Editor's Letter (August 6)

The now-defunct National Cage & Aviary Birds Exhibition, which ran for 60 years, holds a very special place in birdkeeping history. Sadly, I never got to attend this landmark event, because by the time I joined the staff of Cage & Aviary Birds, in May 2005, the last 'National' had been held (in 2003) and the 2004 event cancelled. For various reasons ­ political, financial and legal ­ it has not been held since. And yet the importance of the event, upon which the whole of the exhibition fancy once revolved, has not gone unnoticed by Yours Truly. I still meet fanciers who tell me about the National and how much they miss it. We still hear the odd rumour or two about clubs or various individuals wanting to resurrect it. Unfortunately, IPC Media, the company that publishes Cage & Aviary Birds and staged the National, is no longer in a position to run such a large event (the cost, alone, would be astronomical in today's current market), which is why under my editorship I have done what I can to support the Parrot Society's (PS) quest to develop a national cage bird exhibition to move on from where we left off. Initially, many fanciers viewed the PS's Bird Show of the Year with some scepticism, if not a little touch of hostility. But with nothing else to fill the void in the birdkeeping calendar left by the National, more and more clubs, societies and avicultural firms have got behind it. Last year's event had a real buzz about it ­ and this year's, to be held in October, looks set to be even bigger and better. Here at Cage & Aviary Birds we are more than happy to lend the word 'National' to the show's new, extended name ­ The National Bird Show of the Year ­ and hope that those of you who haven't attended in the past will do so in the future.