When I was a very young fancier I was fascinated by marathon long distance pigeons, especially the famous Dutch fanciers like Kuijpers Brothers , Jan Theelen, Rik Stevens, Broer Biemans , Van der Wegen , Van de Eijden , Lazerooms and this resulted in me knocking on the door of Jan Hermans in Waalre, a man I had admired for years but had never met.

Jan who passed away far too young subsequently became an inspiration and friend of mine  for four decades later and this resulted in many times in his upstairs breeding loft handling some iconic birds like Invinsible Spirit, Beatrix,Vale Marathon,Spinneke Barcelona and many more .

Jan and friends on a visit to North Wales. The gentleman on my right in the black jacket actually owned De Jeu and Simply the Best.

On one of my vivits Jan had bought two National winning pigeons for his Japanese friend De Jeu and Simply the Best and he had them paired together before being exported.

Meeting Jan Hermans inevitably led to me visiting the Golden Duif evening virtually every year since the late eighties.

In the Gouden Duif auction in 2010 I bought Jan’s auction gift a son of De Jeu x Simple the Best and named him Waalre.

Later that year Jan once again overwhelmed me with his genorosity and heart of gold by gifting me one of the most stunning hens I have ever owned and I named her Miss Hermans. She had the golden blood of Cor de Heijde and Kuipers Brothers running through her pedigree, so a gift that took me back to the reason for my original visit to Jan’s home.

My friendship with Jan and later his son and daughter Rik and Anke then resulted in the De Duif’s presence in the UK and Ireland.

In 2017 Jan accompanied Rik to the Blackpool show of the year to support the Duif Uk and Ireland presentation. The fancier that I had idolised for so many years acted as a steward in our own auction on the Saturday night conducted by Stuart Wilcox. How much of an honour was that!!

In that auction Jan handled and took  shine to a dark checker GB16V48799  a young hen from  Waalre and Miss Hermans and bought her.

In her first breeding season he named her ‘Fox 799’  and paired her to Icarus a super son of Snelle Jelle of Arjan Beens owned by Hermans-Hoekstra and Jan once again genourously gifted Arjan who is a great supporter of De Duif two hens NL17-1449719 and NL17-1449720.

This morning I was scrolling down through Arjan’s post on Facebook and read about his exceptional result from Bergerac 965 km on 29th July winning 54th and 65th National Sector 3 against more than 8000 entries. Both of his birds were daughetrs of each of the Icarus and Fox799 hen.

It took me four seconds to flashback 40 years and remeber knocking on Jan’s door shaking with exitement all those years ago.

Arjan is one of natures good guy’s and I have to thank him for the memory.

With Arjan in the Gouden Duif…now here is a guy that likes a good time…

Dam of GB14V39593…