January - AGM

February - Steve Cox & Mick Freeborn

March - Pete Smith April - Judging Comp.
May - YSS June - Quiz July - Barbeque September - Tony Cash
October - Members Show November - Christmas Draw

Christmas Draw 2014

Our chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, opened the meeting and welcomed everybody.  Apologies were received from John Mullen, Martin Terry, Colin Ives and George Wilson.

Everyone was advised of the forthcoming AGM and told that they had been emailed the paper work etc.  Copies of the 2014 AGM minutes will be available at the AGM in January for those without Emails.

With that Chris handed over to me to explain the format for the evening, which was that we would start with the Christmas draw and break half way through for the food that Graham Cornwall, our President, had provided.

With 66 prizes to award I summoned the help of Mike Ball’s daughter Alex to draw the prize numbers, while I and many others drew the names, which I had a bit of fun with to liven up the proceedings:

All 39 of us there enjoyed the buffet very much, so many thanks to Graham and Sandra for all their hard work in providing such a lovely spread!

Many thanks also to everyone that made it such a great evening.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 30th January at 7.45pm for our AGM. Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

We need you all to support the AGM, as it’s your chance to have a say and make a difference and perhaps take on one of the many duties required to run this club!

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Members Show 2014

The Members Show was well supported this year with 94 birds benched! Apologies were received from Alex Whitman, Andrew McKendrick, and Jim Lawrie. It was good to have Brian Duncombe working well with our judge, Steve Cox, with Paul Gover & John Clarke assisting! So ‘thank you’ to all who took the time to bring birds to the show; it was good to see you all and with everybody helping it made it a very enjoyable day for all.

After being booked in the birds were placed on the staging by all of our helpers under the guidance of our show manager, Brian Duncombe, who was assisted by Paul Gover & John Clarke. Once Steve had started judging he gave a very clear running evaluation, explaining the reasons for his choices, sometimes judging from right to left and then from left to right to make it more interesting! That aside, the best bird won on the day. We thank Steve Cox for giving a full explanation on various faults on the birds and also for spending some time on a grey long tail explaining what judges are looking for etc.

We had a full ploughman’s lunch before the judging of the major awards, which generated lots of conversation on winning birds.

The major awards were made as follows, with the remainder on the attached sheet:

  • Best in Show                            Tony Cash
  • Best Young Bird in Show          Tony Cash

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.

Many thanks to our Chairperson Chris Angus Smith for providing all the refreshments and working in the kitchen etc., and thanks also to Jacky Fox for helping! Although Jacky has no birds now she still intends to be an active member at some meetings!

September with Tony Cash

The meeting started at 8.00 pm and our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, welcomed all there (21).  Apologies were received from Dereck Ham, Mark Edwards and Andrew McKendrick (3).

I started by explaining that this was my first attempt at a power point presentation and that I had cobbled together some pictures to represent my 50 years in Budgies!

I started with my win at the West Surrey BS in Merrow, Guildford in 1967 with an Opaline Green cock, which I had brought in as stock from Mr and Mrs Harry Lindfield. They were both BS judges who lived and worked at Pepper Harrow boarding school in Godalming for 50 (2 weeks wages for me then).

I carried on with various pictures from past to present, with lots of interaction from the members present. For me it was a good learning curve as well as an enjoyable experience, which I will improve on for other presentations to other clubs!

We had a tea break and collected raffle /Christmas draw monies, whilst there was lots of general banter.

I carried on till the end of my show, with the last picture which said “What we don’t want”.  It was a Grey Green baby cock of mine with central head flecking and terrific head feather / blow, which I will use with caution.

Our President, Graham Cornwall, stood to say a few words regarding me standing down from the roles I carry out; stressing that now is the time for others to come forward to help fill the various roles as Officers of the Society.

This went on for a while, with different comments from the members. Mick Freeborn stood up to say about the EGM 10 years ago when all seemed lost. Members stepped up to the plate then to take the club forward again and he hoped this would happen again!

The raffle raised 27.00 and the Christmas draw takings were 52.00, ready for the November Grand Draw!

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

I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday 11th October for our Members Show.

