We take a look back at the thirty-four International Gloster Breeders Association shows, and take a nostalgic look at the judges who have made the show what it is.
It was 1966 when the International Gloster Breeders Association (IGBA) was formed, and 1986 when the first stand alone show was held. This first show attracted 1602 of the finest Glosters of the day to Selston, Nottingham. Over the thirty four (includes 2019) shows a total of 145 judges have adjudicated at this great Gloster Fancy Canary exhibition.
I remember at the 1985 National Exhibition the late Bob Hall and Dave Cottrell enthusing over the probability of an IGBA show in 1986, and Dave saying that it “would be bigger than any other all Gloster events”. How right he was when you look back over the years at the numbers and reach of the show.
That first show saw the four judges’ work through the huge entry and bring to the fore Dave Cottrell and Arthur Young’s variegated buff corona hen.
The judgers were Scottish fancier Archie Brown, Gerry Wolfendale and Harold Prater who were both senior figures in the Gloster world along with Jeff Crunkhorn. Jeff would go onto judge the show again in 1993 and 1998 as well as win the great event with a white corona hen in 1987. He is also still very active in the fancy as an IGBA member.
On that day, 5th October 1986, Arthur Maddy and John Brown were the seminar speakers. John was a fellow Tynesider and Arthur an inspirational character from the Kings Lynn area. I well remember George and I spending a couple of days with Arthur when he was in Newcastle for an athletics event which was held in the city in 1985. Both John and Arthur went on to judge the show in 1987. That same year we had our first overseas judge when Clarence King made the journey from San Antonio Texas.
No show at that time would have been complete without the name of Ivor Alberry either as an exhibitor or judge. He judged the 1990 show, entry 2017, along with Arthur Young, Charlie Clarke, Derek Moore, Gordon Harper and Colin Bowyer.
The 1991 seminar speakers were the only three still active members that were present at the 1966 inaugural IGBA meeting. Gerry Wolfendale – judged 1986, Cliff Harris – judged 1997 and Colin Bowyer. Colin went on to judge again in 2008, and he has been instrumental in suppling me with many Gloster artifacts over the years.
Clarence’s wife Raquel was also one of the judges in 2000 when 1800 Glosters graced the benches. Raquel is one of only three women who have judged the show; the others being Margaret Moore – 1994, 2004, 2015 and Sue Guy who judged in 2018.
It seems ironic that only three ladies have judged the event and that Annalain Barrett and Regina McCarthy – Boston, USA – are not among that esteemed list. And in the same vein Malta with its many Gloster fanciers does not have a representative in the list of judges.
Of the 145 judges twenty seven (18%) have been from abroad with only two having judged twice. John Vanderstraeten, Belgium – 1993, 1996, and Bert Munneke, Holland – 1995, 2018.
Belgium leads the way with ten representatives followed by Holland with five. Jim Kavanagh is the only representative from Eire.
Other countries are Italy 3; Denmark 2; Canada 2; USA 2; Germany 1; Portugal 1.
The only judge from Germany has been Lothar Schuller who in 1988 was our second overseas judge. It was another four years, in 1992, before the first of the Belgium contingent, Dominique Frenoy, adjudicated.
Scotland have had five judges with Colin Harper judging thrice – 1992, 2006, 2012, following on from his father Gordon who judged in 1990; and Northern Ireland (NI) seven judges with Eddie Loughran judging twice – 2012, 2019.
Wales have only had two judging officials Dave Thomas judging twice – 1996, 2005 and Gareth Jones – 1994.
We also see that ten fanciers have been asked to judge thrice; and twenty six have had the honour twice.
The honour of judging the show four times has only been bestowed on two fanciers:
Rob Wright – 1992, 2000, 2011, 2017; Keith Baker – 1994, 2002, 2008, 2014.
Rob’s father Les judged in 1988, and Rob then judged with his son Ian in 2017.
Ironically only one fancier has won the best novice award, best champion and best Gloster, and also judged at the event. Steve Gash achieved this treble in 2001, 2005 and 2015 respectively.
It was sad that Charles Minjoodt should suffer a serious motor vehicle accident in 1986, he passed away in March 1988, for I am sure he would have been one of the judges. It would have been a thrill to have had our Glosters judged by the fancier who implemented the Minjoodt Pictorial Model.
Prominent NI fancier John Hartin is not on the list; but I fondly remember John McDonald – 1989, and Willie Irvine – 1997 two special NI fanciers, and Billy Bremner – 1987, Fife, Scotland. Billy had a wonderful team of Glosters during the 1970/80s.
To any fancier/judge that I have overlooked or omitted to mention it is that to list 145 names would not have been appropriate in this summary.
Looking through the list of 145 judges brings back so many memories, and the iconic names bring kudos to the IGBA show which has rightly stood at the pinnacle of Gloster shows. As Dave Cottrell said it “would be bigger than any other event”. How right he was.
The cage bird fancy is about the birds and in this case the Glosters. It is the Glosters that have brought us together, and the influential people that have made the fancy.
We owe Mrs. Rogerson, William Albert Smith, Charles Minjoodt, Colin Bowyer, Gerry Wolfendale, Cliff Harris and all those instrumental in forming the IGBA a huge thank you for providing us with camaraderie, friendship and fun.