Although there are a number of people around today who attended the first London show, there are many newcomers who were not in the fancy at that time and the following words are to explain, to those who may not know, why it has been necessary to found Real London.
In 1969 a group of like-minded fanciers got together to create what was described at the time as "A Championship Show for the South, the equivalent of Bradford".
The first show was truly a collaborative effort. Pens for all species on exhibition were borrowed from local clubs and transported to the venue in vans, on trailers or on small trucks borrowed or hired. Fanciers worked late into the night to put up the staging and pens and drove home, in some cases many miles, only to get up very early on the show day and drive into London again for an early start to judging. The same again on the following day, then all the pens had to be taken down, re-loaded into the transport and the hall swept clean - all by the fanciers themselves. Small wonder that one fancier fell asleep at the wheel of his car and crashed, exhausted, into a tree just a mile from home. Fortunately he and his family were not seriously injured but such was the effort put into the cause of the "Championship Show for the South".
In the years since then the show moved around various venues in the South, finally arriving at Reading with its excellent transport links, where the show was held for several years. Certainly easier to travel into and out of than London. For anyone who may wish to contend that Reading is not London, well it's closer to London than Doncaster is to Bradford! In any case, London was originally chosen to represent the South as a whole.
The removal of the former London Championship Show to the East Midlands some years ago now, caused considerable disquiet in the Cavy community and it was overwhelmingly agreed that the void must be filled. Initially, the venture was for Cavies only but such is the loss to the small livestock world in the South that the Chinchilla, Gerbil, Hamster, Mouse and Rat fancies are also invited to this event; either as top event shows or as promotional displays.
In the spirit of the founding fathers, our show will be run by fanciers, for fanciers and all species represented will be treated fairly and not subjugated to other interests. Neither will our show clash with long-established local shows.
We dedicate our show to the memory of the far-sighted and hard-working fanciers of 1969.
Why Real London? Well, contrary to popular myth, this name was not conceived by the team! In fact, our original working title was "London International Cavy Exhibition". The expression "real London" was being used widely in the fancy to refer to the show and seemed to strike a chord so we were happy to adopt it.