to High Wycombe where a chap said he had some yellow birds and I have never seen as many lumps.  With buffs you can get coarse and fine feather.  You must have some good ground colour, some of the buffs are nearly white.  The Gloster is a jewel of a bird, as A.W.Smith said in his little book.  The craze in those days was for girth.  They say the same about cinnamon as they say about yellow, you will get them long and rangy, but It is baloney. I was once showing at the Ally Pally and there was a Nick Barrett bird and my cinnamon consort hen.  Johnny Ditmore said 'You are in at the finish with a cinnamon'.  The point is you can use yellows and cinnamon.  It you use them the right way, they can do you a lot of good.  The other week I went to Cranford, I had an invitation from Budgie Club and I thought 'l'm going'.  I thought I would get torn to ribbons! You can laugh, but you can still learn.  You get talking, but sometimes you can get a novice who can give you some really good ideas.  They were saying that fertility is only good for one year.  The Budgie people were saying that after a year a cock and hen are no good to them. I can't believe it, considering how much they are paying for them.
 
Who decided on the colour of the inside of the Gloster Show Cages?
Gerry:   I was the convention secretary and Cliff was the convener.  The question of the paint came up because we could not get Eau-de-Nil. we asked for people to bring their ideas for the colour.  Somebody brought blue.  I like blue - for budgies Vic Theaker said that in Retford there was a Dulux Matchmaker paint mixing machine.  The headquarters of Dulux is in Slough, so I went and was advised that they could not stand by that colour of paint.  Another meeting of the convention was called, Vic wanted me out! We had another go and we eventually finished up using the Dulux Matchmaker machine.
 
 
The Chairman called for a tea break at this point, as Cliff Harris wanted to get some documents from his car. The Seminar resumed at 10.45 a.m.
 
The Chairman mentioned that Cliff Harris had some literature and some photographs of some of the early Glosters in a 1962 edition of Cage & Aviary Birds. These were passed around the members present.
 
Cliff. I would like to read out the letter, the first News Sheet of the I.G.B.A. in February 1966.  It will give you some idea of the enthusiasm of the members.
 
Colin:    I have come across the catalogue from the Derby C.B.S. It was 2/- (two shillings - 10 new pence) to get in.  People moan about the price of Glosters.  There were birds In the Sales Classes at £5 and £3.  At that time, I was earning about £3 or £4 a week and they were asking that for a bird.  When you look at those prices and compare them with today's wages, you would have to be paying over £100 for a bird today.  There were eight classes for Glosters in 1959 and they had to be exhibited in the Any Other Variety classes. I have another catalogue showing the entrance fee of 1/6d.  All you could win was 2/6d., packet of Sago.  If you were a Carp fisherman it was O.K., but the birds would have choked on it!
 
 
He said that Cliff originally had the idea for the convention and roped him in.  'Nobody was interested and I said 'Let's write and tell them they don't know that they are missing. 'We had the first convention which was attended by the Midland, the Southern, G.F.C.C. and the Western and it went well.  We had another one the same year because there was so much to do. We now have a new secretary, but please remember Henry Harris.  I was the first secretary for about 13 years and Henry was secretary for about the same number of years.  We now have Dave Hobart as secretary and I hope that when you go back to your respective societies you will make sure that the convention holds together, it can only do good.
 
You have heard about the old days, about the old birds and Colin has been telling you about the prices of admission and price of birds.  We have had to fight hard to get the yellows in the classification.  It was difficult to get them going and we had only one class for them, now we have four.  The classification now has 25 champion and 25 novice classes.  There is talk about splitting the classes.  I am going to put this to the floor.  What do you think about the classes at the I.G.B.A. show where there are over 100 birds in a class?  Can a judge do his job properly when judging 100 birds?  Everybody says 'No'.
 
From the Floor:
Whatever you do at this level, you must remember that the Club Shows are the grass roots.  If you affect the club shows too much by increasing the number of classes, the ordinary C.B.S. shows, you could strangle the lifeblood of the fancy.  You won't give patronage to a club unless it puts on the classification, you must bear that sort of thing in mind.
 
