“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT.

Spelthorne Open Shows 2019. 

The Spelthorne South Road is only a small club with a maximum twenty flying members, based at Spelthorne Sports and Social Club, Staines Road West, Sunbury on Thames, just one mile off Junction 1 of the M3 Motorway. Small club it might be, but is of the highest quality, having some brilliant success in Three Borders Federation in the 2019 racing season and won three times 1st Federation. The club was runner-up for the Federation ‘Points Trophy’ for the second season on the trot in 2018 and the 2019 Federation winners were: Richard Kent 1st Federation Kingsdown (629 birds), Carol Francis & son 1st Federation Yeovil (990 birds), G. Randall 1st Federation Yeovil (812 birds). It was nice to see Carol Francis win the Three Borders Federation, as I think it is common knowledge that she is a great worker for the sport, being the hard working secretary of the BICC and the Spelthorne club.

The lead up to Christmas saw the Spelthorne club hold their four annual Sunday morning open pigeon shows and as always they were well supported with good attendance and excellent birdage. Spelthorne open show results: Old Hens (43 birds) Judge – Jim Byles: 1) Les Penycate, 2) Les Penycate, 3) Richard Kent, 4) Les Penycate: Old Cocks (41 birds) Judge – Darren Watson: 1) Richard Kent, 2) Dean Garrett, 3) Freddie Kimpton, 4) Freddie Kimpton: Young Hens (62 birds) Judge – Derek Squires: 1) Freddie Kimpton, 2) Derek Reid, 3) Derek Reid, 4) Keith & Betty Mott: Young Cocks (39 birds) Judge – T. Tracy: 1) Les Penycate, 2) Les Penycate, 3) Freddie Kimpton, 4) Ron Newell.

The first show was old hens and the Les Penycate took first blood by taking 1st and 2nd. Les is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in the sport of pigeon racing is Les Penycate and to say he has enjoyed some good racing seasons in recent years would be any understatement! His occupation all his life has been in the fencer building trade and he recently retired from work, which has reflected in his outstanding performances with his pigeons. He is from a fence building family and tells me the late great Surbiton pigeon racer, Arthur Coxon, who was a first class fencer all his life, taught him the trade when he was a young lad. The highlights of recent season for Les was: 2010: 1st club, 1st Three Borders Federation, 1st open SMT Combine St Nazaire (297 miles), 1st club, 3rd Three Borders Federation, 5th open SMT Combine Bergerac ( 450 miles), 1st club, 5th Three Borders Federation, 9th open SMT Combine Messac (255 miles). What fantastic season! The Three Borders Federation held its last old bird race of the 2012 season from Bergerac at the end of July and were included in the SMT Combine convoy, which was 500 birds strong. The Combine were transported to the race point in the south of France and after a two day hold over the birds were liberated at 06.45hrs in a west / north west wind. Les Penycate won the Federation by a ‘country mile’ with a natural Hartog blue chequer cock, sent sitting eggs. The winning blue chequer cock was one of very few birds clocked on the day of liberation in the Combine and took 12 hours 37 minutes to fly the 454 miles home to West Molesey, and won the Federation by 59ypm clear. Les is successful in races from France most seasons and a few years ago won the Three Borders Federation from Nantes (282 miles) with an unpaired Staf Van Reet yearling blue chequer hen. This game pigeon also won the Messac race in the Hersham Club and was a gift from Les’ good friend, the late Rod Wynn. Her full performances in 2002 were outstanding, winning 1st club, 1st Federation, 3rd open SMT Combine Nantes (2,342 birds); 1st club, 9th Federation, 24th open SMT Combine Messac (2,205 birds). A wonderful effort by an unpaired yearling!

The second open show was old cocks and was won by club member, Richard Kent. The Three Borders Federation held its second Kingsdown race at the beginning of June 2019 and what a race it turned out to be! Dom McCoy, the Federation convoyer, liberated the 629 birds at 11.15hrs in to a strong west wind and at the home end the first 14 Federation positions were gone in only ten second. What a ‘banger’ race! Richard Kent won the first ten positions in the very strong Spelthorne club and 1st, 2nd, 10th, 14th, 17th Federation. This was the first of the Spelthorne’s three 2019 Federations winners, which was the perfect back up after club members winning the Three Borders Federation six times in the 2018 racing season. After a desperately bad start to 2018 racing season weather wise, the Three Borders Federation sent 513 birds to Blandford (80 miles) for the first old bird race and member of the Spelthorne club put up one of their best performance of the season, with club members recording 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th. Richard Kent had three pigeons come from the race together and recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th Federation. He had changed his old bird racing system for the new season, coming off widowhood and is racing all completely natural. What a brilliant start on the new natural system! The Blandford Federation winner was the three year old Gaby Vandenabeele blue cock, ‘Richard’s Boy’, bred by Brian Trussler and he was sent driving his hen to nest, and he had previously won a race as a young bird in 2015. Richard Kent is a born racer and in recent years has raced his Ducati motor cycle at a lot of the premier race circuits in the UK, including Brands Hatch in Kent and Oulton Park in Cheshire. He tells me he has been around the race circuit on the Isle of Man on his bike several times. These days he gets his sport by racing his pigeons and has enjoyed some outstanding success in recent seasons racing in the Three Borders Federation.

