AGM January 2007 Colin Parsons February 2007 PHIL REANEY March 2007 Ian Fordham April 2007
Young Stock Show May 2007 Hale & Davies June 2007 Pairs Comp July 2007 Brian Sweeting Sep. 2007
Members Show October 2007 Social Evening November 2007    

Social Evening November 2007

Our social evening went down well and we made enough funds to cover the cost of the hall for 2008.

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PB300048.JPG (49774 bytes) Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and what about our auctioneer?

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October 2007 - Members Show

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The Show was not supported as well as it should have been which was very disappointing to the people who put in all the work so that everyone could enjoy a good social day and show off their birds.

Words from Chris Angus-Smith, "Thank you to all who took the time to bring birds to our members show. It would have been nice to see a few more of you but those who came had an enjoyable day."

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After being booked in the birds were placed on the staging (which was brought down out of the loft) so many thanks go to the two Brian’s and John for all of their efforts. 

Our judge for the day was Andy Thorpe who gave a running evaluation whilst judging. His biggest problem was with the birds that were ‘just that bit’ out of condition and also with some that had ticking on the crown but, that aside, the best bird won on the day and it was in lovely condition. We thank Andy very much for his effort and not charging expenses for the day.

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Thanks also to Gerald and Joyce for coming and making a donation for the teas and coffees mid morning. Then all who remained had a ploughman’s lunch after the judging.

Awards are as follows:

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The Presidents Salve & Rosette
10.00 John Harvey 207-1
The America Shield & Rosette
10.00 John Harvey 309-1
The Bristol Shield & Rosette
10.00 John Harvey 207-1
The Marchbank Trophy & Rosette
10.00 Jackie Fox 10-1
The G.Dell Cup & Rosette 
10.00 Jackie Fox 110-1
The Willow Trophy
Jackie Fox 10-1
3.00 Jackie Fox 10-1
5.00 Gorrell & Cash 118-1
The Nichols Trophy
John Harvey 207-1
3.00 John Harvey 207-1
5.00 John Harvey 309-1
The Merle Trophy
Brian Mansell 405-2
3.00 Brian Mansell 405-2
5.00 Brian Mansell 518-1
The Lynam Trophy 
Mrs K.Pearson 613-1
3.00 Mrs K.Pearson 613-1
5.00 N/E
The Parcel Link Shield
George Choules Trophy
Mrs K.Pearson 613-1
Plate & Rosette
Mrs K.Pearson 613-1
Plate & Rosette
R&J Hutchins 413-1
Show Points Winner
The Wishing Well Trophy
John Harvey 413-1
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All in all we had a very good day, with everyone helping at some stage for which I would like to thank you all again.

Don’t forget that the next meeting is the ‘Bring and Buy’ so please come, bring plenty and buy plenty, as it is our only fundraiser of the year.

Thanks again to our Chairperson for providing and donating all refreshments. 

Brian Sweeting

The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed all and introduced our guest for the evening, the one and only  “Make'm Breed” Brian Sweeting.

Brian’s evening was a film slide show with very detailed commentary and answering all questions as he went along. The first pictures were of his aviary, outside and in, which was approximately 28` X 9` with 33cages on one side and 22 on the other side.  Brian currently has three Sheds, however, one will be removed this winter, the other is used as an overflow following the breeding.

He only puts down 55 breeding pairs now (was over 65), and only when they are ready to breed.   They mostly choose their own partners as he puts the desired birds in a small flight and watches to see their interaction together. He then puts them in the breeding cage.

Within the bird room he has a 12-inch fan running from 7am10pm, at the other end a velux window is installed in the roof to allow free airflow from that end to the fan, he’s a great believer in movement of fresh air, which helps to keep the birdroom fresh and promotes better fertility (of the birds!). All Vydex products are used plus other treats and vitamins, complete with auto watering system, which makes life a little easier.

Breeding cages are aprox 24”x18”x18”as he believes depth of cage to be very important for the breeding pairs.

Brian uses lots of homemade innovations, which assist in his breeding and makes time for him to carry out other duties.  A homemade hospital cage is set into a cavity in the flight wall on a heat tray (Wine makers type)

As the film slides portrayed, the quality in depth and different types and varieties of stock kept, he mentioned bringing in European out cross blood to improve feather on head of his birds, along with length of bird. When showing his birds he prepares them well and only shows fit clean birds, and his show record proves he is right.

The main slide show was complete and we had a little time left.  Brian showed us his power point presentation on the history of the Pied Budgerigar from the very first types to current day standards, which was very interesting and not shown before.

