Huddersfield show has been in existence since the Second World War and probably before that I’m sure. I remember going to a show in the Boys club before I was married; that’s now a building used by the University, but I remember nothing more than some of the old men, characters and true fanciers around at the time.In more recent times I came back into the fancy about 1987, after the kids had grown up and my husband no longer played cricket on Saturdays. When I started showing Chocolate Dutch as one of my breeds it brought me into contact with Harry and Mary Brown of Dutch and English fame. Also Ken Beaumont and his wife Beryl who showed Black & Tans successfully, and Ken Blagborough, all of whom had a long history with Huddersfield Fanciers. At that time the club held well attended evening shows, kept going from sales of cups of tea and cakes, as well as shows in Fartown Village Hall. Not far from Huddersfield was Mirfield show, another small local show run monthly by Donald Becket in a leased terraced house. The building was condemned and Mirfield show closed and this released Donald to take over as Secretary at Huddersfield in January 1993. The shows were held at Newsome Scout Hall which served us well for many years. You may find it interesting that the cost of the BRC support for his first couple of shows was £12.80 and £10.40. Shows were held October through to May, with some exceptions in the 90’s when the December show was dropped due to poor support. The problem with this hall was the pens had to be stored in the loft. So before each show someone had to climb the ladder and work in a confined space pulling out pens and boards which then
had to be handed down to the waiting hands below. Even harder was passing all the pens etc. up to the loft to be stored after the show. We did hold a few box shows at the latter end and although entries were small because expenses were small, with just a Fur & Feather advert to pay, we made a profit. After a combination of people getting older and feeling the lifting of heavy pens becoming too much, and a significant rise in the rent we went looking for new premises in 2002. (In 2003 the BRC support was £28.20 and £25.50 for the same 2 shows as 10 years earlier.) It didn’t suit everyone when we moved to the other side of Huddersfield and they had to find their way to Sowood Community Centre, our present venue. Most managed to find us eventually although it took some people three attempts before they got there without a hitch. After sterling service to the club and the Fancy, Donald died in February 2007. I kept the club ticking over for the next year until a new Secretary was found. There was quite a bit of leverage put on Howard Thacker to take the job on because no one wanted the club to disappear.We’ve moved on with some new committee, some new enthusiasm and ideas. We have basically kept the same structure and show dates though. Modernisation was brought in because Howard is a busy chap and he decided he needed to use the iShow computer software to help him and as we didn’t want to put him off when we had just got him, we voted him the go ahead. I think Howard would be the first to admit the first year was quite hard as he
had been out of the Fancy for quite a few years and so he had a lot of quick learning to do. He found iShow invaluable and has worked with its inventor Nigel to continually add improvements. Using iShow makes it easy to host Stock shows and we have attracted and retained more and more support. These days this is almost essential to have Stock shows to survive with all the show expenses having doubled in price in the last 8 years.This year the committee became the Huddersfield team with clothing and logos especially as we have spread into being more widely seen having taken an interest in running four summer agricultural shows in our time away from Sowood. These are Honley, Todmorden, Halifax and Mirfield. To keep everyone posted of closing dates to all the shows we collected members mobile phone numbers and now no one can say they forgot about entry dates because Howard sends out a reminder text to their phone. Another bit of helpful technology to try and maximize entries. At the December show Howard pioneered the latest improvement in iShow which he thinks will revolutionise rabbit shows and almost eliminate the need for writing out cards by hand. We have spent on new pens and new boards and constantly try to keep a good quality show which people enjoy visiting. Howard’s wife Maggie also does a sterling job of keep everyone supplied with bacon sandwiches and warming dinners. I hope you might come and visit us in the future.