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

2023 North of Scotland

2023 North of Scotland

Storm Babet is causing havoc in the North East of Scotland. The A90 east side is closed to all traffic, and the A9 west side closed by a landslide. 

This is Friday 19th October 2023 and our show is Sunday 22 October and most fanciers travelling on Saturday 21st October. 

The judge Ian McIlhatton is flying from Belfast on the Saturday. There is a real fear the show might have to be cancelled.

Saturday morning 0900 and it is blowing a hoolie and lashing rain so the staging got a wash before we got it from the garage to the hall. 

Huge waves were rolling in  over the Moray Firth and crashing onto the rocks below the cliffs and the playing fields covered in foam from the sea. Thank goodness for George and Joe who had all the wet weather gear on and we could stay inside.

As in previous years the staging was erected in no time and the class numbers were all on. Time to lock the doors and off to Inverness some 60 miles away to collect Ian.

Ian was flying with Loganair from Belfast who did us no favours, after booking Ian’s flight having him return to Belfast on Sunday night after the show they cancelled that flight to Monday morning, and later changed again to Monday afternoon. With that happening a further nights accommodation was required. At the time of writing we are awaiting the progress of a refund from Loganair. Ian duly arrived on time rather bumpily due to the high winds. On the journey to the Cullen Bay hotel I took him the first 45 miles then transferred Ian into the hands of Brian Shepherd who would take him on the last 15 miles to the hotel.

Saturday evening the hall was open until 1900 and with storm Babet finally easing and the road flooded just outside Portknockie we waited with baited breath to see who would make it up to a soggy riviera. We need not have worried for all the southern exhibitors had battled the elements for which the club is truly grateful.
Coming from the north George Dunne would travel down in the morning as it was still a bit windy on the northern shores. We only had one fancier not make it Donnie Bain from way up in Wick Caithness couldn’t get down in his campervan because the Dornoch and Kessock bridges were closed to high sided vehicles.
With the Cullen Bay hotel fully booked with ballroom dancers, fanciers were camped in various hostelries in the area. With 1900 approaching rapidly it was time for a quick check of the birds before lights out. Fanciers bid each other a goodnight to make their way to their various accommodations.

As with previous years it was an early shake down with the dreaded alarm clock going off at 0500 and a 40 minute drive to the show hall in Portknockie. As per usual Lewis was already there getting the urn on for the early arrivals. The grill was on and the bacon going in as I arrived. Potatoes were already peeled and just needed the final touches before going in the pan. A check of exhibits to see if all is well and it was time for a bacon roll or two and a quick brew just as Brian (show secretary) and Brian (sweeper keeper) arrived, so tea and bacon rolls for four. Refreshed, Brian got the paperwork started, Lewis and Brian got the kitchen up and running and Sandy got the trophy section set up. With storm Babet not long gone we didn’t hold out much chance of a sunrise over the eastern Moray Firth this year, how wrong were we.

 

Never to be disappointed living here, a glorious sunrise greeted us again, no dew on the grass this year but the same deafening silence. Wonderful. 

With most of the exhibits benched on Saturday we would have a more relaxed morning with only George Dunne to bench his birds. At 0820 I was despatched to the Cullen Bay hotel via the local CO-OP to get some Fairy liquid for Lewis and to pick up judge Ian McIlhatton. Good reports from Ian on the standard of service in the Cullen Bay hotel. On the way to the show hall I took Ian on a tour of Portknockie showing him the harbour and all my local haunts as a youngster. The creeks where we boiled Whelks in an old rusty tin and did a bit of fishing off the rocks. The Bow Fiddle Rock where we used to collect gulls eggs and fry them in an old pan. (Get jailed for doing that now) The Caithness hills some 30 miles across the Moray Firth to the north sadly obscured by the tail end of storm Babet. To the south the 320mtr Bin Hill with views for miles in all directions and the local forest and hedgerows where many happy days were spent in the pursuit of wildlife. No computers and ipads then.

he North of Scotland Gloster Club is delighted with the entry which was way up on our first show in 2022 with a total 218 birds entered and only Donnie Bains birds missing due to the weather.  With all the birds benched Ian made a start on the judging just before 0900. Starting with the novice birds which had an increase in birds of 50 entries and more pleasing an increase in novice exhibitors all of whom had travelled a great distance to be at the show. Ian was ably assisted by Andrew Armitage who had travelled up from Earlston in the Scottish Borders and Lewis and Brian (sweeper keeper) took it in turns with watching the ovens and cooker at the same time. Ian was making good progress through the  novice birds helped by a constant stream of tea so he wasn’t long in getting through the novice section. 

 Ian would crack on with the champion section getting a few done before calling a halt to proceedings to get stuck in to the bacon and square sausage rolls. Suddenly it had all gone quiet and a bit of recharging of the batteries felt good. Ian didn’t hang around long and he was at it again. While Ian was doing his thing there was a bit of reminiscing going on about the shows we all had visited in Carlisle, especially Scotby Villiage Hall and Harraby Community Centre. Names being remembered of fanciers long gone and some still with us. The SNCZFS seemed to be the favourite with thoughts of Jim Addison and John Bell still with us and the late Dave Chambers and Sid Huston. I still fondly remember getting a guided tour of Brunton Park home of Carlisle Utd by the then manager Bob Stokoe a very nice man. Ian was finished his judging and the specials awarded with the North of Scotland Gloster Club Trophy for Best Gloster awarded to Burton and Reay with a nice Unflighted TPD Corona Cock. The first winner of the Sue Guy Memorial Trophy for Best Novice Gloster was awarded to Andrew Armitage with an Unflighted TPD Consort Hen which was also Best Consort in show. Well done Andrew.

