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   The Scottish Norwich Plainhead Canary Club (SPC for short) was started one hundred years ago by a group of canary fanciers in Aberdeen attending the show. Since then there have been some changes, with Edinburgh and Glasgow becoming the venues for the meetings rather than Aberdeen. This was the age when clubs and associations flourished in every walk of life. It was made possible because of the better communications in railways, postal services, newspapers etc. People were becoming accustomed to aiming for a goal, and  scientific books appeared every week on natural history subjects. Already there were other societies devoted to other fancy canaries and there already existed a society in England for the Norwich canary - always a good incentive for Scottish fanciers to do something.

In those early days certain systems were already organised - the elections yearly for all officials, cups for completion of members only, patronage shows, and twice/thrice yearly meetings. The First World War had an effect on the club although only on one or two occasions is the war directly mentioned - namely the difficulty of running patronage shows since hardly any shows existed.  There were no shows in 1914 or 1915; most stopped club shows for the duration of the war. Lochgelly, Glasgow and District were exceptions and were able to continue. Gradually, more shows restarted and by 1917 there were no fewer than 16 patronage shows in Scotland.

Even at this time the members were looking at reforming the rules, creating a model, defining a 'ticked' bird , tightening up the standards acceptable in show cage design and of course trying to increase the membership which reached 148 in 1917, the highest recorded upto that time. The progress continued with questions being asked about Breeders' Pedigree Rings, faking of show exhibits, the effects of colour-feeding pepper on egg production and a Scotland V England competition. The club continued to grow and improve - by 1920 it had 281 members and sold over 7000 rings - comparable with the situation some 70 years later. The club was divided into three divisions: Glasgow and West of Scotland; South and East and North. South and East included Edinburgh, the Lothians and East Scotland. It was never stated but the number of fanciers around Glasgow who kept Norwich msut have been considerable. In later times the hotbed of Norwich was centered around Falkirk, Fife and Edinburgh. In the 1920s, 2/3 of the patronage went to clubs within 10 miles of Glasgow.

  Between the wars the Club involved itself in annual competition with the Norwich Plainhead Club.  This competition continued until 1930.  Breeders produce rings were started at this period and in 1923 a standard model was started officially with a scale of points which had been agreed in 1915.

  Difficulties followed during the Second World War but the Club progressed quickly after the war was finished with a whole raft of new proposals  including a revised and illustrated model and new standard which lasted until 1999 when it was successfully reviewed and revised.

  The Club continues to progress, attracting more members and more income during the 36 years under secretary John Hutton.  Patronage was extended yearly until 90 clubs were in receipt of our patronage.  These were good years for the Club with good club shows at Edinburgh -  at the Scottish National - held at the Corn Exchange, Slateford; a very good and friendly venue when our English members started to come up and compete very successfully.  Men such as the Wright brothers,Jack Dixon,Alf Barnes,H Hughes, F Willoughby.W Blower,E&J Bennett, Fred Storer and FE and CK Brown.  Great Norwich were seen from them and from the Scotsmen - George Carle,Harry Moffat, Willie Begbie, John Hutton, Davie Angus, J Roberts.

 The numbers attending patronage shows were high all over the nation. The Club show moved from Chesser Avenue(Corn Exchange) to the Assembly Rooms in 1978 -79 and  1982 -83, moving back to the corn exchange 1980-81 .The Assembly Rooms proved less successful and the show moved to the Brunton Halls in Musselburgh in 1984  where it stayed until 1997.The show now takes place at Ingliston at the Highland Show ground .  In recent years John Hutton retired and Ronnie Nelson took over as secretary in 1986 to maintain the Club in high esteem.  Ideas still continue with the creation of the Norwich Federation - to which ALL Norwich clubs are affiliated, a judges panel, 3-level patronage, revised rules. The Club show is now held at Ingliston in Edinburgh where the Centenary show took place.

 Recently our English members, such as Keith Ferry,C & S Goodall, Mr & Mrs Blizzard, Mr & Mrs Grigg, J Roby S Camilleri, have proved their worth with Scottish exhibitors, T Stevenson, J Welsh,W Pinkerton - among others - keeping the tradition of quality birds going.

The SPC continues to try to move with  the changing and challenging times but it is the Club which constantly tries to develop new ways of helping exhibitors and members keep and show the 'Cream of the fancy'.

References: '100 Years of the Scottish Norwich Plainhead Club'                       - J.D. McLellan  

Schedules of the Scottish National 1956 - 2001