Richard Scott talking to Jim Emerton
Richard with his birds
1 Who or what got you interested in pigeons?
My interest in pigeons must have been in my blood I think, as my grandad raced them, when I was a young boy in Birmingham. Although I wasn't allowed near his loft, a quiet, serious, big chap! I also had an artificial pet white pigeon as my favourite toy!
But it all started when we moved to a small holding in Wales, my dad had got some coloured pigeons from a local friend, but one day I came back from market day with 27 racing pigeons, kept them in for two weeks, let them out, and off they went , never seen again ! I then next kept fantail crosses as a teenager, easy. That was it for 30 years, although they always fascinated me, until I had to stop working 9 years ago, due to a bike accident .
My dad and I were collecting some free firewood locally, when two lads were waiting next to a shed in their garden outside, looking upwards. I have to ask them what they were looking for? They replied- 'waiting for our racing pigeons to return from France !! Wow! I thought. They said, 'the chap up the road has more birds than us and races well', next thing we were knocking on Mr Mike Hale's front door, 'come on around the back-yard lads' he said. After several hours of tea and chatting I came away with 15 pigeons, stock and young birds for about £100, I think. Great chap. Then the pigeon corn store on the way home, more pigeon talk with Cliff Davenport, then home to convert my workshop in 24hours to a loft type shed! My mates helped and it was done, Sputnik on the front and I was away, trained my birds, joined my small local club, and won my first young bird season, also with some more birds I'd purchased again of Mr Hale. I'd got the bug.
I then realized there were several pigeon fanciers locally who'd stopped racing, I went to visit them for information, Old George had lovely red chequered flock, I tried 12. Nice birds. Then I discovered Cameron Stansfield lived only a field away, and he used to fly long distance. Off I went to introduce myself, great chap again, ended up cutting his big hedge in exchange for 12 young birds off his fine selection of proven racers.
The local club have been excellent with me over the last 5 years, but I yearned for more. I then read articles by Jim Emerton! That was it, he wrote just like I had thought about pigeons. Strong, determined and content pigeons, mostly open loft - which I like to see. I liked everything he wrote and his ideas and conceptions on it, seemed fresh and not old fashioned. That was it, I emailed him several times with many questions, he helped in any way possible. I then purchased more of his books so I can always refer to his tips and knowledge.
2 Do you love nature too?
I also love nature and was in the young ornithologist’s club as a lad, my schoolteacher/ headmaster was bird mad. His son is Iolo Williams offspring watch. His dad helped me get into bird watching, which I still do today. I also like all kinds of nature, foxes, otters, badgers, hares, fish and reptiles. I've spent hours hidden watching them in their natural environment. I do especially love birds of prey, which clashes when they take my pigeons, but they're such amazing and skilful creatures.
I respect but dislike mink, terrible nasty killers! Not keen on rats either.
3 Have you other livestock as well as pigeons.
My other livestock include keeping chickens, my parents have always kept them for meat and eggs, so I currently have around 30 chickens, all in trios, sets of 3- for breeding, sell their eggs for hatching in spring/summer.
We have 3 Beagle dogs and my old lurcher, we bred show beagles for 12 years to sell as pets, but that was long enough! I have also kept working ferrets most of my life. I did have a pet Jacob male sheep for 14 years, with big curly horns, fractured my toe in 8 places with them, until the neighbour (accidentally) poisoned him by feeding him hotdogs and hob nob biscuits! Heart attack! She said he loved them!
I've kept tropical fish, rabbits, even a pet crow in the past!
4 Describe the origins of your pigeons to us.
The pigeons I've had over the years have been from various sources, chicken markets, strays bred in my sheds, but mainly gift birds off fanciers cutting down or giving up racing. I then started buying some, few from the BHW magazine adverts, visit to Louella breeding stations, even one from Telford pigeon show. Some were good, some weren't .
