View Full Version : UK Caudata.org Meeting, Suffolk, England on May 15th

8th April 2004, 13:51
Dave Herbert has kindly offered to host a meeting at his home near Brandon (near Thetford), Suffolk on May 15th. He will give an informal talk regarding his methods for the care and maintenance of Salamandra species and subspecies, of which he undoubtedly has the most extensive collection in the UK and perhaps Europe. Following the talk he will provide a guided tour through the various Salamandra he keeps at his home.

I will be in attendance and I am up for giving an informal talk too (suggestions welcome). We would meet in the Ram Hotel in Suffolk at around 11 or 12 (to be decided I think). We can change this depending on how people feel (and Dave most importantly, since it’s going to be at his home).

We’ve limited numbers to 14 people to not overwhelm Dave and his girlfriend. If you would like to go, please contact me via the forum messaging service. It’s a first-come-first-served arrangement so get on your bikes. As a word of warning, I will be bringing a camera... *evil cackle*

Dave is going to be picking me up at Thetford train station, if anyone else wants to travel via that route.

(Message edited by john on April 08, 2004)

8th April 2004, 14:00
Oh I forgot to add that I think it would be nice if we, as a group, have some trading/selling/giving away of animals. So feel free to bring your excess little monsters along (newts, not children please).

8th April 2004, 18:47
hey john i might come got to see how far it is from sussex.

8th April 2004, 20:21
Id love to be there, but with the WASTED 4 day punk festival being not long after that date,it would be difficult for me to get the money together for travel via public transport.
If anybody is driving from the Doncaster-Sheffield area, and would be able to offer me a lift, please contact me.

8th April 2004, 20:22
hi john i will come if thats ok i live in bury st edmunds which is only a stones throw away cheers justin

8th April 2004, 21:23
Dave has been good enough to extend his hospitality to me on a couple of occasions... I must say I think this is a date not to be missed.

If you see this before you get my private message, please do count me in Dave.

I'm determined to beg, borrow, steal - or even buy! - a digital camera to get piccies up of the gorgeous sals (along with a species list on my profile) I've had from Dave down the years. I always feel something of a fraud when the jaws of visitors hit the floor at the beauty of, for example, my red Loire Valley terrestris or my breathtaking gigliolii. He raised them; I'm just the caretaker.

Really hoping u can make it too, Morg!!!

8th April 2004, 22:24
Hey, do you accept an overseas enthusiast? I might take a flight ticket and pop up there. Tickets from Barcelona to London are pretty cheap. It will be very nice to meet you guys. Moreover, it can be a great opportunity for me to meet my old friends from England during the rest of weekend. And I know someone from Barcelona that might be very interested to join too. I will inform him by tomorrow.
Let me know
Best greetings

9th April 2004, 07:42
Change of plans.
I will take a trip to the rail station today to sus out trains.[as long as I'm welcome to attend?]
I was planning to pop through to go on a newt spotting+ photographing expedition with Justin Slate some time this year, but with him being so close to Suffolk I may as well put the two occasions together.
It will just mean that I will have less cider money for the punk weekend,which I suppose can only be a good thing at my age.
If anybody is interested in the wasted punk weekend, which attracts people from around the world, check out
www.punkfestival.co.uk (http://www.punkfestival.co.uk)

9th April 2004, 09:22
I have talk to Gustavo Espallargas and we most probably come to the British meeting as long as we are invited. We have to arrange everything though.
Best greetings

9th April 2004, 10:06
As far as people asking for permission goes, I think you should each email Dave just to double check.

The list of people intending to attend so far is: Dave Herbert <LI>John Clare <LI>Tony McGill <LI>Morg "Morg" McMorg <LI>Justin Slate <LI>Matthew "J" Dyke <LI>Yago Alonso Giménez <LI>Gustavo Espallargas (to be confirmed)That's 8 so far out of 14 spaces, so only four left. The following have confirmed with Dave (that I know of): John <LI>Matthew<font color="0000ff">Dave also wanted me to mention that if you don't like big dogs, it might be a good idea not to come - to quote Dave "not that either of them are nasty, just a bit huge".</font>

9th April 2004, 12:25
Count me in....apart from Dave and Fiona, I haven't personally met anybody on the list, it will be good to speak to them "in person".

