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The Legend OF Jim Kenyon
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The subject of this piece is a giant amongst giants of the British racing pigeon sport. Jim Kenyon was from Skelmersdale, Lancs, England, and as years go by the legend has grown for so many winners at the distance and in tough conditions are marked as of the Kenyon blood. Not counting those claimed as 50% or 25% Kenyon, etc,. Especially in Ireland , Scotland, Wales and England at 500, 600, and 700 mile race distances.

Kenyon has acknowledged that the majority of the credit for his successes must be laid at the door of another great pigeoner Chas. Thorougood. For it was the stock of Thorougood and to a lesser extent Edwin Nicholson of Billinge, near Wigan, which was the base of his strain. A closer study however reveals as one would expect the influence of Belgian greats such as Jules Janssen, Gits, Vanderhaegan, Hansenne as well as the old white throat Grooter blood. So the best of the continental mainland bloodlines permeated through generations to build and fuel a great family of racing pigeons.

Jim Kenyon was a fancier who believed in patience and the nurturing of a loving relationship with ones birds. In fact he believed that when many of his racers defied the odds and fought through bad weather conditions that the love of their owner and their home played an extremely important part.

If there is one pigeon that epitomizes the Kenyons then it was the great Whats Wanted. A dark Cheq Pied Cock (NURP 30 F 63) a winner from Nantes in conditions so bad that other local fanciers were bucketing rainwater from the confines of their lofts as it arrived in a rainfall. A wonderful example of courage and determination shown by a bird weighing less than one pound in weight. In his career Whats Wanted won over 600 pounds sterling in his time. Imagine what that figure would be worth today. Whats Wanted won from Nantes two years in succession and left his mark as a breeder.

It would appear however that the Kenyon's showed their class in the hands of other fanciers. Of course this is not to take away from the achievements or the greatness of their creator but the fact is that in the hands of others numerous nationals were won. Perhaps that is a fitting tribute to the Kenyon strain in that they carried their greatness into other lofts- backyard coal sheds and palatial premises- of fanciers here and abroad. Even today the bloodlines are keenly sought after, although I would doubt the existence of a pure representative of the family at present. This search however is perhaps the greatest tribute that can be made to the strain and its builder.

Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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