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End of year report of the Kingsmead School Pigeon Project

2014 will surly go down as one to remember here at Kingsmead School the project has had its most successful year ever both in and out of the classroom, there have been new arrivals to the project both of the feather variety and also with the addition to the team of students that look after the pigeons.

We can start by going back to January where we organised the first ever trip to the Blackpool show of the year where a number of our students experienced the buzz of the Winter Gardens for the very first time and what a show it was. Our students visited a number of the stand and also spoke to many fanciers about their birds and the up and coming season, they were able to talk to people about the Flying Back to Nature project that is currently being run by the Midlands National Flying Club and also meet up with an old Kingsmead friend Jim Jenner who gifted the school a number of his DVDs for the school library. The students was also able to thank the many sponsors that support the project in a number of ways and it was great that the children could talk directly to these companies and also the individuals who have been able to give a little to keep the project running over the past 4 seasons. The children also got to witness there very first pigeon auction in the Grand Theatre and also receive their own gifted pigeons of G & C Cooper who kindly donated 2 pigeons. All in all the Blackpool trip was a success and defiantly further fuelled the passion these students have shown towards the sport of pigeon racing and this was certainly carried over into the racing season as you will read later on.

The first action of the season saw Peter Humphries of the MNFC take all of the schools race pigeons to deliver the very first Secret Messages lesson to a school in Birmingham roughly 20 miles south of the school. The lesson consisted of the children learning about the role that pigeons played in the 1st and 2nd World Wars and they was even able to send their own secret message back to Kingsmead to be decoded both the students at Kingsmead and the school in Birmingham, both sets of students had a great experience and this really did kick off the Secret Messages program for school off with a bang and has resulted in many more schools being able to have the same experience in the classroom as our students here at Kingsmead. If you are interested in learning more about this project please go to the following web address www.secretmessages.org.uk.

Also this year we were able to sample some new lessons for our students that not only involved our students but also involve other students from around the Cannock and Hednesford area and we now see over 20 lessons being delivered to students that are directly related to the sport of pigeon racing. This has been a great effort by the teachers and students who originally knew nothing about pigeon racing but now are regularly looking on the internet at results and also other material that they can use in and out of the classroom. A big thank you has to go out to The Racing Pigeon magazine who have helped in the supplying there magazine to Kingsmead to make this was possible.

Now to the racing side of the project and what a season 2014 proved to be for the students at Kingsmead. It all started back in May when the school entered an open race run by the Midland Continental Classic Flying Club, the race was from Portland which is 149 miles to the Kingsmead Loft. 104 members sent 1173 pigeon and Kingsmead recorded there 2nd best performance coming 6th Section B and 10th Open with a pigeon called HRH. Yes you guessed right the school had timed in one of the pigeons that had been donated by Her Majesty The queen and her loft manager Peter Farrow this was no only a great achievement for the children at school but also for the Royal Lofts as they have been at the front of promoting the sport for a number of years now and the school was over the moon that it was there pigeon had done so well. As a result we are hoping to receive a further donation of pigeons from the Royal lofts in 2015.

Also in May saw Kingsmead send 3 pigeons to the South Africa Million Dollar Pigeon Race, this will be the 2nd year that the school has entered this race with kind sponsorship from Paul Smith and the SAMDPR team. Again this is part of the One Loft experience that we run at school where our students and local schools can follow the progress of the pigeons, a massive thank you to Paul for his support over the past few seasons.

As spring turned into summer it was time to start competing in the National races from France, this seasons the students had decided to focus entirely on these races and that decision proved to be a good one as the school managed to achieve some excellent results as you can see below:

Midlands National Flying Club

  • Carentan 2 Bird National 236 Miles – 13th SW Section – 55th Open
  • Ancenis 2 Bird National 371 Miles – 8th SW Section – 23rd Open

National Flying Club

  • Carentan 236 miles – 11th I section - 488th Open - 9317 pigeons 
    GB12N83870 – Bred by B Pinchers & Son - Hednesford
  • Cholet  393 miles – 25th I section - 262nd Open - 8717 pigeons
    GB12N83870 – Bred by B Pinchers & Son - Hednesford
  • Mesac 337 miles – 36th I section - 565th Open - 5714 pigeons
    GB11E83885 – Bred by Pickstock and Gillespie - Runcorn
  • Tarbes 661 miles – 5th I section – 117th Open – 2717 pigeons
    GB12N83870 – Bred by B Pinchers & Son - Hednesford
  • Saintes 485 miles – 11th I section – 345TH Open – 3139 pigeons
    GB11T26195 – Bred by M Gilbert – Winkfield

RPRA West Midlands Awards

  • 3rd position 450 Miles & Over
    GB12N83870 – Bred by B Pinchers & Son - Hednesford

The highlight of the above results as you can see was the school timing in their single entry from Tarbes 661 miles on the winning day, what made this even more pleasing was the fact that the pigeon was brought at a charity sale at a local club for £5 from a young lad called Bobby Pinchers who attends one of Kingsmead’s feeder primary schools West Hill Primary School. This pigeon as you can see had won a number of positions for the school and with the other 2 performances from pigeons from Mark Gilbert and Pickstock and Gillespie earned the school the best old bird average for the season in section I. GB12N83870 also was nominated for best performance over 450 miles in the RPRA West Midlands Awards and cam 3rd beaten only by 2 section winners from Tarbes NFC and Bordeaux MNFC. This pigeon had raced from Saintes in the previous season and returned a few weeks after liberation with a wound from a wire  to his under belly, this proved to be an experience that did not faze him as he went to this year’s Tarbes Grand National Race to be one of only 23 pigeons to fly over 660 miles on the winning day and one of only 19 pigeons recorded in race time in Section I. Congratulations to the students who conditioned these pigeons this year as the project has had aver 10 student working every day including weekends to get the pigeons in the correct condition for these races.

Moving on to the young birds for 2014. The school does not have the capacity to keep stock pigeons so we rely on donations from fanciers to donate pigeons to the project each year to go with the small team the school breads of the racing team. And this year was no different as the schools had a number of Y/B donated from fanciers all over the UK and some big names once again have helped out the school. Such as:

Birds Donated in 2014

  • Louella Pigeon World
  • Tumley Lofts Stud
  • Chambers Family
  • Alan Bamfords – Bamfords Top Flight
  • Mike Chadwick

We have managed to maintain a good number of these birds to move into the old bird race team for next season and the school looks to start racing in 2015 with around 30 old birds. Thank you again to all of the people who have donated birds this year.

So we have come to the end of the end of season report and I am happy to inform that we in 2015 the school will be entering our 4th year of housing and racing pigeons at the school, we now also have 3 current students and 3 ex-students who keep pigeons at their home on the back of the project and 100s more who are familiar with the sport.

The school children are looking forward to the up and coming season and we would love you to be part of this. If you would like to donate a pigeon one or two pigeons to the project we would love to hear from you, as stated previously we do rely on donation of birds to keep the school racing and everything donated is kept at school and is raced by the school. Not only can you donate to the school but we have a number student this year that is looking to start racing and we are looking to see if we can start them up with a team for the YB season. So if you are able to help please get in contact by either sending an email to kingsmeadpigeons@hotmail.co.uk or call us on 01543 51245 and as always we would love you to look at our school website simply type into the search engine KINGSMEAD PIGEONS or go to the following web address www.kingsmeadpigeons.wix.com/kingsmead-pigeons to find out more about the project and the people involved.

That’s it for now we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Kingsmead School Pigeon Project