9th April 2004, 12:50
Eggs-cellent Mike. I am looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the guys (pity all of the UK women enthusiasts are too timid to attend *duck*).

9th April 2004, 12:51
I should add that I've met Dave and a certain Spanish person before. Morg and I have talked on the phone I believe once, though that was a long time ago.

9th April 2004, 13:34
Well, I got the tickets already for me, Gustavo and her wife. I’ve got all of them (go and return) just for 268 euros, just 80 euros per person. We will arrive on Thursday and we will leave London by Sunday. Those days Gustavo is in France for vacations so he won’t be able to access to the internet till next week, I have arrenged everything with him and her wife via e-mail.
We will get in contact with John and Dave by e-mail.
Best greetings

9th April 2004, 13:36
Sorry, I have contact Gustavo via telephone http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/crazy.gif

9th April 2004, 13:46
OK by my estimation there are 4 spaces left.

9th April 2004, 17:31
Thought for the day... so we all get to meet, in a lovely part of the country, see one of the best private collections in Europe, gain knowledge of some amazing caudates and possibly go home with some new ones.
Life's tough sometimes, isn't it?

9th April 2004, 19:47
In accordance with Caudata.org time-honoured tradition I've posted my mug shot for easy recognition at the Meet.
Or should I say Morg shot? http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif
As you can see, I'm no spring chicken.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/blush.gif

(Message edited by mike on April 09, 2004)

12th April 2004, 18:52
Hi at all i confirm my visit to the meeting in England,is to nice to meet and speak about our common hobby with John Clare and Dave and meet in person to Mike East.
See you,Gustavo.

12th April 2004, 23:27
This is an update from Dave:

"I have arranged for David Donaire Barroso, an authority on S.algira , to come here for the meeting to give an informal talk on S.algira. He won't be arriving until later in the afternoon and giving the talk at about 3 or 4 o'clock. I thought this would be an added bonus."

Dave also mentions that Brandon train station would be the best to arrive at, though Thetford is close by.

13th April 2004, 01:09
Tempted... I'm actually going to be in the UK on the 15th visiting friends in Doncaster. Coincidence? Sadly, my travel money is extremely tight (poor college students get few chances for trips!) so I dont think I'll be able to make it.

13th April 2004, 10:04
im very sorry to say that i will have to cancel the meet due to a very important hospital appointment thanks for the invite dave i hope we can meet another time sorry justin

13th April 2004, 13:58
Well Ive just come online to say that I will be unable to attend after all, due to me double booking myself.
Have a family gathering to celebrate my Auntie n Uncles 40th wedding anniversary on that day.
I was wondering how to tell Justin who has been rushing around sorting a newt spotting expedition, but unfortunately he has also had to cancel.

Hope the day goes well for you all, and also that pics and a report on the day are posted.

14th April 2004, 08:04
I'm provisionally hoping to attend- not 100% sure yet, though!

14th April 2004, 09:25
I've just got back after Easter away, and I would like to attend too. However, I will need to confirm in a week or two.
Should have a few caudates/live food cultures I can bring (but please don't anyone let me take animals home!).

14th April 2004, 10:24
*cough* Any *cough* orientalis left *cough* ?

14th April 2004, 13:18
Yup, should have:
C. orientalis (lots)
T. a. apuanus (a few) (from Morg)
these will either be late stage larvae or metamorphs by mid-May.

Live-food cultures:
Waxmoths (lesser and greater)


All proceeds to Caudata.org!

14th April 2004, 13:26
Oh my, that last line is totally uncalled for Alan!

