Writes about winning fanciers past and present
Olympic Torch in Kingston
Four days before the 2012 Olympics opened in London the torch was run through Kingston-upon-Thames and attracted massive crowds, on what turned out to be a very hot summer’s day. The torch was taken down Penrhyn Road, right past Barry Buggy’s front door and he tells me the crowd was five deep on the road side. He is well know locally for his pigeon training trailer, the ‘Buggy Mobile’, which he built him self several years ago and on the day of the torch run he parked it up outside his home to promote the sport. The torch bearer was welcomed with a pigeon liberation off the trailer and every one enjoyed the spectacle. Barry is a very keen gardener and he decked the ‘Buggy Mobile’ out with flowers and the union flags. Barry’s two lads, Tyrone and Fabian, both race their pigeons in the Esher & Dist RPC and with the help of their friend, Frazier; they set up a water station next to the trailer on the day, and gave away a hundred bottles of water to passers by. They also set up a row of 20 chairs on the road side for the old folks to sit on to watch the torch go by! Well done to the lads! Barry and Sue work tirelessly to improve the estate they live on and have spent a fortune of their own money planting out the communal flower beds and cutting grass areas. Barry has a heart as big as his ‘Buggy Mobile’ and has done painting and decorating free of charge for many of the old age pensioners on his estate over the last ten years. Sue says, theirs is the finest council estate in Surrey!
The Buggy lads race to the smallest loft I’ve ever seen and only race a very few pigeons, with some good success. This season saw them send two birds to the hard L&SECC Bergerac (454 miles) race at the back end of July and record 67th open Classic. A really good performance, when several of the premier fanciers failed to get a pigeon! Tyrone Buggy has won some good prizes in recent seasons, including the Hamworthy race in the ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-week Club at the beginning of July 2008. He won the race with his sole old bird, the black cock, ‘Ninja’, and he had raced the whole 2008 programme un-paired. The ‘Lion Brewery’ is a very hard club to win; having a big top quality membership and young Tyrone beat 145 birds to secure his first win. ‘Ninja’ was a gift ten day old youngster from Martin Penfold of Kingston and Tyrone’s mother, Sue; hand reared him to weaning age. Tyrone won £22 pools with his winner, but donated the money back in to the club funds. When I saw the Hamworthy result it was nice to see young Tyrone’s name at the top and all those premier fanciers below him. Tyrone’s best pigeon, the black cock ‘Ninja’, disappeared from their loft and is presumed killed by a Sparrowhawk. Black feathers were found around the loft site and it looks like he has been taken by the hawk. The lad has since done brilliantly with his little team of babies, winning 1st, 2nd Hamworthy in the ‘Lion Brewery’, 72nd open L&SECC Guernsey (1) and 39th open L&SECC Guernsey (2).
Three Borders Federation (Honiton)
The Three Borders Federation held one of the season’s fastest old bird races from Honiton, when the 1,017 bird strong convoy was liberated at 07.45hrs in a south west wind. Mr. & Mrs. Graham Evans had a brilliant race, recording 1st, 2nd Isleworth Club, 1st, 4th Federation. The partner’s Federation winner was their out standing two year old widowhood blue pied cock, ‘Thor’ and he has a list of top performance to his credit, including: 2012: 1st club, 1st Federation Honiton (1,017 birds), 1st club, 4th Federation Yeovil (2,055 birds), 1st club, 17th Federation Honiton (850 birds), 2011: 1st club, 17th Federation Kingsdown (1,966 birds), 4th club, 21st Federation Kingsdown (1,090 birds) beaten by four loft mates, 2nd club Kingsdown. A contender for the Federation pigeon of the year I think? Another top performer for the Evans loft in 2012 was the two year old widowhood blue pied cock, ‘Petty Boy’, and he won 1st club, 10th Federation, 28th SMT Combine Yelverton (2,000 birds), 2nd club, 21st Federation Taunton (1,082 birds).
In the course of a racing season I write many times how delighted I am to see good workers in our sport do well racing their birds! In the normal run of things, secretaries, chairman, presidents and dare I mention, pigeon writers, find it very difficult to compete properly with their birds, because they put so much of their pigeon time and effort in to their pigeon jobs. Graham Evans took over the Isleworth SRFC secretary’s job in 1995 when my late aunty, Beat Penn, retired and has worked hard in the office ever since. Graham has proved to be an exception to the rule and in spite of being club secretary and Three Borders Federation delegate for the very strong Isleworth club; he is very successful racing his pigeons.
