Article featured in the October 28th 1978
edition of the 'Racing Pigeon' (The British Pigeon Racing Weekly)
Article on the Original Brooks Brothers Partnership, sadly no longer with us.
Brooks' Badges Lead From Guernsey
Central Southern Classic FC Young Bird race from Guernsey was won by Brooks Bros of High Littleton with birds from their family of Birds known as Brooks' Badges. Picture above shows Sid 'Trosky' Brooks seated holding Blue Cock a bird looking a future winner, centre is Brooks Bros 84 year old father and mentor, and Harry holding the first open Central Southern Classic Winner.
Brooks Brothers are Harry, a 48-year-old bachelor who lives at home with his 84-year-old father and Sidney who is known as 'Trosky'. I first met Trosky at Pensford Colliery where we both worked as coal miners and so heard of the Brooks pigeons a long time ago.
Their father was a north road fancier who was not particularly successful but lay the foundations of an honest family of birds. The brothers had an interest in the birds and what became known as the Brooks badge family was formed from pigeons from local lofts.
Two hens from Brimble Bros proved a very good buy and two eggs from Theo Herbert also helped success to come. A real change in results came when flying as Brooks Bros they joined the Farrington Gurney FC to fly on the south route.
Results came right away and they really hit the heights in 1959 when they won the Comb AV OB Cup, YB Av and won 1st Bordeaux, 2nd WESR Comb and 2nd Rochford among their prizes. Their best bird at this time was a white flighted cock down from the aforementioned Brimble Bros pigeons and there was also a good B C from Vic Preddy that bred winners from St Malo, Bordeaux and Guernsey.
From this time on the brothers were looked on as one of the lofts to beat in the Farrington Gurney club. Their strength grew to be in young bird racing, although there were still good performances with old birds, such as a B Ch called 'Stumpy', a damaged leg did not prevent this bird winning 9th Open Pau NFC and the French trophy, then 66th Open Pau next year. This bird came down from birds from Louis Lewis a Nantes NFC winner of a few years past and Farrington Gurney FC.
Another turning point was the new loft that Brooks Bros had built, they bought the timber and had joiner Darryl Bridges, son of very successful fancier Joe Bridges, construct it for them. Named Southover Lofts it is a 28ft x 6ft structure very well maintained and has two sections plus a small office section.
It is in the garden of the house where Harry lives with his father, and the brothers and, no doubt their father, were all pleased that the first winner timed to this loft was one of the old family, a R Ch WF Super Red. This bird kept some good pool money coming in for quite a few seasons.
Pursuing their belief that the local pigeons are the goods a B C from Bill Preddy won £170 in Nantes NFC and his son won £70 in the same race a R H from Bill produced some good old birds crossed into the old Badge strain which is now at stock.
The search for improvement, as always with successful fanciers, continues and the outstanding ten-year run of winning by club mates R & M Venner had not gone unnoticed. A talk with Reg Venner resulted in a visit to Street by the brothers and Joe Bridges. These fanciers returned later and 'Trosky' picked a pair from the youngsters with the only proviso from Reg, that if he selected nest mates he could only have one of them.
So Brooks Bros and Joe Bridges came back to High Littleton with a pair each and all did well. Brooks' pigeon a B Ch C from R & M Venner scored well as a youngster - 1st Weymouth 4th Portsmouth and went on winning as a yearling etc. Eventually he failed to return from Saintes as a two year old. The other R & M Venner pigeon, a B H won 5th Guernsey and flew Pau. Youngsters from the Venner pair did well, also an exchange pair from Joe Bridges Venner pair also showed promise. More important these pigeons crossed well with the old Badge family and Trosky is very sure they will do them proud.
Classic club's Guernsey winner is a nice B Ch H sent flying to the perch. She was bred from a B Ch C from the Venner offspring and the dam is from a DK Ch C and the B H 2nd Dax 1st Somerset 2B Club. So the breeding is really designed to produce a quality pigeon and sure enough it did, giving the sort of open race success many of their club-mates at Farrington Gurney believe they deserve.
A good win in this race was made sweeter by the timing of their second pigeon to win 11th open, with a M H sent unmated. She was bred from Super Red and nest mate to the G/Sire of the winner.
All racing here is done by the natural method and they have tried mated youngsters but gained nothing from it so don't bother now. Normally 15 pairs are kept but 1978 has seen very few losses so there are a lot more at present in residence even after flying Guernsey races and Carteret with youngsters. The training method is in steady stages and then at least two tosses per week from varying places on the coast, generally between Weymouth and Bournemouth.
There was a declaration by Trosky at one of the Sunday lunchtime seminars in the star, that the way to win from the south coast, was to find a gap in the Mendip Hills, and maybe he knew of a gap. Of course the lads gave him quite a ribbing at this, but next race at Farrington Gurney FC saw Brooks Bros the winners, beating over 500 pigeons and I can say Trosky Brooks had a smile on his face the following Sunday session.
Harry Brooks is one of the very good band of workers in the club on marking committee and a prolific fund-raiser and organiser. Whilst I was talking to the Brooks Bros the club chairman Theo Herbert called in. Theo said that a win of this description was long overdue for these fine fanciers.
They have flown and won well in the club and combine now the very good win in the Central Southern Classic Flying Club.
All of the members of the club congratulated them and were proud of them. This is only a brief insight into the Brooks Bros birds and methods, as I called on them without prior warning and Trosky had to go to work, so our time was limited.