Seth first became interested in pigeon racing in East Sussex, keeping his pigeons in a small garden shed until he was lucky enough to meet an experienced fancier, Brian Fields, who very kindly donated a 12ft loft to him. After reconstructing and painting this loft, Brian put Seth in touch with John Aldred, Secretary of the Cranbrook Club, who welcomed him and went to great lengths to help him get set up for racing. With Brian’s advice and the kindness and generosity of John and the Club, Seth soon had everything he needed, and he has been hooked on pigeon racing ever since.
In the summer of 2010, Seth had surgery for an ongoing knee problem and it was discovered that he had a serious cancer tumour in his knee. He had to have a second surgery and it was thanks to his pigeons that he was determined to get up and running again! The loft was a considerable way from his home, so at first his family had to push his wheelchair to the loft, then on to crutches and eventually walking. The surgeon said that following the surgeries Seth might have a permanent limp, but he is now back to normal activities, with no limp, and he is working up to join the school cross-country running team!
In September 2010 Seth’s family moved to Kent, to live close to his school. His classmates knew how much Seth missed his pigeons and were determined to help earn the funding to build a loft. Initially they were going to build it from scratch, and Seth made a design and model of his dream loft, but then one of his classmates mentioned an organisation called ‘Make-A-Wish’ who would help fund a wish from a child facing a life-threatening illness. They got in touch with the charity, who sure enough were delighted to help and were as excited as Seth was about funding their first pigeon loft… they offered to fund the loft shell. When Eco-Loft realised that the funds would not cover the extras, they organised some additional funding with a pigeon trust to cover nesting boxes!
Seth said: “You can imagine how excited I was when, a few months into the school year, some funding became available and I was able to design a 24ft four-sectioned loft to be built by Eco-Lofts and assembled right on our school grounds! Again, we were helped by several fanciers who donated young birds to get me going again. Brian even visited from East Sussex to check out the new loft. Some fellow students helped with the furnishing of the loft and later with the loft cleaning and hand-feeding the birds. We built and wove two new training baskets and now have 38 young birds that are just starting to train. Terry Preston, our local Club Secretary, has delivered a lesson on pigeon racing at our school. It has been an amazing year and I am so thankful for everyone’s kindness and help. Special thanks to all the above mentioned, and to all of the fanciers that have donated birds, a clock and equipment over the years. I have always loved playing football and other active sports but pigeon racing has definitely hit the top of the list!”
Stop Press! We received this message from Seth on 16 May: “I just wanted to let you know that my pigeons FINALLY got a first club place in last Saturday’s race!! Of course, I was very pleased and our school pigeon club and staff and students shared the excitement. Now we’re hoping the birds continue to do well at their first combine this Saturday! We thank BHW for their encouragement and especially thank the fanciers who have helped us along the way, both with advice and with donations of equipment for our loft.”