"The Macclesfield Tippler"
Author: Tom Lewis
Date Written / Published: NTU Newsletter
First of all, I must say that when we are talking about Macclesfield Tipplers we are really referring to the first known Tippler and not speaking about a pigeon that may or may not be in Macclesfield today.
As a small boy of 8 or 9 years old, if anybody asked me what was the difference between a Tippler and a Tumbler I would have replied "Tipplers are small birds like Tumblers except that they come in colours such as prints and mottles both intense and dilute and nearly all had bronze tinting on the feathers. There were also some blues and silvers. They all had small round heads with pearly eyes. Tumblers were all sorts of colours from reds, blacks, blues, almonds and duns in various patterns ranging from self to those that had ail white or mixed coloured feathers called badgers, beards, baldheads, oddsides, saddles, grizzles etc. There are also some grizzle or grey Tipplers. Tumblers eyes were varied colours from pearl, orange and bull. Tipplers could fly very high for long periods, much ~~ longer than the Tumblers". One day I voiced the latter bit of juvenile wisdom to an old Tumbler man who then had racers. He told me. "You ought to go to Swansea to see the Tumblers flying there." After all these years I can now appreciate what he meant. You see, here in Wales it is only Prints and Mottles that are called Tipplers. Other Tumbler like pigeons not printed or mottles are called Tumblers. All pigeons of the Tumbler type that have all round heads with short or medium beaks are said to be Tippler looking, regardless of colour. , Those that have long spindly beaks are said to be Tumbler and also Tippler like Tumblers. You will see all the types of Tipplers at Swansea. The old Tumbler fancier in Merthyr was referring to the badges, baldheads, oddsides and saddles etc., now and then flown as competition Tipplers, as being Tumblers. As the original Tipplers were crossed into the non tumbling long time flying Tumblers, so we get these variations.
The original Tippler originated in and around the town of Macclesfield from which it spread around the whole of the Pottery Districts of England. These pigeons were, on the whole, smallish according to present day terminology and featured not too long or short beaks, not too full foreheads though head was rather round: they had pearl eyes, good shoulders, short shallow keels, well set bodies tapering down to the tail. They also had clear, short strong legs and small feet. Flights were broad, coverts well up, with flights extending towards about half inch from the end of the tail. The colours were mottles, dark and light, prints, chucks, greys, bronzes, nearly all having some bronzing showing in the colours. Naturally one must expect that there was some variation in type but the Pottery fanciers practiced a great deal of inbreeding and therefore it is in order for us to assume that eventually they varied according to the likes and dislikes of the fancier breeding them. At this stage I must say that at the time of publication of Hepworth's book, fanciers had not started mixing breeds to obtain the present day Exhibition Tippler though the Show Tippler was being bred.
There are fanciers who go around and claim that such and such a pigeon is a pure Macclesfield or pure Lincoln Crazy. In my view there are now no longer any pure Macclesfield and certainly not Lincoln Crazy pigeons about. We also get fanciers claiming they have pure so and so's pigeons. Since in many cases the fanciers mentioned are deceased, and even if not, as the birds are not being bred to that fancier's ideals, I say it is a mistake to claim that one's pigeons are pure Lovatts or pure Joe Hall's etc. Since they are being bred to the present owner's ideals, then they must be considered his pigeons.
Although the origin of the original Tippler (the Macc. type) have not really been set down fully, I personally believe that this type of Tippler could have only originated from a cross of the true almond (not dilute reds) with the mottles. The Cumulet may have been used in some non tumbling Tumblers but in my opinion it could not have been used in the original Tippler (the Maccs.), It does not have the right shape or size. When you see a little Macc. type Tippler and then look at, say, a short faced almond Tumbler, you can see a resemblance. Both are smallish birds with broad breasts and short legs with small feet.
