Above: Canary exhibits at the 2016 event. Former show secretary, the late Brian Anthony, ran his final show in 2015. Shelley Hooke, daughter of show chairman Norman Hooke, volunteered to run the 2016 event but is unable to continue this year due to family commitments.

THE WELSH NATIONAL has come to an end after 26 years following a struggle to find a show secretary.

Since the death of former show secretary Brian Anthony in 2016, the event has been unable to secure a permanent replacement. Without the role filled, officials say the annual show cannot go ahead.

On October 2, seven officials held an urgent meeting where, with great regret, it was decided to disband the committee and cancel the January 21, 2018 show. However, treasurer John Richards, from Swansea, has told Cage & Aviary Birds that show funds remain in the bank and if anyone comes forward for the position of show secretary in the coming weeks, the January show will be resurrected.

In the meantime, officials have agreed to meet on April 2, 2018 at Cwrt Herbert Sports Centre, Neath, where decisions will be made on what to do with the remaining funds.

Mr Richards said he has struggled to come to terms with the news following his 18-year involvement.

He explained: “Last year I was doing five job roles for the show, so it is physically impossible for me to take on another role. Having been involved with this show for so many years, it is gutting for it to go because there is so much history behind it. But it’s never too late; I hope someone will read this paper and get in touch.”

The Welsh National has had a turbulent few years. In 2010, a fire demolished the venue which cancelled the show. It was again cancelled in 2011 after a disappointing entry; however, the 2012 show went ahead. In 2013, severe snow put paid to the show as access to the staging, which was stored at a local farm, was impossible and some officials were snowed in for three days.

Adding to an already unsettled 2013, two new fanciers answered the show’s urgent plea for volunteers in the eleventh hour after three key officials had stood down from the committee.

Mr Richards added: “If this is the end of the Welsh National, I would like to thank all those over the years who have supported the show and also all the traders who have sponsored us for many years.”

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