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When I last wrote about the history of the Merseyside AS in 1986, in celebration of the society's 40th 'Ruby' anniversary, there was quite a lot of information that was left out of the book through lack of space brought about by financial restrictions. This book is an attempt to correct this and to bring the society history up to date.

So much has changed in the last 16 years, not just within the society, but within the fish keeping world generally. Whilst some shops have gone others have opened. The British Aquarist Festival, the biggest aquatic show in the North of England, is only a mere shadow of its former self and may well cease to exist in its present form, if at all. The society too is a shadow its former self coming close to extinction i
n the early
1990s, the heady days of 80 or more members from the early 1980s dropping to below 25 by the late 1990s. There are no Minutes for many of the committee meetings held during the 1990s, making it difficult to record events with any certainty.

The year 2001, the 55th 'Emerald' anniversary of the society, has, so far, proved to be the turning point of the society's fortunes. A determined effort was made by some to recruit new members and to attract back former members – it proved its worth. At the AGM, held in January 2002, the Treasurer announced that the financial year had ended with 36 members and a healthy balance in the accounts. It can only be hoped that this trend continues for the future…

Ron Brown
Liverpool, UK
April 2002.

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