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Tribute to Ian Crammond of Fontwell



I was saddened on hearing the bad news of the passing of Ian Crammond on Christmas day, after several years of ill health. I have known Ian for many years and over that time I have found him to be one of the true gentlemen of our sport and was one of our greatest racing champions. I worked with Ian for many years on the London & South East Classic Club committee and he was a terrific worker for the Classic, and recorded his third L&SECC winner from Bergerac the 2008 season. Ian Crammond and his pigeon partner, Nigel Langstaff are house hold names in our sport in the UK and have won many firsts in Federation, Combine, Classic and National over many years. Our condolences to Ian’s family at this very sad time.


Ian Crammond had been in the sport over 60 years and had won it all in that time including three times 1st open L&SECC, 1st open BICC, 1st open NFC and 1st section in the NFC several times. He told me on one of my visits to the loft that the partners had several families going well at that time including the M. & D. Evans / Vandenabeele, Peter Van Osch and Emil Dennys. At that time he had had his present loft set up at Fontwell about 14 years and had taken Nigel on as a full pigeon partner in recent seasons. Ian couldn’t praise Nigel enough, saying he was a first class pigeon man and was mostly responsible for their outstanding racing success in recent seasons.  Ian liked the continental families of pigeons, with going over to Belgium and Holland obtaining top class birds being a big part of his hobby, which he joyed as he had made some good friends of fanciers from over the English Channel. When he went out to obtain new stock he always went to lofts that were winning consistently with very big birdage in the National and Combine races. Ian said years ago he enjoyed long distance racing and did not mind waiting several days to clock a bird from Spain, but these days he only liked one day racing, up to about 550 miles.


The partners raced 120 cocks on the widowhood system and these racers were split in to two teams, one for sprint to middle distance and the other for long distance. The racers were not broke down, being fed on a good widowhood mixture and the two teams were trained separate and flown out around the loft separate. Nigel liked racing out to places like Bordeaux and Saintes, but his ambition was to win 550 miles National race. The partner’s long distance loft was the focal centre of the magnificent set up and Ian called it ‘master control’. It was about 50ft long, with a corridor where the birds trapped into off landing boards and all the nest boxes were self-cleaning, with the fronts being colour coded to each section. The loft had a closed in front with Perspex windows, an office to keep all pigeon records, a roomy full length flight at the rear for the widowhood hens and all clocking was on ETS. Ian told me that the long distance loft was the product of many year of work altering it to get it right. The sprinting widowhood cocks were housed in 50ft loft with a pan tiled roof, open door trapping and was totally closed in. Ian’s pride and joy was his magnificent stock loft and flights, which housed over 100 pairs of breeders that had been obtained from the very best continental champions over the years. The partners liked to pair the stock birds up early in the year and each family had it’s own section in the loft. Ian and Nigel bred about 300 youngsters every season and sold 100 of them, with the rest being retained for racing. They were all put on the ‘dark’ system and raced natural to the perch. RIP: Ian Crammond.