July Barbeque

The meeting / BBQ started at 7.40 pm and our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, welcomed all there (22).  Apologies were received from Jeff Plummer, Paul Gover, Geoff Dell, Jon Ashby, Alan & Gwen Joyce, Andrew McKendrick, Dee Boscoe, John Mullen,  Pam & Malcolm Freemantle and Alex Whitman. (11).

Tables and chairs were set up outside, next to the barbecues where John Gorrell and Nigel Darley were cooking mouth watering pieces of chicken, sausages and burgers (not to forget the fried onions)! Chris Angus-Smith provided a tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad to complement the meals and everyone sat down together for a lovely social evening.  

The raffle raised 31.00 and the Christmas draw takings were 67.00, ready for the November Grand Draw!

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to Chris for her organising / buying the food etc (94.42) John and Nigel for bringing their BBQ units and cooking the food and Brian Mansell for logistics!


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

June - Quiz Evening

The meeting started at 8.05pm and our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, welcomed all there (21).  Apologies were received from Andrew McKendrick, Jacky Fox, Dee Boscoe, John Mullen, Geoff Dell, Jeff Plummer, Brian & Pat Smart, Harry & Sue Wadley, Mark Edwards and Pam & Malcolm Freemantle. (13).

We welcomed a new member, Martin Terry from Fareham

Graham Cornwall, our Quiz Master for the evening, asked members to form into groups of 4 for the quiz and explained the way it was going to work!

Meanwhile, Jim Lawrie, our judge for the evening, started judging the birds - Blue series (9) - after explaining how he was going to judge them and that he would make some allowance because of condition, as some of the birds seemed to be in-between moults.

After the quiz, which was great fun with everyone a winner, Jim took to the floor to explain his order and what features he was actually looking for in the birds.  He said he now understood why some judges were made to look foolish at shows, as there was a Grey cock he put last but now he would put it 2nd/3rd as it was showing itself.

Our thanks to Graham for stepping in with his quiz as Gary Hale was unable to come.

Thanks also to all who brought birds along and to Ron Pearce for helping out with the washing up!

Our congratulations, to the main winner of the evening, our new member Martin Terry.

The raffle raised 35 & the Christmas draw takings were 56, ready for the November Grand Draw!

May - Young stock Show

The meeting started at 8.05pm and our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, welcomed all there with apologies received from Ron Pearce, John Gorrell, Clive Mayers and Pam Freemantle.

We welcomed a new member, Mark Edwards from Langston near Havant.

Mick Freeborn, our judge for the evening, started judging the birds (56) at 8.25pm, after explaining how he was going to judge them and that he would make some allowance because of condition, as some of the birds this year seemed to be in-between moults.

Because it was a young stock show the classes were grouped together ‘cock and hen’ to simplify the judging and Mick said that condition was not paramount, as it was a members young bird show. Also, reclassification would happen if required, as no one would be wrong classed.

Whilst judging Mick 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, as 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 Mick kept up a running commentary and ensured that everyone could see what he was doing. He asked for questions and comments as he was judging and also when he had finished.

After the break Tony Cash announced the winners of the evening with Alex Whitman taking Best Young Bird and Jim Lawrie for Best Young Bird Opposite Sex.

Mick then started to explain about the birds and the faults and the reasons why they were placed where they were on the benches.

Our thanks to Steve Cox, for assisting Mick Freeborn and to Brian Duncombe, our show manager, for keeping a keen eye on the proceedings.

Our congratulations to the main winners of the evening:

  • Alex Whitman: Best bird in show – Cinn Grey Hen
  • Jim Lawrie: Best Opposite Sex -  Cobalt Cock 
  • Jim Lawrie:  Best champion –  Cobalt Cock 
  • Brian Mansell:  Best intermediate – Cin Sky Spangle Cock
  • Alex Whitman: Best Novice Cinn Grey Hen
  • Sue Warrington: Best Beginner – Lutino Cock
  • Dee Boscoe: Best Barhead  –  Sky Cock

Thanks to all (30) of those that helped with the setting up and removal of the trestles, plus other jobs, which makes life a lot easier.

Four members paid up on the night, with the raffle raising 47 & the Christmas draw taking in 56, ready for the November Grand Draw!