I then got a dozen long distance young birds from my neighbour, Cameron, bred off them, then some better stock from Louella, bred off them too, a few from Chris Booth and John Ghent. All heading towards the longer racing types of pigeons. I've just been lucky enough to acquire a lovely batch through Jim and his racing partner Nick Harvey. So, I'm aiming at the longer, harder races from now on. The breeding of these birds off Jim are mind blowing, so next season I will be breeding myself some hopeful future Barcelona candidates, with some luck thrown in too.
5 What is your connection with my partner Nick Harvey?
My connection with your racing partner is a good one, I initially rung him a few years ago to enquire about purchasing some birds, after learning he has your strain. I didn't hear back, but seemed a nice chap. Two years later, I wrote him a letter asking again about the possibility of any birds. He liked my letter and enthusiasm, I think. A few texts later, then we spoke on the phone, we got on really well, a few similarities in ways. He quizzed me a bit on my reason for wanting marathon pigeons, then he agreed with Jim’s ok, to breed me 6 young birds, this ended up being 11 beautiful young birds in perfect condition, delivered by courier. All I had to pay was pay the courier. Never actually met the man, but he went to a lot of trouble to rear these beauties for me. I take my hat off to him. I owe him a big favour! Hopefully I can return it one day. In short- great bloke.
5 Who do you rate in marathon pigeon racing?
t's a job to say who I rate in the marathon racing, as I've only just got going myself. It takes time and dedication, so I admire anyone that's in it for the long run and gives it a go! More so if they do well. Obviously, Mark Gilbert seems the top man, a genius. But I admire more the backyard kind of racer, the old man who's been trying for years, then his favourite bird wins his race for him, that's real pride and passion, I think. Everything is on too big of a scale these days. My neighbour Cameron Stansfield first ignited the light about the buzz of long distance racing, after I visited his loft one summers day, showed me his big books of bird breeding details, photos of winners on the wall, showed me all his quality birds in their big loft. But he gave up racing in 2005, I think. But he still has the birds breeding line and just enjoys his birds now, great.
John Ghent has helped me with selling me some good birds, which I lost in a bad race, he then sent me 6 free ones the next year, very nice of him. Chris Booth sold me a few nice birds at a very reasonable, they all raced well, got 2 in the stock loft still, but most got hawked, injured or lost, unlucky bunch, or I wasn't treating them right looking back. Live and learn.
Apart from them two, mainly it's Jim and Nick who really got my blood boiling again - after 5 years sprint racing, with a few yearly channel club races, my enthusiasm was dying a bit. Win some, loose a few more! But after messaging and speaking to these two, then reading Jim’s books, and finally being lucky enough to be given some top-quality bred birds for my stock, well, I can't thank them enough. Got me hooked again ! This is what the sport needs more of to keep it going, men like these.
Obviously, all the old timers who I've read about in my old pigeon books, when times were hard, and they looked forward to a pint and a pigeon race as their weekly highlight ! Brilliant.
The one thing that really changed my outlook on it all , was the song, King of Rome, by the Unthanks. The original version is even better. It's great, listen to it most days. Even brought the book, then found out it's for kids. And went to watch the Unthanks band, but they didn't sing my song! What a bird in those hard times !
6 Can you tell us about your desire to do well in The Barcelona International race?
My desire to do well in the big International of Barcelona is growing every day, I visited the city last year, mainly to have been where my birds are going, then this year managed to send my best 8, two cocks and six hens, nothing for two weeks, given up looking skywards to see that landing spectacular. Then a local flyer phoned after 18 days from race release day, to say one of my hens had come in with his young birds out exercising, only 5 miles away, I went to get her, even my wife was keen to see her, we collected her and brought her back home, proud as punch, but still yearned to see one actually land on its loft. Two days later, I gazed skywards early morning, and had the perfect view of another hen gliding home, straight in the loft. Very late, but it's made my year, smiling for a week. I'd got two returns from my dream race point. Better late than never!
Since then I think about how to get them back in race time next year, or maybe it will probably take longer. See what my new marathon stock birds can produce for me ?
The night before Barcelona basketing, travelling down to the nearest marking station at 4am, in Newport, (3 hours’ drive each way) I couldn't sleep the night before with anticipation and excitement. I got there, and finally entered to the best race in the world. Very helpful staff there too. Got a speeding fine on the way home for good measure. What a morning!
