Its the North something stirred, for the Yorkshire Association of Aquarists Societies has held its first Aquarist Festival. To those who imagine that Yorkshire are a "Coarse Breed," maybe we are, for the setting was the racecourse stand, and famous home of the St. Leger, Doncaster Race Course.
The organisers were a team of young men and women who had never before taken part in staging a festival. Bearing this in mind it is generally felt that as a first time effort they were to be congratulated. Some of that committee may now feel much older but they can look back with pride on their achievement. It was team effort that turned the idea into a reality and has given birth to a new Aquarist Festival. One of which the other members of the Confederation can look on as a sister to their own.
The quality of the tableaux and trade stands could scarcely be bettered and the generosity and friendliness shown between all those taking part had to be seen to be believed.
The fish on show at the Festival were of a high standard and praise must be given to all who exhibited for the excellent way in which they were presented. The prize winners each received a miniature silverplated rose bowl suitable engraved for the occasion. A list of prize winners is included in the "News from Societies" section of this magazine.
It was a great delight to the committee to see the way in which the participating Societies presented both tableaux and stands. The hard work which they so freely gave reflected great credit on them. Having such an array before them the judges had a very difficult time before finally announcing the winners as Doncaster Aquarist Society with their excellent presentation of a "Pit Head," complete with shaft and winding gear. Retford and District Society's "Church" with its wedding party and chiming bells, not to mention the last resting place of "Oscar," came second. Third was a scale model of a "Windmill," presented by our friends from Castleford and District. The market "Fruit Stall" from Worksop Society was fourth. The ideas and presentation of these four were excellent and each in its own way could so easily have taken first place.
Having said well done to the triumphant Societies it is even more difficult to pick out the runners-up who so very nearly made it.
Amongst these were the "Humber Bridge" built by Hull Society, and completed before the real one! Sailing nearby was the good ship "Go by Goole," and others included the "Bassetlaw Ark" and the "Dinner Setting" of Sheffield Society with cutlery 7 ft. long especially for those who required a large meal. These and many others all helped to make the day out at Doncaster an interesting and enjoyable one.
The trade section at the Festival were to be congratulated for their presentation and understanding. It is extremely gratifying to know that there are those in our hobby trade who are prepared to give time and money in order to assist the Yorkshire Association. They came knowing it to be our first effort and realising that they might have difficulty in making it pay, but this did not deter them. What better support could our Association ask for? We take great pride in listing these friends:
H.M. Prison (Wakefield) J.M.C. Aquatics Aquamarine Tropicals King British
E. Palmer & Son A. & J. Tropics Thomas's
Sarony Art Products Tropicure Products J. & E. Aquatics
G. S. Hewitt
Aquarist & Pondkeeper Doncaster Pet Centre Kalvern
Gentlemen of the "trade" we thank you.
The presentation of trophies by the famous wrestler, Mr. Ian Campbell, concluded the Festival, except for the raffle draw for a complete tropical set-up including tank, stand and furnishing. The winner was the very popular President of Yorkshire, Greg Sibson. It was only at the firm request of Mr. Campbell that he finally accepted the prize.
In conclusion we would like to thank all those who contributed so much time and effort in making this Festival the success it undoubtedly was. It has given us the opportunity of staging our 2nd Festival on 20th and 21st August, 1976, when once again we invite your generous and much-needed support.
November, 1975