Jack Curtis looks back in time to one of..
BRITAIN'S GREATEST - EVER FANCIERS - LEGENDARY FRED MARRIOTT.
KNOWN AND REVERED AS ''THE BIRMINGHAM WIZARD"
EVENTS through articles in the weekly press have prompted one or two of my keenest readers and supporters to write to me concerning articles on the great families of pigeons from the past, not having read these articles I cannot comment upon them, but my friends have, assuring me that there is quite a lot of my research in them. For most of my work tracing bloodlines back over the years I have used the work of the late W.D. Lea Raynor, old sale lists, personal records, as with Tom Kilner or the late John Hall, or 'The Bairn' and help from Bill Roberts of Falkirk for the RABBIE STODDART article. However, the bulk is through diligent digging and sifting, sitting here in my study at home, the dissection of the pedigrees is almost second nature to me now, line-breeding, inbreeding, outcrossing, or what ever are all easily recognisable to me now. All fanciers, whether knowing it or not, are trying to resurrect the past, by that I mean they are trying to breed back to this or that special pigeon.
The technique used by Janssen Brothers of Arendonk is no different to Fred Marriott, or Tom Kilner, or Rabbie Stoddart. Anyone mating a half-brother to a half-sister is automatically doing this, as with Aunt to Nephew, Uncle to Niece, Grand Sire to Grand Daughter, etc., etc. Opinions will differ as to the merit of this strain or that, but of one thing you can rest assured, the best of the Marriotts have no Peers anywhere in the realms of the Fancy for Fred did what the Janssens didn't do, he raced his family out to 624 miles as regular as clockwork with absolutely brilliant results. He also won the short and middle-distance races with the same birds and earned his title of 'THE BIRMINGHAM WIZARD' the hard way, by the sheer numbers of his wins over the whole race programme. For the benefit of new fanciers, Fred Marriott started racing in 1899 and flew both the North Road and the South Road, in the NFC Grand National Races he was Ist Open in both the 1924 and 1925 races with 'Triumph' and 'Repetition,' 2nd Open 1929 with 'Nap,' 6th 1907, 11th 1936, 15th 1937, 1st Open Penzance 1940 ('Premier'), 5th 1948, plus a host of other positions over the years. Add 1st Open Lerwick with the NRCC 1920, also 4th & 5th same race, 1st, 3rd & 25th in 1921, 3rd 1922, 10th 1923, 2nd 1934, 6th & 7th 1953. 1st Midland Counties Combine Marennes 1911 and premier prize winner in the same Combine 1912, plus 1st Central Counties F.C Libourne 1934 and you begin to see the picture. These wins are just the tip of the iceberg for in Clubs and Federations he was quite devastating, year after year.
His entire Clearance Sale took place at the Jamaica Row Sale Room in Birmingham on January 28th, 1956, at 2 p.m. and this autobiography of the Great Fancier is based upon the facts it presented to the discerning fancier of the day. Undoubted base pigeon of the Marriott loft was a cock name 'Dreadnought,' bred in 1908 and rung BSF.08.2889, 2889 was from 8044 x 431, 8044 from 307 x 354, 431 from Marriott's old 'Bordeaux Cock' x a hen from a full sister to Toft's 707, winner of 1st NFC Bordeaux 1899. 'The Bordeaux Cock' from an unnamed Belgian import x a full sister to 'Jumbo' who flew Granville, Rennes and Marennes three years on the trot, winning at every stage, then 6th Open NFC San Sebastian, 634 Mlles, in 1907. The pair, 307 and 354, owned by W.C. Moore, 307 from 100 x BCH bred by Moore descending from Barker's 'Marcia' with Gits, Debue and Plentinckx lines. 100 bred by Moore from the Blue La Rochelle winner of 8th Nantes and 9th La Rochelle in the big Manchester Flying Club x Moore's top stock hen, the Dam of 'Neptune' and many other big winners. 354 from 311 x hen flown 600 miles, 311 from 2376 x 'The Crooked Egg Hen,' 2376 from a son of 87 x 180, both bred in 1897. 'The Crooked Egg Hen' bred in 1890 from a cock via Mrs. Coalville of her F14 and Grooter's strain and a Grand Daughter of Git's famous 'Donkeren.' 87G bred by Gits from his one-eyed Soffle Cock, Sire of several top winning National Birds whilst 180 was from his Red Cheq Cock, winner of four successive years of National racing. The Dam of 2376, a full sister to the Rev McKenzie's 1st Open Lerwick, 'Blue Belle,' a direct daughter of A.H. Osman's Champion Cock, 'Old Billy.' 'Dreadnought' won prizes and pools from Ventnor, Granville, Rennes and Marennes, without being very spectacular, but Fred must have seen his potential as a breeder and retired him for stock.
