Gallery: FENLAND: Cage Bird Society celebrates 75th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 15:17 13 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 02 June 2010
IT was the year the Nazis came into power, the year the first American drive-in theatre opened - and the year a Fenland bird society opened for business. That was 1933 - but unlike the others, Wisbech and District Cage Bird Society is still going strong.
IT was the year the Nazis came into power, the year the first American drive-in theatre opened - and the year a Fenland bird society opened for business.
That was 1933 - but unlike the others, Wisbech and District Cage Bird Society is still going strong.
Three years ago the society nearly closed through a lack of interest, but a complete turnaround has just seen members celebrate their club's 75th anniversary.
"We have put the fun back into birdkeeping," said society chairman Alan Baldry.
The society was formed in 1933, and carried a subscription of just 2/6p - 12.5p in today's terms. Its first meeting was held on December 13 that year and attracted more than 500 entries.
However, a lot of older members were lost and new members came and went quickly. The society needed a turnaround and was revamped by serving members three years ago.
Mr Baldry said: "We were determined to bring it back to life. The current committee made various changes including the meeting venue and the structure of the club.
"The reorganisation has brought back some of its lost members, as well as encouraging new members and visitors."
Regular monthly meetings are now held at Gorefield Village Hall and vary from quizzes and talks from social nights and shows.
Gone with the club revamp went the strict rules of open shows held previously. This move attracted even more members.
Mr Baldry said: "The majority of the club's members keep birds and are passionate about it, but do not show and have no interest in exhibiting birds competitively.
"The club still holds members and table shows but differently, in a way that can involve every single member."
The rules are simple - providing the bird is in a suitably-sized cage to allow it to move freely, and is clean, it is allowed.
As a result some 40 birds are exhibited at every table show, ranging from canaries and finches to parakeets and parrots.
Mr Baldry added: "This means that everyone can exhibit their birds and achieve recognition for their breeding and keeping skills, without all the politics that go with exhibition."
n Wisbech and District Cage Bird Society meets at Gorefield Village Hall on the third Wednesday each month. The next meeting, on March 18, is a quiz night.
For more information, turn up at a meeting or contact Mr Baldry at Mill Lane Pet Centre, Leverington, on 01945 410420. Alternatively, call society treasurer Sharon Goodale on 01945 474566.