January - AGM February - Roger Carr March - Alan Joyce April - Rodney Harris
May - Young Stock Show June - Mick Freeborn July - Roy Aplin August - Barbeque
September - Open Evening October - Members Show November - Bring & Buy  

Bring & Buy’ Evening – November

Apologies were received from: Jacky Fox, Nigel Darley, Mike Horner, Brian Mansell, Dave Florrey, Richard Hutchins.

Everyone was advised of the forthcoming AGM and that they had been emailed with paper work etc. Also, hard copies were present for members to take as well.

With that Chris welcomed all and asked us to tuck into the food & drinks (big thank you to Chris who again prepared and donated all, with the help of Julie Hutchins).

After the food Ricky Watts, as our auctioneer, went into action with his normal gusto.

We raised, with your help, a total of 305.00 on the evening (252 bring & buy, 53 raffle. Well done to every one, as we made enough funds to cover the cost of the hall for 2010.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and many thanks go to Ricky for his ‘persuasive’ auctioneering!

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 29th January at 7.45pm for our AGM. Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

I need you all to support the AGM, as it’s your chance to have a say and make a difference!

(All other nominations need to be returned to me prior to the AGM).

Also, please bring your views and voice them to the AGM regarding holding an open show, as this is on the agenda.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

October - Members Show

The show was well supported and with 70 birds exhibited and with everybody helping it made an enjoyable day for all.

Thank you to all who took the time to bring birds to our members show; it was nice to see so many of you.

After being booked in the birds were placed on the staging by all of our helpers under the guidance of our show managers Brian Duncombe / Malcolm Freemantle.

Our judge for the day was Bob Whattam, who gave a running evaluation whilst judging with constructive criticism on the birds with regard to the new BS rulings explaining the reasons for his choices. Bob explained the problems with the birds that were just ‘that bit out’ of condition and also with some that had ticking on the crown, which was why they were penalised as a fault.

That aside, the best bird won on the day and it was in good condition. We thank Bob very much for his consideration to all the attendant members and for the way he explained the faults and positioning of birds.

We had a ploughman’s lunch after the judging was completed. 

The Major Awards were presented by our president (won most himself) and were as follows, with the rest on the attached sheet:

        Best in Show                             Malcolm Freemantle

        Best Young Bird in Show           Alex Whitman

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 to our Chairperson (Chris) for providing & donating all refreshments and to Bob for adjudicating. There were three other donations (32.00) thankyou.

September - Open Evening

This meeting took the form of an open forum with birds you cannot show brought in for discussion by all. We had a mixture of birds from a half sider (blue / green) which, when it moulted out the blue feathers never grew back, owned by Nigel Darley who went on to explain the pedigree of the bird and some history about these particular species.

It was interesting to see a slate that was owned by Delia Smith and caused a considerable amount of comments from various members, as many haven’t seen a slate before.

Most of the birds were heavily flecked and some had feather problems such as tailless, main flights missing and some with both faults. During the comments by various owners it would seem that some birds were complete until they had their first major moult.

As the evening progressed with even more interaction between the members it seemed that the format for the evening i.e., without a main speaker and everyone having a go etc, had gone down well.

Before the meeting there was a committee meeting to discuss various items, including the proposal to be voted on at the next AGM re the open show sponsorship. The committee also agreed that it would be a good ideal to have a sales table for birds at most meetings, which would give the opportunity to sell surplus stock to the members. (Other clubs do it with some success)

August - Barbeque - Mike Ball

There was no monthly meeting in August so we all went to Mike and Sara Ball’s for a BBQ & birdie visit on Saturday 29th. We had ordered sunshine for the day and we weren’t disappointed.

Judging Competition - Roy Aplin

The meeting was called to order with apologies from G.Binks, A.Whitman, C.Ives, G.Wison, R.Watts, R.Pearce, W & H Bien and M.Ball    Our Chairperson then welcomed our Judge and speaker for the evening, Roy Aplin, and our President Malcolm Freemantle and his wife Pam who were putting on their annual buffet for the evening.

With the birds benched Roy started the judging by placing cocks & hens in order, first to last as a normal class, and then putting his pairs together.

Whilst the members watched you could hear light conversation in the background about all sorts of topics and who did this and that etc. 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 the judges order /selection.

The winner of the judging competition was Jim Lawrie with Dave Florrey coming a close second

A general discussion on various birds continued with Roy giving explanations on his view of his pairings and why! There were all sorts of birds there, from buffs to yellow feathered and flecked.