Now if you dissect his pedigree you
will see that he is just an assembly of the best pigeons available to Fred at
that time, in the breeding is 'Red Prince,' winner of 1st MFC Cherbourg who
sired two sons to cross the Channel 22 times, a half-brother to Gits' winner of
1st National, a sister to 1st Open Lerwick, a sister to Toft's lst NFC Bordeaux,
'Jumbo,' 6th Open in 1907, plus other good winners.
The top half of his breeding shows the family of Mons Geo Gits represented on at least three legs, and that is all we can say about it, other than this was a superb individual specimen of a racing pigeon. Marriott killed him in 1915 and admitted it was the greatest blunder of his entire career, but with a war on and corn shortages, etc., I can understand the circumstances. Having sons and daughters in the loft I suppose he felt he could manage without him. He sired one of the greatest hens in the history of British pigeon racing the year he killed him, but you only get hindsight after the event. In his first season as a yearling, he sired 'St Mark' who flew Marennes three times winning 1st Midland Counties Combine in 1911. The Dam of 'St Mark' was 'Mirande Queen,' RP.1904.EB.433, flown the Channel 8 times from 'The Ewins' Cock' and a hen of W.C. MOORES strain which seems to have played an important roll in the early foundation of the family. According to my records he bred winners with every hen he was mated to, and in 1915 he sired the 'CHAMPION LERWICK HEN' when mated to the Moss hen 5549. 5549 from 5539 who was a son of Moss's 'Champion Blue Cock,' 8 times 500 miles in a really brilliant career, when paired to a hen of Moss's Marennes and Bordeaux line. ' 'The Champion Lerwick Hen' was untrained as a YB, 80 miles as a Yearling, 220 as a two year old, then Hexham, Perth and Insch, winning 1st Perth, the next year 2nd Perth, the £l and £2 pools from Thurso with the NRCC. In 1920 flew Perth and into Lerwick to win 1st Open in a 'smash' with a Vel of 441 ypm. Then, in 1921, she repeated the dose and won the KINGS CUP outright for F.W.M.
The moss hen 5549 was looked at in more detail and is bred from some stirling performers. Sire 5539 flew Rennes and he was a son of 'The Old Champion Blue Cock,' 8 times Rennes, 7 times Marennes, and Bordeaux, his Dam a Red Hen out the Red Cock 4 times Rennes, 3 times, Marennes, 1st Section Mirande for birds flying over 675 miles, when he was mated to a daughter of Moss's 1st Bordeaux 1901 the direct 'Delmotte Hen,' twice a prize winner from Dax in the Belgian National for Mons Delmotte. The Dam of 5549 from the R/C Cock, 1st Nantes and only bird in race time as a Yearling and 7 times Rennes, 6 times Marennes and a winner at all distances, when mated to a daughter of the lst Bordeaux and 2nd Marennes, both in NFC races. The Moss pigeons were well sought after when I was a lad and no wonder, there are not many 'oncers' in that pedigree, they are what I would call fully tested. That is pedigree, a pedigree chock full of performance out to the distance, and what results they gave Fred Marriott as a cross.
Now, if you cast your mind back you will realise that Fred had been racing for 16 years when he bred the 'Champion Lerwick Hen,' and 21 years by the time she won her first King's Cup, the breeding of the great 'Dreadnought' shows his technique up to this time, simply matching best to best searching for a blend. By the time we look at 'Repetition,' we can see something entirely different in the Marriott technique from the breeding stand point. 'Repetition' from 103 x 7587, 103 from 5509 x his G Dam 5549 the Dam of the double King's Cup winner, 5909 from 711 x 6821, 711 from 'Dreadnought' and 5549, 6821 from a half-brother and sister mating out of 'Dreadnought.1 So that in four generations between 5909 backwards the only cock to appear is 'Dreadnought,' the hen 7587, again from Moss, through his 2nd NFC Bordeaux was a repeat of the cross which gave him his big wins, and if you look very carefully at 'Repetition' you will find that although three quarters Moss in her breeding she is dominated by the blood of 'Dreadnought.' 5901 from 455 x 785, 455 from 'St Mark' x 2004, 'St Mark' from 'Dreadnought.' 5901 from 455 x 785, 455 from 'St Mark' x 2004, 'St Mark' from 'Dreadnought' x 'Mirande Queen.' 785 from 517 x 921, 517 from the half-brother and sister mating, 'St Mark' x 7010, out of 'Dreadnought.1 Both 2004 and 921 down through the 'Bordeaux Cock' and 'Jumbo' who are in the Dam's breeding of 'Dreadnought.'
