National English Rabbit Club
Mr Phil Shaw
A while ago Stewart and Janet Howson lent me their collection of NERC and various area club yearbooks to peruse, the earliest dating back to 1947, so the list of members was in fact covering the previous year 1946. It was quite pleasing to see that my grandfather was actually a member and he was still on the membership list in the 1954 yearbook, I bet he never thought that his son and grandson would win the Gold Shield and Gold Cup respectively in the twenty first century. Also in the 1952 yearbook I noticed S Germany as a member, he also wouldn’t have envisaged his family in future years forming Five Star Stud and gaining the success that they have attained, actually striking Gold five times. There are probably quite a few members that have fathers and grandfathers that were members in the 1900’s, does it ever cross your mind what they would think of the rabbits that we are producing today, looking at the old photos and we can only go by the markings but we can see that they were breeding rabbits with even width on the eye circles, open spots, and what I would call proper chains. Perhaps they were just better stockmen!
In the 1970s the yearbook had a list of new members, In 1975 there were 103 new members and as far as I can see only two are participating today, that is Mike Parry and our retiring president Bernard Double. In 1976 there were 96 new members (just think, the committee were probably gutted that they had dropped below 100) the only names I recognise are Arthur Joseph and Keith Oldroyd after this the list of new members was dropped, but I noticed that in 1977 Brian Kettlewood had become a member, obviously re-joining after a break and has now taken up the presidential role for the next three years.
Amongst the yearbooks is a 1991 book to celebrate the centenary year – A History Of The National English Rabbit Club this is a very interesting book and even twenty years on it is a book that I would like to acquire, perhaps we could have some reprinted, there must be other members that would like to obtain one? Also in the back of the book is a roll of honour of all the Gold Cup and Shield winners perhaps this should be incorporated in the yearbook.
Although it is all in the past I feel it is important to maintain the history of the club, as it is just as important as the future of the club. We should now move with the times and try to attract members through use of the website which was not mentioned in last year’s yearbook, I know my own little website creates a bit of interest as I have sold rabbits to prospective new members residing in Guernsey and Aberdeen and I am only doing it for a bit of fun, it is certainly not being done for the sale of rabbits. Unfortunately I think the way forward is now by using the website and Leah Jackson, a non-member, has been doing a very good job with only limited information filtering through to her. Brian Kettlewood has now become president and has now three important years ahead of him as indeed has The National English Rabbit Club and assistance will be required by us, the members to support Brian and the committee as don’t forget the next three years will one day be ‘A Bit Of History’.
Don’t forget! You breed them to show them!
GARY LEES (FIRSHILL STUD)