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

Mick Freeborn

The meeting was called to order with apologies from Malcolm & Pam Freemantle, Jacky Fox, Clive Mayers, Terry Smith, Dave Florrey and Gerald Binks. Our Chairperson then welcomed our speaker for the evening, Mick Freeborn, who was the replacement for Beverley Hutt.

Mick started by telling us the history of himself over the years in the hobby and his love of the budgiegar and all related aspects of the showing and meetings / social side such as this evening. He talked about his first show in 1964 where there were 2,600 birds benched of which only 400 were budgies, the rest made up of foreign birds and canaries.

He mentioned the various studs he had bought over the years and the influence that bringing in different types of feather and deportment had had on his stud, which he has used to enhance his own bloodlines and produce the quality stud of birds he now has.

Mick said judging was a great part of the hobby for him, which he still enjoys and will carry on doing so as long as his health allows him. One thing he won't do again is to judge on the Saturday (Coventry with show team with him) and show on the Sunday in Cheshire, as this was so exhaustive (although he won 5 CCs).

When he brought in the last stud they went straight into the flights after he had fogged the bird room. He also fogged the bird room again several times after they were settled in to prevent any diseases. All birds that were put into the flights were in good condition and any in poor health didn’t make it.

Mick has a knack for remembering most of his birds and the ring number and what lines / parents they are from which surprises a lot of breeders who visit him.

He said that when showing you need to spend a lot of time preparing the birds if you want to win on the show bench. By catching them up 6 weeks before a show and spraying them for feather condition also this will allow them to put on weight / substance and give you time to examine them to check tails / spots coming through.

Mick said to wash and clean show cages as they can smell, especially if you keep showing with the same seed in the bottom of the cages and not clearing it out. The judges can smell this, which is not very nice and must be detrimental to the birds!

Mick said that one of his best achievements was when he got up very early and arrived to show in Weston Super –Mare at 8am and won BIS against the Moss type birds being on show that day.

Mick went on to relate a couple of amusing stories of various events over many years which, whilst very amusing, could be potential political as well so no names mentioned! He does not have any problems with fertility or breeding numbers, which he puts down to the soft food mixture he uses:

  • 3 Slices of bread (brown or white)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soya
  • 1 Tablespoon of Weatgerm Fennel
  • lb Soaking seed
  • Broccoli (4 crowns)
  • 5 Slices of Fennell
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried seaweed
  • 1 Teaspoon of Selenavite

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

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

May - Young Stock Show

The meeting was called to order with apologies from Jacky Fox, Clive Mayers, Terry Smith, Jim Lawrie, John Gorrell, Ricky Watts, Ron Pearce, Dave Florrey and Mike Ball. As four others were coming without birds I phoned Roger Carr and explained that there might not be many birds to judge (Roger was standing in for Bob McCabe who was standing in for Fred Wright). As Gerald was going to be at the meeting he said he would do the honours, which would save Roger a journey.

After my explanation our Chairperson then welcomed our judge for the evening, Gerald Binks.

Gerald started judging the birds (37) at 8.20pm, after giving us a couple of amusing stories (as he does!). Because it was a young stock show the classes were grouped together ‘cock and hen’ to simplify the judging.

Whilst judging Gerald explained what features he was actually looking for in the birds and said that when there were two very similar birds it was difficult to place them first and second and you needed to take into account all of their features / faults. He also stressed that birds entered deserved the time to allow them to perch.


As the judging went on Gerald kept up the commentary and ensured that everyone could see what he was doing. He asked Terry Mulley, a beginner, to join in the judging and comment on the birds, which was a bit nerve racking to say the least but a good learning curve for Terry.

Whilst having refreshments in between the judging everyone was looking at the birds and making their own comparisons and anticipating the out come.


At the end of the judging Gerald asked for any comments from the floor with regard to the judging and the birds on the benches.


Our thanks to Brian Duncombe for assisting Gerald all evening.

Our congratulations to the main winners of the evening:

Cash & Gorrell: Best Champion & Best bird in show – YF Cin Grey Hen

N&S Darley:  Best intermediate & Best Barhead - Light Green Cock

A. Whitman: Best Beginner - Lutino Cock 

We would also like to thank all of those that helped with the setting up and removal of the trestles, plus other jobs, which makes life a lot easier.

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

The evening then concluded after the raffle, when the birds were lifted and all were wished a safe journey home.

Rodney Harris

Chris introduced our speaker, Rodney Harris, with a short story regarding the aviary visit the club had several years ago and then handed over the floor to him.

Rodney started by saying that this is the meeting he should have been at last year, but his dog was giving birth and he couldn’t leave her.