The Sire of 'Triumph' was a combination of the very best of the great J.W. Toft and T.W. Thorougood. 5901, the Dam of 'Triumph' won 1st Hexham as a YB, 12th Open Insch Open race 1918, Thurso 1919, Rennes and Marennes a prize and pool winner 1920, 25th Open Lerwick NRCC 1921. 'Triumph' did Weymouth as a YB and Yearling, Rennes and 2nd Central Counties FC and 12th Midland Combine, Bordeaux at two years old then Rennes and Nantes followed by 1st Open NFC San Sebastian, 634 miles. 'Repetition' was untrained as a YB in 1922, Nantes 1923 and 1924, 1925 Rennes, a prize then San Sebastian 1st Open NFC, 1926 Rennes and San Sebastian, 79th Open then stock. Nowhere will you see the great skill of breeding pigeons more ably demonstrated than in these few Marriott pedigrees, write them out on a blank form. 'Dreadnought,' the founder, as I have said, just a combination of the best available. Then do the same with the pigeon 103, the Sire of 'Repetition' and pay attention to his Sire, 5909, who is dominated by 'Dreadnought.' Having killed him you can sit here all these years later and virtually read his mind. 'What have I done?" and then, "How can I undo this massive error.' After that the brain takes over, he proceeds to mate the closest relatives together to recreate the genetic structure of 'Dreadnought.' Sire of a DOUBLE KINGS CUP WINNER and a MIDLANDS COMBINE MARENNES WINNER, plus a lot of other winners at club and Fed level and the results of decisions made Fred 'THE BIRMINGHAM WIZARD.'
I am not telling you how to breed good
pigeons, I am showing you what a MASTER RACING
PIGEON FANCIER did when his back was to the wall and an almighty clanger had been
dropped. It wasn't the inbred pigeons that won
his next KINGS CUPS, it was them mated to out crosses to produce the vigour
which did that, and that statement is why I have never handled a pure bred
pigeon in my life. You cannot win BIG races year after year
without resorting to a cross. I have yet to see the pedigree of a genuine
big winner that descended from one male or female only for three generations
back, let alone six to ten. However, turning back to the Marriott technique, as
time went by it cropped up very frequently in many of his best pigeons. The Dam
of 'Johnny White Tail' was 6347 and she won 4th Open 1920 when the
Champion Hen won and her son, 'Johnny White Tail,' was 5th Open in the same race
from Lerwick, 524 miles. 6347 from 2019 x 6821, 2019 from 5539 Moss x 12 from
147 x 1517. 147 contained Bonami, Harrell's 1st Bordeaux in 1902 and Wellingtons
Perfection,' 1517 from 'Jumbo' x 519 who was a full sister to 'St Mark' and,
therefore, a daughter of 'Dreadnought.1 6821 from 'St Mark' and 7010 a
half-brother and half-sister mating, both from 'Dreadnought.' There you will see
'Dreadnought' in three out of four grand parents. The Sire of 'Johnny White
Tail' was 788 and he was from 455 x 8571, 455 from 'St Mark' x 2004 who was down
from the 'Bordeaux Cock' and 'Jumbo' line at the base of the family, and a son
of 'Johnny White Tail' x The 'Champion Lerwick Hen,' sired the Blue Chequer Hen,
'NAP,' who won 2nd Open San Sebastian NFC, 634 miles, in 1929 and flew San
Sebastian again in 1930 and 1931, taking prominent positions in both races, add
2nd Swindon, 3rd Jersey, 5th Rennes to her honours and you will see she wasn't
just a 600 mile plodder. On her Dam's side, 'Nap,' we find the hen, 2678, was
the Dam of her Sire and 2678 was from 'St Mark' x 6347. The Dam of the 'Champion
Lerwick Hen,' therefore 2678 totally linebred to 'Dreadnought.'
