GSB Q & A – Part 4 – Shows & Marketing

Questions to Gerald Binks courtesy of the UK Budgerigar Forum website, www.exhibitionbudgerigarforum.co.uk, organised by Mick Freakley.

Q1: Will we ever see you on the show bench again?

GSB:

I thought this might come up!

My reluctance to show goes back to the 1980’s, when at the Budgerigar Show I was twice in line for Best in Show, being in the last two selections and in each case with a far superior bird to the eventual winner.

Sour grapes? Certainly not – I believe it was political. At the time, I was “Mr Budgerigar World” and in the first case I was at home on the Saturday when I had a call from a lady – who I don’t know to this day.

She said:

Mr Binks, I was going to join the hobby but I never will after what I have just heard and seen.

When the last two birds were selected – adult and breeder – an official came to one of the judges and called him over.

He said to him “Do you realise who owns the blue cock?”

“Yes”, was the reply, “it belongs to Arthur Bracy.”

“No, it doesn’t, it belongs to Binks.”

“OK”, was the judge’s answer – “leave it to me.”

And that was me – dead!

The next occasion was in 1997, when I had, arguably, the best Grey Green in the UK. Again the result mirrored the first example and I was put down against an opaline cinnamon cock with the awful “keyhole effect”, which the judges of the day should still be ashamed of.

Witnesses? I have dozens, but again I was rocking the establishment with fresh ideas and actions that were unacceptable by just six persons – no more than that.

Today they are nowhere to be seen!

That is why I became totally dispirited about showing again – as jealousy was put in front of judging integrity.

Finally that Grey Green went on to win Best in Show, weeks later, at The Budgerigar World Show at Blackpool where 4,500 birds were on display.

However, I have recently bought ten new show cages!

 

Q2: The very first Budgerigar World Show at Sandown Park that you ran, really raised the bar on how major shows should be run. In your opinion, do you think that the major shows of today can be improved upon – not only for the exhibitors benefit, but also to promote the budgerigar fancy as a whole?

GSB:

That is a rhetorical question!

The first two Budgerigar World Championships arose out of looking at the Granby Hall in Leicester and The Queen’s Hall in Leeds, the later being a “converted” tram shed with the roof leaking all over the place.

I was then appalled when the whole of the Champion Adult staging collapsed.

It was a milestone and I knew I could do better.

Within 6 months, with great credit to my then printing partner John Blance, his wife and a great hand-picked team of helpers, we put on the first show in the concourse at Sandown Park racecourse. An enormous length and a pristine setting.

New staging was bought (now the BS staging, still with BW logos on it !), a hawk display in the paddock, and very large garden setting surrounded with international flags, where we sold Budgerigar World magazines, and in the garden, a pond with four flamingos which startled everyone who entered.

The judges I picked personally, as it is my view that the finest experienced judges of the day, from anywhere in the world, should only be the ones considered. This is because breeders spend all year trying to win such an event.

Selecting judges “from a list” is an insult at national level, in my opinion. Clean up that policy internationally and you make progress and credibility.

 

Q3: New fanciers coming into the hobby are in the older age group so someone joining at sixty years of age will be seventy years of age before they can go on to the Budgerigar Society judges panel. Do you think there should be a fast track to get people on the panel? Or do you think the judge’s training scheme has had its day?

GSB:

Oh dear – what a question!

Such a suggestion can only make matters worse. I introduced the Judges Training Scheme in the London & Southern Counties Budgerigar Society years ago.

We had oral and written questions and six judges who presided over each prospective candidate making notes throughout as the candidates went round all six classes.

All those reports were spread out in front of the nominated Council of Judges where they were studied in great detail and it was the aim to get the candidates through where possible.

Most passed, but some were asked to re-take next year. Those who were obviously incapable – and there were quite a few – we failed.

The problem later was that they then went to the Budgerigar Society scheme and passed!

I still am of the opinion that all prospective judges should attend their Area Society Judges Scheme (or nearest) based on the same format, and then go to the Budgerigar Society morning for final assessment.

I cannot see the sense of having candidates going all over the country being “trained” by judges – but then Binks has different ways of management!

If you think about it, there are two major faults in the hobby. One is that the entry fees at shows are so low as to be laughable – because they don’t relate to the cost of halls or the club’s ability to do the very best for their members. Also, membership fees are so ludicrously low – so organisers are limited in what they can put on in the way of a serious display.

Secondly, there is no effort to publicise to the general public that the show either exists, or is in the local papers or is publicised outside the hall and around the town. That applies at the top level as well. Publicity is marketing – or vice versa. No outside publicity exists in the hobby in UK. That, combined with lack of finance, because of the above reasons, is the major problem – which continues to be ignored.

 

Q4: What do you think of the forum and the use of the World Wide Web to promote our hobby?

GSB:

I have to apologise, but with my time being so occupied with all that I have to do with my own website – www.budgerigarworld.com, which has gone ballistic – I have not had enough viewings on the forum to pass a full comment.

However, I have heard that one fancier, who has an advert with the Forum, is being overwhelmed for stock.

Such is the power of promotion and advertising, as discussed above, that both your Forum Site and mine possess.

All internet promotions are the modern way of advertising – but we should all get to the general public, not just preach to the converted.

I now believe that printed magazines in our hobby have had their day – times have changed.

I gave my final lecture lasting two hours at the Budgerigar Society Convention in Woking in May 2011 – so ably organised by Roger Carr and Fred Wright, among others. Before I started I asked about 100 seated fanciers if they were on the internet – and at least 80% put up their hands.

 

Share

Filed Under: ExhibitingNews

Tags:

Share

About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply