Brian Morris talks about the pigeons at Edge Hill station

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 2nd November 2012 by Liam Physick

Brian Morris remembers how people from pigeon clubs would bring their pigeons in crates to Edge Hill before they would be sent by rail to the south of England: when pigeons were being trained they would be made to fly progressively longer distances. Pigeon fanciers were apparently much more common in those days than they are now. Brian also recalls watching double-header 13-coach trains travelling to London

Interviewee: Brian Morris

Interviewee Gender: Male

Interview Transcript

Jodie: So, is there anything else you’d like to share with us about this station and the, the surrounding area?

Brian: Ooh, yes, well, another thing, one of the great sights was, when the London train pulled the 13 coaches up from Lime Street, and remember it was coal fired, it often had what was called a double header, in other words there were two, and of course one of the great sights is to see two engines going hell for leather, the bogie wheels going, everything (makes a “shh” sound like that emitted by a steam locomotive), steam, everything going, and racing along the embankment from when we were playing footie and other games in The Mystery, the Wavertree Park, because it’s a great sight to see it going along there with everything going, and it really was a sense of power (in a rasping voice) to little boys! (both laugh) There were many other things. Pigeons used to be sent by rail, and on occasions, the pigeon clubs would bring their crates full of cooing pigeons (both laugh), and they’d be stacked up, and it was the duty of the people on the station to feed and water them, so you might come somewhere along here, like, I mean, I can’t remember which one, cos it was, again, so natural to see pigeons and they would be sent off to the south of England, and then they let them go, course now they go in a mighty big convoyer, I don’t think you ever seen a convoyer have you, in the road, in the streets, mighty big wagons, and they have all the pigeons in crates, and . . .

Jodie: I’ve seen . . .

Brian: . . . and then went they want they just pull it, and it opens up and they all fly out.

Jodie: Oh, right! I’ve seen people though waiting by a bus stop with crates of pigeons (Brian laughs) like that, and it did, cos someone else told us about the pigeons at Edge Hill and it did make me think about that so . . .

Brian: Yeah.

Jodie: . . . maybe some people still use those old crates, I don’t know.

Brian: Well, I don’t really whether anybody still uses a crate. I think it would be very unusual, I think he would be a private man training his pigeons, might take out, and you do, you’d take your loft out, say 10 or 20, and race them back to your loft from a point to get them going, you see, if they’re up to six months you try them for a mile, and then they do five miles, and then they’re strong enough, and then do all the way from France.

Jodie: Oh, right, wow!

Brian: No, I’m afraid pigeon fancy, pigeon racing is now a thing of the past, but in my day there were many pigeon clubs round here, men who had pigeons in their back yards! (laughs)

Jodie: The back yards were so small as well, weren’t they, in this area . . . (laughs)

Brian: Yes.

Jodie: . . . yes, so full pigeons too!

Brian: But still people managed to get a big yard or, I mean there are still some larger yards . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

Brian: . . . and, what, you see, I doesn’t matter, you just, as long as you’ve got somewhere to, fresh air, keep them, well, dry, clean, moderately warm.

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Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers

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