Pickering Memorial Hall
Christmas Party painting by Rex Whistler


Text by David Marshall

Photographs by Arthur Kenworthy and David Marshall

When the Ryedale Aquarist Society twinned with STAMPS (South Tyneside Aquarists' and Marine Pondkeepers Society), at the beginning of 2008, the Committee Members of both our groups decided that, as part of our twinning, we would hold two 'Twinning Days' over the course of the year.

Ryedale A.S., thus, had the great honour of hosting the inaugural 'Twinning Day', which took place on Sunday 22nd June, and chose the Whistler Room at Pickering Memorial Hall as the venue.

As the Memorial Hall has limited space the Ryedale members sent out an invitation to the people who had given their time to do key jobs at our 2008 Open Show to come along while the STAMPS members were pleased when the members of OASIS accepted an invitation to be with us.

The day began with a 'pot luck lunch' for which the people present brought along a feast of sweet and savoury items. As you can see from the photographs the children featured in the famous Christmas Party painting by Rex Whistler (which is believed to be the last work of art by this famous artist before his untimely death in World War II) kept a watchful eye on proceedings.

Following lunch Y.A.A.S. 'A' Class Judge Mr. Trevor Douglas began the job of judging some wonderful exhibits spread over 10 mini-show classes. At the present time the Y.A.A.S. are inviting people with an interest in judging to 'do a day with a Judge' so David Hallam of Sheaf Valley A.S. asked if he could come along and tells me that he had an enjoyable time. Of the 9 'living fish' classes' fish belonging to Mr. Bede Kerrigan would win 5, Mr. John Douthwaite 2, Mr. Malcolm Short 1 and Mr. & Mrs. Jones 1 while Miss Sue Marshall won the 'Eggshibit' class with a boiled egg delicately wrapped in sweet papers to form a Chocolate gourami.

While Trevor and David did their judging work Mr. David Armitage of the AAGB presented an excellent talk entitled 'The fish and people of Kalimantan'. As well as viewing labyrinth fish in their natural habitats we got to see how they are presented not only in aquatic retail outlets in this area of the World but also on the dinner plate.

Following David's talk, Mr. & Mrs. Kenworthy of the Otley A.S. presented a 'fish fun quiz' and had placed prizes for the quiz winners in delicately made little boxes.

Whilst everything else was going on around them, Mr. Malcolm Short looked after the sales table, for which the people present brought along a fantastic selection of own-bred fish of various species, Miss Sue Marshall and helpers kept a constant flow of tea and coffee available while Mr. David Marshall brought along an information stand for The Aquarium Gazette CD magazine.

Malcolm strongly believes that days like these are a step forward for Aquatic Societies and with a little give and take they make days to remember, as was the case with this inaugural 'Twinning Day'.