Pigeon Thefts hit Denaby Partnerships Racing Run.

20 June 1960

South Yorkshire Times, June 20.

Pigeon Thefts hit Denaby Partnerships Racing Run.

But Miner Specialists will Overcome their Mean Setback.

The pigeons wheel over the loft at Denaby, the keepers glancing up at the birds to ponder which may be the bird that will drop into the loft after a strenuous cross Channel flight.

But for Bernard Hemingway and his partner Ron Burns of Blythe Street, Denaby, it will be about five years before they can reach amongst the top fliers of the Denaby Homing Society once more.

For they were among the unlucky enthusiasts who had the top birds stolen from their loft not long ago.

Fortunately, however, not all the members are the same position, and some of the 31 Denaby enthusiasts are doing very well.

The secretary of the Denaby Homing Society, Mr John Martin of Railway House, told me this week that they were hoping to have a good year this time.

The society, who are members of the South Yorkshire Federation, have been well up in the prizewinners, “But we don’t come into the really competitive racing until the Channel racing starts,” said Mr Martin.

200 from Guernsey.

“The first will be from Guernsey when about 4500 are expected to be liberated tomorrow, Saturday”. Of these, about 200 are expected to be Denaby birds.

About 80% of the Denaby members are miners, and they compete for prize-money which may win them several hundred pounds.

“It was a pity the blow that was dealt the Hemingway and Burns partnership,” said Mr Martin. “It has really upset them flying now.”

He said that it would take at least five years to get the birds well-trained.

“Last year they were doing well, and won three races on the trot, being among the top prizewinners in the club,” he added.

“It is not just a case of buying a good bird from a champion loft. You may pay £25 for one, then train it, and then find that it is no good. It takes time for a bird to be taught the ways of its owners – different loft holders often have different methods.”

Mr Martin did not think that the thief who took the birds and baskets and pigeon food knew which were the best birds. “Obviously you buy the best birds you can for the loft, in fact,” he added, “about 90% of the argument in racing is deciding which bird to enter for a particular race.”

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