So, in short, my desire is massive, and I've got the rest of my life to conquer it, and I will be the happiest man on earth if my pigeons do well. Who needs millions, you can't buy that buzz of seeing your cherished bird return to you? I can't wait for the next one to return ! Or more!
7 Can you write about your feeding and breeding systems?
Feeding and breeding interest me a lot, as there are so many hundreds of different opinions and systems it's unbelievable. Everyone has their own ways, that's what makes it so interesting .
I like to keep it simple as possible, just to make the daily tasks easier for myself really. If they can do well on a simple system, why complicate it? I believe in feeding quality feed, but not necessarily the dearest. Corn isn't what it used to be, just like the food we eat. That's why I like the natural feeds, elderberries-which mine go mad for every year in my garden, garlic I believe in also, eat it regular myself, wonderful stuff. Peanuts are great too. I'm also a great believer in chicken layers pellets ,preferably organic, but when times are hard, they'll help keep the feed costs down. I like the maize, they love it, and it builds them up nicely before the distance races set in. Try to give them the chickweed that flourishes in the polytunnel when I remember, gives them a nice shine. As for corn mixtures I tend to go for the non-fancy mixes, but also feed hormoform, peanuts, hemp and the like to top up the goodness needed when necessary. I do tend to over feed sometimes I think, but if they're flying well, I will carry on. A change or mix of two types of corn is good for them too I think, bit of variety in life. Just watch out for mould or vermin damage, sparrows are a problem too, sneaking in for seeds and spreading germs.
As for breeding techniques, I'm not that educated on it yet, but getting there slowly over the last 5 years, I've stopped keeping nice lookers, colours or characters if they're not good racers. I've wasted lots of money finding this out! Got to be ruthless really, way too easy to breed rubbish. It's got to be thought about long and hard, but mainly I believe in best to best, or even if they're all as good as each other, let them free pair, natural love. I think the bond is stronger, and maybe they know more than we do. Nature knows best in most situations. Don't like breeding them early either, let them rear up in the nice spring sun, more natural again. I do hope to master the breeding side of things more, but these amazing birds often prove us wrong or surprise us. So, if your birds are top quality, it makes the job so much easier. Don't keep untested stock, you could be weakening your racers as easy as strengthening them ! Got to be a bit of luck too I reckon.
8 What is 800-mile racing to you?
800-mile racing is my idea of eventual perfection for a pigeon really. As 500 miles is great, but can be done on the day, which is amazing in itself, 500+ is usually 2-3 days, but when you talk about 800, it's a long, long way. Almost a pigeon’s limit in reality to me, although pigeons have flown a lot further, 800 is a hard test to any pigeon I believe. Barcelona to me is 827, so that's why I've set my stall up for that race.
Plus, they can never fly in a totally straight line, so by the time they're home, they could have done double those miles, more in other cases. How many miles did my hens fly from Barcelona this year in 18 days? Unimaginable. I'd love to know.
If I could get decent returns from 800 miles, there would always be the temptation of if they could do a bit further! I don't think I will be the same until I re live 'The King of Rome' story! It stuck with me, a 1000-mile race from Rome. Amazing. Doubt it'll ever happen again but Barcelona will keep me happy- if me and my birds can do it !
More people should take up the challenge, aim for the top, we only live once. Imagine it, 1st open Barcelona international into uk, first ever !!!
9 What are your favourite books on pigeon racing?
Pigeon books! Vast and varied, when I first got into pigeons, I went book mad, anything about racing pigeons , I read it. One old timer from Ruthin, Mr Smythe, I think, gave me piles of old squills pigeon annuals and more. I read the lot! Then I ordered the BHW and purchased many other books. I couldn't get over the hundreds of different methods and tips. Collected all my favourite pieces in a scrapbook
My first favourite book was The Handbook of pigeon racing, by Jan Hermans, brought me by my father, a nicely written book covering all aspects, a chapter covering each one, feeding, housing etc. Simple but just enough information to get you going confidently.