14th April 2004, 15:50
Happy to maintain my donor status!

14th April 2004, 19:11
Woo Hoo! I've got permission - I'll be there!

14th April 2004, 22:01
I hope that while you are all having an interesting day, listening to interesting talks and meeting like minded people, you give me a though.
Stuck, surrounded by noisy kids, and tipsy family members trying to get me up dancing to agadoo and the time warp.

15th April 2004, 08:05
Have a good meeting, I wish I could join you all, but I have already been away on two salamander trips this year (one week Turkey and one week southern Italy) and now my girlfriend wants some attention too...(I already had promissed to help her that weekend).
Perhaps this would be the moment to start an english group; AG-Urodela UK? In following of the french...?
Anyway, have a nice meeting, and be amazed by Dave Herberts excellent way of Salamandra keeping. I think he has set a new standard to keeping and more importantly breeding Salamandra species.

15th April 2004, 08:39
Here is the updated list of attendees. Those marked with a * aren't 100%: Dave Herbert <LI>David Donaire Barroso <LI>John Clare <LI>Tony McGill <LI>Matthew "J" Dyke <LI>Yago Alonso Giménez <LI>Gustavo Espallargas <LI>Gustavo's Wife <LI>Mike East <LI>Caleb Leeke * <LI>Alan CannThat's only 11 people. There are still 3 places available - just add your name in a message in this thread like everyone else. Don't be intimidated if you're new, we're a friendly bunch and several of us have met before.

Programme:<ul> Dave will give an informal talk on his methods for keeping his various Salamandra species. <LI>David (not Dave) will give a talk on Salamandra algira. <LI>Dave will show us his eye-popping Salamandra collection. <LI>Somewhere in amongst all of that there will be trading/swapping between the attendees, and Alan Cann plans to turn Dave's house into a Newt/Newt Food Supermarket (in aid of Caudata.org) at some point as well.[/list]To Sergé: AG-Urodela UK eh? I don't know about calling it an "Arbeitsgemeinschaft" ;). Seriously though, there are at least 25 interested people in the UK itself of whom I am aware that could make up the backbone of such a group. There are perhaps 4 semi-serious people in Ireland, so I don't think I'll be starting an AG-Urodela Ireland any time soon...

(Message edited by john on April 15, 2004)

15th April 2004, 21:56
Hi,sorry for my bad english but my wife come to England but don't come to the meeting she like to visit London she never visit the City.
But about the AG-URODELA UK, sorry but you arrive so late,we made a AG-URODELA CATALONIA,Yago have the pictures,JA,JA,JA.
Yago when do you put the pictures here????????
See you,Rudiger.

16th April 2004, 15:07
Something has come up and I might not be able to attend on May 15th http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/sad.gif. I will know closer to the day.

19th April 2004, 08:19

I can confirm I will be there on the 15th,I know Dave and the incredibly young looking Mike East of old,I have also met Matt and spoken to one or two of the others.
Cheers Paul

19th April 2004, 17:14
further to my last, if any one is interested I have some animals I would like to bring to swap/sell. Chioglossa,hyla a molleri,salamandra gallica,salamandra salamandra,salamandra bajare,bombina variegata pachys(calabria),triturus boscai,triturus pygmaeus,to name but a few.....

19th April 2004, 20:57
Great to hear you are coming too, Paul!

Just curious Paul (not that I dare allow myself to be be tempted, 'coz I've got enough on my plate, but...) the Chioglossa... is that the lovely lusitanica?

20th April 2004, 08:22
Hi John,

which Brandon is it. Near Norwich?
What is a good ferry to cross the Channel?


20th April 2004, 08:49

Yes they are the lovely Lusitanica.I bought them a while ago as long term captives from a chap that was selling most of his collection.Dont know their history but they are stunning.

