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First bird to fly Rennes to Workington on the day PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 04 March 2021

henny winner.pngIT’S always good to look back at some great pigeons – birds that were really pioneers for the sport.

This one, for instance, was a bit special as it was the first bird to fly from Rennes to Workington on the day. 

That was back in 1909 and homed to the loft of J. Proctor, who lived at Moss Bay although his loft location is not known. 

The picture is from an actual painting, done the following year by Rupert Lancaster who clearly had great skill with the brush as it is an outstanding work of art. 

The original painting is owned by respected Workington fancier Les Blacklock, twice a former President of the RPRA, who is equally struck by the quality of the artist. Les acquired the painting from a daughter of a former Workington Victoria fancier Bill Davidson 20-plus years ago.

He says: ”The bird is named Henny and the inscription says it won Workington and District Homing Society, the original club in the town. 

“It won all the pools and was also second in the West Cumberland Federation open race, winning pools and the nomination. A fancier from the Whitehaven side has obviously won the race.” 

Not much is known about the fancier J. Proctor but he was still racing birds in 1923 when he appeared at a hearing called by the Centre over a dispute between him and the secretary of the Workington club. 

Whatever it was all about is not known but the Centre referred the dispute back to the club to sort out.

Les says: “In those days I am sure they went to the channel with the Lancashire Combine, so I guess the Rennes race in 1909 was run by the Federation as an open race and was not in the averages. 

“The Region was formed in 1905 and they spent the next three years getting established. By 1909 there were 460 members and all committee meetings for several years were held at the Albion Hotel, Whitehaven. 

“After the First World War they gave a medal to the best performance by a pigeon over 350 miles, which would be a channel race. 

“It was won in 1920 by a Millom loft and in 1923 by Fell brothers of Siddick.” 


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