Meet the Partnerships – Malcolm and Pam Freemantle UK

 

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Pam and Malcolm

Their introduction to budgerigars came back in 1955 when Malcolm went to pick up Pam after work outside the Reading Pet Shop. Malc was late one day and Pam had her eye on a small monkey in the shop window. The compromise was a pair of budgerigars. Neither of them or their families had kept birds before, although they both had rabbits as kids so it was setting out to be a completely new adventure.

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All About Budgerigars

A book on the subject was purchased, “All About Budgerigars by FW Pratley”, they still have the book to this day. A local fancier was advertising in the evening paper and more birds were bought plus an invitation to join Reading CBS. Malcolm was completely hooked and an aviary was built out of ‘asbestos’ and the flight frame from gas pipes; Malc was a gas fitter in those days. The budgies couldn’t chew their way through that frame.

 

The Area Society was joined shortly afterwards and the Malcolm joined the BS in 1959. He has been a full panel judge since the ‘70s and is now a Hon Life Member of the Budgerigar Society.

During his time in the hobby Malc has always been involved with administration and held many offices in his local CBS and is currently the President. A founder member of the Clearwing Budgerigar Breeders Association and their Secretary/Treasurer for 30 years. They are both Life Vice Presidents of the CBBA. and Vice Presidents of SwindonBS.

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Winning Yellow-wing

Malcolm was President of South Hampshire BS in 2008, their nearest club, past President of Northdowns BS and chairman for more than 12 years. They still attend the monthly meetings which involves making close on a 100 mile round trip.

Although Pam had been more in the background in those early days, she could always be found in the kitchen at shows and making tea at meetings. Clearwing fanciers around the country recognised Pam more easily than Malcolm although he was CBBA secretary. Pam manned the stand at the BS Club Show and took the subscriptions for the whole of the 30 years he was in office, so her face was very familiar to all the members.

In 1991 Malc took early retirement from British Gas and they decided to move to Salisbury City where they both first met. Malcolm was on his National Service serving 2 years with the RAF at Boscombe Down and they met at a dance.

Another aviary had to be built and with some help from builder fancier friends from Reading a block constructed building was erected. In 1993 Pam joined the BS and the partnership was made official.

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Winning Whitewing

The partnership have moved house three times and built six aviaries/birdrooms. On their first move in Reading they took the old “asbestos” shed with them but this quite soon got out of date. Malc was working carrying out the plumbing for a friend building a new house and when the building was near completion he just happened to say to his friend “I’ll give you £15.00 for the old site hut and his friend said done,” and that was a start to a much bigger birdroom 5m x 3.5m.

A separate 4m x 2.5m flight house with outside flights was added some 3m away. Cocks and hens were kept separate. The individual housing for cocks and hens has continued throughout the 55 plus years they have been breeding budgerigars and their breeding results confirm there is no disadvantage in keeping the birds in their own quarters.

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The Freemantle Aviary

The set-up for the last three birdrooms has followed this pattern and they have been built in an ’L’ shape. Entrance is through the foot of the ‘L’ into the flight area with a further door into the breeding quarters. The present birdroom is 8M x 3.5M with 24 breeding cages and 3 stock cages. Indoor flights 6M x 3M and outside flights 2M x 3M long complete the set-up.

No radio is used. The sound of budgerigars breeding and coming into condition is the only noise they hear apart from the wild birds. They make their own stimulation and their breeding results bear this out. The main advantage of being able to shut off one area to the other is when cleaning e.g. all breeding cages after use can be thoroughly scrubbed and virus controlled without that worrying layer of dust from the flights then  the door is closed for a few days to isolate the area.

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Winning Dominant Pied

Over the years many different varieties have been kept starting off with Lutinos before moving on to Clearwings. Challenge Certificates have been won with Skyblues, Opalines and Pam’s favourite Yellowfaces, but the main colour has always been Whitewings and Yellow-wings.

It would be true to say that they have been one of the top three Clearwing studs in the country since the early 1970’s. In 1972 they won Best Clearwing Young Bird in Show at the BS Club Show and have gone on to win this award eight times. In 1985 they annexed Best Any Age and Best Young Bird Clearwing when a massive 444 entries were entered at the Club Show. The record entry for Clearwings at this show was 560 in 1977 and the stud took the Best Any Age award.

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Malcolm With Best Yellow-wing

Entries now are only in the low 100 – 120 and the partnership is still winning. At the 2007 BS Club Show they won the Best Yellow-wing Any Age and Opposite Sex awards. Malcolm and Pam are very proud of their achievement and what makes it an even greater record is the fact that Malc has judged the show 6 times in between winning those 8 Best Young Bird awards.

Since their retirement Malc has had time to publish a book on Clearwings, “The Art of Breeding Clearwings” . He started it when he was working, made a lot of notes, but never found the time to complete it; retirement found him more time and the book was published in 1994.

Both Malcolm and Pam agree that the best part of a partnership is to have someone readily available to talk over your problems with and to have that person who fully understands your stock management when you are sick or away judging. Living in the same house as you is indeed an added bonus.

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Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.


Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.


In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

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  1. That’s the way to Learn beautiful partnership of Malcolm and Pam Freemantle.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

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