20th April 2004, 17:48
Hello all. Uwe it is Brandon Suffolk, about 35 miles from Norwich. The best channel crossing would be to Harwich, then about a 60 - 90 minute drive(from Dover it is 2 - 2 1/2 hrs). I hope you will be able to make it, if you can , let me know and I will email you detailed directions. Dave

21st April 2004, 08:47
Hi Dave,

thank you for the information. I have to check several things before I can be a 100% shure one. But it is in progress.


21st April 2004, 21:11
Hi Guys,

we (some may join me) will probably make it. Dave see more information in your mail.

Hope to see you


22nd April 2004, 16:22
Hi all
I can bring eggs of t.boscai, t.marmoratus, t.a.cyreni, t.vulgaris, t.cristatus, t.v.oprythicus, n.viridiscens...
If somebody is interested just let me know
Best greetings

22nd April 2004, 20:08
Good heavens Yago - please do!!!
I'm up for any and all of those, especially T. a. cyreni. I wouldn't mind some boscai or viridiscens either!

22nd April 2004, 22:43
Ok, I will bring some then. I hope I will still have eggs of n.viridiscens and t.a.cyreni by that day. Most probably I will if females carry on and temperatures keep not too high.
See u there.
Best greetings

23rd April 2004, 08:56
I would be interested in T. a. cyreni too, especially if anyone has adult females spare- I have two lonely males!

23rd April 2004, 19:11
Can I use this thread to shout from the rooftops that cyreni are wonderfully charming and much, much overlooked...?

23rd April 2004, 21:59
Well, here one pic of one of my breeding males.http://www.caudata.org/forum/messages/6/15089.jpg

23rd April 2004, 22:01
Hi Caleb
Finally we will meet. I am looking forward. I can bring you some t.a.cyreni eggs if you want.
Best greetings

26th April 2004, 09:47
I'm afraid that I definitely have to withdraw from this due to money considerations http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/sad.gif. Wish I could go though.

26th April 2004, 13:37
As with our Morg, that's a shame.

28th April 2004, 08:12
What a pity!
Well, I hope to meet u in Gerstfelt in October.
Best greetings

5th May 2004, 17:04
sorry i have to drop from the meeting something has come up on that day just like to say thanks to paul for offering me a lift was really looking forward to it sorry again

10th May 2004, 21:47
Yago &amp; Gustavo,

I'm just about to email you - having had a chat with Dave - regarding travel arrangements. I believe you are catching the train up from London. Maybe Dave has been in touch about this. Fiona has, with characteristic generosity, offered to pick us up from the station. I am hoping if we can meet up and agree on a train, then she need only visit one station, once. Please see your email!!!
(Sorry to use a public forum to speak to two or three people but time is pressing.)

11th May 2004, 08:25
I have available:

C. orientalis
T. a. apuanus (from Morg)
both late stage larvae.
Live-food cultures:
Waxmoths (lesser and greater)

I will make a small charge with all proceeds going directly to Caudata.org, so if anyone is interested, let me know soon.

13th May 2004, 15:59
Hello all, here is the final list of those attending on Saturday : Mike, Matthew, Paul, Caleb, Alan, Yago &amp; Gustavo. John , it is a shame you couldn't make it, I was looking forward to meeting you again.

13th May 2004, 20:18
I hope you all have a great time (and tell Alan to keep the money!). Dave, I really did and do want to go but a bit of cold hard reality has meant I can't consider going anywhere at the moment (unless I win a trip or something).

One of you had better take photos! http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

14th May 2004, 09:49
Dear Herpers,

I hope you have an enjoyable stay and great discussions in Sussex!

Hope to see you sometime


16th May 2004, 10:03
Thanks John &amp; Uwe. I just popped in to see it was a wonderful day and to thank Dave. I'll post a fuller report later (and I know others have digital mugshots to post too) when I've fed the new mouths here at home, but suffice is to say a great time was had by all... and a special thanks should go to Fiona for her behind-the-scenes taxi-ing, sandwich-making and keeping us all in beers. I'd best shut-up because going to the train station I thanked Fiona seven times, but...
Dave &amp; Fiona - THANKS for a very special day.

