A Yorkshire fishkeeping club appears to be bucking the trend of decling attendance by holding regular auctions for members to buy and sell fishkeeping equipment and livestock they've bred.
Sheaf Valley Aquarist Society (SVAS), which meets in Sheffield every month (apart from December) says it now holds several auctions every year, which are going down really well with the membership.
Paul Bentley said: "This was my first auction and I can't wait for the next one. Going to an auction is an exciting experience. Lots of bargains to be had. I won shrimps, a heater, an air pump, activated carbon and a lovely Golden panchax."
"SVAS auctions get better every time and the auctioneer is the best I've seen," said auctioneer Alan Northcliffe.
Chairman, Dave Hallam, told Practical Fishkeeping that it has been growing for the past couple of years and has seen a ten-fold increase in members since the early days.
"SVAS was once a large club, several decades ago, and was quite prominent on the show scene. And that's something we're currently striving to recapture with an introduced members' table show league running throughout this year's club meetings.
"Success with our auctions has meant that we can now host speakers and have four booked for this year. We have an excellent core of members with new ones coming in all the time and a great level of enthusiasm."
Hallam says that its website has been a very useful tool in recruiting members and communicating with them. "The forum is active, most members log on every day for advice and general chat and it is open to the public and we welcome any members at our site at www.svas.co.uk."
The club meets on the second Monday of the month at the Pheasant Inn, Barnsley Road, Sheffield at 19.30. It is due to hold its next open show and auction on Sunday June 7, with other auctions scheduled for Sunday September 13 and Monday October 12 2009.