AS in the
During the 1950s the Society went
from strength to strength and activities included another ‘Brains Trust’
and lectures by the President, Mr. J. Laughland, on Siamese Fighters. Mr.
Laughland made regular contributions, notably crosswords, to The Aquarist
After World War 2, Bill Bailey was a customer of York Aquaria
before he moved to the Isle of Man where he opened a Public Aquarium on
Strand Street, Douglas. He later returned to Liverpool when he bought out
the entire stock of the York Aquaria Company (Ernie and Norman selling up due
to pressure of full-time work). Within three weeks he had found premises in
the basement of 1 Dawson Street, Liverpool, his first advertisement as The
Liverpool Aquaria Company appearing in the Aquarist & Pondkeeper in 1951...
1951, and the BAF
(British Aquarist Festival) was opened at the Exhibition Hall, Zoological
Gardens, Belle Vue, Manchester, for the first time, a four day event
sponsored by The Aquarist magazine. The event was opened by Robert Helpman,
famous in the world of ballet and theatre, who was later presented with a
furnished aquaria. Despite the fact that over 17,000 people visited the
Festival it proved to be a financial disaster with debts which ran into
At the Liverpool Flower Show the
Merseyside AS staged a display of twelve Furnished Aquaria and a stocked
garden pool into which visitors tossed coins to the value of £3-10-0
(£3.50), this was given to the Local Hospital Tank Fund, an idea started
by The Aquarist magazine to assist societies up and down the country to
donate a tank to a local hospital and keep it maintained...
Mr. W. J. Thornley, a keen
aquarist, formed the Liverpool Schools Nature Study Society at Salisbury
Street School (L3) were he worked. The room at the school contained six
tanks of coldwater fish and pond life, two tropical tanks with guppies
etc. and two vivaria, as well as rabbit hutches, guinea-pigs and a
wildflower table. Days out were organised at weekends to go pond-hunting
in Thurstaston, Wirral, to keep their tanks stocked with newts, carp and
other aquatic inmates...
The Society was given a boost in
moral when Granada Television televised an interview with Messrs. Les
Connell and Mr. Preston in the Friday Night programme.
Alderson (Treasurer, 1946-47) made slate-base fishtank's with glass
fronts, one in particular was made of oak with plate glass sides and a
metal ‘base heater’ heated by two 40 watt bulbs, which were located beneath the
slate to heat the water...
Yet another eventful year for the
Merseyside AS members. Society members Danny Hughes, Brian Roe and Dave
Jones loaded the Show Stand, constructed by Syd Messenger, onto the roof
rack of Danny's 1933 silver box-type Austin 7 and drove to the British
Aquarist Festival. The highest praise was recorded
to Brian Roe for his work reforming the Show Stand to make it a suitable
entry for the competitive Best Show Stand at the BAF. Brian was assisted
by his son, Philip Roe, Danny Hughes, Les Connell and Bill Kelly. The Show
Stand was entered in the Best Show Stand competition (judged by public
ballot) coming 3rd and was awarded £10 - a very proud moment for those
connected with the construction of the Stand...
1959 also saw the first new-styled Show Cards
introduced showing the new society logo of an Angelfish on a red
background with the word 'Merseyside' across the bottom. Malcolm Connell
distinctly recalls his father, Les Connell, saying that he "…designed
the new society badge." The new Show Cards were used, in
conjunction with the old ones, from 1959 onwards...