Introduction to the Team
Gary Tomlinson who most know me as Tommo Jnr from my article’s in the BHW. I am 52yrs old, I was once a successful professional boxer but turned my back on possibly a good career at the age of just 21yrs, I have found it surprising how many boxer’s also race pigeon’s, I worked for 33 years in the coal mines and finished in this industry in 2009, in April of 2009 we decided to start up our own business which was pigeon related and have been quite successful.
I have been involved and around pigeon’s all my life, I am a third generation fancier, my father raced pigeon’s for many years and with much success, I won my first race which was from 500 miles when I was aged 11yrs, the club we founded and raced in as B.Tomlinson & Son’s was one of in not the strongest clubs in our area, most week’s no less than 400 to 500 pigeon’s was entered, the Pool money alone was over £100 per week, we were highest prize winners many times and so strong was the competition you had never won until the last clock was read off, our birds raced superb for ourselves and many other fanciers to include 1st Mid National.
I also held office for 14 years as Secretary of Derby, Burton & District South Road Federation taking the federation to great and new heights supported by the whole of my family, I only resigned in 2014 due to the commitment and demands of the one loft birds, I also convoyed for around 20 years all told, but was chief convoyer and race controller for 10 years, I have visited most race sites to include France, at times we have had to hold birds for many days due to poor weather, but at all times the birds welfare has always and still will be our priority, many fanciers have commented about the superb condition birds returned home in.
The past couple of years I have spent much time on the continent mixing with the very best fancier’s in Europe gaining and adding to the pigeon knowledge I already had.
Annette my wife of 33 years, Annette was also very sporty having represented her country swimming in Germany, she also turned her back on what could have been a good career.
Annette’s working background is with live stock mainly horses, she was a livery yard manager for over 20 years taking care of over 40 horses, what she does not know about horses is not worth knowing, she went into showing dog’s and went on to achieve the highest esteem possible, we had a boxer bitch, Annette selected a stud dog after assessing our bitches weaknesses and yes, from the litter of five she retained a young bitch which went on to become a Champion at the age of only 2 years, so she does know her onion’s, as for pigeon’s she is brilliant, she has a very calming influence and patience of a saint, she is very knowledgeable of different diseases etc, Annette herself was a very active part of the federation I was secretary of, many nights she would travel around different club’s picking up pigeon’s, she has visited various loft’s with myself on the continent, she is a very valuable member of this family team.
Robert my son, born into a life of pigeon’s, dogs & horses, he is also our handyman, Rob can put his hand to anything, he did not really got too involved when we was racing ourselves but he is now solely is in charge of the pigeon courier business and does a great job, on the rare occasion that I am not at the loft due to possibly collecting pigeon’s from Belgium, Rob and Annette both work as a great team, trust is a major part of success and I am lucky to have both on my side, we work great as a family team.
Paul Kelly my brother in law, Paul is a first class convoyer, many organization’s have wanted his service’s, Paul started convoying around 10 years ago being my apprentice so he has been schooled correct. To become a first class convoyer you must always be prepared for the unexpected never trust the weather forecast until the day of liberation. I would trust Paul with my life such is his honesty and integrity, if Paul had to holdover for a week although he has a beautiful young family and a very responsible job then he would do it, he is up at the crack of dawn, birds watered etc just as a good convoyer should be.