My other favourite is Roads To Rome by Cameron Stansfield who lives nearby, a very interesting book, with methods from many different champion racers. I read it regular just to top up on the tips and methods used by others.
I'm honestly not just saying this because Jim is asking me the questions, but when I picked up his Pigeon Racing and Pigeon Man books, I was hooked, I read for three days! I just loved the alternative and irregular outlook on pigeons themselves, not just the methods and feeds. This switched me on to realise you've got to get the right birds to improve, or to get satisfactory results from them. Not expensive, fancy named ones, but the tested, clever, determined, well bred, hard mental attitude when needed, not the ones that decide it's too tough a job and give up- and usually become strays or hawk food. These books focus as much on the bird as the man, as after all, it's the pigeons that do the harder part of the deal. I also like the Vets Tips For Fanciers book, a lot of natural medication uses in there too. Very helpful.
10 Do you aim to have a family of marathon pigeons?
A new chapter has started now in my racing life, I really want a reliable family of long-distance pigeons so I can get that buzz of them returning from long distances more often than I have so far. I've had a few good ones over the last 5 years, regularly returning every year from the overseas races, but the amount that have failed is massive compared. They've got to be bred/ made of the right stuff to regularly perform this incredible feat. Flying over the channel is one thing, then having the guts and determination to then find your loft when tired, in nasty weather sometimes too, takes a special kind of bird I think personally.
So, I'm on a mission now to discover my best marathon birds through testing and keep a family going, always making sure I don't keep ones that are pretty nice colour or I've named for some daft reason, unless they're good of course. I've done it in the past and it's a waste of time and money. They should be capable of what you want out of them really. They can't be champions at every distance, but it would be nice to get a family that does well in the one to two-day races, as well as the extra-long ones, Agen and Barcelona for example. If they can do both but excel at a certain distance, preferably towards the 700+ mark, then I'd be a content racer. Keeping this going is hard work from what I've learnt, but where there's a will, there's a way !
11 Is training young birds a must or not ?
Young birds are funny things, some mature quickly and are soon looking and acting like adults. Others I find mature and grow slower, mentally as well as physically. So, I think you should go by instinct really, if it flies well, feels strong and looks the part then I think training and racing will give it the experience needed to be tested as yearlings. But then the ones that stay looking like teenagers should be treated lightly, as in all creatures, some individuals reach the adult stage quicker than others. It doesn't mean they're any better, I think some just need that bit more time and care than others, their same age. Nature I suppose, again. A few tosses and basket training are enough for some. Then the next year, they're ready .! There are way too many young bird losses these days in my opinion. It's full of obstacles out there for a youngster.
There is always the one to prove us all wrong again, as I had recently. I'd rung this year’s chick with last year’s ring, thinking I'd just treat her nice and steady until a yearling, but I accidentally put her in an old bird race at 12 weeks old, only a little hen, but I was having an off day, and didn't remember or realise. Anyhow, she'd never had a toss, 12 weeks old, and got sent in a 150-mile club race, she was my first bird back. I couldn't believe it.
I've also tried training and racing as hard as I could, ended up with only a few, thinking they're the better ones, only to lose them as yearlings. So really, if possible, observe them and try to treat as individuals I think, or at least groups, and bring them on how you feel is best, not how 'joe blogs' has said is the only way. After all we hope to race them for many years after if possible, so no need to rush them , but make sure they know their job is my opinion. There again, everyone has their own theories and methods. I don't agree with darkening / lighting as young birds, let them take in the natural sun and seasons. Your only young once.
12 What is important in a marathon pigeon?
I’ve had to think long and hard about this answer! What is important in a marathon pigeon? A hard question !
Is it the love of home, (loft, owner and loft mate) or is it pure guts, brains and determination? To have guts, brains and determination and to stick at it , in all conditions , with one thing on their minds, and that's to get back to home quick.
Clicking into how to re-create this bird and desire on race day, is what keeps the sport going, as if it was simple, there would be no thrill in it.
