10th East Anglian Falconry Fair

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the original East Anglian Falconry Fair and to celebrate, this time we staged our annual event over two days. The organisation was quite an undertaking for our Head Falconer Andy Hulme but as usual he did us proud in terms of presenting falconry to a wide audience in our part of the world.

The event allowed many local falconers and those from father afield the opportunity to meet, display and discuss the welfare of their birds; exchange ideas and advice about raptors; and also purchase falconry books and falconry furniture & equipment from many of the specialist suppliers who also attended. 

The weather was kind to us for most of the weekend, and there was a good turn-out of the show. Many different birds were displayed including some species we don’t have within our own collection, including a Golden Eagle, a Bonelli's Eagle, a Marshall’s Eagle and courtesy of the Welsh Hawking Club, several hybrid falcons.

Birds were not the only creatures to make an appearance at the show, as we also invited many other animal organizations from around the county to join us. Of notable interest here were the Suffolk Punches of the Horkesley Park Heritage and Conservation Centre - true symbols of our East Anglian heritage.

We also had several art and craft stands at the event and I have to say that the standard of artistic talent was outstanding. One artist that really stood out for me was Chris Winch, whose equine and wildlife studies in both mixed media and water colours were breathtaking.

There was even a little taste of falconry history with a significant World War II connection on view. This took the form of a beautiful bronze art-deco falcon which is owned by one of the exhibitors, the British Falconers Club. Thanks to Dave Aldred of the BFC, I discovered the statuette was created by an artist named Wilhelm Krieger (1877-1945) who lived in Herrching, Germany and trained at the Royal College of Art in Munich. The piece, which had a beautiful simplicity of line, was originally created as an honorary prize for the International Hunting Exhibition held in Berlin in 1937 and won by Gilbert Blaine and Jack Mavrogordato - the latter, something of a falconry legend.

However, the prize was presented by one Hermann Goering and consequently is often referred to as 'the Goering Bronze'. Due to this connection it was not considered ‘politically correct’ to have the piece on public display and has spent many years hidden away in cupboards, under beds and or many years was used rather indignantly as a doorstop! It's good that this beautiful piece has re-surfaced and is able to regain some of the respect its rich heritage truly deserves.  

We hope that everyone who attended the Fair enjoyed it and we look forward seeing to seeing you again at the next September.