Finally, the fish breeding and showing year is over. What a year it has been yet again. We had some great meetings with good attendance, starting with the Anniversary meal in March to belatedly celebrate our club’s 40th Anniversary and also taking an active part in the 2nd National Open Goldfish Show held in Northampton and sponsored and organised by the four specialist goldfish societies judged to the Nationwide Standards of the United Kingdom.
1. New Members
The society is still growing from strength to strength with more new active members joining us throughout the year. We welcome Andy Beckett, Heather and Tony Carrier, Chris Grainge, Robert Jones and Martin Killip. Ivor Cheshire and his wife Julie, who joined last year, made it to our last meeting and together with Heather and Tony Carrier also made an early visit to the 2nd National Show in Northampton at the end of September – so hopefully have caught the goldfish bug like the rest of us! . To all the new members – welcome, and hope that you get out of the society all that the other, more long-standing, members do. All new members are encouraged to participate fully in the meetings and not be afraid to ask questions and offer opinions, we are all in this game together. Extra help with staging the open show and the National will always be welcome too!
2. Meetings and Open Show
All our meetings were extremely well supported with most of our established members together with a number of new members attending and enjoying the fun on the days.
We had our usual table shows with some of the best fish in the country on show, especially the baby fish show in August. Many of these went on to do the breeder’s and the club proud in the National Open shows held in the north and South West during August/September.
Congratulations to all those that received recognition for their efforts. Yes I can still say that we have become a formidable group of the highest quality keepers and breeders of fancy goldfish that have led the field in reaching the high standards of today’s English bred pedigree goldfish stock. This has, yet again, been reflected in the hoard of top awards gained at the various Nationwide committed society open shows culminating in the National last September.
Yet again, I received a number of very positive comments from members and visitors alike on how well our Open Show in June was received. It has always been a friendly show, with a good turn-out of exhibitors and plenty of high quality fish for sale at the auction.
Some new visitors from southern parts of the country even commented on the sheer numbers of British bred fish on show, something that we in the Nationwide committed societies have always taken for granted, and also the high quality of specimens in each of the classes. We’ll see if this revelation brings in more visitors and exhibitors next year!
3. Thanks and Appreciation
As a society we are blessed with a large core of members and volunteers who rally to the cause on the day of the Open Show and thanks to those and especially June and Mick, Linda and Gary and Andy who work tirelessly behind the scenes for many weeks before the day to make it happen.
Special thanks go to Linda and Gary who have also continued to provide tea and biscuits at all our meetings as their personal contribution to the running of the society and for sorting out the very welcome Open Show refreshments.
An important aspect to their particular committee positions of Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, respectively, is to field all enquiries regarding the club and possible new membership etc., this can be very time consuming, but as the public face of the club and the first contact, it is important and much appreciated. This aspect of their club contribution has been busier than ever this year due to us now taking full control of our web site and blog?! Many thanks are due to June who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to sort out the functioning of the web site. We’ll be discussing the future of this at the AGM. Thanks to you all.
4. Second National Goldfish Open Show judged to Nationwide Standards – September 2015
This was, again, held in Northampton and sponsored and organised by AMGK, BAS, NEGS and NGPS. Thanks to Graham Turner(NEGS) for securing sponsorship from BIFFA and undertaking the show secretary’s role and Andy Barton(AMGK) for sorting out the venue and organising the judges, Ian Mildon and the rest of the crew (BAS) for the excellent catering and finally NEGS for the publicity.
Some of you may already know that once all expenses were paid and reimbursements satisfied the whole enterprise gave a profit of over £164.00 to be shared with all participating societies. I have to say that the day went extremely well with good attendance with a relaxed and happy atmosphere.
The quality of the fish was exceptional once more, in part I feel, due to the numbers restriction placed on all exhibitors. Although the number of exhibits were a little down on last year, due to the absence of a few breeders (due to holidays and (in my case) fish wipe out, we achieved a cracking show. Should we agree with our Nationwide Society colleagues to hold another show next year we have the means to enlarge the show next time.
5. Thoughts and Timing of AMGK Open Show and the National Show for 2016
A number of members have been discussing the future of both our own open show scheduled for June 2016 and also the future of the National show for the following September. With regard to our own show, enquiries have been made as to how we could more fully reflect the breeding challenges and successes that most members meet and achieve every year.
