“The Original” Around The Up North Combine
The Late Bryan Garbutt of Liverton Mines
By Good Corn
Sadly we lost a former fancier when Bryan Garbutt of Liverton Mines recently passed away aged 80. Bryan was born in Stanghow (Lingdale) with the family later moving to Carlin How living at Furnace Cottages which was in front of the Skinningrove British Steel Works. At 15 Bryan and his mate went on a blind date with two girls but half way through the date they swapped partners with Bryan falling in love with Enid who later became his wife. The couple married in 1958 with them living in Carlin How for a while, Bryan was in the Army serving in the Green Howards with him being one of the last ones who did National Service. It was after they had Carole they moved to east Loftus and then onto Liverton Mines with Bryan & Enid going on to have 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren who did everything as a family. The growing family would spend Holidays together at Primrose Valley, Flamingo Land, Butlins, Camping, they would set off in a convoy with Bryan leading the way and under no circumstances would any of the family overtake him, even if Bryan took a wrong turn and they all knew he had they would still follow on. Bryan loved to spend time in the garden with him always saying flowers were made for the garden not the house, him and his son Graham would build shed and fences, Bryan was never a sitter he had to be doing something.
Bryan & Enid on their wedding day in 1958.
As a young boy Bryan loved Pigeons and started racing in partnership with his Father Percy in the 1950s flying in Skinningrove Homing Society which was a very competitive Club. In those days the members had to run to a central clocking point to time their birds in on a race day. It was when Bryan moved to Liverton Mines he started back up with the Pigeons flying in Loftus H/S which like Skinningrove H/S, it was a very competitive Club. Not a lot of families had cars in the good old pigeon racing days where the birds used to be transported to the inland race points by train and flown by plane for the water races before the Up North Combine obtained their own transporters. There was not the wide range of corns and supplements available like there is now, nor was there as many races in the race programme like there is today. Bryan's final port of call with the Pigeons was when he went into partnership with his daughter Paula's partner Trevor Lancaster flying their Pigeons in the village Club Liverton Mines H/S. Trev & Bryan flew as Lancaster & Garbutt with Trev's young son Jamie who had taken a interest in the birds helping out at the loft for a while. Trev's daughter Emily later joined the partnership flying as Lancaster, Garbutt & Daughter and Paula also helped out at the loft with the family enjoying some very successful years together winning races and averages, including winning 1st Club, 1st East Cleveland Federation old bird Melton Mowbray in 2009 with a yearling blue pied Soontjen widowhood cock “Liverton Pride” bred by Mr & Mrs Brian & Judith Crane of Dormanstown. In the same season they had a young Fabry cross blue hen winning three races on the bounce.
I only got to know Bryan through his Pigeons and later found out that I went to school with his daughter Carole, I had visited Bryan, Trev, Paula & Emily at the loft a number of times over the years with Bryan always offering me a coffee as soon as I got through the gate. In the early days of racing the Liverton Mines fanciers were members of Loftus H/S until the members formed their own Club in the village, Liverton Mines H/S. As time went on the membership reduced to only a handful of members so the remaining members rejoined Loftus H/S. Trev, Paula & Emily moved house to Loftus where they managed to get an allotment, Trev, Bryan, Paula & Emily flew there for a couple of seasons before leaving the sport.
Bryan holding “Liverton Pride” winner of 1st Club, 1st East Cleveland Federation old bird Melton Mowbray (2), with Jamie holding a blue Fabry cross hen winner of a consecutive 3 x 1st Clubs as a young bird in 2009.
Bryan was always very active if he had any spare time at the loft he would be seeing to his garden plot or cutting down trees, he was still climbing and cutting trees with a chain saw at the age of 76. And up until he was 77 he would go on a 2 hour morning walk over the cliffs to Saltburn, I never knew Bryan at the time but I used to drive past him every morning on the Carling How to Brotton bank on his daily walk, Bryan completed his walk every morning without fail. Bryan loved his family and was always there for them and he was a good husband to Enid who worked well together cooking, cleaning, gardening and bringing up a beautiful family. Bryan & Enid were so proud when they received a card and photo from the Queen for 60 years of marriage, look what can be achieved by swapping blind dates. Things were a lot different in bringing up a family in the 50s and 60s to what it is now, it was a lot harder that's for sure as there was not a lot of money around then and not the handouts there is now. Bringing up a family of five was not easy but although they never had much money the family always wore clean clothes, had a bed to sleep in, food on the table and all the love in the world. It was not surprising to see so many attend Bryan's funeral for he was a very popular and respected man.