2nd Open BICC Tours 2013
2nd Open BICC TOURS 2014
4th Open BICC Alencon 2014
1st & 2nd Welsh National Carentan2014
1st Welsh South Road National Carentan 2014


The 2014 BICC Tours National proved to be no place for the faint hearted as, with a northerly wind blowing over the whole of the 350 mile course, the birds really had to work to get to their home lofts spread throughout the U.K. from Hastings on the south coast of England to Houghton le Spring in the North East. The race itself was won by the world class West Country husband and wife partnership of Geoff and Catherine Cooper to add yet another National win to their fast expanding CV.
It has been my normal practice to complete loft reports on each BICC National race winner. However, on this occasion, due to the fact that I have already completed comprehensive loft reports on Geoff and Catherine in recent years[ see BICC, Elimar & Fancier Chat web sites],I have decided to highlight the loft and birds of the runners up in this latest BICC race from Tours.
After reading the article I feel sure that the reader will agree that the partnership in question are well worth the publicity, as their many past successes in National competition and their outstanding form at the start of the 2014 season cry out for an in depth article. So read on.

The partners have won no less than 10 National races here in Wales, so it has come as no surprise to Welsh fanciers that the Scammell & Peploe partnership would excel in cross border National racing with the BICC. The ten National wins have been achieved on all routes with the Crieff National being won in 1999 and 2000 on the north road followed by National wins from Falaise ,Vains, Picauville, St Malo, Bergerac and Cholet, Carentan, Carentan plus 1st Combine from Lillers/Maidstone against a field of 10,400 birds on the south and south east routes. Add to these ten outright National wins a further FOURTEEN 2nd National finishes and you have one of the best racing records in the history of Welsh pigeon racing.


