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Merseyside AS in the
1980s

Dr. Ford, of Aquarian Flaked Foods, gave a most enjoyable and entertaining lecture on how Aquarian Foods came into being. He also donated dozens of tubs of different types of flake foods to be raffled amongst the members. This must surely be the longest raffle in the clubs history, it went on for ages and ages...

It was agreed by the majority of the members that whilst the Botanic Hotel was a most agreeable venue it was not of sufficient size for the membership. It was put to a newly elected committee to find an alternative larger venue. This was done and by March had changed to the British Rail Staff Association (BRSA) Club, 12 Ullet Road, L8. Within four months the committee agreed that this venue, despite being larger, was also unsuitable. Several members had had their cars tampered with, some even had personal belongings stolen as well; attendances dropped, and the now infamous ‘Toxteth Riots’ half a mile away made matters even worse. Attendances dropped even further to a mere handful, so much so that the management refused to open the bar, it just wasn’t worth their while...

The committee set about the task of finding a new venue, the Cattlemarket Hotel (Bass Charrington), Prescot Road, Stanley, L13. The committee visited the premises and found them to be a cross between the NUR Club in size and the Botanic Hotel in comfort. This fact was borne out on the first meeting night to be held at the Cattlemarket Hotel when a staggering 80 plus members turned up to show their approval of the new venue...

Peter Harris, of the Ford Motor Company, Speke, formed the Ford Aquarist Society and they held their meetings in the Ford Sports & Social Club, Cronton. They became FNAS affiliated...

25 members gave a show of hands to the Committee for a coach trip to be organised to Doncaster. The trip was cancelled as only nine of them offered to pay!..

At the BAF the specially constructed Show Stand based on the book, 'Merseyside Aquarist Society, The First Forty Years, 1946-86' received commendable comments from well-wishing onlookers...

Sometime in the late 1980s the Triple 'S' was started, the 'S' being the first letter of the respective society. I contacted Steve Hooton of Sandgrounders AS who said: "The 'Triple S' was a loose association between Sandgrounders AS, St. Helens AS and Skelmersdale AS in the late 1980s. It was set up as an inter-club idea in which we could continue competitive showing of fish during the close season after BAF, to have auctions and quizzes and to bring in outside speakers who would be more willing and able to talk to clubs at the weekend rather than in an evening (particularly those coming from a distance away). Those speakers I can remember were Derek & Pat Lambert, David Pool and Dr. David Ford. Meetings were held mostly at a mid way point, the Girl Guides Association in Ormskirk, since demolished. Occasional coach trips were open to members of all clubs. The association folded some time before the demise of Skelmersdale AS, possibly as early as 1990"...

Syd Canavan proposed that Elsie Maloney be made an Honorary Life Member and the proposal was carried unanimously...

This was to be a bad decade for the Society. The Show Secretary resigned as did the Secretary and PRO. Joe Bailey was appointed Vice-Chairman then took over as Secretary. The Assistant Show Secretary resigned and John Corbett was co-opted onto the committee as Assistant Treasurer so that John Lynch could take over as Show Secretary and Assistant Show Secretary because those elected to these posts, on a voluntary basis, were not attending...

Best Article of the Year was won by Ted Derrick, one of the founder member's of the Runcorn Aquarist Society in the 1960s, which renamed to Halton AS in 1993. Ted Derrick has the distinction of being the only person to-date to have won the Champion of Champion's four times at the BAF:
  1989 - Cichlasoma fenestratum.
  1990 - Cichlasoma fenestratum.
  1994 - Leporacanthicus galaxias
  1995 - Melanotaenia splendida splendida   
            (Cape York Rainbow fish)...

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