The third Spelthorne open show had the biggest birdage, when Derek Squire judged 62 young hens and Fred Kimpton of the Richmond club took first prize. Fred is the son of the late George Kimpton who was a successful member of the Spelthorne club for many years. Freddie has won the Three Borders Federation several times in recent years and won 1st open SMT Combine. The late George Kimpton was a great all-rounder, winning consistently at racing and showing over his many years in the sport. He said his most thrilling experience in pigeons was when he won a first at the Old Comrades show, but his biggest disappointment was entering four birds in Olympiad classes at Birmingham, the Old Comrades and Southern Region shows, winning several firsts and top awards and then not having his birds picked for the 1983 Olympiad. His families of pigeons raced really well right through to 450 miles and showed really well in the winter months. His then 23 year old son, Fred, was his pigeon partner and he was a good pigeon man and a great help with the management of the birds. One of the Kimpton’s best birds was the eight year old Jim Emmett blue hen ‘Emmett One”. She had won many top positions racing including 25th section, 36th open Nantes NFC and 76th section, 399th open Pau NFC in 1979 and 1st club Exeter. ‘Emmett One’ was retired to stock at the end of 1981 and had bred many useful birds including the blue hen ‘Cash’ which won 4th West Middlesex Federation Exeter and was 3rd Champion Young Bird at the Old Comrades Show in 1983. Another good daughter of ‘Emmett One’ bred in 1983 was ‘Daylight’ and she won as a youngster 4th Ashford Weymouth Open, 2nd club Plymouth, 3rd club Weymouth and 3rd club Guernsey. Another of the Kimpton’s best birds was another Jim Emmett blue hen ’53’ and she won 1st London Federation Rennes, 16th section, 326th open Nantes NFC for George and Fred. I knew Georgie for many years and he would help anyone in trouble. The sport’s ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ and also a very good pigeon racer!

Les Penycate won 1st and 2nd at the first Spelthorne open show of 2019 and then he went on and won 1st and 2nd at the last show, which was young cocks. He is a great worker at the Spelthorne club and goes to the HQ in the racing season and cleans out the race paniers every week and then sets them up before every one arrives on marking night. He also put up the show pens single handed every week for the open shows. A great fancier! Les was born in Kingston in 1939 and his father kept pigeons before the Second World War, in partnership with his three brothers. In 1948, Les was given six youngsters by the premier East Molesey fancier, Joe Stediford, who flew an outstanding pigeon in National races at that time. Prior to owning his own birds, young Les was pigeon mad and fed the streeters in Kingston Market with bread. His father built a loft to house his six young birds and Les joined the Kingston & District Club, flying in the Surrey Federation. He soon added stock from the great Harry Branch of Mitcham to his Stediford youngsters and says that Joe taught him a lot about general pigeon management in the early days. The late, great, Freddie Ranaboldo of East Molesey was the premier fancier at that time, winning inland every week and he also won 1st open Pau NFC. Les has been in the sport for nearly 70 years and says one of his earliest achievements was in 1952 when he won from Libourne with a red chequer after 14 hours on the wing and won the London Federation by a clear 1 hour 40 minutes.

Three Borders Federation.

The Three Borders Federation held its AGM on 2nd December and the 2020 race programme was finalized and is: (Old Bird) 11th April – Blandford (1461): 18th April – Blandford: 25th April – Yeovil (4176): 2nd May – Honiton (4186): 9th May – Kingsdown (4147): 16th May – Okehampton (4227): 23rd May – Honiton: 30th May – Bodmin (4013): 5th June – Kingsdown: 13th June – Wadebridge (4120): 20th June – Yeovil: 27th June – Truro (4118): 4th July – Honiton: 11th July – Sennen Cove (4100): (Young Bird) 1st August – Blandford: 8th August – Yeovil: 15th August – Blandford: 22nd August – Yeovil: 29th August – Blandford: 5th September – Yeovil: 12th September – Kingsdown: 19th September – Newton Abbot (4079).

That’s our article for this week! I can be contacted with any pigeon ‘banter’ on telephone number: 01372 463480 or email me on: keithmott1@virginmedia.com

TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)