The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024



SOLWAY SOUNDS with Billy Wortley

News, views and results to 37 Hospital Road, Annan, Dumfriesshire, DG12 5JF Email address:

Anticipating the ensuing race season I provide below the Solway Federation Race Programme for 2024. The first Old Bird race is from Shap on 20th April, followed by Lowgill on 27th April and Charnock Richard on 4th May. The programme then advances to Lymm on 11th May, followed by Stafford on 18th May and Woolaston on 25th May. On 1st June the members compete from Kettering with the birds being duplicated out of the SNFC and then compete from Cheltenham on 8th June followed by Maidstone on 15th June when the birds will once again be duplicated out of the SNFC. The Federation Old Bird Open race will be flown from Guernsey on 5th July with the birds being convoyed by Lanarkshire Federation. The Young Bird programme commences at Shap on 20th July followed by two


followed were not just good pigeons, they were super pigeons. In other words they were better than the best of their respective families”. ‘Epinard’ incidentally, was a blue chequer cock bred by M Stassart and was described as ‘one of the greatest pigeons ever to be introduced into this country’. He was 1st Bordeaux in successive years and 2nd Bordeaux in the third season in National races. As to the quality of other pigeons introduced by Doctor Anderson, understand for example that he purchased ‘Le Fynen’, which was bred and raced by M Tremmery and between 1933 and 1937 his winnings were such that he was awarded the accolade ‘European Champion’ at the 1938 Olympiad. His sire was a full brother of Tremmery’s great ‘Pau Hen’ that was 2nd in the Belgian National from Pau in 1930 and 1931 being beaten on each occasion by the phenomenal ‘La Plume Blanche de Pau’, which was

‘Barcelona Triumph’.

When we changed to road transport the season commenced on 21st April with the race points being Garstang, Bamber Bridge, Appleton, Audley, Penkridge, Redditch, Windrush, Charlton and Lymington. There was discord in the Federation at the time, however in that that because we raced with the Cumbria Combine, Race Controlling of the pigeons was determined by East Cumberland Federation with the Convoyer also answering to the East Cumberland Federation officials. It was therefore decided that the Solway Federation would acquire its own transporter and eventually in 1972 the transporter was on the road. Following the acquisition of the transporter racing commenced on 20th April with the following being the Old Bird Programme: Shap, Garstang, Bamber Bridge, Appleton, Penkridge, Redditch, Cheltenham on 1st June and Charlton on 8th June. The Federation Open race from Avranches was flown on 15th June with a comeback race from Lymington on 22nd June, the week before the Rennes National. I have been asked to mention that the members of Springfield Homing Club are holding a Young Bird Sale in Gretna Social Club on Sunday 14th April, commencing at 1pm. Within Philippe Martin’s Belgian Page in our issue dated 1st March is a super photograph of Champion blue chequer cock ‘Le Plume Blanche de Pau’ with complementary text. When Dr Anderson assembled his team of pigeons he initially obtained direct progeny from top winners and then resolved to buy no more sons, daughters or near relatives of Champion pigeons and instead “acquire the Champion itself or nothing”. To quote the highly respected Andrew Neilson Hutton “the first of these was ‘Epinard’ and the pigeons that

‘Barcelona Blue’.

races from Lowgill on 27th July and 3rd August. The programme advances to Charnock Richard on 10th August followed by Lymm on 17th August and Stafford on 24th August. The Federation Young Bird Open race will be flown from Woolaston on 7th September. How times have changed…When I first raced pigeons as a schoolboy in 1955 I joined Gretna Club with our birds being race marked at Gretna Green Railway Station. In those days we were conveyed and convoyed with the Cumbria Combine with the Old Bird Programme being Lancaster, Preston, Warrington, Crewe, Kings Norton, Cheltenham, Christchurch. We continued to use rail transport until 1965 and in 1966 we began transporting the birds by road, with the Solway and East Cumberland Federation pigeons being conveyed together in a single transporter, the transporter being owned by local haulage contractor, Wm Halliday & Sons. The Old Bird race programme commenced on 24th April in 1965 with the race points being Lancaster, Leyland, New-le-Willows, Nantwich, Nantwich, Worcester, Cheltenham and Christchurch.

‘Guinea Gold’ Dr Anderson's 1920 Rennes National winner.

also purchased by Doctor Anderson. Such was the quality of this pigeon that the King of Belgium had a gold band formed, which was placed on the leg of the pigeon in recognition of his racing achievements. In appreciation of his contribution to the Scottish National Flying Club, the members of the Club presented Doctor Anderson with a sum of money and Tom Dickson, Secretary of the National, went to Belgium to purchase the pigeon. The sum presented to the Doctor was insufficient to procure the pigeon and was made up by the Doctor himself, again quoting Andrew Neilson Hutton “what the Doctor added himself, only he and Tom Dickson knew”. Sire of ‘La Plume Blanche de Pau’ was son of ‘Red Paul Sion’ and ‘Ideal’. Sire of ‘Ideal’ was a brother of ‘Jules Cesar’, dam ‘La Claire Rousse’ both bred by Doctor Bricioux. Dam of ‘La Plume Blanche de Pau’ was ‘La Bonne Mouhy’ from the Bricioux pair ‘L’Ecaille Cesar’ and ‘La Belle Mouhy’.

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