Pairs Competition

The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed all and explained about the aviary visit and BBQ in August and went through the parking arrangements. Please note Brian Sweeting is coming on September 21st & not the 28th as it clashes with the new BS show date.

With the birds benched John Duce was asked to judge the pairings, assisted by Brian Duncombe.  Whilst the members watched you could hear light conversation in the background about all sorts of ‘birdie things’.  Once the judging had finished the rest of us had to try and place them in order as best pairings to breed from and were marked to see who came closest to Johns selection as the Judge of the evening.

The winner of the competition was Malcolm Freemantle with Ted Fitzjohn a close second. Refreshments were ongoing and raffle tickets sold, etc

General discussions on various birds continued, as there were all sorts there from big buffs to yellow feathered dilutes, flecked and barheads (Bio security was maintained) 

The evening then concluded with the raffle and all were wished a safe journey home.

Hale & Davies

The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed Ted Fitzjohn who joined tonight and comes from Lymington, and then gave a short introduction about our two guests from Wales and their achievements and winning the club show.

David started by giving a run down on how he started in birds back in 1977 when only 12 years old, with Zebra finches and won at the ZFS show.  He won the Best junior AA at the 1980 club show.

He became a Welsh BS panel judge at 21 years old and won BestYB at the WelshBS show in 1992.  His aims were:

  • Only show your own rung birds and not brought in birds
  • Show at Championship shows only
  • Keep only the quality birds with the desired features and dispose of others

Gary explained how he and David got together as partners and they both talked about their feeding and supplements and treatment of the bird room for diseases etc.

During the slide show of their birds and aviaries we were given a running commentary on all aspects of their bloodlines and from whom they brought stock

They said they had entered 14 shows in 2005-06 and won 6 BIS, which shows the depth of quality in their studs.

Second part of evening was in question / answer format

Question: What do you look for in a good hen?
Answer:  She has to sit on the perch well and not lie across it and also stand well up. However, we look for that feature in all our birds; style is all important as well as everything that makes a good bird.

Question: Do your hens have trouble getting in and out of the nest box?
Answer: No trouble at all and as I previously said, the chicks don’t come out so soon and therefore we don’t have as many problems.  They are fed that bit longer within the next box and are more able to cope then if they come out too soon.

Question: Where do you get your seed?
Answer: Countrywide seed with pellets it is very good clean seed and our birds seem to do well on it. You can get it in the West Country and other local agents now.

Question: What do the Loutoff birds bring to your stud?
Answer: We think that the features they carry are the future of the modern bird; they have broad faces that continue down the neck and into the body. We took a grey green hen over to see him and compare the style and ended up doing a swap.  We also purchased other birds, but when you go to buy birds you have to think of it as wasted money because you may not get them to breed or they may die.   Also, they may not add to your stud or improve the quality so just be prepared to lose the money.  If it goes alright it is a good investment. However all studs need a fresh supply of new blood to improve fertility and you will probably only keep 10 /20 % of the new outcrosses youngsters.

Question: Do you get many aviary visitors to your birdroom?
Answer: No. People don’t seem to want to come over the bridge to come and see us!  However that suits us as we have our families to consider as well.

Question: What do you think about the ring size and do you have to cut many off?
Answer The physical structure of the birds has changed and they are bigger in the frame all round, but we don’t have many problems.

Question: How many shows do you go to in a season?
Answer: Normally 3 and the club show. Last year we took in Yorkshire and had a good weekend away, which we enjoyed.

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to Gary & David for a very entertaining evening.


The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed our President & Judge for the evening, Gerald Binks, who unfortunately was suffering from laryngitis.

Gerald started judging the birds (30) at 8.20pm.  Because it was a young stock show the classes were grouped together ‘cock and hen’ to simplify the judging.  When judging Gerald was explaining all the time what he was actually looking for in the birds i.e. features and said that when you have two very similar birds it was difficult to place them first and second.  He said you needed to look at them and decide which one you would really like to take home for yourself!

As the evening progressed Gerald asked one of the new members, Mrs Pearson, to come up and give her opinion on a class of birds, with Gerald assisting with comments.  The same was also done with Graham Cornwell later on in the evening, with Graham picking the Opaline as the winner, which Gerald concurred with.  As the judging went on Gerald kept up the commentary and ensured everyone could see what he was doing. In between judging the classes he told various stories from the past including ones of the great H.B. and Mrs Moss.   


Gerald also talked about the value of having large flecked headed large spotted hens as stock birds, which you will see in the aviaries of all top breeders.  However, you must know how to breed with them properly. 

All the time Gerald was judging he was asking for comments from the floor.

