The 120th Anniversary of the Fantail Club was celebrated at the Annual Club show held at Catforth Village Hall on the weekend of the 7th & 8th February 2009 with Bob Vincent from Arizona, U.S.A officiating.
Bobs’ judging appointment had been planned for over 4 years but due to various reasons, such as the outbreak of Bird Flu in previous years, it had not been able for the Fantail Club & Bob to finally get it on!
Well finally over the aforementioned weekend all members & visitors alike enjoyed a splendid weekend with their fellow pigeon fanciers & friends who were treat to an entry of 220 quality Exhibition Fantails judged by one of the top breeders & judges of this pigeon variety in the world to-day.
Bobs’ judging was a lesson to behold where he gave each class of birds adequate time to settle before diligently expressing in great detail his thoughts on each bird compared against the Breed Standard.
It was also very pleasing to witness the courtesy the members & visitors to the show gave to our judge as they waited in silence & with great anticipation during the judging for Bobs’ comments during each class.
On the Saturday all the fantails were judged by 5 p.m. & all the colour champions nominated to go forward for the Best in Show judging to be held on the following morning. Once the birds were fed & watered the Show hall was locked up & all the members & wives met up later in the evening at the nearby Greys’ Hotel where we all enjoyed an informal( except for Gary McGowan & Jim MacCallum who arrived in full Scottish national costume for the benefit of our American visitors) & enjoyable buffet & drinks organised by the Show Manager Tom & wife Eileen Alty who were in charge throughout the two days of keeping all the exhibitors & visitors refreshed with their splendid food & drinks.
The evening flew by with everyone mixing socially & agreeing what a success it had been & that we as a Club must have more evening gatherings for members to enjoy each other company away from the hustle & bustle of the shows to talk about their pigeon experiences & families etc.etc.
On Sunday morning once everyone had arrived & all the Colour Champions had been prepared by their owners for the Best in Show judging & placed in the walking pens Bob set about his task of sorting the best 16 birds out. In his usual patient way he gradually again described why birds were being sent back to their holding pens until he was left with the best three birds. He then declared that Best Fantail in Show was the Adult Black Saddle hen owned by an emotional Colin Ufton from Derbyshire, then 1st Reserve Best Fantail in Show was a Young Silver hen owned by Gary McGowan from Stirlingshire & 2nd Reserve Best Fantail in Show was a Young Black Cock owned by our Club President Ian Jackson also from Stirlingshire.
Once the final judging was completed & all the members had congratulated the winners Bob gave us an interesting seminar on his experiences with the Queen of the Fancy & many members questions were discussed & answered to the benefit of the fantail fraternity in general.
Finally after the Grand raffle had been drawn Bob presented all the Trophy winners with the 30 plus trophies, some of them dating back to the 19th Century, which were of great interest to him as he is interested in The Fantail Club history. Our Club President then thanked the Vincents for making their long trip to officiate at the show & presented Bob with a fantail engraved whiskey tankard to remind him of this special occasion which will remain in the memories of all of us who witnessed it first hand for the rest of our lives. Ian next also thanked on behalf of the Fantail Club everyone concerned with organising this special weekend particularly Club Secretary Neil Newman & his wife Chris; Show Manager Tom Alty & his wife Eileen; Show Pen Manager Martin Adair; Fantail Club Stand Manager Roy Baker & Photographers Roger Goode & Jim MacCallum.
All the birds were then basketed & the happy contingent of fanciers went their different ways in the inclement weather with newly gained knowledge & thoughts in their minds as how they were going to mate their birds in the forthcoming Breeding season.