From the archive: the mouse breeders of Shipley, 1983

Big news from Yorkshire’s mouse capital of the world

For anyone thinking the cover of the Observer Magazine of 21 August 1983 has ‘British eccentricity’ written all over it, ‘Mouse proud – the cut and thrust of British mouse breeding’ doesn’t disappoint.

Maureen Green went to Shipley in Yorkshire – ‘the mouse capital of the world’ she was told – to talk to some leading breeders of the National Mouse Club. It began with a heated dispute in the Under Eight Weeks Old class at the annual awards. ‘Although the animal itself is so minute, it’s the work that has gone into it, you see,’ said one member. ‘And when you are breeding something so small, to improve such fine points, the judging also has to be very, very precise.’

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