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John S Harrison
The fully revised second edition of Jeff Davies' book "The Complete Roller Pigeon" has now been published. It is an excellent book for any one specifically interested in the Roller, but also will be a useful reference work for anyone interested in Fancy and Flying pigeons.
Copies are available from Jeff Davies and also from John Weir, Secretary of the NRC priced at £12.50 plus £2 for p & p within the UK.
To contact Jeff Davies call 01229 835845
“The Complete Roller Pigeon” by Jeff Davies
I was delighted, and honoured, to be asked to review the fully revised second edition of Jeff Davies’ book “The Complete Roller Pigeon”. The book was first published in 1991 and in the intervening years the Show Roller has both developed and ‘moved on’ and so in this the second edition Jeff has brought it completely up to date. The book is dedicated to “The Northern Roller Club and to all its members, past and present” and the author has transferred the copyright to the Club.
Jeff Davies has bred the Birmingham Roller since 1951, firstly as a performing breed, until in 1971 he joined the Northern Roller Club; of which he has been Chairman for the past 30 years; and switched his interest to breeding for show and since that time he has become the leading breeder and exhibitor of the Show Roller here in the British Isles. In 2012, in recognition of his achievements with the Show Roller he was awarded a ‘Master Breeder Certificate’ by the National Pigeon Association. Jeff’s knowledge gained from such a long experience, his enthusiasm for the breed, and his willingness to pass on help and encouragement to others is readily seen in this book.
In this book Jeff outlines the origins of the Birmingham Roller and tracks the development of the breed into both the aerial acrobat par excellence and also the refined and standardised Exhibition or Show Roller of the present time. Though the Flying Roller and the Show Roller are on diverging paths Jeff has written a book which covers both, and with his vast knowledge of both branches of the breed adds great insight into the breeding of both the performing birds and their show cousins. The Roller has often been referred to disparagingly as ‘little lads pigeons', and in this authorative book Jeff goes some way to dispelling that myth!
The 72 page book is liberally furnished with full colour photographs depicting both Show Rollers from the author’s highly developed ‘family’, and also Flying or Competition Rollers: these illustrations emphatically show the differences between the two types of Roller. The book is divided into 8 chapters and whilst some chapters are specific to the Roller Pigeon, the majority; such as those on General Management, Developing a Strain, The Moult, and Health & Wellbeing; are equally applicable to the management and breeding of pigeons of any breed. It is a well-written book suitable for both reading through, or just ‘dipping’ into and forms an ideal primer for the budding pigeon fancier providing a wealth of information gleaned from a lifetime’s experience. To the more experienced fancier the book provides an insight into the breeding and management methods of the top exhibitor of a breed.
Though the book is aimed primarily at breeders and exhibitors in the UK much of the content is applicable to overseas Fanciers and the book includes description of the American Show Roller which differs to the Show Roller in the UK. The book is priced at £12.50 plus P&P and is available only from the author, or, from the Secretary of The Northern Roller Club. There is much to recommend this informative book and it is well deserving of a place on the bookshelf of any pigeon fancier.
John S Harrison
The 2015 Northern Roller Club Show will be held in a new venue in Bradford, will intending exhibitors please note the new address:
Unfortunately the judges won't get to see birds taken to
the Mechanics Institute!!!
At the NRC Championship Show Club Chairman, Jeff Davies, won Best in Show with a Light Ash Red Grizzle hen ..... nothing unusual in that one might say!
However Jeff, who was awarded a Master Breeder Certificate by the National Pigeon Association in 2012, was especially delighted by this win for two reasons.
The first reason was that this was the NINTH consecutive show at which one of Jeff's birds had been awarded Best of Breed :
Northern Counties 2012
Northern Roller Club 2013
Northern Counties 2013
Northern Roller Club 2014
AND no less than FOUR were won
by the same Bird:
The second reason is that this beautiful pearl-eyed Light Ash Red Grizzle gained her fifth NPA and is now officially an NPA Champion, which is certainly no mean feat in possibly the strongest of the colour sections in the Show Roller Section.
NPA Certificates were awarded as follows:
Lancashire 2012 - John Weir
Northern Roller club 2013 - John S Harrison
Lancashire 2013 - John S Harrison
Darlington 2013 - John Flynn
Northern Roller Club 2014 - Stuart Harford
Jeff Davies, a very popular figure in the Roller World is surely to be congratulated on both these achievements - Well Done Jeff ....
John S Harrison
NRC Open Championship Show & AGM
Held at the Eccleshill Mechanics Institute, Bradford
January 4th 2014
As always it is heartening to arrive at the venue soon after 9am to find a number of our members busily putting up trestle tables, quickly followed by 4 aisles of single tier penning, to accommodate and entry of some 230 Rollers. By 10:15 all pens were numbered and the pigeons installed: time for the Club AGM …..
Over the years and because we have a well contented membership, the meetings are generally brief and good humoured, this year was no exception.
The Chairman thanked John Weir for his valuable service as Club Secretary, Judges Stuart Harford, Richard Simpson, Paul Davies, John Weir, and Mal Buckley for the duties they were about to undertake. He next thanked John Harrison for kindly providing the rosettes for the show, and then thanked everyone for helping to put the show pens etc in place.
Election of Officers saw the committee re-elected en-bloc:
Chairman : Jeff Davies
Hon Secretary : John Weir
Hon Treasurer : John Graham
Committee: Robert Bennion
Unfortunately Andy Hopson has left the Roller show scene, we all hope he will be back, but in his absence a club publicity Officer was required. No one jumped forward for this role! However George and Frank Watts proposed and seconded Jeff Davies, who agreed and by show of hands was unanimously elected.
Next the Balance Sheet: with Club finances in sound order by show of hands the members approved this. The only change being made was an increase in postal charges for members ordering their rings by post.
Judging appointments for 2014/15 season for the five shows supported by the club were read and approved.
The only disappointing part of the Club’s affairs was the Members Summer/Autumn Show at Temple Sowerby. This show depends on the efforts of the Secretary, John Weir, and the Show Manager, Robert Bennion. Six or seven years ago when this show was started it was well supported and worth the effort; trophies were donated and the show started to blossom, however the 2012 entry was disappointing, and 2013 was even worse and both shows lost money for the Club. The Chairman thanked Robert and John for their work, but said that unless more members supported the show then it was likely to be discontinued. Support it Chaps or we lose it!
Any Other Business brought Basil Miran to his feet lamenting the decline in breeding abilities of the Show Roller and asked what could be done to reverse the present unsatisfactory situation. Jeff Davies agreed that the fecundity of the Show Roller has seriously deteriorated, due possibly to outcrosses to breeds such as the Long Faced Clean Legged Tumbler. He suggested that the only way to improve this problem is by breeding from pigeons which are good reliable parents and eliminating from the stud all birds which are poor parents.
The meeting closed at 11.15am and judging commenced …..
Jeff Davies, Chairman.
(Show Report will be on the Championship Show Results Page)