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Merseyside AS in the
1990s +

There was a long discussion by the committee about how the Society was failing and if a solution could be found? It was recorded in the Society Minutes Book "…it was difficult to pinpoint the cause of this." The Chairman, Fred Mulla, resigned. The Society failing was again discussed and certain points were mentioned i.e. "…Parents attending meetings but not enough was done to encourage them to join; a number of people keep fish but are not interested in joining a Society; some people come for a social evening and have no interest in keeping fish"...

Things were now so bad that it was recorded in the Minutes Book "…In the event of Society closure the cash remaining would be donated to a charity decided by the Committee in office at that time"...

I was unable to find out anything about the Society for 1994 or 1995. Although several members recalled some events, there was some uncertainty as to exactly which year they actually happened...

The Society celebrated its 50th 'Golden' Anniversary by holding a Convention on Breeding & Conservation at their venue, the Pipeline Club, Thomson Street, Anfield. Guest speakers were: Mary Bailey on Cichlids; Justin Bell, Conservation; Pat Lambert, Livebearers and Joan Davidson on Catfishes...

There were emotional comments on the lack of commitment from the existing members. Remarks were also passed about the late start of some of the meetings which were supposed to start at 8:30pm. The meeting night was changed from Monday to Wednesday...

Former members Jim and Betty Faux rejoined the Society after an absence of many years. Jim had a plaque made to acknowledge our Honorary Members and September saw the reinstatement of an A4 News Letter with cover designed by Betty Faux, the co-opted Publications Officer...

At  BAF (now relocated from Bowlers Exhibition & Conference Centre to the George H. Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, Davyhulme, Manchester) proved a very memorable one for Jim and Betty Faux. Not only did they design and build the new Tableau, which was awarded 5th prize, Jim's Novelty Aquascape was awarded 98 points! He received a silver salver, medal, and a Diploma of Excellence. The admiration expressed by many of the aquarists who attended the Festival was considerable. Jim's Aquascape was the second highest pointed exhibit in the history of the BAF (his score of 98 being beaten by Darwen AS by one point!) and the highest ever pointed exhibit of any Merseyside AS member!..

In the latter part of 1998, Fred Mulla stood down as President from the FNAS. His letter was printed in the March edition of The British Aquarist, journal of the FNAS...

In my capacity as 'Editor' I requested a free hand to totally revamp the News Letter to bring it into the 21st Century, a request which the Committee granted. I immediately returned to an A5 booklet format and re-established the title of Mersey Beacon. I adopted a new style of layout and introduced, for the first time ever, colour graphics then colour photographs. Because there hadn't been any advertisers in the magazine for several years and funds were low the magazine was done quarterly, the first issue appearing in March 2000...

The Yorkshire Aquarist Festival and the British Aquarist Festival were very poorly attended. The general consensus of opinion was that they each could easily have been the last...

2001 was the Society's 55th 'Emerald' Anniversary and the 35th 'Coral' Anniversary of the Mersey Beacon, the 30th 'Pearl' Anniversary of Sandgrounders AS and the 50th 'Golden' Anniversary of the British Aquarist Festival...

At a Table Show meeting held at The Railway, Binns Road, the members were shocked to find, when they arrived, that the room now had a large-screen television and that several people were watching the Liverpool FC v Crystal Palace FC match (Liverpool won 5-0). The meeting was cancelled and discussions revolved around finding a new venue - the Cattlemarket, Prescot Road...

The membership for the close of year 2001 was 36, which represented an approximate 40% increase compared to the previous year and was the biggest single increase in membership in any one year since 1989. It can only be hoped that the positive upward trend continues for the foreseeable future!..

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