Pigeon project at Kingsmead Technology College (Hednesford, UK)

My name is Richard Chambers and I am a teacher and the loft manager at the Kingsmead Technology College School Pigeon Loft. We have set up a racing pigeon loft at the school to try and encourage more young people into the sport, and also to give young people at our school an alternative to the Playstation’s Xboxes and TV screens that so many of our students are dedicating there spare time to.

 We have found that this does have a big effect on not only there school work but also their social skills, we have come up with alternative options for the students to get them involved and to get them more active in there day to day life.

The project has taken over 18 months to get up and running this has involved getting the school to agree to let us have the pigeons on site, we then had to gain the permission from The County School Authority. We had to present what we were intending to do to the two groups and were then we was asked questions about the objectives that we had for the project and how we are going to fund it as well as how the birds will be looked after and also if the project would comply with the health and safety regulations. After this was passed we then had to look for sponsorship to fund the project, we approached the RPRA and they awarded us a fund of £1000 towards getting the pigeon loft. We approached a number of Pigeon Loft Suppliers and we were offered an 18 x 8ft Loft erected and Delivered for £1300 by Barnsley Lofts, they was making no profit on the loft at all. We did have the small problem of the extra £300 to fund for the loft and that was where we put an advert on Pigeon Chat to see if we was able to get any help. We were offered within a few hours the money from Pigeon Chat themselves. This was great as we had the initial money to get the loft delivered and erected which a massive part of the project was sorted out. We then  had to look at what else was needed for the loft, we came up with a full list of things that would be needed for the loft such as box perches and nest boxes, drinkers and wing stamps, food troughs and baskets etc you can imagine what was on the list. Our next step was to approach companies to see if they were able to help us out, I can honestly say if I never write a letter asking for sponsorship again I will be a happy man! But on a serious note it was realy worth it as we had a great response from the members of the pigeon sport and without that support we would not have been able to run the project.

So with all of this planning we could start to get the cogs in motion and we had our building materials that was sponsored by J Hamplett of Ranton Building Suppliers delivered and we built the foundations with some local help from local club men Carl Rose and Dale Chambers we was able to set the foundations in place.

The following week we had the Loft Delivered from Barnsley Lofts which was observed by the groups that were on the field that day doing PE. This news seamed to spread like wide fire around the school and my favourite comment of the day was “Sir the school must be loaded to be able to build a cricket pavilion” I had to laugh and say that it was not a cricket pavilion but was a pigeon loft and then continued to explain what we were setting up. After the loft had been finished we then received the box perches and German Style nest boxes that had been kindly donated from Red Star Lofts and we constructed them and fitted them over the weekend.

Everything was now in place for the first arrivals and they came from Alan Bamford off Bamfords Top Flight we received 4 pigeons, 2  Chequers from stock Alan had gained from B Denny, 2 Blue that are Wildermersh lines. So we where off later that week I received an email from a fancier in Runcorn Cheshire by the name of Joey Pickstock who flies in the partnership of Pickstock & Gillespie who had seen an advert that we had put on Pigeon Chat asking for donations of birds and he offered us 6. That weekend I went to Runcorn to pick up the birds and they where excellent, we had 2 blue 2 blue pied and 2 chequers, one of the Blue Pide’s was named Lucy by the school caretaker and she is a beauty and one of the favourites of the kids and staff, with this donation it took to total up to 10. We then received 3 pigeons from Formula 1 Lofts, 1Chocolate Meuleman from Adam in Kettering, 2 from Mr & Mrs Brown of Cannock, 1 from Chambers Family Cannock, 2 from Albert Cousins of Belfast, 2 from Anthony Williams of B Williams & Son Swansea and also a big thank you to Alan Jones for delivering these pigeons to us. We have also been gifted 4 Pigeons from Mark Gilbert of Winkfield. Mark needs no explanation to what he has achieved and it was such a great opportunity to go down to Winsor for the morning to meet Mark and his friend John. We were given a guided tour of the loft and we were lucky enough to handle some exceptional pigeons including his 2nd National Tarbes 2011 winner and not only his 1st international winner but also 2nd International and 3rd International from Agen / Villeneuve 2011. We also handled the pigeon he timed in from Barcelona this year and also some of his team he sent to Saintes in the NFC which he won and took 10 out of the first 20 open positions including 1st and 2nd National. We would like to thank Mark for his hospitality and the fantastic birds he has donated.

Season 2011

We joined a local club in the area and we managed to fly in the last 4 races of the Young Bird Season and in this time the school have taken 2 prize cards which is great moral for the kids. The pigeons also went as spare birds in the midweek and I would like to thank Steve and the flyers at Pelsall District Homing Society for letting us send the birds at their club.

New Build

We are always thinking of new things for the pupils to be geeting involved in and our most recent is that we are building a new section to the loft so that we can house the 2012 Young Birds, we have been donated kindly  all of the wood by Ranton Building Suppliers ( J A Hamplett, Stafford) and as you can see by the picture we are in the process of building it now. This is a great project for the children and one that they can look back at all the hard work that they have put in and physically see the result.

Sponsorship & a chance for YOU to win a share of £1000!

In 2012 we will be running a sponsor a bird scheme to raise money for the loft as well as putting some aside to help other projects in school and the community get set up in the sport. We are asking if people would be able to donate £100 for a young bird and this will cover its costs for the year. We are also running a race at the end of the Young Bird Season where all sponsored birds left will race for a prize. If we manage to get 20 birds sponsored we will be able to offer £1000 worth of prizes to be flown for. This is to say thank you for your kindness of helping the project with your kind donation. Each sponsor will receive a photo of your sponsored pigeon as well as 4 newsletters during the years letting you know how the project is progressing and what the pupils have been learning about the sport.
If you are able to help out with making donation and sponsoring a pigeon could you please contact me on the following address, phone number or email.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for their sponsorship as without this help and support it would not have been possible to get as far as we have done so far so thank you to The RPRA, Ranton Building Suppliers, Barnsley Lofts, Ray Knight & Unikon, Planet Brothers, Red Star Lofts, Bamfords Top Flight, Orego – Stim, Pigeon Chat, A Bamford & Bamfords Top Flight,  Pickstock & Gillespie Runcorn, Formula 1 Lofts, Adam from Kettering, Mr & Mrs Brown - Carl Rose - Chambers Family Cannock, Albert Cousins Belfast, B Williams & Son Swansea, Mark Gilbert Winkfield, The Midlands Continental Classic Flying Club, Midlands National Flying Club, National Flying Club and the British Barcelona Flying Club for their free membership and all the people who have helped us with support over the last 18 months without this help we could not have got this project up and running.

Well that’s it for the time being apart from if you would like any more information or would like to help out with the project please contact me on the details below, good luck all and happy flying.

Richard Chambers
Kingsmead Technology College
Kings Avenue
WS12 1DH
01543 512455