It is widely acknowledged that the Up North Combine in the North East of England is traditionally one of the most competitive areas to fly pigeons in the entire Pigeon Sport World…

Since my first interest in the sport in the late 1960’s and especially when I subscribed to the Racing Pigeon Magazine and read of the many old legendary fanciers and pigeons this was pigeon heaven to me. Through the years I have got to know the area a little better and have made many great friends, some no longer with us like Frankie Woods and Win Cole and many of the younger generation of fanciers and I continue to enjoy the enthusiasm they bring to our hobby that is still very much a family affair.  Both myself and my American pigeon buddy Mike Ganus still reflect on travelling thousands of miles over twenty years in all areas of Holland, Belgium and Germany with Win, and the ‘bloke’ is still missed.

I am also very humbled by the success our bloodlines have had in the North East and continue to have. This is an area where it is impossible to hide if the birds don’t win! Generations of fanciers competing in red hot competition against massive entries makes sure of that. Fanciers from abroad are still amazed at the birdage for many of these races that still attract 20,000 to 30,000 birds or more in the program races and the fascination with Bourges.

Ali Brothers of South Shields are an example of the legendary fanciers for very many years that I have referred to however I have not personally met them myself. I am never the less honored to read their comments and bloodlines of some of their recent winners.

Their ‘Section Cock’ was bred from a top breeding son of Sir Guy a cock I bred from Hannibaal and Genie (Drum x Gerrie) and sold to Davy Barron and the late Dennis Blakey as a youngster, that bred very well for his owners including 2nd Up North Combine Folkestone 17.762 birds beaten for first by 0.002 y.p.m. As a matter of interest the dams side is down from the Triple X lines of Dennis Blakey and he bred this cock from a daughter of our old Sabina Hen that Dennis and Dave had on loan for a short while.

The ‘Section Cock’ when paired to GB18F28422 ‘Fantastic Desperado’ that we bred from Desperado with a daughter of ‘War Drum’ x Sunday Girl’ bred their star performer  ‘Super Section’ winner of  1st Federation , 1st Section 2673 birds and 1st Federation, 2nd Section ,10th Up North Combine Eastbourne 9152 birds.  ‘The ‘Super Section Cock’ in turn bred ‘Triple Section’ when in the race team  winner of  1st Federation , 1st Section Newark against 4725 birds.

“Ali bros in the past 2 seasons
35 x 1st club
19 x 1st feds
3 x 1st section 4
The Section cock was a super racer 3x1st club 2x1st fed 1x2nd fed , 1st 4th 4th 32nd section 4 and now a phenomenal breeder paired to fantastic desperado for the past 2 seasons they have bred countless winners and are responsible for a section winner in 2 consecutive seasons.
There star son is super section who has 2x1st feds 1x1st section 2673 birds 1x2nd section also 10th UNC Eastbourne 2021, super section while in the race team bred triple section who was 1st fed 1st section 4725 birds Newark a real golden pair and the birds on offer will be a full brother or sister to super section .
The section cock In picture”

The Section Cock of Ali Brothers…

Pedigree for the ‘Super Section’ cock from The Section Cock and The Fantastic Desperado Hen…

The Fantastic Desperado Hen of Ali Brothers South Shields…


Had a chat with the very same Davey Barron last week and it was nice to share the same optimism for the coming season.   Dave was updating his records and had lost the pedigree of GB12R22859 a cock that although now passed on still has an influence on his current team. This cock had bred his 2nd Section 3,303 birds, 5th Up North Combine Folkestone against 18,496 birds. A quick check of the records and GB12R22859 was also bred from Hannibal and this time with Kirtsy the nest sister of Genie both from Drum x Gerrie.

GB12R22859 sire of Davey Barrons 5th UNC Folkestone 18,496 birds…

Dave also reported on a new future good breeder GB19V51989 that we bred from Alonso (Son Safier Couple of Leo Heremans) with ‘Manon’ a daughter of Oude Asduif of Johan Donkers. This young breeder has bred a yearling to win 4 x top 10 in the Section including 1st Section Peterborough 2562 birds.

GB19V51989 sire of Davey Barrons 1st Section Peterborough 2562 birds….


The Blackpool Show saw me bump into Stephen Wheatley Senior and Junior of the Cole , Wheatley and Son partnership from Middlesbrough.  Stephen was very pleased with a few very good seasons results still flying in their old partnership name.  One of their principle basic breeders is GB11T27484 ‘Foxy’ a stunning cock we bred from Mario with Athena one of the super direct children of the New Dream Couple of Leo Heremans that did super well not only in the Up North Combine but in the entire Pigeon Sport World.

‘Foxy’ basic breeding cock of Cole Wheatley and Son of Middlesbrough.

GB11T27484 ‘Foxy’ top breeding cock for Cole, Wheatley and Son…

Stephen also was very happy with a cock he had recently brought into his breeding team GB15E32682;

‘GB15E32862 bred us fed winners since we got him last year. We had a hen what topped the fed from Plumpton and she was 8th Combine against 14,928 birds’.  Once again this was from Anabelle a Leo Heremans Safier Couple hen with a Johan Donckers cock.

GB15E32682 breeder of a 1st Federation winner and 8th Combine winner in his first year…


Having read through this text again it reminds me of some wise words of a very wise old mentor of mine, the late Albert Tarleton… ‘There are many more better pigeons around than fanciers’ and I have to agree. This brief report has featured mostly our old bloodlines and some newer ones. Some of the birds referred to here have had more than one owner. Most of the bloodlines written were well known more than twenty years ago. I personally think its about maintaining the level. Good bloodlines don’t go bad overnight and need careful planning with selected crosses and selection on performance only. Not selecting on the ‘Next Gravy Train’ method. The Up North Combine Fanciers featured can certainly do that.

Not every bird is a winner or can breed a winner but in the hands of top class fanciers it is way more likely through patience, skill and natural fanciership.