16th May 2004, 19:05
I'd like to say three things about yesterday.

First and foremost, thanks to Dave and Fiona for such a great time. Fiona, you were the perfect hostess, and Dave, you opened my eyes. Contico boxes it is then. My Salamandra should be in them by next weekend. I concede, you're right. About everything. Except dart frogs, about which you talk boll*cks http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif. When you train your Salamandra to sing to you, let me know! http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif

Second, thanks to everyone else for making it such a marvellous day. Great talk from David, and fun talking to everyone.

Last, I really value opportunities such as yesterday. Apart from having fun, what a great learning experience. Caudata.org makes this possible for me (and others), so thanks to all those who purchased larvae etc. from me. The funds will be on their way to JC (as soon as he trusts me with his bank details!) to support the future of Caudata.org (all that bandwidth!).

16th May 2004, 19:41
Just a quickie to echo everyones sentiments, the meet was a splendid day,excellant company,very informative.
Huge thanks to all concerned,cheers Dave and Fiona,good value as ever.
Thanks to all who swapped or bought stuff from me.
Also thanks to David for the papers Cd etc.



17th May 2004, 00:20
Just to add my two bits worth of appreciation to Dave and Fiona for a great day out in the wilds of Suffolk, with a great bunch of people. Not forgetting Rigo and Widget.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif
My thanks, especially to Gustavo and Jago for taking the effort to make this meeting a truly International event.
(I'm really looking forward to the next meet of Caudata-Catalonia in the not too distant future).http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif
I thoroughly enjoyed the day meeting personally those people that I had only conversed with electronically through this site.
On a sadder note, please excuse my red nose in any future mugshot postings. It was not caused by an excess of alcoholic hospitality, but by an Eagle Owl that was a bit miffed with my taking her 3 owlets from her that morning. (It was her second attempt at rearing, but she hasn't quite got the hang of it yet).http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/frog.gif

17th May 2004, 08:43
I can only repeat what everyone else has said- excellent day, and many thanks to Dave and Fiona for hosting it!

I have one of the aforementioned mugshots here (taken by Fiona), left to right: Yago, Mike, David, Paul, Dave, Gustavo, Matthew, Alan, Caleb.

17th May 2004, 09:17
Wahey! That goes (along with the previous 2 meetings') into the magazine, which is coagulating (lovely word!) as I type. That is, assuming I have the photographers' consent! (?)

I truly wish I had been able to attend. You know that you will all have to do it again later this year ;). I've only met Dave (in Surrey) and Gustavo (at Gersfeld) before. http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/blob.gif

17th May 2004, 14:23
Great picture! They probably made t-shirts with 'you should have been there' on it ?

17th May 2004, 17:58
Thanks for all your comments, I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday too, it is always good to meet people with similar interests. I would be quite happy to do it again next year, if there is enough interest http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

17th May 2004, 18:09
It was worthy 2000 km journey! We had a great time and it was a very enriching meeting. Special thanks to Dave and Fiona for their amiability. Was very interesting Dave’s introduction to their collection and their captive rearing methods. Also, special thanks to David, the Spanish specialist in salamandra algira and their subspecies, who did a great conference on those fascinating animals yet unknown.
Also to all participants who brought their personal insight and made a worthy occasion. Also, thanks to Paul who gave me the opportunity to expand my collection of Bosca’s newts and the fascinating chioglossa lusitanica.
It was a great occasion and I hope to meet everyone again in Barcelona or in Gerstfelt meeting, depending on which will be held before.
Here is just a tiny photographic report of the meeting….
P.S.-No need to say that John can use any pics for caudate magazine http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif


18th May 2004, 08:49
Great photos Yago. I particularly like the last one!

19th May 2004, 23:57
Looks like a great time! But does anyone else find it odd... where are the women caudate enthusiasts? Are there any in Europe?

