Roy Stringer, the Association’s Vice President,

Interviews our Past Presidents Ghalib & Janice Al-Nasser

1) What proportion of your stock is made up of Spangles?

We carry a stud of about 250 birds and we would say that spangles make up about 10% of the stud

2) What is the proportion? – single factor to double factor?

Probably 4:1

3) Do you cross spangles with other varieties (cinnamon, opaline, pied, etc)?
We prefer the spangle in the normal variety and most spangle pairings will be a normal spangle to a normal partner. On occasions we have bred some nice opaline and cinnamon spangle hens and have used them but always with normal cocks or normal spangle cocks.

4) If yes, give examples and what is your opinion of the resulting combinations?

5) If not, why not?

When the spangles were first introduced to Europe in 1980 and I saw the original pictures of them brought by the Swiss fancier Rolf Christen I was fascinated by that clear black edging of the feather on the wings. That was the beauty of the spangle. Both the opaline and cinnamon versions of the spangle are recognised and colour standards have been written for them. However, the opaline will have the body colour edging in the wing feather rather than a black edging and the cinnamon, although beautiful to look at, will have a diluted cinnamon edging on the wing feather. To me this detracts from the beauty of the markings as I saw them for the first time. This is why we prefer the normal variety in spangles

6) What is your favourite pairing to produce Spangles?

We have no preference to the type of pairing as long as the quality is there. We use all types of pairing; Normal x SFS, SFS x SFS, DFS x Normal or SFS x DFS. The main aim is to produce spangles of quality.

7) Are there any pairings to avoid with Spangles?
We think that our answers above indicate that we do not wish to mix the spangle with other varieties except that we will use the spangle to pair up with crests and yellowfaces as we have produced crested spangles and spangle yellowfaces in the past. Again this is a combination preference. We see no point in pairing spangles with pieds, dilutes etc. The reason being that you would have to exhibit this combination in the spangle class to compete against well defined marked birds, so to us there is no point unless it is for colour preference. The DFS Yellowface is a beautiful bird to look at and we have bred a few of them in the past.

8) What colour/variety is the best Spangle you ever bred?

Spangle Grey.

9) How do you feel that Spangles have progressed since you started breeding them?
I (Ghalib) obtained my first spangle (dark green cock) from the late Alf Ormerod in 1983 and bred my first spangle (light green cock) that same year. Janice also obtained her first spangle from the same source (via another exhibitor) in 1984. The variety has made tremendous progress during the past 20 odd years that they have been in the U.K. culminating in the variety winning BIS and Best Any Age at the B.S. Club Show in 1999 (Frank Silva), 2000 (the late Stuart Raven) and 2002 (Tom Deacon). The variety also achieved the double twice, by winning the Best Young Bird award in both 1999 and 2002, both achieved by Frank Silva.

10) In what respects do you think they have got better or worse?
Without a doubt they have attained good size, as many BIS awards throughout the country, over many years have been achieved by spangles, demonstrating the strength of the variety. The down side has been the dilution of the wing marking; a gene variable that we have no control over and the loss of "bulls eye" spots.

11) What is the way forward with Spangles?
To keep producing the quality that we have become accustomed to, but if we are to give one piece of advice then please pair up your spangles to normals only.

12) What successes have you had with Spangles?

We have had limited success with this variety when competing against the best. We have, however, won the CC at the 1991 B.S. Club Show (one CC in those days), Best Spangle Blue at the B.S. Millennium Convention, Best Spangle in Show at the 2001 & 2002 National Cage & Aviary Birds Exhibition. We have won spangle classes at the B.S. Club Show and 2nd & 3rd best champion young bird at championship shows and also 2nd and 3rd Best Spangle at the National Specialist & Rare Variety Open Show.

13) What are the main points you take into consideration when judging Spangles? Do you treat them like any other variety? If so, what do you do about Spangles that are lacking mask spots or do not have the required ‘bullseye’ spots? How much attention do you pay to wing markings?

Judges always find this question difficult to answer but the B.S. Scale of Points is divided between 60 points for size etc including head and 40 points for colour and variety markings. If you consider just this side of judging then a better sized bird should always win because of the 60/40 points ratio. This is how we judge without a doubt but if we have two similar birds then we look closely at the variety markings and spots and bring that into the equation to make up our minds. It really depends on what is in front of us on the day and we do not make rigid rules in our minds that we will do this and do that prior to judging. Each individual situation will have its decision on the day. We will penalise the faults accordingly and judge to the best of our abilities on the day.

14) What office(s) do you or have you held with SBBA?

In July 1987 Fred Canham and I (Ghalib) discussed the concept of forming the SBBA, which eventually led to the formation of the Association on 14th November 1987 at the B.S. Club Show; that makes me a co-founder member. I became the chairman at that meeting and Fred became the secretary. I stayed chairman till the 1996 AGM. I was their President from 1993-96 and I am now a Life Vice President. I produced the Association’s first Handbook in 1996. Janice attended the inaugural meeting with me and was the Association’s first publicity officer in 1988 and currently she is back in this position since 1998. Janice was President in 2001/2. Both of us have been on the committee from day one.

15) Is there anything else you would like to say about Spangles?

We are pleased to say that both the variety and the Association are the strongest of the six specialist varieties/societies and the show bench proves it!

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