Our thanks to Nigel Darley for assisting as Chief Steward/Show Manager while our real Show Manager, Ricky Watts, is ‘down under’.

Also, welcome to two new members, George Wilson from Southampton and Mrs Katie Pearson from Basingstoke.

Our congratulations to the main winners of the evening:

John Harvey:  Best bird in show – Opaline cinnamon grey hen.
Ken Trapnell:  Best champion – Opaline green hen

John Harvey:  Best intermediate - Opaline cinnamon grey hen.
Richard Hutchins:  Best Novice - Recessive Pied.
Nigel Darley: Best barhead  - Spangle Grey Green cock

We would also like to thank, all those that helped in anyway, which makes life a bit easier.

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to the Judge  / speaker for a very entertaining evening.

Ian Fordham April 2007

The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed everyone.  There were three apologies. Chris said providing the refreshments & doing the washing up was always left to the ladies and asked the men for their help as well. Our guest for the eveing, Ian Fordham, was then introduced and he took the floor.

After general conversation on breeding and the problems that come with that, he went on to talk about the difficulties faced by him recently including moving house and building a new aviary.  He said one of his first considerations when moving was to downsize his stock, which eventually went from approximately 280 down to 160 (bearing in mind between selling and buying it took almost a year to complete).

Ian said he decided to convert a garage at the new property into a birdroom and it took eight weeks for the planning to be approved so for some time all of his birds were kept in one of the rooms in his new bungalow!  Ian said to make sure before you bought a property to check out the covenants in the deeds relating to buildings sheds/aviaries and the keeping of livestock in residential areas as this could result in major problems, especially if there were footpaths/rights of way around the property boundaries.


In his old birdroom he used to keep the cocks and hens together and he would usually end up with poor fertility on the first round.  In the new birdroom, keeping them separately seemed to increase fertility and with the humidity at 60% or above things went well, until the strong winds in February.  This resulted in lower humidity and resulted with ‘dead in shell’.

Ian explained about other features of his new birdroom, including the extraction fan in the centre, which ducted the dust and air out and left all the noise in the birdroom and not in the neighbours’ gardens. He also recounted many other stories, which were very interesting and amusing.

He said some of the things he had changed since moving was that he had gone back to feeding sprouting seeds, giving bread and Soya baby milk to the chicks and adding carrot to the egg food.

The evening then concluded and all were wished a safe journey home.

PHIL REANEY March 2007

The meeting was called to order and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson.  There were no apologies.

As our President was ill at the time of the AGM, he was introduced by Chris so he could give his annual address and thank all of his committee members for their hard work and putting together a great program of speakers for 2007.  Gerald said that this was his second year of three as President and he was enjoying it very much.

Chris then introduced our speaker for the evening, Phil Reaney, who had experienced an horrendous journey down the motorways, leaving home at 12.45pm and not arriving with us until 8.15pm.

Phil took the floor and explained what he was going to talk about during the evening.  He started by saying how long he had been in the hobby (almost as long as he had been on the M25 today!) and about the different breeders he had received help and stock from in the early years.

The breeder who really set him on the right road in those early years was Jack Middleton, who now lives in the South at Bognor Regis.

He was then taken under the wing of Vic Smith and Stan Wainwright, a very successful Sheffield partnership and also by Harry Makinson. Then started a very valuable and influential friendship with Mrs Moss, who also shared his love of horses.

Phil then started a slide show that explained basic genetic traits in a simple format, e.g. using G to represent a green gene and B to represent a blue gene, which would be the expected result from crossing a pure light green bird with a blue one.  GG x BB = all chicks GB that is light green split for blue.

He went on to explain the modes of inheritance of other features such as sex linkage, double factors and feather types (broad feather and narrow feather).  Phil gave a running commentary, taking questions from the floor and giving explanations to ensure everyone understood what was showing on the screen.

He explained that similar principles applied to Yellow and Buff feathered birds, where you are able to produce yellow split buff chicks which are not as impressive as their buff siblings but capable of producing buff birds if paired correctly.  These yellow split buff birds are the ones that produce the super surprises for new owners from time to time - how often do we hear the comment about a super chick "the parents look nothing" (they are yellow split buff birds)

A detailed explanation was given on various breeding techniques, line breeding (related stock) inbreeding (very closely related stock) outcrossing (generally allsorts) and backcrossing (grand parents etc.). The various "ups and downs” were explained and which should be avoided.

On purchasing birds Phil advised to buy features such as spot, body length, depth of shoulder and, most importantly, fertility.  However, remember when using the above breeding techniques that families of birds also have hidden faults which inbreeding could bring to the surface and you would then have to work around.

