Editor's letter (March 26 issue)

It sounds blunt, but a refusal to change and to move with the times is partly responsible for killing off the fancy. Which is why it is always so pleasing to hear about clubs that are prepared to try new things in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the hobby and to keep club memberships afloat.
The Scottish National CBS is one of those organisations that isn’t prepared to rest on its laurels. It broke with tradition this year and, for the first time in 100 years, moved the date of the Scottish National from New Year’s Day to see if it would attract a bigger entry.
Unfortunately, club officials weren’t convinced that the date shift to January 10 and 11 had been as successful as it could have been, and so they have taken the unusual decision of changing the date yet again (see our News story on page 5 of this week's issue), this time to the week before Christmas. 
Such flexibility and a willingness to experiment should be welcomed by all those concerned about the future of the hobby. That the club is also considering asking others, from the fancy pigeon world and the rabbit world, to join in also speaks volumes about its desire to succeed and keep the Scottish National relevant and exciting.
Similarly, it’s refreshing to see the East of England Border Fancy Canary Club widening its appeal by including Fife canaries at its open show later in the year (see our News story on page 5 of this week's issue). The move will also be reflected in a name change to the East of England Border and Fife Club. Who says two different types of canaries cannot co-operate successfully in this manner? We wish them well.
While on the subject of canaries, I need to remind readers that our next Hot Debate (in next week’s issue) is looking at whether canaries should be closed-ringed or not. What do you think? If you’d like to have your say why not send your thoughts – no more than 50 words, please – to us, either by mail or email as soon as you can. We’d love to hear what you think.