BEFORE THE OLD-STYLE SIAMESE CLUB (OSSC)
The very existence of the Old-style Siamese Club is owed to the Traditional Siamese Cat Association UK (TSCA UK).
Sheelagh Le Coq, from Jersey, started writing to cat magazines about the change in appearance of the Siamese Cat. Many readers contacted her resulting in the formation of the UK branch of the TSCA in 1995.
Sheelagh did all of the initial work and breeders of the old-style of Siamese contacted her. Of course, there can be no old-style cats without old-style breeders!
Many of the breeders who had not shown for years generously sold breeding cats to members of the TSCA UK as well as allowing their studs to be used. The prefixes of Ballybran, Hancas, Kayou, Lu-Chu, Marrondon and Sibir can be seen in many of our pedigrees.
In the USA the TSCA has its own registry and online shows. Several of the founder members of the OSSC wanted a club that could be affiliated to the GCCF to challenge the current look of the Siamese, using the current Siamese standard of points. They did not want to change the name of our cats because they are Siamese and share common ancestors with the current show cats.
After many telephone calls and emails the inaugural meeting was held and the Club was born on July 16th 2000. Present at the meeting were the founders of the club: Margaret Lindgren, Carol Hague, Marilyn and Douglas Dawson, Frances Benedito and Julia Craig-McFeely.
We were originally called The Classic Siamese Club but someone in the USA claimed to have copyright over the name "Classic Siamese". Rather than have protracted pointless arguments we changed our name to the "Old-style Siamese Club".
We applied for pre-affiliation and then affiliation with the GCCF, which we eventually obtained. One sticking point was the Standard of Points (SOP). We maintained that the current SOP could be applied to the old-style Siamese. When we eventually obtained affiliation we were categorised as an 'area club'. This meant that we could not attend meetings of the Breed Advisory Council (BAC). More recently we have been categorised as a 'specialist breed club' under the main heading 'area club'. We still do not have representation on the BAC.
We have always insisted that our cats are not a separate breed but the result of breeders not selecting the more modern look for their lines. As all the cats are Siamese this means that old-style breeders can use any Siamese cat in their breeding and the breeders with the more modern look can use old-style Siamese. We may all need each other to correct size, ear set and eye colour as well as the need for genetic diversity. Our philosophy is that they are all Siamese and we love them all!
Note: If any person wished the 'old-style Siamese' to be categorised as a separate breed the name of the cats would need to be changed from Siamese.
This has been done in other registries. The cats given the name ‘Thai Siamese’ or ‘Thais’ with Siamese as an acceptable outcross, but ‘Thais’ not accepted as an outcross for the Siamese. This is because many are not from pure Siamese lines, especially in Europe.
No member of the committee has ever made enquiries for our cats to be reclassified as a separate breed. A good old-style Siamese can fit the current Standard of Points (SOP), and this is what all breeders should be aiming to achieve. There is no justification in trying to reclassify our cats just because some imports are on the Reference Register.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT ALL OF THE FOUNDATION CATS OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE CLUB WERE FROM PURE SIAMESE LINES, AND NOT THE RESULT OF OUTCROSSING TO OTHER BREEDS OR 'SIAMESE TYPE' CATS.
All registries have slight differences in the Standard of Points for the same name of cat. Like all GCCF registered clubs we have no opinion on the SOP’s of other registries.