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“On The Road” With Keith Mott


Looking back at London & South East Classic Club winners (Part 2.)


London & South East Classic Club ‘Brooker Gold Cup’


One of the main trophies in the London & South East Classic Club was the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ competed for each season in the Tours Yearling Derby and is won by the first nominated yearling on the open result. When the old London Columbarian Society disbanded a few years ago their magnificent array of trophies were donated to other clubs and the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ was donated to the L&SECC by the Society. This wonderful trophy was solid gold and was insured for £5,000. I was chairman of the London Coly in the 1980’s and my good friend, the late Dick Brooker of Claygate was president for a number of years at that time and there was always confusion that he had donate the ‘Gold Cup’, but in fact a Mr. W. Brooker had originally presented the cup many years earlier. One of the record holders of ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ wins must be the late ‘Pop’ Burgess and son, Roy, of Kingston who won the trophy three times with the London Coly in the 1980’s. I recently had a phone call from Roy, who is still racing pigeons successfully and now lives in St. Leonards near Ringwood in Hampshire. Looking back to the old Kingston days Roy said, ‘my dad and I won the Combine and Federation many times, but one of our best performance was winning the London Coly ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ three times’.


Betty and I won this wonderful cup in the London Coly in 1985 with our yearling Dordin mealy cock ‘Gold Strike’ and I remember that Nantes race to this day. This natural cock was so keen that he was through the open door and in his nest box before I had time to move toward the loft to clock him! ‘Gold Strike’ recorded 1st club, 3rd Surrey Federation, 9th SMT Combine, 21st Amalgamation (8,612 birds) from Nantes that day and lifted five trophies, including the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’. The Dordin pigeons from Ron Wasey and John Hopwood were brilliant racing and in the show pen from the outset, with the main one being a Mealy late bred named ‘Ronnie’, which was gifted to us by our great friend, Ron Wasey of New Addington. ‘Ronnie’ won racing and in the show pen, and was the sire of many winners, including ‘Gold Strike’ and was sire of Annette Boyd good stock hen, ‘Lucky Lady’. The 1986 season saw Annette Boyd of Tolworth win 1st open SMT Combine Bodmin Young Bird race with 3,592 birds competing, and this in only Annette's third year in the sport. The Combine winner, was known as 'Double Ace', a very nice apple ­bodied hen of Dordin breeding, had already started to show its potential the week prior to the Combine race when she won 2nd club from Weymouth. The dam, bred by us out of ‘Ronnie’, was Annette's well known one-legged red chequer hen 'Lucky Lady'. This game little hen lost her leg as a young bird in 1985. She was found hanging from the snow guard on the roof of Annette's house, firmly caught by her ring and was rescued with the aid of a ladder. Her leg was so badly damaged that it eventually shriveled and dropped off. Annette, being the animal lover she was, would not part with the hen and housed her in a rabbit hutch hoping she would breed in 1986. She re-paid her kindness by breeding her Combine winner!


The London & South East Classic Club winners of the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ were: 1998: Tony & Dol Fletcher, 1999: Steve Appleby, 2000: Tony Haynes, 2001: Cyril Luxton, 2002: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Langbridge, 2003: Skeete & Keen, 2004: Skeete & Keen, 2005: J. Richards, 2006: Steve Appleby, 2007: Mr. & Mrs. R. Maybey & Son, 2008: A. & G. Young, 2009: Mr. & Mrs. R. Maybey & Son, 2010: Keith Gosling & Michael Jarvis, 2011: Ken Wise, 2012: Terry Haley: 2013: Terry Haley.


