The year 2014. 

Traditionally, at the end of the year we look back.  Did the past year meet up to our expectations and what are the plans for 2015?

We certainly drew attention to our club’s activities and more than 250.000 people got acquainted with our club and its objectives, which led among other things to 115.000 hits on the club-site. We were very successful. 

We organised three major Shows, starting in January in Sweden in Kistamassen with 20.000 visitors, than in April in Ghent ‘Beestjes en baasjes’ with 30.000 visitors and finally Aalten in the month June with 35.000 visitors. We also participated in smaller events in Schagen (18.000 visitors) and in May we gave a successful lecture and various presentations for a few hundred interested people at the IVN meeting in Stedebroec. In November we  were present at the Dierendagen at the TT Hall in Assen, where 3.800 people attended the event. 

Furthermore, we - that is to say our presentations group of stray rats - contributed to the creation of four Dutch movies, that have their premieres  from Januari 2015 on. Important and interesting contacts were made, with subsequent invitations to more contributions in 2015 and personal contacts with actors and actresses as Derek the Lint, Georgina Verbaan, Tygo Gernandt and the Borsato family were made, leading to very positive reports in newspapers, on television and on radio broadcasts. For our PR, 2014 was a great year. 

Animal welfare and the accommodation issue had our attention as well. We designed a carrier and a specially designed show tank, with due modesty called ‘Rattonia box’, as we brought to your attention in a previous newsletter. 

Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Marleen Gras we finally have, in draft, a constitution. During our first AGM in 2015, you can take it into consideration and give your opinion. If passed, we are from then on operating fully legal according to the Dutch legal requirements. 

For the Joh Qualm Trophy 2015, we had to look for a new location. Starting last October, we were busy orientating and making choices between a couple of offers. Finally we decided for a great location in Den Helder : the Atrium of Hotel Den Helder. Because this is a beautiful and spacious accommodation we can organize, for the first time, a total animal event. The small rodent show is just a small part of it. A show that large requires a larger organisation and we are very pleased that Ms Ilona Buth has agreed to team up. She has extensive knowledge and is experienced in organising such larger events. 

We are well aware of the fact that for many of us the trip to Den Helder is quite a distance: after all for many from Utrecht to Den Helder is three times further than from Den Helder to Utrecht. Still participants and visitors do get a lot in return and if you decide to come, make a short stay of it. Den Helder has a lot to offer. Rooms at the Atrium cost € 39.-per person, including breakfast, cancelling fee, parking and rodent accommodations. Just a small tourist tax is added and if a pet, i.e. a dog. Is staying at the room you have to pay extra. 

The hotel has a lot to offer too; a bowling alley, midgetgolf course, blacklight golfcourse, beverage at reasonable prices. You can rent a bike, the beach of Huisduinen is nearby  as is the ferry to Texel. Bicycle and pedestrian guides are available, do try the Route Napoleon, even by canoe. What about a visit to the old shipyard Willemsoord, build by Napoleon and recently fully restored. Ever been in a real submarine? Or visit the Scorpion, called ‘ship of cracks’ for thirty years. Within walking distance you can visit one of the last Conservatories of our country with  the largest Japanese garden of Europe.

Besides the good hotel  kitchen, Den Helder has at least 25 good restaurants within the range of 10 kilometres and the Marine Museum is the second best museum of our country, after  The National Museum in Amsterdam. In Den Helder the sun always shines, your smile cannot beat that. 

The Joh Qualm Trophy will take place on Saturday June 27th 2015. You may enter mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits and degoes.

Guinea pigs, rabbits and degoes will be showed in show- racks, for all other animals you will need show tanks. Information booths and sales booths will be present and demonstrations will take place. Show animals may be sold to family and friends, but professional animal trade is strictly forbidden. If in any doubt you first contact Tonia.

Before entering, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian, for participants without extra charges. The upper deck of a bus present in  the Atrium is designed as a ventilated smoking area. As of today flyers are available in both German and English. 

Because of the comprehensive character of the Joh Qualm show, preparations started very early, but smaller events take place as usual and new chances are always welcome. With confidence and a lot of common sense we look forward to 2015. So far we only mentioned the successful trial and errors, but one day that show in a real fortress of the Dutch ‘Waterlinie’ will take place, as will a floating show accommodation.  It’s better to want something you don’t have, than to have something you don’t want!

We start 2015 with our first show in Sweden and our president, together with Myrthe, will depart on January 1st  with a loaded Fiat Doblo.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, all the best for 2015 and we hope to meet again on one of the RCR events. 

The Board of the RCR.