International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster
Breeders Association

Northumbrian Supremacy – 2004 thru 2012

Northumbrian Supremacy – 2004 thru 2012

As one of the partners in the highly successful team of Middlemiss and Thompson, Austin Middlemiss produced a Cage & Aviary Birds mini-series where he reminisced about birds that have stuck in his mind over the years and of course in his words ….it’s only right and proper that I finish as I began, with Gloster canaries that have stood out over the years. 

Thompson [Left] & Middlemiss [Right] Partnership

Of course there have been plenty of wonderful exhibits from many distinguished Gloster fanciers over the years.  However, because of the obvious connection with Barry Alexander – knowing him since he was a child and with Tony Thompson and me, along with Ian Allison acquiring the stud when he gave the birds up, then I’ll start with one of Barry’s memorable birds as it leads in nicely to one of our own multi winning hens. 

Barry Alexander

Barry had built up a simply wonderful stud of birds and, like ourselves, he wanted feather quality as well as type so he had some super yellow feathered Glosters running through the stud. 

He wasn’t afraid to experiment either and a couple of years before we acquired the birds, he had made an experimental double yellow feathered pairing.  Two outstanding birds came from this – both three parts dark buff cocks, one consort and one corona with ring numbers 2152 and 2154 respectively. 

They were two wonderful examples excelling in type with feather quality second to none.  Needless to say these two birds were used extensively in the following year’s breeding programme – back to buff hens but all with excellent feather quality in their own right.  So not surprisingly in his last 2009 show season he effectively swept all before him and the team of birds he showed at the IGBA club show that year was spectacular to say the least. 

Prominent among this team were birds bred from 2152 and 2154 and he virtually had a clean sweep of the three parts dark classes.  The winner that year was an unflighted three parts dark corona hen bred from 2152 but for many observers the better bird was a nest mate which had won the three parts dark corona cock class, ring number 2568, and Tony and I thought it was the best Gloster corona cock we had ever laid eyes on up to that time. 

 

Barry wanted us to show some of the birds that year after deciding that he had reached a peak and was going to give them up and I don’t think he showed any after the IGBA show but was still keen to see what they could achieve. 

We wouldn’t normally be very keen to show birds bred by someone else but shared his view that these birds needed to be seen so we showed some, along with birds of our own, for the rest of the 2009 season.  2568 got his reward when he came out as Best Gloster in show at the Scottish National exhibition that year justifying his position in my mind and Tony’s as a very special bird.

The next few show seasons

Naturally we were keen to get the following breeding season going in 2010 with birds of such quality along with the very best of our own stud, but although we had Barry’s extensive breeding records and pedigrees it was impossible to pick up immediately the “feel” of the birds for want of a better description. 

We bred some wonderful birds that year meticulously following Barry’s proposed pairings and while there were some excellent results on the show bench we hadn’t quite matched the outstanding quality of the 2009 birds. 

Even so another Barry Alexander bird took best in show at the 2010 IGBA when Ian Allison won with one of the birds he got, meaning a Barry Alexander bird taking best in show for five of the past seven years and he was a judge for one of the years he didn’t win in that spell. 

 

With that first year under our belt and a chance to assess for ourselves the youngsters produced and how certain pairings had worked we set about the 2011 season with a clearer idea of how to progress.  We had unfortunately lost the “double yellow” corona but we still had the consort cock, ring number 2152 and his son 2568. 

Classic corona show team 7 of these 9 successful at IGBA2011

Tony kept consort cocks and corona hens at the time with me having the corona cocks and consort hens.  2568 had been bred from a pairing of 2152 x 2433 hen and in that first year Tony had made a pairing of 2152 to 2434 – a nest mate to 2568’s mother.  Meanwhile I had followed Barry’s planned pairings which included 2569 x a hen with ring number 2349. 

I bred five from that pairing in 2010 but I see from looking at the breeding book that not one had any special notification against it and we only kept one for the 2011 breeding season and guess what – no special notification against any of those young birds either. 

Now I’m not saying they were bad birds of course but clearly hadn’t sent the pulses racing.  Time for a change and I decided a young corona cock from Tony’s 2152 x 2434 pairing would make a better mate for consort hen 2349.  Meanwhile I decided 2568 needed new pairings too so I paired it with a different flighted hen from Barry and one of our own consort hens too. 

Indeed, all the pairings that year were based on our own “feel” for where we thought we could improve.  I suppose I could say the rest was history, some phenomenal birds were produced especially three parts dark. 

My opinion on which was best often changed from one day to the next.  We started off at the NofEGC young stock show.  A corona hen from the young corona cock bred by Tony the year before came to the fore, although at that time I favoured another corona hen bred from the first 2568 pairing and there was also an exceptional corona cock bred from that cock with our own hen. 

2011 Northern Gloster TPD Hen

On to the first all Gloster of the year, The Northern, and the young 2568 corona bred hen took best Gloster.  Then came the IGBA and perhaps our finest hour.  We had so many quality birds to choose from that, from a team of 40 plus, we showed five unflighted three parts dark corona cocks and seven hens in classes of 43 and 51 respectively. 

 

 

 

We won both classes but more incredibly all five cocks were placed in the first seven and six of the seven hens were placed in the first seven.  By this time my preference had switched to the hen bred from our young cock but yet another of our hens actually won that class and in fact it was the corona cock bred from our own consort hen with 2568 that took best in show. 

IGBA2011 Classes 13 TPD Corona Cock U/F & Class 14 TPD Corona Hen U/F

 

From then on though the hen bred from the new young cock x 2349 “switched hen” swept all before her.

I don’t think she was ever beaten in a class again and went on to win the 2011 NofEGC club show then did the IGBA and NofEGC double in 2012 as a flighted bird. 

From then on though the hen bred from the new young cock x 2349 “switched hen” swept all before her.

I don’t think she was ever beaten in a class again and went on to win the 2011 NofEGC club show then did the IGBA and NofEGC double in 2012 as a flighted bird. 

Many times I have written about the famous “Norman” and what a wonderful bird he was at the time but in all honesty I couldn’t say he could win against the modern Glosters of today, 1996 is many years ago and time moves on as they say.  However that double conquering hen was very special and Tony and I both feel she could hold her own after all these years – a fitting bird to end this look back at Gloster memories.  It was just a shame that we gave up the Glosters the following year due to health concerns I had at the time.

I’ll just end this series with a story about a bird that got away!  It was a Yellow Cinnamon Norwich cock in the sales class at the National Exhibition. 

I can’t remember the exact year but it was Bingley Hall so 1980 to 1983. 

My brother and I were showing and had some birds in the sale classes too.  If I remember correctly the minimum an exhibitor could place on a bird was £12, quite a lot of money in those days and believe me there were some sorry looking specimens to choose from for that price.

We had some decent birds in though and our prices were the minimum £12 for the Glosters and £20 for some of our better spare Norwich. 

This cinnamon Norwich was in the sale for £50 and we agonised all Friday afternoon (three day show then) whether as (relatively) young, not well off, family men we could justify the expenditure.   If only some of ours had already sold!  

We left the hall and returned the next day to find a half dozen or so of ours with sold stickers on but the Norwich cock was gone too. 

I don’t know if it’s rose tinted spectacles time but I don’t think I’ve seen a better yellow cinnamon Norwich to this day and it still sticks in my mind after all this time.   

Oh well, as the saying goes “you can’t win them all.”

 

Austin Middlemiss – Northumbrian Notes, Cage & Aviary Birds Issue 6269 June 21 2023. 

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

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