The late Tony Fetcher and his wife, Dol, of Old Woking flew in the Pyrford Social R.P.C. and two nicer people you couldn't find! They won the Nantes Yearling Derby and were the first L&SECC winners of the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ in 1998. Their record in the L&SECC was outstanding since joining the club in 1994, winning countless positions including: 1998 – 1st open Nantes (Yearling Derby), 6th open Guernsey; 1997 – 2nd open Alencon; 1995 – 4th open Angers, 7th open Poitiers, 7th open Vire; 1994 – 9th open Corancez. A brilliant loft performance! Tony and Dol's Nantes Yearling Derby winner was their Janssen blue cock called ‘Blue Fly’, bred down from Ponderosa bloodlines with his dam, a wonderful blue hen, winning 1st club, 1st Federation as a young bird. He was a widowhood cock, paired up two days before he was sent to the Nantes Classic and had previously won 43rd open L&SECC Alencon in 1998. This game cock is medium apple-bodied in the hand and had a full wing when he won the 1998 Nantes Classic, which was a wonderful performance. Tony had been in pigeon racing for over 20 years at that time, having previously been a budgie breeder and to say that he was thrilled to win the Classic would be an understatement.


The L&SECC had a first class race advisor in the form of Steve Appleby of Ash and in recent year has won the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ twice.  He first won the cup racing on the south road from Nantes (279 miles) in 1999, timing in a blue chequer pied cock now named "Sky Prince" to recording 12th open on a very steady racing day. In 2004 the race took place from Morpeth on the North Road a distance of 275 miles and Steve was delighted to win this cup for the second time with a little blue chequer hen "Sky Crusader". Three weeks after winning the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ this game little hen was turned round and sent as a single entry to Cholet on the south road again with the L&SECC, a distance of 289 miles. She was timed after 9 hours and 21 minutes on the wing racing into a north east wind, winning 94th open, velocity 947 ypm. The ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ has only been won twice several times before in the L&SECC by the same fancier, including the partnerships of Reg & Richard Maybey, Skeet & Keen, Terry Haley and Steve Appleby, but Steve’s is the only loft to win this coveted award on the north road and the south road. I first met Steve Appleby back in the mid-1990, when I first started convoying for the London & South East Classic Club and he was my race advisor. In that time we had some great fun working together, producing some good racing for the Classic and have become very good friends.

 Errol Skeete of the Skeete & Keen partnership

I first met Steve Appleby in the mid-1990’s, when I first started convoying for the London & South East Classic Club and he was my race advisor. In that time we had some great fun working together, producing some good racing for the Classic and have become very good friends. Steve has a sound knowledge how forecasts work as he has studied meteorology for over 20 years. Stevie is the best race advisor in the sport and in recent years has taken the job to new higher level of excellence. I ask you, where would race advisory be in this country without Steve Appleby? He has the best technology available and is 100% dedicated to producing the very best racing for the fanciers every Saturday, whether it is Federation or Classic. Steve and I served on the committee of the London & South East Classic Club for many years together, where he was a Life Vice President. Several years ago Steve and his wife Annett moved from Guildford to Ash and started to race from his new garden, with outstanding success.



John Haynes of Slough was one of the most consistent racers in the L&SECC and he won the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ in the 2000 season. John won the La Ferte Bernard Classic (2,800 birds) in 2002 and the weekend after the race saw me make the 25 mile drive to Slough in Berkshire to visit the winning loft. This was the third time that I had visited his garden, as this great fancier and gentleman had won the L&SECC three times in recent seasons. He previously  won 1st open Perth in 2001 with his champion blue cock ‘Stumpy’, which was my vote for the Classic's ‘Ace Pigeon’ of the season, having also recorded 4th open Thurso (500 miles) and John won 1st Open Guernsey (young birds) in 1999. His La Ferte Bernard classic winner was a handsome two year old Deweerdt / Cooper dark chequer cock raced on the widowhood system. The La Ferte Bernard race was his first time in France and he had four inland training races in his build up to his Classic win. John had been in the sport for over 30 years and was no stranger to winning big-time races, having previously recorded 1st open BICC Pau in 2007, 1st open SMT Combine when in partnership with the Gilbert family; 21st open Saintes NFC; 8th open Pau L&SECC (with the grandsire of his Guernsey Classic winner); 8th and 15th Open Yearling Derby L&SECC and 3rd open Sennen Cove L&SECC just three weeks prior to winning the Perth Classic in the 2001 season. He raced 36 cocks on widowhood and in 1999 tried a few hens on a semi-widowhood, with outstanding success, winning 21st open Saintes NFC with a yearling blue hen. The racers were paired up in late January and when the first-round of youngsters were 15 days old the hens were taken away before they lay their second round of eggs. The cocks finish rearing and were on widowhood when the squeakers were weaned. He had two teams of widowhood cocks, one for sprint and one for the Channel, and all got six training tosses before the first Federation race.


