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Mr/Mrs Tony & Debbie Calverley & Silent partner Lenny Jenkins

of Dagenham

win the converted London NR Combine Tommy Long Trophy 2018

By Demolition Man

I thought it might be of interest and helpful to do a Q&A with this unorthodox partnership.

The London NR Combine Tommy Long Trophy is one of the most prestigious trophy’s you can win on the North Road. Mr Mrs Calverley have been racing for over 30 years winning many clubs & feds this also includes 1st open Amalgamation and 1st Open LNR Combine. However Tony openly admitted that his enthusiasm had started to wane over the past years and his results started to reflect that. So his thoughts were how they could rekindle their mojo. Then Tony had a light bulb moment and thought a new introduction to the team would be just the ticket. “NO” not a new family of pigeons a new helper in the name of Lenny (the lion) Jenkins. Now Lenny is pigeon mad and is as keen now as when he flew with his dad Lenny Snr over 50 years ago. Lenny is like the traveller of Dagenham pigeon community not being able to have his own lofts he’s done the rounds in the area helping others to success. Lenny’s introduction to this partnership does seem to be a very smart move on Calverley’s part, with the results and mojo returning almost instantly which is great news for them and bad news for their competitors.

Well that’s a little insight to the partnership now onto the Q&A.

Question Methods

How can you two personalities be so successful with different ideas and methods you are like chalk & cheese?  (With Tony you get a much laid back character and with Lenny a loud and proud attitude). So much for being the silent partner Lenny.


Lenny; It’s easy I look after the race hens and stock birds Tony looks after the race cocks we both share the load with the baby’s. We race both hens and cocks on the widowhood system. However our systems are different, I have the hens out all day every day in sun rain or snow they fly the sky out and I love watching them, I also like to be in the loft as much as possible with the birds.


Tony in loft                                                                                   -                                                                           LEN


Do you not find having the hens too fit early in the year affects their racing in the longer races? Would you do anything different if you were racing the cocks?


Lenny; No the cocks would be treated no different. I am still learning with the hens but its seems to make no difference to their results one of my hens of Padfield x Ken Hinds blood was 1st Club 2nd M/S 10th Open L.N.R.Combine Thurso flying over 500mls.



Tony; I have a different approach I like my birds to rest during the winter and I don’t have the birds out. The less I disturbed them the better for me, again it makes no difference to our results one of my Vandenabeele cocks was 6th open L.N.R.Combine Perth flying over 300mls & 12th open L.N.R.Combine Thurso flying over 500mls.


Do you find keeping the cocks in the loft all winter that they get overweight? Would you do anything different if you were to race the hens?


Lenny with the hens


Tony; Yes the cocks do put on weight however once the birds are paired the weight is soon lost, especially once they start driving the hens. I’ve never really tried racing hens only on the natural system; however I think if I were to race hens I would let the hens out once a week and then out one month before pairing every day just to get the weight off. But after that I think my system would be much the same as the cocks.


How do you work so well together with the young birds and how are they raced?


Lenny; we race the young birds on the dark system they are put on the dark from weaning and come off on the 21st June. We have come up with a system that suits us both; we train the baby’s hard once they are off the darkness. However this is were it gets a little tricky neither myself nor Tony drive so we have to rely on our good friends Lou Jefferson and Jeff Stevens for training.


Question Supplements, Treatment & Feeding

Do you have any special feeds supplements, treatments before pairing or racing?


Tony; All birds are injected for parmixo before racing and all birds are tested for worms canker etc before pairing. The Widowhood Cocks get a breeding mix Sunday, Monday depurative mix. The rest of the week they get a widowhood mix with 10% Barley added. On return from the race 1/3 pellets 1/3 depurative 1/3 seed mix.

Lenny; The Widowhood hens get a breakdown mix Saturday and Sunday and are then fed similar to the cocks. I do add a fat mix peanuts and oils when the birds start to go further up the road. I also like to pair the hens and have them on eggs for the longer combine races.

Young birds they are fed Gerry plus which is beefed up once we get up the road, we also use Primlac in the water and multivits on Wednesday.


Widow Coccks Loft   -   YB Loft  


Do you think fat mix is important for the longer races?


Lenny; Without doubt fat mix are a must when sending to the longer races the last thing you want is your birds to start burning energy from their muscles.


Is there anybody you would like to mention that have helped you over the years?


There are far too many to mention over the years. However if we could just say a big thankyou to all club officials and secretary’s in our opinion everyone should look up to them. They make this wonderful sport what it is today so much work for little reward. I would also like to thank Lou Jefferson & Jeff Stevens who train our birds and to Bernie Wilson who picks us up and take’s us to the club for marking each week. Our results would suffer without the help of those lads we can’t thank them enough.


What are your thoughts of trying to get new members into the sport?


Lenny; I would always encourage new starters by helping them out with a few birds and advice.  People have the wrong idea of the sport only a few weeks back I went to Doncaster show and pigeons were making over £5,000. Any new starter seeing that would be put off straight away. Believe me you don’t need to spend big money to get results; hard work is a big part to winning races. So if you spend big money and don’t put the work in you might as well just put your money down the drain. So for me I would tell a starter to go local for birds most members will give a new starter a few birds for free I’m sure.

I would like to thank Tony & Lenny for their openness and honesty when compiling this report. And I hope they have given you a few tips an ideas for the coming season 2019.

I will now leave you with some of their main racing results for 2018 enjoy.

RPRA London Region Trophy ;Victory Trophy (Best average 3 longest old bird races north or south road in Fed, Combine or National races, competing in one organisation)

London North Road Combine ;Thomas Long Trophy (Best average 3 old bird races)

J Mahoney Trophy (Best average 3 bird Thurso) J.Morrison Rose Bowl (Best average 4 Combine races) LNRC Section 4 Trophy.

West Essex Federation  Old Bird Average, R/U Young Bird Average, Combined Average, Combine Average,Perth & Thurso Average,Berwick & Aycliffe Average,Overall Points Trophy.



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