Getting back to the point, I think it's a mixture of the above ingredients needed, but most importantly is the bird has to have the right head too, as in mentality. It's the same in most sports, it's easy to look good doing your thing, but under pressure on your own its a lot harder to stick at it. I compare it to boxing, which I've done 6 years of. There are thousands that look good in the gym (loft flying or pedigree), but when it comes to stepping in the ring, 1 to 1, it's an entirely different story!
You've got to earn your place to get in the ring (or race), then you've got to perform to your best ability (race home regardless of obstacles, mileage) to do well or win.
At the end of the day I think it's either in the pigeon from day 1, or it's not. It's very important and up to us to recognize and nurture the bird into peak age and form for the big tests to come. Most pigeons will home, lots will race home inland, but very few can do that and then perform from overseas , many times and also manage to survive to the age to be ready for the test of its life. Marathon racing! It takes a very special bird in my opinion, and then to do well at it, or even win takes an absolutely exceptional bird and owner, also a massive achievement ! That's what gives me my buzz!
I hope I've answered this ok. I'm no expert, but who is? These birds always surprise us! It's important to stick at it as i have learnt. Too easy to give up. It takes a while to get a marathon bird let alone a loft full. Money can't buy everything!
13 Are other fanciers helping you with the sport??
Other fanciers help? I find it's a bit like the true or false game! Lol. Sorry to all the genuine truthful, helpful fanciers out there, but there's always a few rogues amongst us! I've been told some rubbish in my short 5 years of flying! Funny but also unhelpful. But some people don't like to see others doing well. A weird human trait in some, I think!
But the help I have had has been tremendous. From local flyers giving me free birds, baskets, books, and tons of good advice, to unknown people, who have also given me or sold me reasonably priced birds, spent time messaging or phoning me to help me out in any way possible. Unbelievable.
My local club, Pant of Shropshire fed, has helped me out mostly, as they got me started, gave me a clock, explained the ins and outs of it all, and really opened my eyes to a wonderful sport. Nothing seems too much trouble for them. And they call me the lad, I'm 50, they're 70-80 years old, Real flyers. Great help. The local pigeon corn merchant Cliff Davenport also has helped and encouraged me a lot.
Cameron Stansfield, John Ghent, Mike Hale, Nick Morris and Cliff Brown , Geoff Becket are the names that spring to mind. Last but not least, Jim himself, who I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, but he has got me hooked through his writings, but also put me in touch with others, spent hours messaging me advice and encouragement. Another real flyer he is, who I now am lucky enough to say I own some birds bred off his and Nick Harvey's best, so big hopes there. He and Nick have helped me massively, and without their encouragement I think in hard times, I may have given up by now. Genuine help, great.
14 How can people improve the profile and status of the sport?
I don't really know the answer to how people can improve the profile and status of the sport in this day and age! The commercial side of it isn't helping the majority of us but that's the way everything is now. It is also helping in a way.
I think as long as we keep racing, then it will go through its ups and downs, but I can't see it ever disappearing. Too unique.
Jealousy and bickering don't help at all, I've never known a sport with so much of it, at times. Hilarious at other times. Getting youngsters interested is the key, but that's not easy these days either.
Higher prize money would attract more people I think, as the cost of setting up a loft can be endless. But if the birds aren't entered then the prize money would be running a loss, I know. It's an unanswerable question I think, we will just have to keep sending them and see. Send em!
15 Have you enjoyed world travel and where to?
One of my favourite questions. World travel ! This was my passion before I had a motorbike accident 19 years ago and damaged my neck/spine. I can still walk ok but travel makes it more painful. Luckily pigeons have taken over!
I first started in my teens, hitch hiking to France with my mate, off fruit picking and to then travel the world was the idea! We arrived after the fruit season, ran out of money in 3 weeks and then limped home, with our heads down. Next time, a couple of years wiser, with another mate we were off hitch hiking to find work in Spain or Portugal, similar scenario, missed our Friday ferry to Spain by 3 hours, decided to visit Glastonbury festival to wait for the next ferry on Monday. Big mistake, spent most our money, ended up with sore heads! Then finally on the ferry. Hitched to south Portugal, in 13 days, almost starved on the way, no work available, so back home it was, via visits to homeless hostels as we had no food or money! Hell, of an experience. Youth eh!