Graham races a small team of cocks on the widowhood system and likes racing up to 300 miles, and told me he doesn’t dislike long distance racing but hates the long wait at the loft for arrivals. The cocks have about four inland races before being split in to two teams, one for inland and the other for racing from France with the Combine. He feeds a standard ‘widowhood’ mixture and never breaks the racers down, but always shows the hens on marking night. The cocks are well trained before the first Federation race and during the season have regular daily exercise sessions around the loft to keep them race fit. The Evans partners have a smart 16ft x 5ft racing loft which consists of an 8ft section for the widowhood cocks and the other 8ft half of the loft houses the young bird racers, and all clocking is on the ETS System. Graham tells me he is a ‘scraper’ man and he says a fancier can find out a lot about the health of his birds from their droppings, and has never used deep litter, although can’t see any thing wrong with the idea. The main families kept are Van Loon / Janssen and Meuleman, and most of Graham’s stock came from Ken Wise, with some coming direct from Reis and Gerard Schalkwijk of Holland. He breeds 25 youngsters to race every season and these are fed on a good standard young bird mixture. He has tried the ‘darkness’ system, but maintain although they look great and race well, he has trouble getting them to moult their last two flights at the end of the year. The Evans’ young birds race the whole programme through to 180 miles.
The first ten in the Federation result from Honiton were: 1) M/M Graham Evans 1993: 2) Terry Goodsell 1975: 3) A. Stoner & son 1975: 4) M/M Graham Evans 1975: 5) M/M Frank Carson 1974: 6) Honey & Grandson 1974: 7) M/M Frank Carson 1973: 8) M/M Frank Carson 1972: 9) Terry Goodsell 1970: 10) Crook & Iddenden 1969.
A very special thanks to Dom McCoy of Ashford who is doing a brilliant job as Federation Transport Manager and Race Controller this season. The 2012 old bird season has been a particularly difficult, with east winds and rain, rain and more rain. It is Dom’s first season doing the job for the Federation and talk about being thrown in at the deep end! In spite of all the adverse weather conditions we suffered, he has done a brilliant job.
On a personal note!
I think it is common knowledge that we have put up some outstanding performances through the years with our pigeons, but in recent times because of the pressure on my time with my massive commitment with in the sport, we have done very little racing. It has always given me a big buzz to hear of other fanciers doing well with our bloodlines and the 2012 has been an exceptional season for others with our birds. We gifted our good friend Clive Turner of Capel a latebred mealy pied cock in 2010, bred from our R. & K. O’Connor bloodlines and this game pigeon scored inland a couple of times, and then went on to win 1st open Combine Saintes (374 miles) this season. Clive also recorded 3rd South Coast Federation Fougeres (192 miles) with a blue bred from our bloodlines this year. Dennis Abbott of Basildon won 1st open BICC St Vincent this season with a blue cock bred from one of our Eric Cannon cocks mated to one of his own hens. Dennis visited our home in Claygate ten years ago, when he won 1st open L&SECC from Guernsey and took home four top Eric Cannon youngsters. Our good friends, Ced and Clive Allwright of Ashford, won 2nd Federation Poole (130 miles) on a really bad rainy day this year, with a Brian Denney hen racing on the natural system. This game hen was bred from a daughter of our number one Brian Denney stock pair, ‘Sasha’s Boy’ and ‘Lady Tuff Nut’, and is a great granddaughter of Brian’s Champion ‘Tuff Nut’. Fred Dickson of Cramlington is still racing and winning big time at the grand age of 85 and the 2012 season saw him win 2nd, 3rd, 4th Federation Bourges (581 miles) with our best Eric Cannon bloodlines. This great fancier lives in Northumberland and has bred several 1st Federation winners from our Eric Cannon stock birds, which he has obtained over the last eight years. Congratulations to these fanciers and thanks for letting us know about their success!
I hope my readers have enjoyed this article on Graham Evans and Barry Buggy, two great all rounders, workers and pigeon racers!
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)