I grew up in a remote part of  rural Anglesey, an island off the North Wales coast; it was an idyllic childhood and now seems a lifetime ago. Without doubt back in the late 1950's and early 60's 'the island' was stuck in a time warp, but sadly it did eventually catch up with 'real time' .... well almost!


Penmon, Anglesey 2012 - Photo Jo Taylor


      This was an age when I had authorised leave from school to help bring  in the hay and to pluck and dress-out turkeys before Christmas .... today something that would be wholly unacceptable! Living in a comparatively remote location I had few friends and, apart from becoming an avid reader, my life was filled with my hobbies which all revolved around animals, birds, plants and insects.     

      I have always had a passionate interest in birds, and as a child I helped to look after our free range flock of Rhode Island Reds and Cuckoo Marans, and the Bronze Turkeys.

      On one of his frequent visits 'Paddy' Hogan, an old Irish 'tinker', gave me a pair of black bantams, and then some weeks later arrived with a pair of black & white Birmingham Rollers. Since that time I have rarely been without poultry and pigeons ........


      The breed of poultry I probably have the greatest liking for is the Buff Orpington. A magnificent stately breed, but sadly such very poor layers .... but they are such huge, sedate, bumbling beauties!!
      Today my interest is solely in the Autosexing breeds and having parted with the other breeds I now concentrate purely on the Welbar, a wonderful utility breed I have had for very many years ...... as a consequence from time-to-time I also have some Welsummers!

      I  have never had any interest in showing poultry, my interest is purely in utility birds, though I've been more than happy to show their eggs from time to time!


   Since 1967 I have bred and shown various Fancy Pigeons including Old Dutch Capuchines, Antwerp Smerles, Elster Croppers, Thuringian Whitebibs, German D/C Priests, Lahores, Limerick Tumblers, Flying Rollers and plus assorted other breeds. In the mid 1970's after a 'dark' period, following my student years, I parted with all my birds, but when I re-emerged into the 'light' I still maintained an interest in poultry and pigeons.

      For years I had a flock of non-descript tumblers flying around the house and garden, and in the mid 1990's visited the BPSS show at Doncaster - not of course that I made the journey from North Wales for anything other than  'an afternoon out' !!  Needless to say I returned home with some Show Rollers .... I had no intention of showing birds again .... well I believed that anyway! It was only a couple of years before I was once more breeding the Old Dutch Capuchine and my thoughts once more turned to showing birds.

      Today I breed and show the very rare English Show Tippler, the rare Ancient or Alltstammer Tumbler and the 
Antwerp Smerle. 

I was the Secretary of the National Pigeon Association for several years. The NPA is the governing body of the Fancy Pigeon world in the UK,  and is a member of the EE.   In addition to showing pigeons occasionally I am also an NPA judge, which makes me the only person in Britain who is a championship judge of both pedigree Cats and Fancy Pigeons!

 I have been a GCCF Judge of various pedigree breeds of cat for 34 years and in 2012 and again in 2019 had the honour of being selected to sit on the Judging Panel for Supreme Best in Show at the GCCF Supreme Cat Show - the highest of honours. The Supreme Cat Show is the feline equivalent of Crufts and is one of the premier cat shows in the World.


 Judging BiS at the 2012 GCCF Supreme Show
 Supreme UK I Gr Pr Pippastro Magik Flute
Apricot Shaded Oriental Longhair


alt© John S Harrison