The Scott family kept Lizard canaries in an unbroken line over three generations: William, who bought his first Lizards in 1937 and became a founding member of the LCA; John who joined his father in partnership after the Second World War; and Dougal who joined John in partnership during his teens, and continued to help out after his career took him away from the family home in Whitley Bay.
I have met many great canary men over the years, but John Scott was undoubtedly the greatest of all. He was very successful as a breeder: his birds won several major awards at the top shows, including Best Lizard Canary at the National Exhibition of Cage and Aviary Birds, with an outstanding clear cap silver cock in 1994. He was also successful with old varieties, his Parisian Frill winning Best Canary at the 1984 National. His commitment to the Lizard canary and the work he did for the Lizard canary Association was outstanding. He was elected Chairman of the LCA in the late 1970s and then President from 1988 until his death in 2012.
John was an authoritative writer on canaries, being knowledgeable, intelligent and helpful. He was the ‘canary expert’ at Cage and Aviary Birds for many years. His particular interest was the history of the Lizard canary and the London Fancy, but he also collected newsletters, show catalogues and canary memorabilia throughout his life; the sort of things most people throw away, but he realised that they helped to tell a unique story. He was a good communicator and corresponded with people from every branch of the canary fancy, including a few who had kept London Fancies long after it was assumed they were extinct.
Knowing of my interest in the history of the fine spangled sort, John gave me several documents to add to my own collection; and after his death, Dougal donated many more of his father’s papers. Many of them are probably the only surviving records of their kind, and give a unique insight into the history of the two breeds, particularly during the twentieth century.
I intend to share his archive with you.