The Beveren rabbit has been popular for flesh production as well as fur and exhibition during the last 25 years. It was first introduced in one colour, and in those days was called a Giant Blue Beveren. The colour was a slate shade of Blue, rather dead and really uninteresting but the rabbit was large and carried a thick heavy coat. The breed early showed signs of a big future because it developed its size in a short time, and, as a flesh producer, thus found fame all over the country.
In those days many Beverens were shown at 13 or 14lbs in weight. Since then muc has been done to improve them for exhibition, and gradually various colours have come, so that the Beveren Club now recognises its breed in four colours, namely, Blue, White, Black and Brown. (there is now a fifth, Lilac).
During these days of progress, attempts have been made to introduce other colours I have named.
When this progress was first started severa; persons, who were then very interested in the breed, thought the time had arrived when a standard ought to be set up so that an ideal could be aimed at. So a club was formed and a standard issued. The club became the foundation of the old British Fur Rabbit Society (which was a forerunner of the present British Rabbit Council) and of the Beveren Club of today.
Time passed, the Blue Beveren gaining more and more in popularity was now followed by the White Beveren. This newcomer was peculiar and showed very clearly the Angora had played a big part in its introduction. The coat was white, long and like cotton wool. Very often on the ear tips came tufts of long white fur, and the whole rabbit was really a big second class Angora. Never mind, said the founders and went on with their work. They became benefactors for the provided cups for the best of their kinds. And so encouraged improvements, till now we have these charming whites, which have coats like silk.
Theout of the dark coloured Blues came something approaching Black, that presented an idea for the Black Beveren. Experiments were made on mating the darkest coloured Blues to a Black of another breed, will eventually came a Black Beveren. This stange fellow did not at first find much favour and so its introducer had to find a name for it. Its was called "Sitka", and one was brought for inspections to the old British Fur Rabbit Society, whose leaders asked for all details, and finally decided that its nearest relative really was the Beveren.
This stranger progressed and got into more hands, till one day up sprang a gem, which took the whole fancy by suprise. Mr Marwick at a Bradford Show brought up this "dark horse", a large jet black, lustrous in coat, with not a sign of a white hair, and with such a lovely texture the nearly everyone who visited Bradford Show had to look at it and try their hands on it. Yes, this "Sitka" was a Black Beveren all rigth and the BFRS, along with the two Beveren Clubs then in existence, were proud to have accepted its origin. I can't say we have improved on that specimen - not so far.