The crosses used were Moss through a grandson of 'Black Dick,' mated to a direct daughter of the N. & 0. pair which were a fantastic stock pair, and the hen 2268 bred by Chas Clark of Rushden who's breeding reflects Marriott's own methods. 2268 from 1820 x 1487, 1820 a Grandson of 'Hercules,' the Sire of Clark's 1st Open Lerwick Cock, named 'Ambition.' 1487, nestmate to the Dam of 'Ambition' from 6979 x 459, S.P. Griffith's Champion Pair. The breeding of this Great Hen, 'NAP,' is what I call the Classic Technique, line-breeding to the dominant male, in this case 'Dreadnought,' with the judicious use of top quality pigeons as the crosses to maintain the vigour. Let us just list some of the performances of her ancestors and see what we mean by PEDIGREE. 'NAP,' 3 times 634 miles with a 2nd and two other good positions, etc, 577, her Dam, won 1st Templecombe, 1st Weymouth, 40th Bordeaux Midland Combine, her Sire, twice Lerwick very consistent, 4049 1st Northallerton, 'Black Dick,' 2nd Open Bordeaux, beaten by his Sire in same race, 'St Mark,' 1st Marennes Midland Combine and other prizes, 6347, 4th Open Lerwick etc, the in-bred 'Ambition' hen with 'Ambition' 1st Open Lerwick at almost 600 miles, 'Johnny White Tail' 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 10th Lerwick, etc., 'The Champion Hen,' TWICE 1st OPEN Lerwick, etc., 'Dreadnought' himself, 6979 flew the Nantes 'smash' in 1909 as a Yearling, scoring in the Combine, 1910 1st Granville MFC, 1911 5th MFC Dol smash, and 15th Great Northern Marennes, Dol and the £5 pool Marennes 1912, 1913 Dol and 73rd Marennes, 1914 9th Dol and Marennes on the day of toss. 4459 won two prizes as a 'YB, two prizes Inland then 1st All Sections MFC Rennes, 1910 won 59th Rennes and 22nd Great Northern Marennes, 1911 7th Bath, 3rd Dol and 9th GN Marennes, 1912 flew Dol and the awful Marennes 'smash,' 1913 Dol and lst GN Marennes, Vel 892, won by 26 ypm, 1914 Dol and 1st GN Marennes, Vel 1316.
The bloodlines were a combination of Clay, Stanhope, of the old Red Aberdeen and 'Calf' blood Barker and J.0. Allen. On the Moss side of the breeding there is everything outlined in 5549, the Dam of the 'Champion Hen,' plus a doubling up of Toft's 707, his National winner and all that entailed. There are the Gits National winners and a direct daughter of the foundation pigeon of the Osman strain 'OLD BILLY,' Marriot's old 'Bordeaux Cock' and 'Jumbo,' 6th Open NFC in 1907 and more than three times as many more good pigeons as I have outlined above. 'NAP' was bred for the job and that is what I call a pedigree, with outstanding pigeons in every generation, one after another, plus the golden thread of line-breeding to Marriott's own special foundation pigeon dominating the whole line like some giant colossus. He runs through the 4th, 5th, 6th and subsequent lines until his name jumps up from the sheet to blind you, the work of a Master blending and blending cross after cross, but never losing the fountain of success through the mighty stud cock he killed, then strove to recreate through his close off springs. I suppose it was natural that Fred would mate 'Triumph' and 'Repetition' together, and this he did, he then proceeded to mate a son from them to 'NAP,' with a son from this mating he outcrossed with a hen from Col A.H. Osman which had flown well for him out as far as Marennes, and this mating produced this 'PARIS HEN.'
She was a Dark Cheq Pied bred in 1927, and subsequently went on to win 1st Paris, only bird home in race time, then followed that with 1st Warwickshire Fed Pons, 500 miles. Her Sire was from a 2nd Open San Sebastian winner when mated to the son of two 1st Open San Sebastian winners, with one common factor, yes you have got it, 'DREADNOUGHT.' In 1932, he bred 'Princess Marina,' 1st Bournemouth as a YB, Rennes as a yearling, then in 1934 2nd Open Lerwick as a two year old, flew Lerwick again 1935, 1937, 1938, in the money each time, won 1st Thurso 1939, with several prizes at shorter distances, her final race from Scotland was flown at 12 years of age. How was she bred? Sire, 962, from 5971 x 1428, 5971 from 'St Mark' x 6437, 'St Mark' from 'Dreadnought,' whilst the Dam of 6437 was from 'St Mark' x 7010, the half-brother and half-sister mating out of 'Dreadnought.' 1428 from 'Triumph' and 'Repetition,' the San Sebastian winners, as outlined earlier. The Dam of 'Princess Marina' was a Clay from J. Brennan of Kilmarnock, from his inbred family which had flown with great success in the Scottish Nationals. If I were to rack my memory for a family of line-bred Marriotts flying today, I would think of Arthur Munns and Sonny Galloway of Hartlepool and that is as far as I would get, yet there is no one dead or alive who can match his dual wins on both the North and South road. Two 1sts and a 2nd from San Sebastian at 624 miles in The English National, and two 1sts and a 2nd from Lerwick with the North Road Championship Club, 530 miles, plus a host of other brilliant positions in these competitions, and a virtual mountain of Club and Federation wins in his own local area.
