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Mr & Mrs Bromley of Trevethin, Pontypool





of Trevethin, Pontypool

by Gareth Watkins 

Ian Bromley with one of his multiple winners

This partnership have quickly made a name for themselves in the short time that they have been in the sport, culminating in a National win during the 2013 season and finishing as top prize winners in the 30 club strong Welsh South Road Fed.

In the company of Alan Lewis and Gareth King, I recently visited Ian and Tracy's home and interviewed the partners, and the following report is the result of that very pleasant conversation. So, over to Ian to tell his tale:-

"I first started in the sport in 2005 as a result of my Sunday afternoon visit to my local club in Trevethin, where I usually ended up having a few pints with my mates who were all pigeon fanciers and who were all taking the Mickey out of each other. I decided to erect a small loft at the rear of my workshop/garage so that my wife Tracy didn't know I had pigeons. The first birds in the new loft came from my good friends and drinking buddies, Ron Scammell and Paul Peploe who are legends here in Wales with more than 8 National wins to their credit. I also introduced six pigeons from John Hughes of Worley Lofts, Manchester and these pigeons were blended together to produce top class racers.

Stock loft and aviary plus corn store


Tracy soon cottoned on to the fact that I had racing pigeons and not chickens in the little loft and she encouraged me to build a "proper" loft if I was going to take the sport seriously. As a result, our present loft measures 30ft x 8ft deep and has 3 sections south facing. One section houses the young bird team and is fitted out with 80 box perches. The second section houses the old cocks and has 30 nest boxes and the third section, which is at right angles to the other two, is fitted out with sloping lift off perches for the old hens.

We keep a team of just 15 pairs of stock birds in a separate loft with aviary and usually race around 45 old birds - 30 cocks and 15 hens on the roundabout system.

The back and sides of the racing loft are built out of thermalite insulating blocks and this helps to maintain a near constant temperature within the loft.

Ian & Tracy


The stock birds are usually mated at Christmas purely because I have 2 weeks off from work at that time. I don't rear off the race team but do let them pair up over the Christmas period. They are allowed to sit this first nest of eggs for a week and are then separated. I then pair them up again 3 weeks before the date of the first race. I find this seems to steady my yearlings up. Also at this time the birds have been exercising well for some weeks during the winter and so I might give them just one or two tosses at twenty miles before racing, with no further training afterwards. I rarely need to force the birds to exercise as they generally go with a swing during their twice daily exercise periods of one hour for both cocks and hens.

On basketing night I simply open up the boxes for the cocks and then let the hens in with them. As soon as a cock goes down in the nest pan calling, he is removed and the hen he's with promptly goes and finds another cock to mate with. This goes on until all cocks and hens have been basketed.

The cock section


My young bird team is normally about 50 strong and they are usually raced on the darkness system. In 2011 they flew really well, competing in the full programme with the Fed plus the South and South East Nationals. We sent the babies to Lillers [250 miles] twice in 8 days and they were 4th 10th 22nd 24th 58th 71st National and they were sent again four days later to Lillers to win 1st 2nd 6th 10th, all the same birds. Also, just before going to Lillers for the first time they scored 7th 22nd 52nd National Eastbourne.


Bamfords mixtures are fed to all birds and we may add more energy grains such as maize depending on the weather. All birds both young and old are fed to appetite with the main feed after morning exercise and a lighter feed at night. This is to ensure that the birds respond immediately when I call them in after their morning exercise period as I have to leave for work by 7am and the birds must be safely tucked up inside the loft before I go.

The hen section


As I mentioned earlier, these are mainly from my good friends Ron Scammell and Paul Peploe. These birds have been responsible for 4 National winners. I have also introduced other birds from John Hughes of Moston in Manchester and Steve Vasey of Portsmouth. One Vandenabeele hen from Steve was raced in the Europa One Loft race and was then purchased at the race auction and has produced 12 winners and four fed toppers plus one Nat winner for us plus many other minor position winners. [I handled a number of the pigeons during my visit and all were in excellent trim and conformed to a similar type of just on medium size with beautiful feather quality - Gareth]

When deciding on my matings I try to put best to best - winners to winners to hopefully breed more winners! I have to thank my good friends Ron and Paul for all the good birds and sound advice on racing and management. They have been a great help since I came into the sport

As for my most memorable performance, obviously my first National win, but this year I sent one cock to every race from first race to last and he was my only entry in the Bordeaux National and he came to win 13th Open National on the day -  I have never been more happy to see him.

The loft set up


All are vaccinated before the start of the season both stock birds and racers. All are cankered every 8 weeks and they get garlic once a week on the corn with multivitamins once a week and fresh water the rest of the time. All birds are bathed weekly. I also use the Comed range of products which I have found to be excellent."

Alan Lewis, Ron Scammell, Ian Bromley and Gareth King at the Bromley loft


The partners' 2013 race results racing with the Welsh South Road Fed, the largest fed in Wales with over 30 clubs competing and a catchment area from Newport in the East to Llanelli in the West, are:-

30 Fed cards in the first 20 positions and Ian and Tracy were the only members to take the 1st three positions in the Open in a Fed race.
2x1sts Fed  
2x2nds Fed
3x3rds Fed
3x4ths Fed
4x5ths Fed
1st Fed Bedhampton
1st Fed Lyndhurst
2nd Fed Falaise
2nd Fed Lyndhurst

National positions

Falaise:- 1st, 3rd, 4th, 27th, 47th, 63rd, 68th & 112th
Carenten:- 9th, 38th, 47th, 102nd, 107th
Norte sur Edre:-  3rd, 5th, 48th, 56th, 102nd, 108th
Bordeaux:- 16th only one bird entered

Saintes:- 21st

National wins since

2009:- 1st club 1st Fed 1st section 1st Open Welsh National Flying Club old birds

2010:- 1st club 1st Fed 1st Sect 1st Open Welsh National Flying Club Lillers old birds

2011:- 1st club 1st Fed 1st Sect 1st Open Welsh NFC Lillers young birds

2013:- 1st club 1st Open Welsh South Road National Flying Club Falaise

Not a bad record I'm sure you'll agree, for someone just seven years into his pigeon racing career. Well done Ian and Tracy on an excellent series of results and good luck for the future.

Trophies won with WSR Fed National in 2013

Like many top lofts in Wales, the Bromleys have decided to take up the challenge of National, and eventually, International racing with the fast expanding Gwent Greater Distance Club and the superbly organised BICC. Who knows what the future holds for this ultra keen partnership?



Elimar - December 2013