Ilford and District celebrate 75 years


The Ilford and District Aquarists and Pondkeepers Society is 75 years old this year.

This, say it's members, makes the society probably one of the oldest and largest aquatic societies still thriving in the South Eastern area of England.

The Society was formed by a group of keen aquarists back in 1934. With a committee of thirteen, it was quite a venture in those days to set out on. In November 1935 the chairman remarked how well they had come through their first year with a balance on the right side. This has remained throughout the life of the society, and it is as healthy today as it was then. It still has a hard working, and loyal committee, albeit that most are long serving members and many are life members.

Fishkeeping in World war II

In 1939 the committee meeting minutes read ~ meeting cancelled due to the outbreak of war. The society still met during the war years although quiet at times due to members on active duty, but in February 1940 on of the raffle prizes was a Gas Mask Cover.

The Society always used to have an Annual Show. In 1984 on the society s 50th the main hall of the Ilford Town Hall was booked for its annual show. With over two thousand visitors coming through the doors it was a very successful show to mark their 50th.

The other event that year, was booking the Meeting Rooms of the Zoological Society of London at London Zoo. With two prominent speakers, Dr Christopher Andrews of Tetra, and Dr Keith Bannister of the British Museum of Natural History it was a resounding success.

The one thing that was different about Ilford was that the show was a closed show due the support of its membership, unlike most shows which were and are open. Sadly the society does not have an annual show these days due to various reasons, but at its monthly meetings there are still speakers well known in the aquatic world who enjoy coming to Ilford to speak.

This year to celebrate their 75th the society will be holding a garden picnic at one of their members, and a dinner at a local restaurant.

The present Chairman Ken Wrightson together with his Vice Chairman Ray Downer ( who is also their Public Relations Officer ) hope to see many more years ahead for the Society. Their main aim is to keep the hobby of fish keeping alive, and enjoyable.

A warm welcome is always made to new members, and with a membership of very keen, and experienced aquarists, a new member will always be able to find help in solving a problem, be it Tropical, Coldwater, Marines or Ponds.

The society meets on the second Monday of every month at, The Library Rooms, Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead, London E11 2RQ, with regular attendances around the forty mark.

The societies website is also available for information on,