Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Edward Boothman, of Silsden, one of the country's foremost suppliers of pullets, is the new chairman of the Poultry Club of Great Britain, which, founded in 1877, protects the interests of pure and traditional breeds and is guardian of the British Poultry Standards. He was vice-chairman for six years before becoming acting chairman in May and then permanent chairman in September. His leadership will include overseeing the National Poultry Show's move to modern, larger premises at Telford next year after traditionally being held at Stoneleigh, which it has outgrown. Entries have been rising annually and exceeded 7,500 at last month's farewell Stoneleigh show. Another major assignment for the club will be the updating of the Breed Standards Book for publication in 2017. 

Edward, who is chairman of the Craven Poultry Keepers Club, started with his own Light Sussex flock while at junior school. He has been renowned in the poultry world for many years and rears 60 different breeds as well as 40 different bantam breeds. He is pictured above with a Serama cockerel and young hen. The Serama, a bantam from Malaysia, was introduced here in 2004 and is reputedly the world's smallest breed. 
Edward is pictured above with a cock bird of one of his favourite breeds, the New Hampshire Red. A member of a well-known Silsden farming family, Edward successively gave up dairy and beef herds and latterly sheep, and now concentrates on hens, about which he is passionate and is thus maintaining a great Silsden tradition: from the late 1800s and for much of the last century, the town ruled supreme in national poultry shows.