As the Editor of the 'British Homing World' for many years, Fred Marriott was a lucid writer on every subject with the world of racing pigeons, his practical explanations must have helped many fanciers and his 'Gleanings Column' had a tremendous following. As time passed by you can see the skill and technique being carried on through the generations, in 1933 he bred a R/C Cock, known simply as 26 and rung NUHW33FWM26, untrained as a YB he went 1934 to Nantes, the Guernsey, Rennes and Libourne in '35, followed by two 2nds Guernsey, 2nd Nantes and 11th Open San Sebastian NFC in '36. In 1937 he went 1st Weymouth, CCFC flew Rennes and Nantes then into Mirande to win 2nd Sect & 15th Open NFC, 138 won several prizes up to Rennes and a prize winner from Mirande again and in 1939 Rennes and Mirande with prizes up to Rennes, making him a four times 600 miler with a Dam that was three-quarter Marriott, as follows:- 26 from 914 x 350, 350 from 906 x 444, 906 from 745 x 51, 745 from 5975 x 489, 51 from 'Johnny White Tail' x 'The Champion Lerwick Hen,' 5975 from 3844 x 5901, the Dam of 'Triumph,' 3844 from 7107 x 772, the 'Champion Lerwick Hen.'The hen, 489, from 464 'Medalist' x 1655, 464 from 312 x 751 and 312 from a son of 'Triumph' and 'Repetition,' this being 1429 when he was mated to 1173. 751 from 5971 x 448, 5971 from 'St Mark' x 6437, the Dam of 'Johnny White Tail,' whilst 6437 was from the hen 6821 who was from a half-brother and sister mating out of 'Dreadnought.' The Dam of 350 and 444, from 797, a full brother to 'Nap' x 890, a direct Delmotte import. The Sire of 26 was a combination of Osman, Logan, Toft and Bricoux and, again, Fred raised a racer and flew the lugs off it, with testing at the distance as his criteria.
Now for the benefit of the pure bred brigade he sent 26 on four times to over 600 miles, having proven himself we find that in two generations he was the G.Sire of the pigeon known as 9, and Marriott says this about 9. He won 1st Harrogate as a YB and eventually turned out to be the Champion of my loft for four: seasons, winning 1st prize at every stage to Banff and Fraserburgh, once winning Banff by over three and a half hours. Now that is all the information I have on 9 but for FWM to acknowledge him as the Champion of his loft for four seasons tells you what he thought of him.In the cases where FWM carried out intensive inbreeding we find that these pigeons were not usually raced at all, but kept entirely for stock, this way the old lines were never ever lost. Two pigeons in particular that fall into this category were the cock, 407, and his sister, 441. This pair of pigeons carry the lines of every outstanding racer in the loft at the time and since its foundation. The fact that they were retained proves to my mind that FWM fully realised their value in the continuation of his family of pigeons. The pigeon, 906, comes up on both sides of the pedigree and must be looked at, 906 from 745 x 51, 745'from 5975 x 489, 5975 from 3844 a son of the 'Champion Lerwick Hen' and 7107 x 5901, the Dam of 'Triumph,' who was totally inbred to 'Dreadnought,' whilst 489 was a G.Dghtr of 'Triumph.' 51 was from one of FWM'S favourite pairs, 'Johnny White Tail,' 6 times Lerwick x 'The Champion Lerwick Hen,' which was again line-breeding to the stud sire of his loft. 906 was mated to 'NAP,' 630 to breed 1000 the Sire of 407. On the Dam's side, 151 from 9 x 305, 9 from 843 x 845, 843 from 26 x 1298 a Gits Soffle Hen similar to the line in the base breeding of 'Dreadnought,' 26 from an inbred Osman cock 914 x 350 who is a daughter of 906 when he was mated to a hen out of a full brother to 'NAP.' 845 is from 645 x 350, just outlined above, 645 from 'Prince George' who carried successful crosses of Sion, Logan, Hansenne and a line right back to Sheldon's famous 'Mealy Mirande x 502, from 'Johnny White Tail' and 3481. I noted that 'Prince George' was also well tested, Weymouth several times as a young bird, 2nd Dol and Nantes as a yearling, then 2nd Nantes, 3rd Nantes, 1st Libourne on the day and 7th Midland Combine and pools to £5 plus NHU Medal, with further races from San Sebastian, Pons, until, at 12 years old, he flew from Scotland and at 15 years old he flew 150 miles in a race. No one can accuse FWM of being an easy task master by my reckoning. In truth, as well as 'Mealy Mirande there is also Trixie, the dual North to South Hen in his breeding, she did Faroes, 802 miles, for 9th Open and San Sebastian, 550 miles. 305 'Princess Marina,' also raced from Scotland at 12 years old and she is the tail G.Dam of 407, and her breeding is also outlined earlier.
