AS HE FINISHED his crucial presentation about the London fancy canary to COM officials at the recent World Show, Huw Evans (as he tells us on page 2) was encouraged when his audience broke into applause. That’s always a good sign! I hope Cage & Aviary Birds readers are minded to join in the applause, too. Yes, the London fancy “project” is a tiny minority interest among canary breeders. Yet the same is true of all new breeds at the outset. And this has always seemed to me a noble ambition: to recreate the long-extinct emblematic breed of our great capital city, no less. Just think of the positive publicity that could be generated for the fancy as a whole, if the new breed were to flourish and the mainstream media picked up the story. It’s mind-boggling! But at the moment it takes a degree of vision to see the potential and act on it – which means a lot of hard work.

I hope that those involved in the London fancy project are duly encouraged by this step (that’s all it is) that has been negotiated. I’m thinking particularly of Huw, of course, but also of LF loyalists in this country such as Andy Early and the variety’s great champion, Bernard Howlett; and most definitely of master breeder Piet Renders, whose stud almost certainly holds the key to the future development of this bird. I hope that more breeders, throughout Britain and Europe, will now begin to see the potential, and start to commit time and resources to the project. They might just be helping to make canary history.

■ “The club arranged publicity posters throughout the immediate area, plus similar electronic posters which flashed onto large monitors throughout Beirut at traffic lights and other strategic points.” Beirut! Isn’t it fantastic? Our marvellous Yorkshire canary has seized the imagination of hobbyists in renaissant Lebanon – and their enthusiasm and skill just make you want to punch the air. Read all about it in Brian Keenan’s article on page 14. Now then: these giant monitors at traffic lights. Just picture them blasting out the message at strategic points all over (say) Doncaster. Club Show blitzkrieg! Hey – you could have massive mugshots of all your favourite officials gurning out a welcome to one and all road-users. There’d be a stampede!

You read it here first. Like with the London fancy – it’s a vision thing. Enjoy your week!