Knutsford Ornithological Society

People and Places from over the years

In September 1972, a short article in the Knutsford Guardian announced a series of evening classes organised by the Workers Education Association devoted to the subject of Ornithology. The tutor was the late Bill Mulligan, despite his advancing years a man of boundless enthusiasm and energy who managed over the next two years to transfer some of his immense knowledge to his band of disciples. Eventually Bill declared that he'd done as much as he could and it was now up to us! So early in 1974 the inaugural meeting of the Society took place, a constitution was drawn up and the first committee elected. Bill of course became a life member and the organisations first President.

Len Mason and Tony Usher outside the Public hide at Loch Garten in 1974 during the first of their 20 annual stints guarding the Ospreys.
Note the sensible shoes and bell-bottoms!

1975 and one of our first outings from left to right; Jill Claridge (later Thornley), Len Mason, Roger Thornley, Jessie Maurice, Peter Perkins, Elizabeth Perkins, Rene Tivey.

1985 and a comfort stop on the way to Spurn. Left to right : Len Mason, Bob Groom, John Somerville, Peter Haslam.

KOS weekend trip to mid-Wales, probably early 1980's : Evan Prosser, Roy Bircumshaw, Peter Haslam, Sue Heath, John Somerville.

Early April 1986 and Len, Frank, Barrie and Tony get the day off from duties at Loch Garten. Carn Ban Mor was out of the question due to snow so we walked down Glen Einich to the Loch of the same name

1989 and the KOS's 15th Birthday Celebration trip to Scotland.
Those that set out all reached the summit of Carn Ban Mor at 3,443 feet asl! Left to right : Frank Dearden (standing), Bob Groom, Peter Haslam, Jean Emsley, John Somerville, Tony Usher, Terry Heath (photo taken by Sue Heath)

We're going up to Scotland again in 2017 - but I don't think Carn Ban Mor will be on the itinerary this time!


Every Christmas between Christmas Day and the New year we traditionally have a "Christmas Walk". This one ended up at the George and Dragon in Great Budworth and dates to the mid 90's (Guessing there!). From the back: Roger Thornley, John Somerville, Derek Pike, Jill Thornley, Helen Thornley, Barrie Armitt, Barbara Somerville and Jean Brookes.

Lindisfarne sometime in the 90's. Alf Caldwell, Len Mason and Tony Usher doing what they're best at.

1997 and a week based in Tain on the east coast of Scotland. Left to right - Frank Dearden, Len Mason, Barrie Armitt, Keith Kelsall,Alf Caldwell, John Somerville

1999 and a wonderful 25th Anniversary trip to the island of Lesbos.
Left to right. back row - Pete Hall, Roy Bircumshaw, Keith Kelsall, Elizabeth Perkins, John Somerville, Derek Pike, the hotel owner.
middle row - two hotel staff, Geoff Blamire, Tony Usher, Olwen Usher, Sheila Blamire, Jill Thornley, Brian O'Riley.
front row - Terry Heath, Sue Heath, Jean Emsley, Frank Dearden, Jean Brookes, Liz Hall, Peter Perkins, Len Mason

Anglesey 2003. Left to right - Derek Pike, John Grassby, Len Mason, Sue Grassby, Jean Brookes, Terry Atkinson, Geoff Blamire, John Somerville, Roy Bircumshaw, Sheila Blamire, Bob Groom.

2004 in the mountains of Crete in search of the Bearded Vulture. Left to right - Bob Groom, Terry Atkinson, Geoff Blamire, Len Mason, Sheila Blamire, John Somerville

2007- Peter Hall, Len Mason and Sheila Blamire. Pete used to work on a farm in Toft and his contributions to the CAWOS periodical "Bird News" entitled "View from the Farmyard" were widely acclaimed. he and his wife Liz are now living on the Llyn peninsula

No trip to the Wirral for the high tide is complete without some chips from the Parkgate Chippy - Len, Sheila and Hazel Raw - 2008

Two clever lads - in the foreground Mark Eddowes aviation safety guru and inveterate record keeper and behind Geoff Blamire who wrote and maintains the CAWOS data base, seen here at the RSPB Conway reserve in 2008.

2012 and the KOS long weekend in Barmouth. Just part of the party here - Back row - Peter Acton, Sheila Blamire, Tony Ellis, Tony Usher: front row - Jean Emsley, Dave Butterworth, Alison Acton.

2012 and a good turnout for a mid-week walk around the perimeter of Runway 2 at Manchester Airport - Left to right(ish) Phil Rowley, Roger Barnes, David Patterson, Bob Groom, Susan Rowley, John Somerville, Dave Butterworth, Derek Pike, Butterworth jnr., Tony Ellis, Len Mason, Frank Dearden, Sheila Blamire, Bill Killey, Geoff Blamire.

2013 Christmas party - Alison Lea and Tony Ellis


June 2014 and a good turnout for an evenings birding in Mobberley.
Left to right - Bill Killey, Jude Halman, Alan Langston, Big Bill McCaig, Barbara Langston, Jane Davies, Frank Dearden, Len Mason, Tony Ellis, Jacquie Ledward, Susan Middleton, Sheila Blamire, Nick Davies, Ken Davies, Geoff Blamire.

July 2014 Sheila Blamire, John Somerville and Tony Ellis setting a blistering pace around Neumann's Flash.

The Trip to Teesside in October 2015.
Left to right - Frank Dearden, Jude Halman, Dave Butterworth, Tony Usher, Jean Emsley, Sue Grassby, Lyn Graves, Simon Graves,Derek Pike, Sheila Blamire, Geoff Blamire, Bob Groom, Len Mason, Jean Brookes

Christmas Party 2015. A great end to the year with 28 members enjoying themselves and a record profit of £ 275 at the end of the evening!

2016 Christmas walk around the Northwich Woodlands.

From L to R Len Mason, Tony Usher, Sheila Blamire, Jean Emsley, Dave Butterworth, Izzie Butterworth, Jean Brookes, Geoff Blamire, Frank Dearden, Derek Pike, Bob Groom, Jude Halman.

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