Alan & Gary Young of Croydon won the ‘Booker Gold Cup’ in 2008. The father and son partnership of  have set the Surrey pigeon fancy alight in recent season with their fantastic performances, which include 1st open National Flying Club, 1st open London & South East Classic Club and 1st Combine. Alan and Gary had three pigeon come together from the second London & South East Classic Club young bird Guernsey Classic race (2,000 birds) and produced a fantastic result by recording 1st, 2nd and 3rd open. The first pigeon too hand and to win the Classic was the blue chequer cock, ‘Anto’, and he had previously won 4th open Federation (1,495 birds) Portland. His sire was bred from the T.B.O. Partnership’s champion racer, ‘Mack-One’, winner of four times 1st Federation, when mated to, ‘Shore Bet’, also winner of four times 1st Federation. The dam of ‘Anto’ is a M. & D. Evans hen bred down from their champion ‘Hillcroft Fantasy’. This game cock was a ‘darkness’ youngster, flying his fourth race when he won the Guernsey Classic and was sent sitting seven day old eggs. In fact he was mated to the 3rd open Guernsey Classic winner, ‘Amelia’, which had previously won 3rd Federation (1,495 birds) Portland, 13th Federation (1,667 birds) Blandford. When Gary came around to my home in Claygate after the event to have his birds photographed, we had a good chat about the race and he said, the three birds were in the loft together and it was just a matter of which one came to hand first would be the Classic winner. The 2nd open blue chequer cock, ‘Danny Boy’, was bred from a Geoff Kirkland pigeon, the same one that bred the Young’s 2006 NFC Chale winner, Champion ‘Louisa’, making then half brother, half sister. Gary says, it was a shame he didn’t clock ‘Danny Boy’ first from Guernsey, as it would have meant the Kirkland pigeon would have bred a National winner in 2006 and a Classic winner in 2007. Mind boggling! ‘Danny Boy’ was the Young’s first bird clocked from the first Guernsey Classic two weeks previous, to record 33rd open and I think he must be a good contender to win the ‘Wally Dann Memorial Cup’ for best young bird of the year. This young racing machine was sent to Guernsey sitting eggs and had previously won 5th Federation (1,696 birds) Blandford.


The 2009 winners of the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ were Reg and Richard Maybey of Virginia Water, with their good yearling widowhood blue pied cock called ‘The Gold Cup Cock’. His sire was bred by Orly en Dirk Pals of Bovenkerk and was purchased on trip to Holland in 2007. His dam was a Grizzle gifted to the Maybey’s by club mate John Waldron and Richard said, ‘I took a shine to this hen the first time I handled her at the club and John promised me that when she retires I could have her’. She is a 2002 bred pigeon who has scored over the channel many times, with her mother being a Combine winner from Nantes and her father was a purchase from Lier market in Belgium. In their short time racing in the L&SECC, Reg and Richard had been very successful racing hens, with their main classic stars being ‘The Bergerac Hen’ and ‘The Classic Hen’. Both these two champion hens have put up fantastic results in the classic being raced on the roundabout system. I think their performances are well worth a mention with them winning: ‘The Classic Hen’: 2nd open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 5th open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 12th open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 23rd open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 55th open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 72nd open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 8th Federation Picauville: ‘The Bergerac Hen’: 2nd open L&SECC Bergerac (450 miles), 6th open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 15th open L&SECC Guernsey (OH), 108th open L&SECC Bergerac, 3rd Federation Kingsdown. Two fantastic hens! The partners enjoyed many successes through the years with their pigeons, including many Federation wins, 2009: 1st open SMT Combine Messac, 2008: 2nd open L&SECC Bergerac and 2007: 2nd open L&SECC Guernsey (OH). Reg and Richard Maybey previously won the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ in 2007 with their good blue chequer hen, ‘The Classic Hen’.