The partnership is made up of Ron Scammell and Paul Peploe. who formed the partnership in 1992 although Ron had previously flown in partnership with his father Brian and enjoyed a great deal of success.
Initially, Ron and Paul raced the birds on the natural system without a great deal of success, but things changed dramatically once they introduced birds from Ron's father Brian, sadly now deceased. These pigeons were the old Hermans which Brian had purchased from the Lincolnshire loft of Basil Beebe. They were supposed to be sprinters but they were such good, honest and versatile pigeons that they have won from the first race to the last.
In recent years pigeons have been introduced from M & D Evans from their Vandenabeele family and the lads have enjoyed great success with these as well. Some Jan Aardens are also in the mixture of bloodlines in the loft. Then of course there is the "Nearly Cock" line which has won for Ron and Paul and just about everyone else who has had them from the partners.
The Nearly Cock was so named because he was unfortunate enough to finish in second spot in three National races!! Not only was he a superb racer but since being put to stock he, along with his children, are churning out winners not only here in South Wales but also throughout the UK.
The Nearly Cock is a dark chequer pied cock bred in 2002 from a pair of totally unrelated pigeons. The sire was a dark chequer pied obtained in an exchange of pigeons with the partnership of Mr & Mrs Webber & Davies of Six Bells. This dark pied cock was bred from a National winning hen called Pat's Pet which won 1st NNR Fed and1st WGNFC New Pitsligo for the then Webber & Davies partnership. Pat's Pet was a multiple winner for the Webbers and was bred from Wildemeersch pigeons obtained from the top West Midlands partnership of Walters & Broadhurst. She was also dam of the Webber's winner of 1st National 1st Combine Oudenaarde against a field of 9,442 birds! John and Pat Webber and their partner introduced two kits of young birds from the Walters & Broadhurst partnership with the first kit coming down to Wales in 1998 followed by the second batch in 2000. Both the 1998 and 2000 kits contained what were later to become National winners so the Webbers were obviously well pleased with their purchases. The original Walters & Broadhurst pedigrees show winners at club, Fed and Open level in each generation so it was little surprise that they should produce the goods here in Wales in the hands of top class fanciers like John and Pat Webber who have I believe EIGHT National wins to their credit on north and south east routes.
The sire of the dark pied cock and therefore the grandsire of the Nearly Cock on the sire's side was a pigeon bred by Frank Sheader and was of Willequet bloodlines originating from birds obtained from Roger De Keyser of Ronse the same Belgian town that gave the fancy the great Delbar family of long distance racers and, more recently, the George Carteus pigeons that were one of the foundations of the Brockamp multi National and International winning family. The dark pied cock, sire of the Nearly Cock, was an outstanding young bird racer for the Webber partnership until he unfortunately arrived home from his last race with both legs smashed. However, he survived to breed what must be one of the most prepotent racer / breeders in Wales at the present time.
The dam of the Nearly Cock was a grizzle hen bred by the Burgham brothers partnership of Cwmtillery. She was sold to Scammell &Peploe when the brothers retired from the sport after many years of successful racing at club, Fed and National level. Her Sire was Dark Chequer Cock 'Spot Head' winner of 24th sect WNRF Wakefield 1,330 birds and 29th Open WGNFC Thurso.
Her Dam was Grizzle Hen Wales 87R7206 'PRIMROSE SARAH' a fantastic breeder/racer. She was 34th open NNRF Morpeth as a Y/B then switched south as a yearling and topped the Fed from Rennes and was 2nd National. Switched back to the north road as a 2yr old she was 26th Open National from Thurso then retired to stock where she bred winners in almost every nest. In short, The Nearly Cock's pedigree contains top class, top performance winning pigeons in every generation. It could quite easily be said that his breeding epitomises the saying "pedigree is performance" i.e. bringing together top class racing performers on both sides of the bird's family tree irrespective of strain names - the continentals have been doing this for generations. Right, so much for the breeding of the Nearly Cock, I'll now cover some of his top performances and those of his children and grand children, not only in the hands of Ron and Paul but also those winning pigeons that carry his genes and have been raced by the other fanciers who have been fortunate enough to get their hands on these incredibly prepotent bloodlines.
The Nearly Cock raced through the programme as a young bird and crossed the channel in his first year of racing.
As a yearling and in subsequent years he was raced on the round about system and was mistakenly placed into Ron and Paul's east route team having raced on the south road in his first year. Nevertheless he was 2nd club 2nd Fed(3,966 birds) 2nd Combine(9,100 birds) 2nd WSE National Lillers 250 miles in his first channel race on the east route and followed this up with 1st club 2nd Fed(1,432 birds) 2nd Combine(2,568 birds) 2nd National Bonn 450 miles.

In 2004 his racing record shows that he won:-
1st club Swindon.
1st club Reading 3rd Fed(6,000+ birds )
2nd club Ramsgate
3rd club Lilliers
5th club Epsom
1st club 26th WSE National Bonn
1st club 3rd Combine 2nd WSE National Kassell 550 miles, also winning for his efforts the T G Buffett Memorial Cup awarded by the WHPU to the R/U to the Queen's Cup, the most meritorious trophy that can be won by any fancier in Wales.

As a result of his being raced on the round about system the number of young birds bred from this champion each season was very limited. However, when he was retired to stock in 2005 as a three year old and still in his prime, in his first year he bred a pair of pigeons which were sent up to Jimmy Richards of Laindon in Essex, that have bred many winners - but more on this English connection later.
Since his retirement he has been directly responsible for at least 24 winners for Ron and Paul and one daughter "62" went on to win the Gold Cup with the WSRNFC in 2011 for her outstanding cross channel performances in National racing plus two Welsh Region RPRA Awards - Best Overall Performance by an old bird plus the Most Meritorious Performance Award.
This is the self same hen that finished as runner up to Geoff and Catherine Cooper's National winner from Tours in 2014.

Pretty impressive reading when you consider that the pigeons carrying the Nearly Cock's genes are winning at the highest level in different areas for different fanciers under different management conditions.
So much for the influence of The Nearly Cock in the loft's successes what of the management.

I should point out that Ron sees to the day to day management of the race birds whilst the stock birds are under Paul's care, ably assisted by Ron's mother Jean which is greatly appreciated.


