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Keith Mott writes about winning fanciers past & present


Congratulations from friends and family in the Surrey area, to Arthur Payne, who celebrates his 80th. birthday on Friday, 30th. March! This great Kingston fancier is 80 years of age and has never driven a motor car, doing all his pigeon work on his push bike, including taking the birds to the local club on marking night.

His little team of racers only had one Guildford (20 miles) training toss before the first race and was only out of the Three Borders Federation result a couple of times in the 2006 old birds season. Arthur didn’t send to the last two S.M.T. Combine races, but still finished up third in the Federation Individual Points Trophy at the end of old birds. His 2006 old bird performance in the Federation was: 23rd. Federation (1,563 birds) Wincanton: 4th. Federation (1,805 birds) Wincanton (2): 2nd, 17th. Federation (1,737 birds) West Bay: 20th, 21st. Federation (1,775 birds) Kingsdown: 23rd. Federation (1,212 birds), 45th. open S.M.T. Combine Yelverton: 8th. Federation (1,223 birds), 48th. open S.M.T. Combine Wadebridge: 5th, 23rd. Federation (1,557 birds) Exeter: 8th, 23rd. Federation (1,081 birds), 9th, 39th. open S.M.T. Combine Truro: 6th, 7th, 12th,17th. Federation (1,376 birds) Portland: 3rd, 8th, 20th. Federation (788 birds) West Bay (2): 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th. Federation (1,068 birds) Lulworth.  

Back in the 1970s I flew in the very strong Kingston club, Surrey Federation, with Arthur and he was always one fancier to look out for, especially in the channel events. Arthur is now 80 years of age and told me that after racing in the Kingston club for over 50 years he was very sad to see this great club stop functioning at the end of the 2003 season. 2004 was Arthur’s first season racing in the Surbiton Flying Club and won ten races last season, taking the first three positions several times. 

Arthur’s set up consists of two small lofts, which are scraped out regularly and they are very open, as he is a fancier who likes plenty of fresh air for the inmates. He says he’s always been a scraper man and has never used deep litter on the loft floors. The old birds are raced on a type of roundabout system, with 25 pairs of racers being paired up in February. Never having driven a car, Arthur just rides a bike, so his hens are trained on the local pigeon transporter twice a week. The cocks are not trained, but exercised round the loft every day. The racers are fed a good widowhood mixture, being broken down in the early part of the season and are given extra maize as the races get longer. Just like the normal widowhood system, the hens are shown to the cocks on marking night and they race every week in the Federation. The main stock cock was a Winckel called ‘Peanut’ and a lot of his winning bloodlines are in the loft today. This wonderful old cock was Arthur’s favourite and used to come into the back kitchen, and eat peanuts off the table. ‘Peanut’ was never raced from France, but won many inland races for the Payne loft. He was a good racer, but a better breeder, and has bred no end of winners for Arthur. ‘Peanut’ was bred by C. H. Besant & sons and strayed in to Arthur’s loft as a young bird, but liked the Payne loft so much, he kept coming back and was gifted to him. A wonderful old pigeon!



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