If you were to take the performances
in that line of breeding it is quite remarkable, with all of the many
outstanding pigeons in the man's loft involved, plus a 'whole host of great
National winning birds from other people's lofts. Yet Fred retained that which
he cherished above all things pigeon, the line he had created, and upon which
his total FAME rested, the line which gave him FIVE KINGS CUPS and TWO
VERY NEAR MISSES, the line which earned for him the title ----
'THE BIRMINGHAM WIZARD.'
I hope that this appraisal of the late Fred Marriott does him justice, the pigeons I have outlined only scratch the surface of the man's true capability, many will not even have heard of him but those who did see him perform know the facts behind the Legend are true.a postscript let me tell you that his lines are not dead, this family is still winning like the 'clappers' here in the Up North Combine, and not just in the Club or Fed but in the COMBINE. For myself I have a Chequer Cock inbred to every Champion outlined in this revue of one of our all time greats, and I wouldn't part with him for all of the Tea in China. Strain names, especially Continental ones, spring up like Daffodils in Spring time, the Marriotts were a true strain of absolutely superb versatile long distance pigeons and they were evolved over half-a-century and tested on both the North and South routes of English racing, the Channel one route and the North Sea Atlantic junctions around the Pentland Firth in the North of Scotland for the second. You can take your pick as to which is the easier one of the two, I wouldn't like to choose myself, his best pigeons in their day were true Classic winners, the loft was crammed with a host of 500 and 600 milers. Their roots go back into the origins of pigeon racing and the actual National Winners in their breeding reaches back to before the turn of this Century.foundations laid have stood the test of time, the proof is amply demonstrated in Sonny Galloway's 'Combine Cock' who is a true line-bred Marriott, he has won 9 x 1sts, 3 x 2nds, 4 x 3rds, 4 x 4ths, 3 x 5ths and 1 x 8th Club. Two wins were from Selby, our shortest race and he topped the Combine at Bourges, 550 miles, from 4,207 birds and also has a 175th Open. At eleven years old he has sired 51 winners to date. A son has 21st Up North Combine Bourges for Tom Kilner, and an inbred grandson has over 20 positions racing for Sonny himself, a latebred with seven nest flights won 16th UNC Lillers last year with 12,064 birds competing, a Grand-Daughter 21st UNC Melun from 7,026 birds, and so I could go on.
I mention these facts to show how good the Marriotts are, they win at any distance when they are right, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say about some families of high repute. There is every strain of note in this family for being Editor of the BHW Fred was in a position to get his hands upon the best, direct imports came via Delmotte, Gits, Haveninth, Sion and others, the cream of Fred Shaws Gurney's were used, the line of Logans 1826 his winner of 1st and 8th Open San Sebastian is there on two powerful lines, as are the Moss as we have seen. 'Stormey Petrel,' a three times 862 miler, the 'Mealy Mirande,' one of Britain's first ever 800 milers, Hansenne, Toft, Stow Bros' 'Reliance,' S.P. Griffiths, T.W. Thourougood, the Clay's, and so I could go on and on. The greatest feature of Marriotts pedigrees is that they are packed with superb winning pigeons all the way through, other than when he inbred especially for stock, his wisdom shows there, too, for they certainly kept the family going with more and more winners in their turn. If the pigeons of today are faster these pigeons should not be winning, for they are bred from yesterday's winners, but they are still winning and against the best that the Up North Combine can throw at them. Fred Marriott was a courageous fancier, he sent his best to the extreme distance as regular as clockwork.
His birds were MARRIOTT'S and he
deserves his place of
HONOUR in our RACING PIGEON SPORT and 'HALL of FAME'.
I offer this tribute to one of
England's All Time Greats in the hope that it will throw some light upon a TRULY
Jack 'Big Fella' Curtis
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