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The public face of the society
Chairing all meetings
Ensuring the survival and prosperity of the society
To ensure other committee members are adhering to their responsibilities
I joined E.S.R.A.S. in 1998 and became a committee member in 1999. In 2010 I was made Chairman where I still remain today enjoying all aspects of the society and what it does and tries to achieve.
I have been keeping and breeding reptiles and exotics for over 50 years. My herping was well under way by the age 6. I was known for my love of all animals. But at the age of 6, I was called out of class by the head and asked if I could identify some snakes. 5 teachers, the head teacher and a very little me all assembled in the hallway searching for the snake. Something moved under the radiator, like a flash I was on my stomach looking. The head teacher screamed at me not to touch it because it was probably an adder! Without a second thought I shot my hand out and grabbed it. “Just a slow worm” I said calmly while turning it over. “It's a female” I told them. I was a hero to all of the teachers, but the Head was still dubious. “This is a lizard” I said, “look it's got eye lids and the scales and the shape is all wrong.”
By the age of 8 I had my first terrapins. They were tiny red ears, the size of a 10p coin. They came with a small bowl and a plastic palm tree. Tiny & Tarzan I named them. Tarzan was the biggest in the pet shop and yes, Tiny was the smallest. After about 4 months I somehow convinced mum & dad that I needed a Spanish terrapin. Welcome home Fred. For my 11th birthday, my big brother turned up with 4 European wall lizards. Mum & Dad were not best pleased. John, Paul, George & Ringo lasted about a year. Again I was advised to just use a normal incandescent lamp. After this sad event I thought I would stick with my Spanish terrapins and local reptile and amphibian species. Even before the presence of the wall lizards I had already bred 3 species of newt, 2 species of lizard, the common frog and the common toad.
My long suffering wife Linda only has herself to blame, she said if I married her I could have what I like (of the animal type). This lasted about 2 hours of married life! Dancing at the reception I said “we are off to London tomorrow”, to which she replied “why?” “To get a crocodile” was my reply, you’re not having one off them! I have to say, I did not want one but just wanted to try.