WHAT, FOR YOU, represents the essence of the exhibition hobby? We’ll all have our different opinions. I can honestly say I enjoy every section in a show. There aren’t any duds. But as a private individual, above all I love a multiple-variety canary show. You don’t have to be an expert to get rich pleasure from seeing all those classic breeds in one space: the modern and ancient varieties, the popular ones and the esoteric ones – all the handed-down skills and up-to-date expertise behind those birds drawn together for us to admire. The sight and sound is exhilarating.

That’s why I look forward to seeing a Yorkshire section at Stafford on October 7, and why I believe the YCC deserve congratulations for their decision to back the section. That date is of course very early in the season for the “guardsman” to flourish as it truly can. But the Yorkie is wanted and needed at Stafford. Without it there is a disproportionately big void on the canary benches; where Yorkies are very obviously missing! Most important of all: it is not an all-variety show if one of the key varieties is absent. I sincerely hope that fanciers heed the YCC’s call and bring along a show team, to give the public at Stafford at least a taste of the range and beauty that this wonderful breed brings to the show bench.

■ The generation gap looms. Overheard at Waterloo Station the other morning, one young buck rabbiting excitedly to another: “You can put it in your feed! You can put it in your feed! Give it a few days and it works a treat!” What were they talking about? An online “feed”… social media, of course.

■ Everyone in the office enjoyed John Richards’ joke at the end of his 60-Second Interview on page 18. “Q: Finally, do you have any unfulfilled ambition? A: To outlive the DFS furniture sale.” John, you have put your finger on a key facet of life. In similar fashion I used to dream – DREAM – of the day when finally Trinny and Susannah would be a thing of the past.

■ What a pleasure to read Joe Moore’s tribute to his old friend and clubmate Joe Richardson (page 22). All too often, a “tribute” means that a fancier has passed on. Mr Richardson, take your deserved retirement in comfort – your achievement is now there for us all to see.

Enjoy your birds this week.


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