The second part of the evening was mainly a video of his birds, which most people would love to have in their aviaries because of the quality of feather that his birds carry.

He continued with a running commentary of the blood lines and the tremendous influence of birds purchased from Jo Mannes in Germany on many features present in his stud.

He also showed a video of a visit to Daniel Lutolf's aviary and the type of feather his birds possessed.   Phil remarked that, although top birds can be very expensive, you did not need to spend excessively to get a good outcross, if you are able to recognise lesser birds with the features you want.  He also passed on a few tips on breeding including holding a number of hens and detecting the ones that felt warmer, as these were the ones more likely to breed straight away.  He also warned of minor faults creeping into varieties like pink feet or yellow beaks on normals. These features are used by Judges to identify composite birds (those containing a number of varieties in their makeup).  But, how are we going to be able to easily identify a cinnamon influence in a pale coloured clearwing?

Phil’s talk concluded at 10.35pm with a round of applause in appreciation of an excellent presentation.

The bird of the evening was any Cinnamon ( 4 birds this time, next time who knows how many?) and they were judged during the break by Clive Mayers who awarded the winning rosette to an Opaline Cinnamon Grey belonging to Tony Cash, 2nd was John Gorrell, 3rd Jackie Fox and 4th Rickie Watts.

After the raffle two new members were welcomed to the Northdowns; Ron Pearce and Jim Lawrie.  The evening then concluded and all were wished a safe journey home.


Colin Parsons February 2007

The meeting was called to order and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, with apologies from Richard & Julie Hutchings.

 Chris then introduced our ‘film producer’ speaker for the evening, Colin Parsons, who traveled down with Mike Sperring from Bristol.  Colin started by showing slides of winning birds from open shows in the 1980s` and explaining whose birds were winning at various shows at that time.  Some of the winners from then would do well on the show bench now {and a lot wouldn’t as they appeared narrow and short in the mask)


As the evening went on the birds shown were from shows from 2001 onwards and a vast difference in quality was evident.

 After the break he carried on with the slide show and, with comments from the floor reference some of the birds and with Ricky’s memories of winning birds over the years, it made a very interesting evening.


Our thanks to Colin for a well presented slide show.

 Bird of the evening was any Blue Series Cock (only 3 but that’s a start).  John Mullen, one of the beginners, was asked to judge them in the interval and award the winner’s rosette.

AGM January 2007 

The meeting was called to order at 8.10pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson.  Apologies were received from Gerald Binks, R Hutchins, Mike Ball, Harry & Sue Wadley, John Mullen & Wife and C Ives. It was agreed that the minutes of the A.G.M, that were distributed a month ago, had been read and there were no matters arising. 

The Chairperson then gave her report:

Chris Angus-Smith said she had enjoyed the year very much and that having good speakers made it even better. She went on to thank her committee for all their hard work during the year and stated that if any other person would like to stand as chairperson she would be willing to stand down. (Groans from the floor)

General & Membership Secretary’s report:

Tony Cash started with a big thank you to Ricky Watts for putting together a superb program for 2006 and the proposed program for 2007.  He said the club had picked up new members during the year and the club now had approx 40 members (which included life and other free memberships). All the meetings had been well attended during the year, because of the quality of the program and we hope this continues during 2007 and beyond.

He confirmed that the hall was booked for the year 2007 & (2008 provisionally) on the last Friday of each month except September because of Club Show, with the October meeting being the Members show on Saturday 13th October 8.30-5.00 (Early because of other events)

Treasurer’s report: 

Barbara Davis went through the profit and loss/balance sheet reports that had been given out to everyone. She said that she had done the accounts for a period of fourteen months, to bring them in line with the AGM.  Barbara said that the rent for the hire of the hall for 2007 had already been paid, hence the prepayment of 298.55 showing on the balance sheet. She commented that a lot of money could be saved if the Secretary emailed as many members as possible with the monthly newsletters, rather than posting them.

The subject of ‘Other Assets’ was brought up and it was agreed to write these amounts off over two years, with the exception of the silverware and crockery that Ricky Watts was going to sell imminently, hopefully for the sum of 50 - 70.

Election of Officers:

President Gerald Binks
Chairperson Chris Angus-Smith
Vice Chairman Ricky Watts
General & Membership Secretary Tony Cash
Treasurer Barbara Davis
Publicity Tony Cash
Catering All to Help
Patronage Secretary TBA at Committee
Show Manager TBA at Committee
Bio – Security TBA at Committee
Auditor Pauline McCarthy
President Elect N/A   [Gerald Binks]
Committee Brian Mansell, Graham Cornwall, Will Bien, Brian Duncombe, John Gorrell, Ricky Watts.