By the time you read this the NMC will have a new cup secretary. It has been a privilege to have fulfilled the role for the last sixteen months or so, having taken over unexpectedly and at short notice last year, and I am very grateful to Ruth for the help and guidance she gave me during those important first few weeks. Having settled in, I quickly set about two key tasks that I considered important for any cup secretary to undertake.
First, I created new template documents for every piece of paperwork required, such as the judges report sheet and the top twenty points sheet. Irealised that club schedules seldom varied from show to show, so I also created a template document for every single show on the schedule. All of this makes the job much easier, and the new cup secretary should have little difficulty in continuing in a similar manner.
The second task was to track down and locate as many NMC cups and trophies as I could. The NMC had decided to sell off some of the trophies shortly before the pandemic, and Ruth supplied me with a list of these. Using old year book records, I put together a “master list” of all the NMC trophies that existed. By removing all of those on the sold list from those on the master list, I was left with all the ones that should still be available for competition. But where were they? Covid had caused a complete muddle. I managed to locate a few of them, and then I had a breakthrough when I discovered that one member had about fifty of them stored in his attic. Once they were all in my hands, I was able to allocate those that had been purchased to their respective buyers, and to make five more template documents showing the trophies to be won at each of the five cup shows.
We currently have a total of thirty-six trophies divided between the five cup shows. Most of these have now been photographed and briefly described for our records (as seen in the Trophy of the Month features), although sadly, there are still another ten trophies that remain unaccounted for.
I also introduced cup certificates as a permanent memento for anyone winning a trophy, and they look very smart indeed when framed. One other important change I have instigated is that all trophy winners are now asked to sign a record card if they wish to take their trophy home. Indeed, I have been encouraging winners to take trophies away and enjoy them. It means less for me to store!
During the last show year, the NMC has supported seventeen shows. I am writing this before the Annual show, but so far eight different varieties have achieved best in show, and these were owned by ten different fanciers. The most successful varieties table, based on points won, is always interesting to study, and this year is no different. Certain varieties clearly dominate… black and cream (selfs), black tan (tans), broken and Dutch (marked), cream and ivory (satins), and argente (AOVs). What I find equally interesting are the varieties that fade away. Herefords have gone from 12th place to nowhere, and champagne selfs simply don’t appear to feature anymore. I remember when chams were regularly taking top honours during the 1980s. They were pretty much the variety to beat. It just remains for me to wish my successor the very best of luck for the coming season.