A Short History of The Parrot Society UK

Join The Parrot Society UK

Founded 1966.

Parrots have been kept by humans since or before the Egyptian Pharaohs as is evident by the murals that have been found.

Many of today's well-known parrot breeders, graduated from budgies to the rarer and more expensive parrotlike species, they were of course more expensive and hard to find because too few were kept in the UK.

A few well known names in the thirties built up large collections, E.N.T.Vane of London, R.Partridge of Eveshan, the Duke of Bedford and the Keston Foreign Bird Farm are names that can be found in records from that time.The late John Mollindinia through his Chairmanship of the South Midlands Budgerigar and Foreign Bird Society had contacts with the Patron the Duke of Bedford. He was able to make contact and meet many European Parrot Breeders and he knew more of them than most keepers in the UK.

Parrots were very expensive, money was scarce and hobbies were only just recovering from the ravages of The Second World War, as things improved it became clear there was a need for means of contact amongst UK parrot fanciers.

The late Norman Cooper recognised this and convened a meeting in 1966 at Bedford to form an organisation which could unite the efforts of the UK parrot breeders. As a result of this meeting some 200 members were enrolled in what was called the Parrot Society. The first magazine was produced by Norman Cooper, Volume one No one in January 1967 it carried the names of Council Members and the rules were compiled and published, 300 members received the Society magazine the Annual subscription was 25 shillings for single membership and 30 shillings joint.

Norman Cooper and Eric Dracup were editors and awards were made to encourage members in keeping and breeding the rarer parrot species and contributing to the increase of membership. 300 members were signed up in the early months, Norman Cooper expected it to peak at around 500. Adverts were carried in Volume one and established the vital link necessary to the success of the Society. The first Council meetings were held in members's homes and as membership grew it became possible to organise a show and the first show held in the Bunyan Centre in Bedford. However, the success of the shows meant a larger venue had to be found and it moved to Luton Sports Centre. In 1986, was stopped by the authorities after only an hour because of the numbers of people inside the hall, and the queue had to wait until people started to leave the hall, so a bigger venue had to be found.

Staffordshire Show ground at Bingley Hall was chosen after other sites were rejected. It was acknowledged that we would never fill all the space available, this with ample parking convinced council it was the right venue, it was also central to our membership. Also, in 1987 the council decided that the position of Secretary/Editor was no longer a part-time job, and David Coombes was employed by the Parrot Society to the full time position of Secretary/Editor. He retired in 2001 and Les Rance was employed by the Society to fill this vacant positon.

Permission was given to organise a meeting at Pickett's Lock when the East Anglian section could no longer contain the numbers that wanted to attend. This event became so popular that an alternitive venue had to be found, Sandown Park Exhibition Centre at Easher became the new venue for a Spring Show, While Stafford was the Autumn show.

The late John Mollindinia suggested to Council that Member's Area Meeting's should be held at different locations throughout the country and he organised the first Area meeting in 1972 at Luton. It proved very popular and was the fore runner of the Area meetings held throughout the UK to-day.

A large number of the original membership have unfortunately been overtaken by time and many well known members have died, there are however still many stalwarts left and the membership has increased to 5,500 UK and International members, so the original concept by a few enthusiasts has proved succesful, with the Parrot Society show at Stafford now acknowledged as the premier one day show in the UK and Europe.

The magazine has continued to enable members to sell and exchange their birds, and in 1999 Council member R.J.McMillan was instrumental in the design and development of the society website. The Society is poised with its dedicated and enthusiastic council members to enter the new millenium with confidence in the future.

2018 Update - A more comprehensive article was published in the Society's magazine Volume 50, June 2016, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary - 50th Anniversary Article