, High Wycombe & District Cage Bird Society
CLUB HISTORY COMPLIED by Mick Stone & Robin Hurworh
OUR CLUB AGED TO 111 YEARS OVER NIGHT IN 2010
Our club has suddenly become about 34 years older in the year 2010. For many years we believed that the club was formed in 1933, but now it turns out that Cage Bird Shows were running in the town from around 1899. Robin Hurworth our member since 1956 was reading through an old folder containing magazines of Canary & Cage Bird Life from the early 1900's and noticed an article dated January 3rd 1908 which stated that their was a cage bird show held in High Wycombe on the 27th December 1907. It stated that it was the 8th Annual Show, therefore if it was held once every year it take us all back to at least 1899. The Secretary at the time was Mr Sidney Colman Pearce who had a Seed Merchants / Corn Dealer shop in Oxford Road, near the centre of the town. The event consisted of around 47 exhibits on display which were 5 Yorkshires, 8 Norwich, 7 British, 5 Mule & Hybrids, 5 A.O.Vs, 4 Sales & 4 Gift Birds. The Judge at the time was a famous Charles Arthur House a News Paper Editor & Author, he published many books mainly on live stock here below are the names of some:
"Cage Bird Hybrids" " House's Canary Manual" " The Fantail Pigeon & How to Breed & Exhibit Them" " The Norwich Canary" " Magpies & All About Them " " Rabbits and All about Them" and many books on Bantams & Chickens.
The amazing thing about the Judge C.A.House, on the same page below High Wycombe's show the report was one for Truro (Cornwall) dated 26th December 1907 (Boxing Day) which had been a day before ours and the judge was none other than Mr C. A. House. He must have travelled the railways to get from Truro to our show in such short pace of time. Mr C. A. House was living in Walthamstow London at the time, he was born in the Southampton area and passed away in Shoreditch 1934. At the turn of the 1900's C. A. House was the best you could get to judge any show in the country, so our officials and contacts must have been very good. At the time of our show the magazine reports and talks about the fact that you were granted a licence from the Cage Bird Union and unless you had this you were in trouble. Research further into our past has been carried out by both Robin & Mick at the Local Study research centre in High Wycombe, where one can look through old micro film of local papers back to the 1800's, sadly it has revealed very little up to date but it is still on going.
Here is a cover of one C.A.House books he published in 1926.
INSIDE COVER OF CANARY & CAGE BIRD LIFE FOLDER COVER
An interesting advert from our 1908 show page in the magazine.
The Oakley Drill Hall in the report was used by our society for years and years until around the 1960's it was demolished in the 1970;s. We know the society use to join the Fur & Feather group for a collective showing event but after 1933 it went on its own the members who broke away from them at time were Mr Tom Fraser of Totteridge, The Frasers had a shop in High Wycombe where you could purchase Iron Mongery and Gardening Products and possibly bird seed. Tom's claim to bird fame was that he achieved best Norwich Canary at the National Bird Show at Olympia. Another founder member was Mr Tom Pearce he was also from Totteridge, maybe a relation of our 1907 secretary Sidney Pearce, a third member from Totteridge was Mr Cecil Puddephatt who joined very shortly after the break with fur & feather, he was an active member within the club right up to the mid 1990s, Cecil sadly passed away in 1995. He was an outstanding club member, one of a number of our group who has brought the club to where it is today. The Puddephatts Cecil and his wife Margaret also a member, owned the grocery store opposite Totteridge Common before retiring. Another was Mr Burt Lewis from Loudwater, Mr Charlie Stevens came from the Desborough area. Mr E.A. Lacey he was a club member for years. Also a long standing member from soon after this period up to the turn of the millennium was George Lacey he benched best Yorkie at our annual show in 1999.
Other worthy members to mention Eric Sparrow was a member for 45 years he showed Glosters. Eddie Hawes who become Chairman was a member for nearly 50 years, Eddie was always described as a stand in Chairman for 25 years, the reason was that Eddie said that he would do the job until a new chairman could be elected. Eddie was still in the seat 25 years later. His fame to bird keeping was Best Foreign Bird at the National Bird Show during the 1960's. Present members who have been club Chairman are Mick Stone the (2006) President and Brian Hogg the current Chairman. Brian has won Gold Medals for Great Britain at 2 world shows with his canaries plus silver medals. Another notable member is Robin Hurworth who is still part of our society, he joined back in the early 1950's
The clubs Head Quarters were in the old days the Oakley Hall in Castle Street, sadly no longer there. Club meetings were also held at the Guildhall and it was here that the then Duke of Bedford would come to talk about his homing budgerigars, how times have changed. The Duke sadly died when he tried to shoot a pestering sparrow hawk and accidentally tripped and shot himself. Moving on, the bird club has held venues at the “Bird in the Hand” public house on the West Wycombe Road, this building has also now closed and been demolished. Then the club was based at the Trinity Church, Easton Street just opposite Wycombe Rye, after a good while for a short period it moved to Terriers School Totteridge Lane. Today the club meets at Hazlemere Sports Recreation Ground, Hazlemere, High Wycombe. The Cage Bird Society has also been a regular part at The High Wycombe Town Show which goes back to the end of the second world war, but sadly the Town Show is no longer held. The club use to hold its Annual Open Show at the end of August on the town how site (The Rye) for over 50 years, until the last several where the show date became earlier in the year, so a Young Stock show was introduce to help members whose adult cage birds where still breeding and not quite ready. To date the society will hold its OPEN show at Hazlemere Community Centre, High Wycombe, Bucks in November and a Young Stock show takes place in the first week of September, the venue for this is Hazlemere. With the new technology such as the Internet High Wycombe Cage Bird Society opened its own website to bring it further into the modern age as to supply information to others who are interested in our hobby. The internet website is www.hwbbs.co.uk
THESE TWO CLUBS WERE NEIGHBOURS TO HIGH WYCOMBE & DIDTRICT CBS IN 1906
GREAT MISSENDEN 12th July 1906 GERRARDS CROSS 6th Sept 1906