The Virginia Water loft had many brilliant years racing their birds, but it set the Surrey / Berkshire pigeon fancier alight in the 2009 season. The partners won the Three Borders Federation four times in the 2009 season and also won the Berkshire Federation four times, and to top off a brilliant season won 1st open SMT Combine (3,174 birds) Messac. The Combine winner was the two year old widowhood blue chequer cock, called quite plainly ‘The Combine Cock’, and previous to his Messac win he recorded several premier positions including 1st club, 5th Federation Yeovil. On the first race of the 2009 season Reg and Richard put up a fantastic performance by recording 1st, 2nd, 3rd Three Borders Federation and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Berkshire Federation on the same day. The partners won 1st Federation eight times in the 2009 season. Brilliant pigeon racing! They flew as Reg and Richard Maybey, but had two great in the pigeon partnership, with their wives, Jocelyn and Silvie. The pigeon racing at the Berkshire loft was very much a family affair with Reg and Richard being a father / son partnership and another important part of the team is family member, Harold Coleman, who had been helping out with the very successful pigeon management for over 20 years.


Keith Gosling and Mick Jarvis of Mountnessing were one of the most consistently successful partnerships in the London & South East Classic Club over many seasons and the 2010 season saw them win several trophies in the Classic including the coveted ‘Brooker Gold Cup’. The partners are from good winning pigeon racing families with Keith Gosling’s uncle being a fancier and Mick Jarvis is a third generation pigeon racer, with both his father and granddad being outstanding fanciers. His dad flew in the famous Enfield partnership of Ellis & Jarvis. Mick flew in partnership with his dad from 1980 and was very keen on sports, being a County Footballer and Rugby player. Football was his passion when he was a lad and played Saturday and Sunday Football for Cheshunt F.C. and Crystal Palace Youth. Mick recalls, the top fanciers locally when he started up were John Turnell and Pat McKeown. Keith Gosling and Mick Jarvis formed their successful partnership in 1995, when Mick’s dad sadly passed away after a short illness with Cancer. With owning his own work business and having a young family at the time, the only way that Mick could continue in pigeon racing was to form a partnership and with him and Keith being good friends, the arrangement has worked out well over the years. The lofts were set up in Keith’s back garden and with the best of their original lofts, a team of young birds were bred and started to race North Road in 1995. The partners crossed their Verheye and Janssen pigeons and in their first race recorded 2nd, 3rd, 4th club. They went on to win 1st club, 14th Federation (3,332 birds) shortly after and a few weeks later recorded 1st, club, 1st Federation (2,581 birds). Keith told me, we were up and running! They raced in the Hutton FC (Essex Combine) and Hillside FC (London NR Combine) and with a very small team of birds won four first prizes in the first season and ten in their second year. Their loft set up was pretty regular, with a 24ft conventional widowhood loft with open door trapping and a 12ft young birds loft.


Gosling & Jarvis told me when I met up with the two lads, ‘We enjoy all racing, not so much sprint racing, but Continental racing at all levels and try to compete whenever we send. We don’t consider that we have enough experienced pigeons to compete in International racing, but one day we would like to have a bash at that type of event. Our family of pigeons perform well at all distances up to 600 miles and our most thrilling and probably our best performance to date was from the 2007 London & South East Classic Club Pau race. We sent four birds to Pau, flying nearly 600 miles, and clocked two on the day to record 2nd and 11th open’. Brilliant pigeon racing!


