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Diss and District Cage Bird Society forced to close after 60 years

Palgrave, Suffolk. Caged Bird Society exhibit at Palgrave community centre ENGANL00120130411150453

Palgrave, Suffolk. Caged Bird Society exhibit at Palgrave community centre ENGANL00120130411150453

A lack of young blood willing to take the club forward has led to the winding up of the Diss and District Cage Bird Society, after more than sixty years in existence.

The club, for local bird keepers, in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, would routinely attract more than 1,000 exhibits to its Diss Corn Hall events.

Their most recent, at Palgrave Community Centre, attracted a modest 175 exhibits, and honourary vice president and founder member, Cyril Haystead said that the event made a loss of £187.

“You can’t carry on like that,” said Mr Haystead, who is 89.

Mr Haystead said although birds were presented in cages for show purposes, they did not live in those conditions permanently back at the keeper’s house.

Derek Saunders, who is the society’s 94-year-old honourary treasurer, said that a lack of young interest could be partly attributed to the fact that bird keeping, “never lost its image of old men in cloth caps in sheds”. He added: “I must admit, it is not always totally inspiring for youngsters.

“They can’t commit themselves to the daily routine.”

Both Mr Haystead and Mr Saunders now do not keep birds, but Mr Haystead said that a fascination with them remains.
“I don’t think anyone can fail to be interested to some extent,” he said.

The remaining assets of the group will be split between several charities, including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the Diss branch of the Royal British Legion, Cancer Research UK and Songbird Survival.

 

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