DOWN MEMORY LANE - WELSH LONG DISTANCE GREATS
by Gareth Watkins
I was recently rummaging through my archives and came across the following photos, which I'm sure keen students of long distance pigeon racing will find interesting.
The group photo shows a group of top Welsh fanciers at a PD of the WGNFC circa 1969, I would guess. Third from the left is George Fear of the Fear Bros, Pontypridd partnership, breeder and racer of Champion Jeannette, whose photo is also included. On George's left holding the Queen's Cup is the late Elijah Atwell of the famous Atwell Bros of Newport, multi-National winner and breeder and racer of amongst others the great Mary Anne. On Elijah's left holding the cup is the late Walt Thomas of the Yews & Thomas partnership, who won the Lerwick National in 1969.
I have also included a photo of Jeannette, winner of 1st Shrewsbury 86 miles; 1st RV Fed Thurso 9th sect 15th Open WGNFC Thurso 1966; 15th sect 28th Open WGNFC Thurso 1967; 1st RV Fed, 2nd sect 2nd Open WGNFC Thurso 1968 [beaten by a decimal point for 1st Open]; Thurso 1969 13 1/4 hrs on wing; 42nd Open WGNFC Lerwick 1970; 1st RV Fed, 1st Welsh NR Fed 1st WGNFC Lerwick 1971 vel 431. Jeannette was a grand daughter of Mary Anne and also a grand daughter of the Atwells Barcelona Cock, 4th Open Barcelona 750 miles.
The other photo is of another great long distance hen, Davies, Moulds & Williams' Lavinia, 1st Fed 1st WGNFC Thurso 1971 15 hrs on the wing when only 13 birds made it on the day into Wales. [My father and I got two of the 13]. Lavinia was an absolute beast of a bird - the harder the race the more she liked it. She had many other top class performances and also topped the section of the WNR Fed from Elgin when there were only a handful of birds on the day. She was of Tommy Samuels' Westcott blood with, I believe, some Gwyn Richards Hansenne blood as well.