Gerry:   He said that if we alter the classification, we have to remember the effect on the cage bird shows.  In South Africa they have different types of classification for their National Show and Open Shows.  The clubs with affiliation put on their own classification to suit the club.  I tried to bring this up at the N.C.A. (National Council for Aviculture)
 
From the Floor:
I have always said that a judge could not judge a class of 100, but at the All Glosters, the right bird is Best in Show, it is never missed.
 
I do not agree that the best Gloster has never been missed.  However at some shows you only have one or two judges, but here today you have six judges and they should be able to spend time on the classes of 100.
 
At a show like this where you are going to get several classes of 100, my personal opinion is that the organisers should come to a point where they should decide to split the class.  This could be, first Buff Corona Cocks and have classes A and B with 50 birds in each.  The first 50 in are in class 1A and the second 50 classes 1B and then the judge has two classes.  You are then giving the birds and the fanciers a fair opportunity if you judge them as two classes.  You come to appoint where you pick the best of the two winners.  One judge should judge the two classes.
 
About the I.G.B.A-. over the years I thought they have been more or less the leaders in the Gloster Fancy.  One of the rules they have help to make through the convention, is that a judge should not be expected to judge more than 200 birds. If we take last year's show, there was over 2,000 Glosters exhibited, I thing the Association should look at this rule.
 
Regarding judging a class of 100, the only place we are likely to get 100 in a class is here.  I would like to refer to the light in the hall.  I brought up this point last year and I am bringing it up again.  You can only get 12 cages on a stand at a time and you have got the other 88 on tables, some of them are in the dark because the others are around them.  The winner is often one of the first to go back simply because it has been taken from the table surrounded by other birds. It can be put in front of the judge who has not enough time. I asked why the birds could not be judged on the middle staging and l was told because of light reasons. l certainly do not believe that applies here. I think the light is exactly the same. You would pick out the bird you like as a judge, not necessarily the bird everybody in the hall would like and your chances would be much better of getting the best seven birds you like at the end.
 
From the Floor: 'This is a one-off show.  We do not have this quantity of birds in other shows. I would like to see the white classes split into flighted and unflighted.
 
With classes of 100 or over, I would not like to see the classes split with two different judges.  No two judges in the hall today would see things the same way. I would like to see one specific judge given the split class to judge.
 
 
Gerry:   The question is what you have got to do now.  We have a committee where all these things can be discussed.  You trust your committee to do a good job.
 
At this point, the chairman asked Tony Southern to address the meeting on the twelve years he and his wife Maureen have been the general secretaries of the association.
 
From the Floor: Where would you expect the I.G.B.A. to go from here in the next 25 years.  Gerry 25 years we have done and as to the next 25 years, as Tony has said, it depends on you the members.  In any club the officials are hard-working and do their damndest.  We make mistakes from time to time.  If everyone is as enthusiastic In the future as they have been in the past, we be O.K. We have a lot of youngsters here, they will be the fanciers of the future.  The I.G.B.A. built slowly on progress and I think you win find you have no worries at all.
 
From the Floor: We would like to thank Tony & Maureen, or Mr. and Mrs.Southern, and rightly so for their 12 years. I think the people of Oxford would hope that it is only a small part of the time that they will be our secretaries for the association. I hope they will go on for at least another twelve years.  Bob Hall has always had the duty of thanking other people, I would call for a round of applause for Bob Hall for the way he has carried on the job as seminar chairman.
 
Bob Hall: 25 years ago this club had just got its feet.  We have really got to thank these gentleman here for what they have done for us.  As Danny Houriham says, I hope we have another 12 years service from Maureen and Tony. (still secretary after 26 years!)
 
The chairman Bob Hall thanked everyone for attending and hoped that they enjoyed the seminar.
 
Helen Ellerby - Seminar Secretary.
 

 


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