20th May 2004, 11:20
Yes, Kaysie's here! http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/kiss.gif

20th May 2004, 11:52
I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and ask why does it matter Jen? There is no sexual (or any?) discrimination in our hobby so what's the problem? There are female enthusiasts (anyone who has been to Gersfeld can testify to that), though there are far fewer than their male co-hobbyists. There are at least 3 female posters on Caudata.org from the UK and I'm sure there are a lot more lurking on the site.

In my experience, most women have the attitude of "Ew! Slimy!" when it comes to newts. Men generally don't seem to have the "slimy" issue with which to contend so perhaps they find it easier in general to get into the hobby/interest of Caudata?

20th May 2004, 15:18
Isn't Kaysie from North America? I'm not suggesting any discrimination. I just found it surprising, and wondered if women are less common in herpetoculture hobbies in Europe than the Americas. Certainly Gersfeld would be a more realistic sample size.

20th May 2004, 20:27
Maybe the females couldn't convince their boyfriend/husband/significant other that they really were just going to look at salamanders in some guy's "basement." It's quite a strange scenario to explain to someone not familiar with the hobby.

Anyway, IAD already had all the "cool" females. ;) Heh.

20th May 2004, 21:58
Can I throw two dodgy sexist hypotheses into the pot...
a) when a man / men gather(s) around a Contico box to examine and appreciate a Salamander he/they instantly revert(s) to the age of six, catching newts and frog tadpoles and just how good that felt;
b) Many women respond with even stronger revulsion than the "Ew! Slimy!" John mentions, to the point where "I have a shed / garage full of newts at home" is an even more reliable contraceptive device than the 95% reliable "... and some of the crickets have inevitably escaped in my house..."

I was evangelising about my terrestris at work to a colleague the other day. She said "Errh! Slugs!"

21st May 2004, 08:07
For matt's point-i saw a show on cable recently about a forensic entimologist who keeps leeches in the fridge, he lamented about loves lost to midnight fridge raids! i can pity with him as i have similar stuff in my fridge and have had loose crickets crawling across me in the middle of the night, drowning in dirty dishes in the sink or popping out of the bathroom tap! unfortunately women who are into such things might be labelled (at the kindest) as 'tomboys', needless to say whomever gets me is going to have to put up with an awful lot of stuff - so the newts shouldnt phase them much!http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/crazy.gif

(Message edited by john on May 21, 2004)

21st May 2004, 09:16
<font color="ff0000">Paris I've censored your post</font>.

21st May 2004, 09:23
Jenn, Alan means that I'm currently in Europe (and most recently was in England, paid a visit to Morg and his mini-zoo, very lovely place he has). Paris, I have all my live been a "tomboy" much to my mothers chagrin. Always bringing home frogs and snakes and slimy stuff. My moms a priss. But nevertheless: there may not be many female hobbyists, but the ones who are into it are really into it!

PS: Hi back, Alan

(Message edited by kaysie on May 21, 2004)

19th August 2004, 09:25
oh!!! i only just saw this! i want to go! bit late now! but i didnt have any little creatures then. is there going to be another one in suffolk? things like this only happen in suffolk once in a blue moon. i live in peasenhall so it would be great if there was another one http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

20th August 2004, 12:01
I believe from a chat that me KC and Jeff had there will be one in the near future, well nearish.

We were thinking of May time not sure where and when (maybe Jeffs?) but lets discuss it and make a date!

20th August 2004, 20:01
Start a new thread - it'll stimulate interest - be sure to say proposed new meeting.

20th August 2004, 21:17
Nothing's for sure anyway yet. I just thought that I'll possibly be in england. Its more than 9 months away, no planning yet

5th September 2004, 17:42
i noticed no kids where there lol do none of you have kids interested in sals and newts

5th September 2004, 23:20
Most people would think twice about taking their kids 2000km to see newts. This wasnt a 'local' thing.