After that, I moved on to India and Thailand when I was 23 onwards, 5 years on the trot I went abroad for 1-3 months each time, each uk winter. Great days. Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal too. I've been back twice a few years ago but it's changed so much. Plus, the travel airtime, and humidity pressure play hell with my compressed spine pains. Agony for weeks, so given them up I think .
I have recently flown to France for a visit, nice place, also holidays in Lanzarote several times, a nice treat and heat for me and my wife. I also worked in Germany in my twenties, learning my tree surgery skills. Working and drinking mainly.
My latest and biggest trip for many years is coming up, my mate and I have taken 27 years to get it together to return to Spain, but we always said we would make sure we do it in style next time! Well we are off in October, with my car and caravan, on the same ferry route as last time. Follow our old route roughly but enjoying the luxury of a caravan on caravan sites and taking our time on our way down to southern Spain, where I've rented a villa to celebrate my 50th birthday with friends and wife flying over for the weekend of fun. A well-deserved 3-4 weeks holiday. Sightseeing, fishing and the nice warmth of Spain, roll on! We are returning in my car, leaving my caravan on a friend’s property in Spain, for uk winter breaks, but will be visiting Barcelona again on our return route to visit the release point, got to fit something to do with pigeons in. I'm going there to watch the release one day, then rush back on a plane, hopefully to clock an entered bird in! What a thrill that would be.
So that's my travel experience basically, I would love to go further afield but circumstances don't warrant it. Plus, I got to look after my birds after all. Travel is an amazing thing too, as are pigeons. Mind expanding.
16 What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are just to stick at it as I am, but be a bit more ruthless with my selection, no more pet pigeons or favourite colours, they've got to perform from now on, at least be consistent.
I'm going to stay with my small club to help keep it going for as long as possible. Although I do plan on chancing my arm at the long-distance racing over the next few years and see how it goes. My area is not the easiest to fly to, but that's the challenge as far as I'm concerned. Further the better. Test those birds to their limit to find out how truly amazing they can be.
I love the channel races, but Tarbes, Agen and Barcelona are the ones that make me buzz at the thought of getting a good section position, or even winning! Imagine that. I've had plenty return from France, but only entered the Big Barcelona challenge this year, for the first time flying over 460 miles. Barcelona is 827 miles to me. I had two out of eight return too, very late, but they made it back on their own will power , one landed at a nearby loft with his young birds , the other , I had the pleasure of seeing return and go straight into my loft, magic! Both little hens, my fancied regular big strong cocks, who'd flown the channel 5-6 times previously didn't turn up. Shame.
So, basically, keep on racing, try to improve birds and methods, but concentrate certain strain of my birds for the long-distance journeys! I've still got some good sprinters amongst them, but I'll use them for my weekends down the club for a bit of fun. I like seeing any bird return from short or long races, it's a special feeling.
17 Do you have a perception of sprinters?
Sprinters are great birds, I admire them greatly, fast and sharp, they do their job just as good as marathon birds I think, but there are a lot of followers amongst them that also home fast but don't race , I've had plenty of them. That's why I prefer a good marathon pigeon as it’s pulled off an incredible feat, to do it mostly on its own steam and brains.
The sprinters that perform regularly are special, but they have to race most races, which opens them up more often to all the hazards out there, Hawks, wires, traffic, shooters and all the others. So, I think it's just as hard to create a good regular, sprinter, maybe not, but that's my experience so far. I will try to do it with channel pigeons a lot more now, see how that goes. But I still have a soft spot for the sprint performer, week in and week out. It takes a keen , alert type of bird to keep it up regular.
18 How do you wish to be regarded in the sport?
I'd like to be known in the pigeon sport game one day, as I have worked hard over the last five years, racing just in my club, and a few BICC races this year, but it's taken a lot of time , effort and money. As it has with many others I know. My main reason is I love racing pigeons and admire the birds and the sport. Love to see them fly!