He then showed the models of ideal budgerigars that he had made (Jelutong Rubber Tree) and spoke about the profile of the budgiegar regarding width of bird with eye set back halfway back in the head. He said he made his first model in 1968 and, when Mrs Moss saw it she asked for one as well, so he also made her one. Mrs Moss was a good friend, who he would phone up and go and see and she would help him with various problems.
He started showing birds as a novice and worked his way up through the ranks. One of the tips Rodney gave was that when chicks were hatching, if you held the egg to your ear and you heard a ‘peck and a squeak’, that would mean everything was ok. However, when you checked later and you only heard ‘squeaking’ (no pecking noises) it meant that the chick was in distress. He said he had saved many chicks by opening them up with his fingernail at this stage.

Rodney went on to tell many amusing stories of the past. He explained about the shapes and styles of his models, which relate to the various ideal budgerigars throughout the years. If you look on our website you will see the 9” model in a show cage and see how enormous it looks.

When a bird is sitting in a show cage the eye should be just above the rear roof  line, which will indicate the bird is in correct proportion. Don’t keep birds that are moon gazers (birds that tend to look up all the time).

The new judging standards generated a lot of conversation with regard to the major faults. Rodney’s view is that he only needs to judge a bird’s wing, because most birds from that point will have two major faults and not be able to win anything. It would seem that most people present agreed with

Rodney’s analysis that the new rulings are detrimental and will add to the demise of open shows for standard/normal budgerigars (these must be rescinded for the fancy to survive).  
With regard to judging, Rodney stated that he had not passed the BS judging courses but he had judged all round the world and does know what a good budgerigar should be. Most people will know of Rodney’s expertise as a stockman and breeder of quality budgerigars with various types of feather and that he is able to match pairings where other people cannot see the hidden features and attributes. This enables him to produce exceptional birds from lesser parents.

The meeting finished off with a raffle and thanks were extended to Rodney for a thoroughly informative and enjoyable evening.

Alan Joyce

The meeting was called to order at 8.10pm and our Chairperson welcomed everyone. Apologies were received from G.Binks

As Allan Joyce hadn’t turned up we started the evening with Malcolm Freemantle running a questions and answers session regarding breeding and ailments and any problems that were being incurred this season.

It seemed that one problem this year was that cock birds were staying in the nest boxes with the hens and that the chicks were coming out very early, so that the hen could get on to the next round. Even if you put them back they were out again the next time you visited the cages.

There was a lot of conversation on soft food regarding to use yes/no and also about going back to basics (almost political talk).

Malcolm said he had just paired up (March) and recommended others to follow suit, as the birds seemed very fit and willing to go down.

I personally prefer starting in September and call it my preliminary round, which allows me to sort out any problem birds and put them aside, ready to try again in the summer.

We had broken for a cuppa and chat amongst ourselves when Alan and his good lady turned up 9.20. They had been sitting on the M3 for most of the evening! After a quick discussion we decided it was best if he just did a chat rather then getting all his equipment out for a slide show.

Alan continued the evening with a very interesting talk on his aviary and how everyone kept rebuilding their aviaries to try and get them right. He explained about his breeding units and his allocation of cages to the clearbobys, which are his main and favoured variety. He also stated that he didn’t change things in his aviary unless there was a problem and then only one thing at a time. He said he used Bucktons seed as he felt it was of good quality and competitively priced against others.

Alan said he only kept back the best 20 cocks so he had to use them, rather then using lesser cocks, which is what happens if you keep back more. He stated that he learned a lot from beginners, as they would try all sorts of things that the established breeder wouldn’t and some of these things were very successful. He stressed that a ‘must’ was to be ruthless when you sort out the birds to keep, as it’s the only way to improve your stud and try to keep up with the current ideal bird.

When chicks were in the boxes he said he would move them about so that they were all similar in size and would start coming out of the nest box together.

Alan said he separated his cock and hens aprox two months before pairing up, which he felt made them very keen to breed as they could hear and see each other. One very good tip was to use an egg cup with fluid/milk for the young chick not being fed and just hang its head over the edge and it would suck up and stay alive.

He said not to be afraid to give your birds fresh vegetables and fruit branches as the birds love them and they will enhance their fitness. He also gave his birds a chicken carcass, which they devoured with delight. He said he thought that the only good partnerships were husband and wife.

With that our Chairperson thanked Alan and all responded in the usual way.

Roger Carr At Northdowns

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson.  Apologies were received from Mike Ball & Jacky Fox and then a minute’s silence was held for John Harvey before our speaker, the well known Roger Carr, was introduced.

Roger started by stating he was having a poor breeding season with aprox one chick to every 10 eggs. He said that even though the birds looked very fit they weren’t doing the business.

