Above: For the diary: the show poster designed by one of the judges, Mario Zahra


ONE OF THE founding fathers of the Gloster canary is to be spectacularly commemorated at a major new show later this year.

On December 1, the first National Gloster Fancy Canary Show (NGFCS) will be held in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. And Cage & Aviary Birds can exclusively reveal that the debut event will be dedicated to the memory of the late John Thornton: one of the legendary band of West Country breeders who created the Gloster canary almost a century ago.

Steve Pritchard, NGFCS publicity manager, explained: “It started earlier this year when some dedicated Gloster breeders met for a pre-breeding season lunch. And it was Trevor Goddard who first suggested: ‘What the Gloster fancy needs is an annual National All Gloster Show.’”

Many years have passed since there was a national show and the discussion quickly became serious, added Mr Pritchard.

“We didn’t want to create a new club, just put on a show,” he explained. “There’s no committee, just 10 motivated breeders working to make the day a success.

“This is simply an annual national event open to every Gloster breeder, whether in the UK or anywhere in the world.”

Plans for the day developed swiftly and the organisers have already reached an agreement with two eminent judges for the launch event. One is IGBA chairman Keith Baker and the other is Mario Zahra of Malta, international secretary of the GFCC-UK. “Mario has already produced the show logo and poster, and is working on the brochure and schedule,” said Mr Pritchard.

The 10 enthusiasts behind the new event are: Brian Skeffington, John Herring, Trevor Goddard, Dave Rands, Jeff Crunkhorn, Steve Cook, Fred Osborne, Nick Barrett, Dave Thomas and Mr Pritchard.

Dave Rands is organising a commemorative mug for every exhibitor to take home at the first event. “Show manager and show secretary will be Trevor Goddard and Steve Cook respectively,” said Mr Pritchard. “John Herring will be in charge of the money and I’m the go-to man for admin and general enquiries.”

The NGFCS will take place on December 1. Venue: the Speedwell Rooms, Inkersall Road, Staveley S43 3JL. All enquiries to: Steve Pritchard, tel: 07947 688 817 or email: stevepritchard@yahoo.co.uk


New show, new trophy

UP FOR annual competition at the national Gloster show will be a unique prize. A historic solid silver cup is to be specially re-engraved as The John Thornton Memorial Trophy – and presented by one of Mr Thornton’s two surviving daughters. Mr Pritchard said: “These ladies wish to commemorate the name of their father, a truly remarkable genius. This will be the award every serious exhibitor will want to get their hands on.”

For more news from Cage & Aviary Birds, click here.