The twenty pairs of stock birds along with the 25 pairs of roundabout racers are mated in mid February. The partners usually rear about sixty or so youngsters from the stock birds, roundabouts and the few pairs of natural racers which are destined for the long distance races. Once the youngsters are away then the hard work begins as the racers are got back into the exercise routine and once ready they are given a few training spins as far as the Severn Bridge and that is usually the round about birds training completed for the season. They are then kept fit by two one hour exercise sessions daily. This is forced if necessary. The loft is cleaned on both occasions while they are at exercise.
Everything is kept as simple as possible and so the round about team are hopper fed on Versele Laga Super Widowhood mixture. There is no rationing of the corn here as the birds are expected to work hard both at home and in racing as Ron and Paul rarely stop a pigeon if it is fit and well. They all go every week both inland and over the channel.

Youngsters have been raced on the darkness system for the past few years and these are trained progressively to 25 -30 miles before the first race. Thereafter they are kept fit with the twice daily home exercise and are expected to fly the full programme if they are to earn a perch for the winter.


The racing loft is a 36ft x 8ft structure which faces down the valley to the south, south west. Because of its exposed position the partners have to ensure that air is allowed to enter but rain is prevented from doing so. This balance has been achieved by placing translucent sheets over the front windows when the weather is bad. There is also a six inch wire covered gap which runs the length of the loft at the top of the rear wall. These modifications ensure that the ventilation in the loft is ideal - the birds certainly think it is anyway and that's all that really matters! As mentioned earlier, the loft is cleaned twice daily 365 days of the year. The nest boxes in the roundabout section are the normal large widowhood type - with one modification- the front of the nest box on the side of the box where the birds make their nest is covered with thin ply board so that the sitting bird can rest in seclusion.
This year's runner up in the BICC Tours National finished at second Open Welsh National from Cholet a couple of seasons back when she came with the National winner but her loft mate was the first over the ETS pad . She is a true champion as she not only finished at 2nd Open National in this race but had won and went on to win the following positions in National races during the 2011 old bird season:- 1st Gwent Greater Distance Club Alencon flown with the BICC; 17th Open National Carentan;102nd Open Messac; 2nd Open Cholet; 8th Open Niort and finally 6th Open Bergerac. She is bred directly from the Nearly Cock when he was paired to Ron and Paul's Picauville young bird National winner which in turn was bred by Bernard Clarke of Rhymney and purchased by the partners in a young bird exchange.
The above details just about sums up the management and methods used by Ron and Paul. However, before finishing this article I would like to take the opportunity to briefly outline some of their other National wins and the terrific performances by others with birds from the Scammell & Peploe lofts.
Since the partnership was formed in 1999 they have been fortunate to win 10x 1sts and 14 x 2nd Open National plus scores of other top ten finishes plus 1st Open Combine from 10,400 birds. In addition birds from their lofts have been responsible for other fanciers to win 6 x 1st Open National and 4 x 1st Combine. Ron and Paul's good friends Derek Flowers along with his brother Clive have won two Saverne Nationals at more than 500 miles and a Bonn National with birds bred from pigeons that they introduced from the partners.
Mr & Mrs Bromley have won four Nationals in the short time that they have been in the sport and each one of these National winners contains the bloodlines of the Nearly Cock as does the Guernsey National winner of Dai Rawlings. Gary Baybutt from Croston has also tasted the ultimate success with the North West Grand National from Messac with one containing the Nearly Cock bloodlines from Ron and Paul.
These wins by others with pigeons bred from their stock give Ron and Paul as much pleasure as their own successes.
Congratulations both on a truly outstanding record in National racing. Your next step up must now be competition on the International stage with the BICC. If and when this happens I'm sure you will do Great Britain proud.
Gareth Watkins

Ron Scammell and Paul Peploe with Dellan Scammell

2nd Open BICC Tours for Scammell & Peploe

the champion racing hen of Scammell & Peploe 2nd Open Tours.Daughter of the Nearly Cock

The Nearly Cock

Scammell & Peploe Loft

Racing cocks in the loft

Scammell & Peploe racing cocks section