I was delighted to report that Ken and Lyn Wise of Isleworth had won the 2011 Tours Classic in great style! Their winning pigeon was their yearling Gaby Vandenabeele blue chequer pied hen, ‘DE A3’, and this game celebrate hen won it all, 1st open Classic, 1st open Yearling Derby, £500 Jackpot and the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’. Brilliant pigeon racing! She was sent to Tours paired to Ken and was so keen; she fell over when she hit the landing area on the loft. Ken told me at the time she wasted a lot of time composing herself after the tumble, but still managed to get on the ETS to record her L&SECC win. ‘DE A3’ has been raced un-paired all this season, flying the Alencon Classic two weeks earlier and has been trained off the south coast, plus one north road toss from Stevenage. Her sire is Ken’s outstanding blue Gaby Vandenabeele stock cock, ‘DE 195’, which has bred several premier racers for the Isleworth loft including: ‘DE A3’ winner of 1st SW section, 1st open L&SECC Tours, her nest mate ‘DE 008’ winner of 1st SW section, 4th open L&SECC Guernsey (young bird) and ‘DE 130’ winner of 1st Three Borders Federation Yelverton (993 birds). This fantastic stock cock was bred by M. & D. Evans directly from there champion breeder, ‘Benneton’ and he in turn was bred from the very of Gaby Vandenabeele’s loft. The dam of the Tours Classic winner was ‘DE 159’, another M. & D. Evans / Vandenabeele, bred by Dave Hawkins and she is a daughter of his great breeder, ‘One So Wonderful’. Outstanding pigeons breeding outstanding pigeons! Ken has a very smart loft set at his home in Isleworth and was built by local carpenter, Mick Sutherland, to Ken’s own spec about fifteen years ago. He says the days of a closed in loft have long gone for him, as he now suffers with the dreaded pigeon fancier’s lung and now has to have an open loft, backed up by regular use of a loft coat and mask. The 32ft structure has a full length corridor, three sections for his 32 widowhood cocks and two sections for his young birds, grilled floors and self-cleaning nest boxes to keep down the dust. The loft has open door trapping, but now that Ken is fully on the ETS system, a wire door is used on race days, so the birds walk through a trap and across the pads at floor level.


My good friend Terry Haley of Watford won the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ from the Tours Classic in 2012 and what a good season he enjoyed that year. His ‘Gold Cup’ winner was his yearling natural blue pied hen, ‘Gold Strike’ and she recorded 4th section, 25th open, and was the only bird on the Tours Classic result flying over 300 miles. A great performance! This game hen flew most of the young bird programme in 2011 and recorded 20th section , 63rd open BBC Fougeres. The Haley loft in Hertfordshire races both South and North Road, and Terry told me at that time that his yearlings had raced really well on the north that season, winning a list of positions including 1st club Newark, 1st club Weatherby and 1st club Newark. His good mealy hen, ‘Miss Anticipation’, has won 2nd section BBC Carentan and ‘Kerry’s Gift’, bred by Terry’s friend, Kerry Mellonby of Bridlington, recorded 3rd section E NFC Cholet. A great 2012 season for Terry Haley! He went on to win the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ twice in the L&SECC, the second time in 2013, the club’s last season. Mid-season in 2013 I did a paragraph in the fancy press on this brilliant performance of winning two Federation on the same weekend, but straight after that his young bird performances climbed to ever great heights! Betty and I bred, and gifted a blue M. & D. Evans / Gaby Vandenabeele cock to Terry in 2013, and he finished the season by winning the Combine for the Haley loft. The blue cock named ‘The Watford Wizard’  has won as a young bird in the 2013 season: 14th Spelthorne open Yeovil (650 birds), flew the L&SECC Guernsey Young Bird Classic (a really bad race), was then clocked from the NFC Carentan (France) Young Bird National to record 415th open (3,330 birds) and seven days later was turned 205 miles North Road to Aycliffe to win 1st club (by 20 minutes), 1st Thames Valley Federation, 1st open North Thames NR Combine. Terry won the L&SECC ‘Brooker Gold Cup’ again in the 2013 season making it two years on the trot that this coveted trophy had gone to the Hertfordshire lofts. His winner that season was the yearling mealy cock, ‘Golden Boy’, and he was flown on the natural system. Terry has a very successful line of mealies in his loft and this cock was bred down from a long line of good channel winners.


That’s it for this week! I hope my readers have enjoyed our little insight into the ‘Brooker Gold Cup’; it was very special to win. I can be contacted with pigeon comments on telephone number: 01372 463480.


TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com).








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