So, if I could win an odd decent race in the future and prove I've learnt and progressed in my time in the sport I will be happy. Although the thought of winning a big race and having a write up and prize for me and my birds racing abilities would be even better.
If I could come from a beginner to compete against the best in national and international races, and do well, with my name in the top few, then I'd be dancing around my garden.
I don't really want fame and riches from it, I think some individuals it’s all they strive for in the sport. I just want to do well, enjoy my pigeons even more if they perform to my desired standard, then I will be content.
This isn't to say I wouldn't refuse a Barcelona win, and other good race placings all in one year, and become a pigeon big name ! I'd love it, but I just really want to carry on seeing my pigeons fly to their best ability and enjoy it all.
I'm happiest when it's just me and my birds, in the loft or watching them fly over the lovely countryside where I live. Who knows where I'll be in another 5 years in this unique, and complicated sport?
19 Any comments about this chat?
Comments about this chat, well I was shocked to be asked to do a write up as I'm just a beginner, but I was also very pleased, as I love reading other people's methods and ideas on the sport, as it’s a one man sport most of the time, so quite hard to know what all the other racers are doing. So, it's nice to put my side of the story over, as I've read 100's of other people's write ups, I just hope they enjoy mine.
The other point I'd like to make is all this is just wrote as it flows out my head, no pre planning, as I think about pigeons every day of my life now, it's nice to put some bits down on paper for others to see. You shouldn't have to think about it if your keen and know a bit , as its all your head thinks about, well mostly in my case.
The one strong point of mine , I forgot to mention is I am amazed how much money the pigeon sport raises for different charities, every sale, every year. It's great, but surely if most of this was turned back into the sport itself, in raising awareness of big races with high prize monies, and somehow making it easier and cheaper for new starters to set up, then I think we'd have an increase in interest definitely, and probably also more members joining, thereby making the sport bigger and better. It is a sport at the end of the day, not a charity raising group. Let's look after ourselves a bit more, everything else is getting bigger, better and faster, but I feel we are being left behind , mainly of our own doings. Got to move with the times eventually. Charities are great things, but maybe half the amounts paid out for a while to let us invest in the sport itself .
I also think pigeon magazines should have more similar write ups on the fanciers and their birds and methods, we all love to know what the others are doing. Less massive adverts , and pointless photos, and more pigeon chat.
I hope I've done an ok job and a few of you find it interesting. Keep flying.
20 Final comments please mate? Ans/pics to Jim Emerton please.
Final comments: The last comment I'd like to make is firstly, thank you for giving me the chance to try a write up.
Most of all I'd like to point out how pigeons and pigeon racing have been my saviour, over the last 5 years. 7 years ago, I had to give up my tree surgery work due to a motorbike accident years previously, then in 2012,my spinal nerve compression got a lot worse. I spent 6 months in bed, the next 18 months in constant agony, and on morphine 24/7. Those two years were hell. Pigeons then appeared in my life, and I got so much joy out of watching them fly fast about my garden, it was uplifting every morning, after a terrible night’s sleep and feeling ill, it was such a lift to get up and let them out to fly the skies. I'd sit there with my coffee and fag, and just watch. It made me happier instantly. I think they are ideal companions for anybody who's ill or has had to give up work all of a sudden. They give you something to get up out of bed for and reward you with the speed and skill they zoom about. Then they'll also listen to you at feed times, reasonably easy to keep ( as long as you don't get too many as I did initially), and I fully recommend pigeons to anyone with time to spare. I don't know how I'd have coped without them, an escape from the manic world too.
I'm sure there's comments I've missed, but that's me and my pigeons in general. Keep flying and sending them, it's the only way! Thank you.
I knew I missed something, and it is the most important. Without the encouragement and backing I’ve had from my parents and wife; I couldn’t have carried on flying without their help at times, so, a big thank you to them all, it is a good journey that I have taken. Richard Scott.
Birds of The Harvey/Emerton Strain
Birds of The Harvey/Emerton Strain