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Keith Mott

Writes about winning fanciers past and present

The Champions of Yesteryear - Part 9



of Hersham


One of the premier lofts right through the 1970's and early 1980's in the Surrey area was that of Charlie and Arthur Maycock of Hersham. I visited the father and son partnership in mid-October and they had just enjoyed a great 1976 season, recording 13 times first, 10 times second, 14 times third, 2 nd . Hersham Open from Weymouth (245 birds), 2 nd . London Coly Open from Wadebridge (349 birds), winning the London Coly 'Brooker Gold Cup' and many premier Federation positions. On my arrival, Arthur invited me down to the loft, which at that time was undergoing extensive alterations. Charlie said the loft was too high and wide, and the birds were hard to control. The 'L' shaped loft was 30ft. long, 4ft. wide at the young bird end, widening out to 5ft. at the other end where the old birds were housed. The Maycocks kept 30 pairs of old bird racers, bred 50 youngsters each season for racing and no stock birds were kept. The inmates were trapped through open doors and a sprinkle of sand was used on the loft floor after every clean out. The main families raced were Blackaby / Putman and the Newman / Cattrysse pigeons which were introduced in 1976. The partners didn't do much training, as the birds raced mid-week with the London Coly, but they got training up to the first Federation race, when it all stopped and the birds got an open loft all day, weather permitting. The team was paired up at the end of February, although they were paired a bit earlier in 1976, which was very successful for the Maycocks.

The first pigeon we looked at on my visit, was the favourite of the loft, 'The Mealy Pied Cock', and this handsome 1969 bred pigeon had won three Open races and seven firsts in the club. He had bred some really good winners for Charlie and Arthur and his sire won £1,000 racing. In fact the next pigeon we handled was a strawberry mealy son of 'The Mealy Pied Cock' and he had won £500 racing, which was a lot of money at that time, ten firsts in the club, and 2 nd . Hersham Open from Weymouth in the 1976 season. This cock was the same stamp as his father in the hand, medium-deep and had been flown through to the longest race from Bergerac (460 miles). Another premier pigeon at the Maycock loft at that time was the 1967 bred, red chequer cock, 'Red Splash', and he was a champion racer and bred Federation winners for the Hersham loft.

Charlie had been racing pigeons for 50 years at that time and was a firm believer in changing his methods with the times. Charlie started up with a pair of Bob Chitty pigeons and won his first race from Templecombe in the old Walton club. He only sent one pigeon to this, the first race he competed in. The loft had won the Federation many times through the years and had been in the Combine result out of turn. The partners best performance at the time was 1 st . club, 2 nd . Federation, 2 nd . open London Combine Rennes and they came home and found their grizzle cock bathing in the garden! Arthur told me, the basket was the only pedigree they were interested in. They were hot on feeding their birds, with inland racers being fed on the tin, with a good mixture and the channel racers on the hopper with extra beans and peas. Many outstanding pigeons were bred at the Maycock's loft for other fanciers and good winners were always being reported to them.

To say that Charlie and Arthur had a good season in 1978 would be an under statement, as they won three firsts in the very strong Surrey Federation. The partners won 1 st . Surrey Federation (2,013 birds) Plymouth , which was the longest young bird race, with a Barker dark chequer cock, which they named 'Pinocchio'. The 1978 Bergerac race, 460 miles, proved a good race for them, recording 1 st , 2 nd , 3 rd . in the Molesey club and 3 rd . in the Hersham club, with four birds clocked on the day of liberation. Another of the 1978 Federation winners was a nice dark hen purchased at the 1976 Surrey Federation Transporter Auction, being bred by the Federation President, Stan Chandler, and she won from Exeter with 2,699 birds competing. That great season produced some outstanding performances in the S.M.T. Combine for Charlie and Arthur, recording 11 th . open Vire, 47 th . open Angers , 11 th . open Bergerac and 27 th . open Vire (young birds). The Maycock's third Federation winner of the 1978 season was a blue hen named, 'Joanna's Pet', and she won from Weymouth against 3,330 birds. A brilliant loft performance!

Charlie's daughter, Josephine, took a big interest in the birds, in fact, she purchased £150 worth of Newman / Cattrysse pigeons for the partners in 1976. She clocked the London Coly birds in on Wednesday afternoons. Arthur didn't like showing much, so Charlie and Josephine went off to the shows in the winter months and were very successful. Charlie told me at that time that he admired a successful small team man and maintained that many good fanciers don't score in the Federation and Combine because of where their lofts are situated. Charlie and Arthur Maycock, one of the great Surrey partnerships of the past!



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