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Reported by Ghalib Al-Nasser, Chairman

The Spangled BBA moved to the north west of the country to hold its Spangle Day incorporating the AGM after holding it in the southwest last year. Ellesmere CBS hosted the event this year, reflecting it as a truly national society. The President Eric Peake opened the meeting, the 22nd AGM, and said that he was quite local with only 60 miles journey, in comparison to others who travelled a long distance to get there. He said that Ellesmere is a beautiful town and thanked Marion & Bill Ralph for organising the catering. He said that the SBBA has many members but it is sad that only a small number turn up. He was pleased to see some 25 members and fanciers attending and thanked them for bringing birds to the show. The Chairman, Ghalib Al-Nasser, welcomed the partnership of Chris Huxley & Alan Marchant as the guest speakers for the day and said that they are top class exhibitors who have proved themselves time and again on the show bench over many years.

Speakers, Judge & Chairman at the Spangle Day
(Chris Huxley, Eric Peake, Alan Marchant & Ghalib Al-Nasser)

Alan reflected on his early years in the hobby and the different start that he had from his partner. They were born and bred near each other with similar backgrounds and they have been in partnership for the past 26 years. Initially Alan kept Recessive Pieds and Dark-Eyed Clears. He felt that we need to spend more time with newcomers, not just selling them birds as during their initial 18 months they need all the support that they can get. In his early days his uncle was a successful novice and he visited local champions with him and that saved him a lot of money.

Alan advised members to start the breeding season with fit hens, as they are the ones that will drive the breeding season. Put the hen in a show cage and analyse its faults and decide what needs improving, then look for a cock that excels in those features. He feels that hens need to be kept in the same stud in which they were bred. He told the audience to minimise the stress factor in the birds. We are trying to breed a man-made bird and we should aim for birds with longevity and repeatability. He felt that there is a direct correlation between denser feather and migration of melanin causing flecking. The partnership started to clear the flecking by breeding a large number of birds and by keeping those with the feather quality, size and shape. Gradually they managed to get on top of the flecking by pairing the cleaner birds together. They started to improve on the backskull by obtaining outcrosses from Arthur Piper and Ray Winsper. To get a good backskull in the bird the eye needs to be 25% from the cere and 75% from backskull. Further outcrosses came from Brian Sweeting and he liked his birds with their really dense black spots. Alan felt that there is no point in buying a bird from a stud where the feature is not throughout the stud. The partnership recently visited Jerry Donovan and they have never before seen so many spangles in one place.

Eric Peake, Judge & President, with winners at the Spangle Day
(Jerry Donovan, Arnold Stevens, Eric Peake, Sue Clarke, Stuart Landsdowne & Philip Jeremiah)

The partnership brought 6 pairs of quality birds with them and asked the members to try to pair them up to breed buff, intermediate and yellow feather birds. This exercise was well appreciated by the members and found to be very useful

While Alan Marchant & Chris Huxley were busy presenting their talk and answering questions, our outgoing president Eric Peake judged the 40 Spangles present from 8 exhibitors which was down from last year. The Best in Show and best champion went to Jerry Donovan for the fourth consecutive year with his well-known Skyblue cock. Jerry also benched the best young bird with a Light Green cock while Andrew Benton benched a Cinnamon Grey hen to win the best opposite sex award. Sue & Rod Clarke won the best-marked single factor spangle with a Grey cock while Philip Jeremiah won best double factor spangle with a Yellow hen. Best intermediate went to Arnold Stevens with a Cinnamon Grey Green cock while Stuart Landsdowne won the novice award with a Grey Green cock. The best beginner award went to Philip Jeremiah with a Dark Green cock.

The Alf Ormerod Memorial Trophy for the 2008 Most Spangle Young Bird wins went to Jerry Donovan for the second year running with a massive 18 wins.

At the AGM a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late Marion Wixon. Ghalib Al-Nasser welcomed members to the 22nd AGM. The outgoing president Eric Peake commented on the successful day and thanked members for turning up to support this function and thanked Marion & Bill Ralph for providing the catering and Ellesmere CBS for hosting the Day on behalf of the SBBA.

New President, Cy Thorne, with the outgoing President, Eric Peake, at the Spangle AGM

All officers gave positive reports on their activities and the balance sheet looked very healthy. Cy Thorne was inaugurated as the new President and Jerry Donovan was elected to the post of President Elect. Janice Al-Nasser was elected as a new vice president. All other officers remained the same and were announced as: Ghalib Al-Nasser and Stuart Forbes, Life Vice Presidents; J. Al-Nasser, S. Amos, J. Attwood, F. Canham, B. & C. Heale, R. Molkentin, F. Silva, R. Stringer & R. Thumwood, Vice Presidents; Ghalib Al-Nasser, Chairman & Publicity Officer; Rod Clarke, Vice Chairman & Patronage Secretary; John Cosby, Membership Secretary; Janice Al-Nasser, Treasurer; Ian Clarke, editor; Sue Clarke, Trophy Steward; Bob Allen, Ian Brickwood and Clifton Wixon, committee members. After the AGM the new committee held a short committee meeting and decided to co-opt Bruce Ross (48 Millfields, Aycliffe Village, Co. Durham DL5 6ND. Tel: 01325 321578. email: to the position of the new secretary. The society has its own website ( to view. It was decided by the committee that the next Spangle Day will be held on 25th April 2010.

The new president Cy Thorne, in closing the meeting, gave a special THANK YOU to the host society and especially to Marion & Bill Ralph who provided the refreshments throughout the day.

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