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The Cannon Strain
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The present strain under consideration is that forged by the late Eric Cannon with the support of his wife Pat from Goldalming, Surrey, England. A strain which like some others are not given the honour which is due to them. The Cannons from what I can gather from my research loved our feathered friends and Eric was an outstanding manager of the thoroughbreds of the air. In all of his years of engagement in the sport the moulder of this great long distance strain was totally committed to forming a family capable of breeding and racing at a high level in modern pigeon racing. And he did it in his own quiet way for according to sources Eric Cannon was the epitome of modesty. An attribute or virtue which his great admirer and friend the pigeon scribe Keith Mott wrote of as 'One of the most common attributes I come across in truly BRILLIANT FANCIERS...'

Eric Cannon served in the 2nd World War with the 8th Army and the American 5th Army where he received a foot wound which ensured his return to England where during his convalescence he was nurse by his future wife to be Pat. It was a life long loving relationship and Pat became with Eric the moulder of the strain under consideration. And what a strain. At its base lay a Blue Chequer Hen (50/1753) which Eric Cannon purchased along with five or six other birds from a fancier called Wiggins from Ipswich. '1753'' had experience flying on the north as well as the south routes but from the former route the chequer hen showed her worth when she scored 3rd Section from Lerwick on the day of liberation at a distance of 620 miles. Some flying but in truth her value was at stud for it is reckoned that 1753 was the dam and the grandam of between 30 to 40 scoring pigeons at the distance. The bloodlines of 1753 are still to be found in the present Cannon strain and are treasured by those who possess them today. This reminds me of the advice of the late pigeon racing scribe 'Old Hand' who emphasised again and again of the importance of finding in ones loft or for ones loft the 'goldmine hen'. For as illustrated here 1753 was a goldmine for the Cannons.

Over the years there were other crosses brought into the Cannon strain but they had to be the best and by performance.

Crosses are inevitable in strain building but many a cross has destroyed a good family of pigeons therefore it is not an action to be taken willy- nilly for thought is required if a lifetimes work or planning is not to be destroyed. That thought was available behind the reserved demeanour of Eric Cannon and through it he produced pigeons to score 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 8th in National Open races in England. As well as winning his Section almost 20 times and the Three Bird Averages from Pau at a distance of 540 miles approximately on half a dozen occassions. There are many other successes by the Cannon strain too many to mention in this brief tribute. Successes by other fanciers as well as the moulders of the family. Successes which imply that in England there does exist the best of long distance bloodlines. Thus the English pigeon fraternity should not overlook their own strains when it comes to face the obstacles of long distance pigeon racing.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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