Homing and racing pigeons are strong in the hearts of local folk. There was at one time a huge pigeon keeping culture in Brownhills and Walsall Wood, now sadly on the wane. I can remember being in the Black Cock pub in Bullings Heath, Walsall Wood in the early 90s on a Friday evening and watching as the local club clocked in birds and prepared for the weekend’s sport.
The champion pigeons locally are celebrated – the silhouette of one even made it onto the Walsall Wood Pithead sculpture. A few weeks ago I found some great film in the Mace media archive recording pigeon fanciers at Ogley Club in Brownhills, where I asked about recollections and past champions.
Local chap, friend of the blog and former Crabtree employee Fred Butler responded kindly with a great photo.
The champion pidgeon you are refering to, I would think will be ‘Breakaway who was owned and trained by Ronnie Green from the locality.
Ron and Breakaway were registered in the Guiniess Book of Records for their feat, I am not sure as to whether the record still stands.
If readers would be interested I have a photo of RG when he worked with me being presented with a copy of the book by the management of Crabtree.
And later, with the photo:
As requested here is the photo of Ronnie Green receiving a copy of the Guiniess Book of Records to commemorate the inclusion of himself and his champion pidgin Breakaway.
The guys making the presentation was Mr Walter Purser, Manufacturing Director of Crabtree, Mr Peter Williams, Works Manager, and Mr Don Scragg , Production Manager.
This raises a couple of interesting questions, too. I’m still after information, photos and ephemera relating to the pigeon fanciers. This was a massive hobby and little seems to survive in the photographic or historical record. I think we should try and correct that, and Fred’s picture and information are a great start.
Thanks, as ever, to Fred for that.
Secondly, local companies – we had lots, and they weren’t just factories, they were small communities, most now long gone. Crabtree, Edward Rose, Strumech, Geometry International, Superalloys, Ryford, Rowanarc, Flip, Binks Bullows, Lew Ways, Carvers. So many places of work lost, yet so little in the historical archives.
What do you know? Please comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.