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to the Judge / Speaker for a very entertaining evening and for not taking any expenses.

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

April - Judging Competition

The meeting was called to order at 8pm and everyone (17 – poor attendance) was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.

Apologies were received from Delia Smith, Derek Ham, Pam Freemantle, Andy Poole, Mark Edwards, and John Mullen.

With the birds benched and ready, she then handed over to me to explain the format for the evening’s judging exercise, which we were going to do backwards for a change. Everyone would judge the bird’s 1st – 6th places, keeping their slips on them, then Chris Angus-Smith would judge the birds 1st - 6th just before the break.

I took to the floor in front of the birds / members and asked various people to come and join me; we started with Malcolm Freemantle    with his order compared to Chris’s.

I then placed the birds in the order of 1 -6 that Chris had judged.  Having done that Malcolm explained his order and why he had judged /chosen his particular order from the birds in front of him, giving his reasons (with good detail) regarding the birds deportment / style etc.

This went on for the complete second part of the evening, with most people coming up and explaining their reasons etc.

I must say that most had the top 4 birds in some order or other, which goes to prove that they are all getting an eye for a good bird. We went on to also talk in a general open discussion about the upkeep of our birds and the breeding of them at this time of year!

Well done to you all and thanks again to those who brought birds along! (Brian Duncombe for the pair of Miniatures)

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

March - Pete Smith

The meeting was called to order at 7.58 pm and everyone (24) was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.

Apologies were received from Andrew McKendrick, Dee Boscoe, Mark Edwards, Paul Gover, John Gorrell, Ron Payne, Jeff Plummer, Geoff Dell and John Mullen.

Chris then introduced the evening’s speaker, Pete Smith from Swindon, who was accompanied by Fred Eatwell.

After setting up the computer and projector, Pete started his presentation by giving a brief of his history in the keeping of birds in general, starting off with foreign birds / finches and being a member of the Cirencester CBS.

His said his first ever show was at Gloucester 20 years ago, where he bought some budgies from the sales class, which was the start of him keeping budgies.

Like many breeders he has moved about and built a few different aviaries/sheds/lofts up to his new present one which is 20` X 10` with 24 all-wire breeding units built up off the ground because of the wild life around where he lives (having tried all sorts of units etc and found these worked well for him).  He was giving a full commentary all the time about the slide he was on, which was of interest to many!

Pete talked about his breeding results over the years and the different stock he had brought in from various breeders/bloodlines to try and breed the winning bird!

One thing which showed up from his presentation was the way he had gone from old / keyhole type birds to the new buffalo look with directional feathering on the face. He also keeps what he calls pretty ones as well, dilutes and recessives!

After the break Pete carried on showing the birds he had bred and improved on from last year, which he was pleased with.

There were lots of positive and interesting observations as well as a few funnies on the slides, which amused us all.

As we all know, Pete passed his Judging test at Doncaster to be a full BS Panel judge, so good luck with that and we look forward to seeing him at many Open Shows on his own later this year.

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to our speaker for a very entertaining and informative evening.

February - Steve Cox & Mick Freeborn

The meeting was called to order at 7.55 pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith. (29)

Apologies were received from Jeff Plummer, Geoff Dell, John Mullen, John Bishop and Harry & Sue Wadley.

I said a welcome to Mark Edwards, a new face amongst us, and also that it was nice to see Alex Whitman back after his operation and Ron Pearce with Jon Ashby down from Watford.  With that I explained the format for the evening in that Steve Cox & Mick Freeborn were going to take questions as the panel and see how it went!

Mick was asked how he was coping now with the new birds that had been given to him, after the theft of his stud.  He said it was hard work and he still felt uncomfortably going into the aviary, but he was breeding some reasonable babies at the moment.  Only time would tell.

The next questions were on the new BS classifications and show dates for the BS World Show.  Needless to say this went on for some time and started to get boring so the subject was changed to other things of interest!

We then had a break for refreshments, after which I did the raffle early (man flu).

We also started a Christmas Draw, which will be held at the November meeting along with the Presidents buffet, as the Bring & Buy has had its day. Thanks to John Gorrell for running it for me; we took 43 last night (our first week) so well done to all.