The current timing of our early summer show is not particularly conducive to exhibiting same year bred stock, an essential feature of all the later year shows. There are two possible ways forward for us namely:-
1) Move our summer show to at least late August (to avoid the rush of shows in September) or
2) Accommodate more year old owner bred classes at our regular timing in June.
Both options could present us with factors to consider more fully. Moving to August, whilst showing our club for what it truly is – a leading player in the breeding and exhibiting of pedigree fish in most of the standard varieties, we would, unfortunately have to seek an alternative venue.
Our present excellent facility in Baginton Road, Coventry does not take bookings during the school holidays due to potential repair/renovation contracts etc., If we kept to June then we would, effectively, be showing more adult fish rather than genuine youngsters full of potential. Seeing top quality youngsters on mass is a real bonus for visitors and those new to each breed and regular exhibitors in helping with an understanding as to the points to look for in an individual’s breeding programme. Following the AGM in early November, by a majority vote it was decided to keep the AMGK show in June and not move to an alternative venue. However it was unanimously decided to accommodate additional classes for owner bred fish bred the year before.
The National Show has been an unqualified success and to continue to grow and accommodate exhibitors and visitors alike will need to relocate to larger premises if its third year in 2016 is to be even better than this years. We could then also consider lifting the current restrictions on entry numbers. We have been lucky with the weather since 2013, and able to accommodate visitor overspill in the ample grounds. However a rainy day could prove a real problem next time. We will be discussing both these issues at the AGM, and in the meantime I have sought a potential new location (for both events if required) in Telford, Shropshire. There would be some logistical problems, with regard to volunteers and distance from home for some members, but these would not necessarily be insurmountable. Again, at our AGM, it was agreed that Andy would seek a bigger venue for the National within the Northampton area so as to release competitors from a restriction in numbers of entries and protect visitors if it were raining. As a fall back, in case the search proved fruitless, we would look again at Telford, where the village hall has been earmarked for our use on 25th September 2016 should we have to use it.
6. DVD of National Show and Northern Show by Tom Bell together with AMGK Show by Laurence Tressler
We have kindly been sent two discs by Tom Bell (NEGS) who spent time filming the NGPS show and the National. These can be sold at £5.00 each to anyone who wants a copy. The AMGK will be buying the two already sent for our record library. It is our intention to play these, together with Laurence’s film of our Open Show at the end of the official business of the day.
7. AMGK Web site
We have now complete control of our society web site and we will need to discuss and agree its future content. It has two main functions – to help us communicate with each other and other societies and secondly to entice potential new members who have an interest in fish keeping and breeding and seek like-minded souls to help and advise with whom to share their hobby. It is suggested that our newsletter be placed on our blog and that the national nationwide standards, once finally completed, be placed on the web site. This will need to be agreed with all societies within the Nationwide fraternity but needs to be discussed at the AGM to sound out the full membership.
8. Future of Nationwide
Now that the standards are about to be completed we have to reflect on the huge effort by the nationwide delegates over the last 3 years and decide on what yet needs to be done in the future. There are two main functions that need to be discussed and planned, with both initially involving all society members from all the clubs that adhere to the Nationwide Standards.
Continuation of monitoring and adjusting/correcting existing standards and consulting and agreeing future standards if requested from members/societies and
Continuation of providing the Annual National Open Show.
The key to both is to continue to engage the national membership within Nationwide and through delegation and agreement to aims and objectives slim down the active members so that business can be largely carried out electronically. Time will be allocated to discuss this in detail at the AGM.
Since the AGM, a letter has been issued to all Nationwide delegates by Sherridan (Chairman) seeking preferences for email contact or a meeting before or after Christmas in order to agree and sign off all modified standards ready for publication and also agree a new Nationwide constitution to run future National shows and act as caretaker for the Standards.
9. Proposed link with the Fancy Guppy UK and UK Guppy League
We have received very enthusiastic and positive responses from both our own membership and that of the Fancy Guppy UK to the concept of their joining us at our open show on 25th June 2016 in Coventry for one of their 8 legs in their annual UK Guppy League show events. Phil Riley, Andy Barton and myself are members of the Fancy Guppy UK, with both Phil and Andy doing particularly well in the league table over the last few years. It is hoped that the Fancy Guppy UK will agree to stage one of their shows in the UK Guppy League at our Open Show and I shall be writing to their Events Manager/Vice-Chairman, Dawn Pamplin shortly to offer a formal invitation on behalf of our society.
Finally, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy and productive New Year
Pat Davies, Chairman 30/10/2015