With the Judging over it was time for lunch and Lewis Shepherd and his sous chef Brian Williamson had done the business again, the guy who did the loaves and fishes has nothing on Lewis. This year it was: Tattie Soup and Oatcakes, followed by Steak Pie, Potatoes and Peas, and for dessert a choice of Strawberry Cheesecake or Tangy Lemon Cheesecake and Cream. We had two new recruits in the kitchen helping this year, after a long journey getting here Elaine Martin and Susan Munroe volunteered to do the dishes and a fabulous job they did too, taking a load off Lewis and Brian who actually managed to get lunch themselves this year. Thank you ladies.

With lunch over everyone returned to the hall to view the exhibits and ponder over the results. Always mindful of where we are located and the distance fanciers have to travel it was decided at 1315  to let the exhibitors lift their birds and get well down the road before darkness fell, and by 1330 we had said our farewells and the hall was bereft of exhibitors and birds. George Dawson and Joe had arrived to take the staging back to the garage, the floor was swept and moped and the key was returned to the caretaker. Just one more job to do, transport Ian the judge to his BandB in Arderseir Inverness via a quick pit stop in Alves to get my birds back into their cages, a cup of tea and cake and we were off to Inchrye Guest House in Arderseir for Ian to rest before his flight back to Belfast in the morning. Ian reported a warm and pleasant welcome at Inchrye with a hearty breakfast. Just when we thought it was  job done Loganair kicked Ian again when his flight was delayed and finally departed 1540.

Judge Ian McIlhatton’s report
On Saturday 21st October I flew from Belfast City Airport to Inverness Airport where I was met by Sandy Hay. We travelled east where we were meeting Brian Shepherd half way. We continued east to Cullen on what was a nasty night for driving. We arrived at my hotel where Brian then took his leave to help set up the hall. I had a very good meal, and the breakfast in the morning was without fault. In the morning with weather vastly improved Sandy took me to the show Hall where I was introduced to the rest of the lads. With an entry of 218 I started sharp at 9. Judging was finished by 12.45 followed by a cooked dinner and desert prepared and cooked by Lewis Shepherd. 

After lunch the winners were announced: Bis, best champion cor, tpd, yellow, cinnamon and white were Burton and Reay with their IGBA winner.

Best Novice, and best nov con, which was also best opp head in show was Andy Armitage .

 After birds were lifted and hall cleared and swept Sandy took me back to his home where after putting his birds away Mrs Hay made a welcome cup of tea and snacks. Because there was no flight home on Sunday, after a stay in a very nice B&B which was only a short distance from the airport. After a bit of a delay I got home approximately 6pm. I had a very pleasant weekend with a relaxed atmosphere among everyone I met on my trip.

Results:-

Best Gloster, Champion,  Yellow , White, Cinnamon North of Scotland Gloster Club Trophy Best Champion Opp Head  -Burton & Reay         
                                                       Best  Champion Variegated Buff -Lewis Shepherd

 

Best Novice, Best Consort in show,  ( Sue Guy Memorial Trophy ),White – Andrew Armitage  

Best Novice Opp Head, Variegated Buff, Cinnamon, Grizzle -John Roskell.

 

Thank you to:-The exhibitors who travelled through storm Babet on Friday and Saturday, your attendance was greatly appreciated. To the Judge Ian McIlhatton, thank you for organising the flight at your end and handling all the faffing about with Loganair we hope you enjoyed your first visit to the Scottish Riviera. To George Dawson and Joe for taking care of the staging all these little jobs come together to make everything a success. To Elaine Martin and Susan Munroe for getting the kitchen cleaned we would have struggled without you. Special thanks to Burton and Reay for returning their prize money, very generous, thank you again. To judge Ian McIlhatton for waiving his expenses, again very generous, thank you. The fanciers who gave donations thank you. To Portknockie Amenities for the discount on the show hall. I will keep these two until last as they deserve a special mention. The work that Lewis Shepherd and Brian Williamson put in before, during and after the show was immense. Lewis a butcher to trade had started days before the show preparing the meals and supplying the square sausage and bacon. Soup doesn’t make itself, steak pies have to be made and all to be transported to the show hall. Brian Williamson never stopped, going from stewarding to the kitchen and back again, and that’s as well as taking the staging down. With out these two stalwarts there wouldn’t be a North of Scotland Gloster Club. Take a bow gents. The members of the North of Scotland Gloster Club thank everyone again for their support of the show, we look forward to seeing you all again next year. The show will be Sunday 27th October at the same venue and same judge, in the McBoyle Hall Portknockie AB56 4NE. A week earlier this year as IGBA have moved their show into our weekend. The judge for 2024 will be the vastly experienced Dave Hobart from Workington in Cumbria. Booking of the Cullen Bay Hotel is better done sooner rather than later. I believe it was the ballroom dancers who scuppered the fanciers this year. We hope you all have a good breeding season and look forward to seeing you all at the show next year. Thank you.
Stay Safe.
Sandy Hay.

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

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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.

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