In the second part of the evening we talked about the Long Flighted bird that so many breeders / BS are going on about, with the conclusion that the current so called long flight is not the birds that were banned in earlier years:

We then talked about feeding and the protein that our birds require nowadays.  With the more feathery type birds of today the feeding has been bumped up with more oats and soaking seeds.

Mick uses an additional tonic seed alongside a good quality mixture, which has oil added to it (from Countrywide).  This is given to all of the birds, in separate dishes, together with plain water.

Many others commented on their way of feeding, with lots of useful tips for us to take onboard. Mick’s main soft food diet is listed below:

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

Mick said judging was still 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 of the last topics for the evening was ‘should the vent feathers be plucked or not’, which was about 50 / 50 in for and against.

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to our panellists for a very entertaining and informative evening.

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

A.G.M.  January 2014

The meeting was called to order at 7.55 pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.

Apologies were received from Gerald Binks, Alex Whitman, John Mullen, Andrew McKendrick, John Bishop, Harry & Sue Wadley, Jacky Fox, Mick Freeborn, Steve Cox, Will Bien, Dee Boscoe, Malcolm & Pam Freemantle, Mike & Sara Ball, Delia Smith, Tony Neale and Brian & Pat Smart. (20) thank you to the 15 that managed to make it so we could have an AGM!

Northdowns Minutes of AGM 2013

These had been sent to all members before the meeting and hard copies were given out at the November meeting! Barbara Davis read out the 2013 minutes and there were no matters arising.

(Minutes then taken as a true account of AGM 2013: Proposed by Graham Cornwall – Seconded by Brian Mansell)

The President’s Report

The President, John Gorrell, said he had enjoyed his time as President and he thanked all the committee members and all connected to the club for all the work they did.  He said that all had worked hard to ake Northdowns a success, especially Chris & Tony who put in a tremendous amount of work over the year to ensure that Northdowns remained one of the best clubs in the south and that there had been some great meetings with entertaining speakers.  With that he passed the chain of office over to Graham Cornwall, our new President for the next 2 years.

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.

Chris then gave a thank you to all that helped in the kitchen during the year, also to Tony for all the work he does on behalf of Northdowns.

We have had good attendances at the meetings because we have good speakers; we are heading in right direction, with a full programme for 2014 and the 2015 programme almost complete. She also said that if anyone wanted to step in as Chairperson she would step down, as she has been doing it for some time now!

General and Membership Secretary’s report:

I started by thanking the committee for all their work during the year, which had contributed to the success of the club. I said that the club had picked up 4 new members during the year and now had 59 members (which included life, partners and other free memberships), although we had also lost a couple as well; Jacky Fox & Julie & Richard Hutchings.  All of the meetings had been well attended during the year and I hoped this would continue during 2014 and beyond. We now have only 6 members without Emails!

I confirmed that the hall was booked for the year 2014 (and 2015 provisionally) on the last Friday of each month. Although the BS show has moved back to November and is still in November for 2014 - after that who knows?    BS show in Sept again in 2015?

Also, the October meeting, being the Members show, which was poorly supported last year because of clashes with other local clubs will be held on Saturday 11th th October in 2014 from 9.30am to 3.30pm and 17th October in 2015!

Sad news regarding the Bucks & Berks BA closing down, also South Essex BS closed down 23-1-14 (yesterday)

First committee meeting on Feb 28th is at 6.45pm before the main meeting starts.  Agenda to follow”

Treasurer’s report:  

Barbara Davis went through the profit and loss/balance sheet reports that had been sent/given out to members. Barbara said that, compared to 2012, the income had gone up slightly and the expenditure had gone down, making a small profit for the year.

She said there was no need to put up Subscriptions in 2015 as everyone contributed to the raffles etc and the club was in a sound financial position. (Might want to spend on members)???

(Accounts Proposed by Brian Mansell – Seconded by Jim Lawrie)

Election of Officers:

Graham Cornwall, as President, took over the chair for the election of Chairperson. (Click here for elected officers).

Thank you for all of your support. The AGM finished at 9.10 and we then had the raffle and all were wished a safe journey home!

I look forward to seeing everyone on Friday 28th February, when we are having an Open Evening at 7.45pm.  Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.