Roger then asked those at the meeting their thoughts on what was a fit bird. There were lots of comments and ideas from all in the room ranging from those with a wealth of experience and great interaction from the less knowledgeable / beginners (so called) such as:

  • Don’t over sell / keep noise levels up in bird room
  • Have your lights coming on twice a day
  • Build up your vitamins to the birds earlier
  • Cock bird to be  really very fit, will bring hen in condition
  • Plenty of fresh air and good ventilation / fan
  • Check your management
  • Breed outside to normal time scales / when birds are natural ready and fit (September or March)
  • Don’t pair largest /buff to buffs.
  • Various feeding methods’ / cod liver oil in seed
  • Breed all year round with your troublesome birds so you catch them at their height of fitness
  • Don’t be governed by the ring date / show season
  • Keep back brothers & sisters of your best lines
  • Distinguish between stock and show birds, as stock birds can be bred at any time as they are in your stud for that reason alone
  • 12 – 15 breeding units is enough for the normal working person to manage with full time job

Roger then talked about the size of the birds today and asked if it was the frame of the bird or just feather? This subject went on for some considerable time, which led on to the genetics of birds.  He related this to humans regarding size and weight of children not looking like their parents but relating to the grandparents’ and great grandparents’ etc.  So look and keep good records if you want to improve your stud.

We then discussed the ideal budgie and what we thought of the various proposals regarding length and deportment, as most birds wining on the show bench are big long birds.

The discussion then turned to the new BS rules on showing birds with so called major faults and what they are not allowed to win. 

Flecking grizzling and ticked will be a matter of opinion by the judges, which will lead to the type of controversy we had a few years ago along with others, so it will very interesting to see what transpires in the near future.

It seemed we could have gone on all night as the meeting was so interesting with total interaction from all, but all good things must end and we all thanked Roger for a great evening’s entertainment and finished of with the raffle.

Our thanks to Stella Harvey for the donations of various birdie things which raised 27 towards club funds.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 27th March when Alan Joyce will be with us at 7.45pm.  Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

January 2009 - A.G.M.

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson.  Apologies were received from Ricky Watts, Ron Pearce and John and Stella Harvey. (John is very ill)


The Presidents Report:

Gerald started by saying a few words regarding John Harvey and the dedication he has to the hobby and the work he puts in to help other clubs.  Also his efforts to prepare his birds for shows, which, as we know, helps him to win (our members show two years on the trot).

He then went on to thank everyone connected to the club for the work they did and apologised if he had forgotten anyone.

Gerald then asked Malcolm Freemantle, our President Elect, to come forward to receive the chain of office.


Malcolm thanked Gerald and spoke about the good work Gerald had done for the hobby in general and the fact that where ever you went in the world Gerald was well known.  He said it was an honour to be president of Northdowns BS again and that he looked forward to an enjoyable year ahead.


Before any of the other proceedings Ken Trapnell stood and said a few words regarding the sad death of Mick Hatcher who (if you read the front page of this web site) was a founder member of this club.

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 of their hard work during the year and welcomed Malcolm Freemantle back as our President. 

General & Membership Secretary’s report:

Tony Cash started with thanking the committee for all their work during the year, which contributed to the success of the club. He said the club had picked up 5 new members during the year and, with two more about to rejoin the club, we now had approx 46 members (which included life and other free memberships). All of the meetings had been well attended during the year because of the quality of the program / speakers and he hoped this would continue during 2009 and beyond.

He confirmed that the hall was booked for the year 2009 (and (2010 provisionally) on the last Friday of each month, with the exception of September because of the Club Show.  Also, the October meeting, being the Members show, would be held on Saturday 31st October from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

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 recommended that the subs were raised by 1 to all members in 2010, except for juniors.  Barbara said that the rent for the hire of the hall for 2009 had already been paid, hence the prepayment of 269.50 showing on the balance sheet.

The subject of ‘Other Assets’ was brought up and it was explained that these had been written off (the crockery that Ricky Watts was trying to sell, hopefully for the sum of 50 - 70) and if he succeeded it would be a bonus to club funds.

Election of Officers:

Malcolm took over the chair for the election of Chairman and the election of the 2009 Committee.

Thank you for all your support (23).  A copy of elected officers is attached for your perusal and, as you can see, a full programme for 2009.

As mentioned at the AGM, and voted for by the majority, it was agreed the new committee would investigate the possibility of holding an open show.  They would bring back their proposals to the 2010 AGM, including all procedures and costs with the various options of sponsorship / marketing possibility’s, to run a show without incurring costs to the members or effecting the clubs financial standing.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 27th February when Roger Carr entertains us at 7.45pm.   Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.