We will start with the alterations in the loft, and how the children in the school were involved in helping make the loft environment right for the pigeons. In previous years we had problems with ventilation and we would have different conditions inside the pen depending on the weather outside. We approached the Technology Department to figure out ways we could fix this. A group of students from the school’s technology club came up with a list of suggested alterations that should be looked at which would help with ventilation and heat and humidity control inside the loft.
As you can see from the diagram we installed air vents in each of the living compartments where we house the cocks and hens. We also used the plans that the technology club had drawn up to improve the temperature and humidity in the loft by installing plastic sheeting in the roof and on open front areas of each section. We had an excellent suggestion by one of the y9 students (something he learned in his science lesson) that foil can be used to keep heat in once a temperature had been reached, so we lined the roof with foil used by runners after a marathon and this has proved to be excellent and very cost effective to install.
We have also been involved in a number of projects running locally and nationally by the future of the sport committee and also the Midlands National Flying Club to help promote the sport of racing pigeons within schools around the country. The two projects are called Flying Back to Nature which is all about getting young people more involved with their natural surrounding such as animals, birds (pigeons), plants etc. The second project is called Secret Messages which is all about children learning about the role pigeons played in the war and how messages were delivered. They get a chance to write a secret message and also send that message on a real live pigeon back to the owner of that bird. The messages are then collected and sent back to the school for decoding. This has proven to be a great success with the waiting list for the schools to have this lesson delivered to their students rising all of the time. This has been really well received by schools and big thanks have to go out to Peter Humphries of the MNFC for delivering some of these lessons. The MNFC and RPRA are now looking for more people to get on board with this project and we need more and more people to help deliver this simple lesson in your local schools, so please contact the RPRA or MNFC if you wish to get involved.
The children have been working hard with the pigeons and have already made an impressive start on the 3rd race of the season. They entered the Midland Continental Classic Clubs Open Race from Portland which was from 149 miles flying 2hr 17 min 32 sec. They timed in a pigeon called “HRH” GB13ER00025 and she came 10th from 1173 pigeons. It was one we were given last season from Her Majesty the Queen and her loft manager Peter Farrow. This hen has been timed in first bird every week for the school and has been coming all on her own not paired just as a spare hen. Also we have now received our 2014 YB. We have 45 in total from donors such as Louella World, Tumley Stud, Mike Chadwick, Chambers Family, and Alan Bamford of Bamfords Top Flight. All of the pigeons are looking great and really do look a picture when flying around the loft.
We also have a very busy summer period after the half term break with visits to local primary schools delivering the Secret Messages lesson and also a number of activities. We are also looking forward to a visit from the RPRPA to present a cheque of £1000 which we will be using to help set up similar projects around the midlands in schools like ours. So there are exciting times ahead as well as all of the racing in the National Flying Club, Midlands National Flying Club, British Barcelona Flying Club as well as our local club Lea Hall BDHS Rugeley.
Basic loft built by one of the students at home
One of our students and his family have now set up their own pigeon loft and are looking at racing in the 2015 season. We were able to go around and take a photo of this small but exciting set up and saw that some of the basic elements we cover in the pigeon club here at Kingsmead have been adopted away from the school such as a well-ventilated loft, clean floors and perches and good healthy pigeons. As you will hopefully agree starting up basic lofts like this is the key to keeping the sport alive and hopefully this will be just one of many in the next few years.
New Kingsmead School Project Sponsors
Furthermore, over the winter we were able to welcome on board a few new sponsors. These companies and individuals have joined a growing community willing not just to help out with the school project but also promote and get the sport back up to the numbers we once witnessed. You can see from the picture that we have on board a number of top names for the 2014 season and a big thank you goes out again for their support.
If you would like any more information on anything we have covered in this addition of Back to School or if you would like to find out more about the project please visit our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is run and updated by our students so please take a look.
Until next time! Goodbye and good racing.