One question will always be asked about the Macclesfield Tippler and that question is "Why are there few, if any, Macclesfield Tipplers about today"? The truth is that the pure Macclesfield Tippler did not meet the requirements of the modern competition Tippler. The non tumbling Tumblers of Leicester and Nottingham could fly longer than them in all weathers on the day nominated for the fly. As a rule the pure Macclesfield Tipplers were only flown on good flying days. Also they were not as robust as the non tumbling Tumbler. However, Tippler fanciers liked the style and look of the Macc. They crossed them into the non tumbling Tumbler in order to have the Tumbler's strength but retain the style of the Tippler. From these no doubt came the big strong Leicester prints. We can also read of the Maccs. having been :aken to Sheffield where they were crossed into the Sheffield birds. The great Sam Billingham is said to have had these Maccs. also the late Jack Whitley. Joe Hall-of Stockport is also another well known old Tipplier flier that in fact flew the Maccs. in competition. His best fly with young birds was to win the A.C. Cup outright. While the Macc. type Tippler was flown in competition, it was some time before they could beat the Tumbler's time. However, I expect there are few, if any, people who have pure Maccs. today. My own Macc. type Tipplers are from two locations. I had some from Mr. Lee of Sheflield (He had them from Mr. Guise of London some 40 years ago) and the others from Mr. Travis of Preston (he had them from Mr. Guise of London about ten years ago). Mr. Guise's birds were in fact a blend of Joe Hall's Maccs. Bracegirdles (Macc. type), and Lincoln Crazies. Tom Beechinor of Merthyr, who was a friend of Mr. Guise, recollects that he saw Badge Tipplers though he also had a lot of bronzes. Incidentally, Mr. Guise is said to have liked darl grey mottles the best.
People well may ask, why keep the Macc. type Tippler? The answer to this is quite simple. There is no other pigeon that can fly so high with such a great style over a long period of time. There are few, if any other, flying breed that is so small. Neat and graceful and pretty. They are so pretty and nice that some old fanciers used to think so highly of them that they'd not put them in the pigeon shed, but would keep them in a box of honour in their front passage. For someone that wants a time flying pigeon that flys with a beautiful wing action and whose sole ambition is stylish flying of periods up to and over 15 hours but not the tremendously long times in all weather and conditions as required of the competition bird, then the Macc. type is his pigeon. If his pigeons do not fly as high as he would like, then a cross to the Macc. type hen should produce youngsters that will fly high and with style of the Macc. There is not a better sight than a kit of Macc. type Tipplers flying high in the sky on a day with high cloud and moderate breezes. There are competition Tipplers that fly high over long periods. However, in my mind, such Tipplers owe their high flying capabilities to the original Tippler "The Macclesfield Tippler".
"Gordon Hughes Family Out-Crosses"
Author: Stanley Ogozalek
Date Written / Published: 7/24/2004
Fanciers who lack in interest, breeding, training and feeding will never get the most out of their tipplers. But then, there are those fanciers that are in this game of ours not for the competition aspect of it but rather for the pleasure of it. Many just don't have the free time to train their kits in the conventional way and so fly their birds under the natural style. And there are many pleasure flyers that can be found on both sides of the pond, they can be referred to as 'Social Members', being that they are not into competition. All one has to do is to compare the names on the fly results with the club rosters, it's that simple to see who's who. And that's OK! Competition is not for everyone and some that have had their share of it continue as pleasure flyers, etc.
As for not putting another strain into the Bodens, for example only, what would ol' Jack Boden say? Does anyone think that these top fanciers are breeding their tipplers according to their originator's ideas? I think not. When does a family of tipplers take on the name of the current owner? The Davies tipplers that we speak of here should not be called that but rather 'Zovics'. It was Oskar's hard work and effort that brought them to the point that they are now, nobody else just Oskar. Must give credit where it is due!
Gordon also had a black hen in the loft, probably from ol' George Marlow of Sheffield who held the OB record with 19:45 many years ago. If you look at the photos of Gordon and his loft, you'll see the black hen. Gordon also got a blue badge hen from one of the top Welsh tippler flyers way back then, I think...don't quote me on the name...but it may have been Terry George. In any case, it was from a top Welsh tippler fancier. That badge hen produced YBs that flew in his YB Record kit of 18.07 in 1973.
Many of these fanciers will 'keep things to themselves' and not go around advertising that they introduced a cross from so and so into their tippler family. The way I understand it, once they have put a bird into their loft, it is then their own, etc. I can't say how many fanciers would know about the black hen or the blue badge hen that ol' Gordon used were it not for the photos. Not that he had anything to hide, etc.
In regards to when a family of tipplers stops being the product of the originator and takes on the new name of the present owner. One way is to introduce a cross into them and then they're yours. The late Jack Prescott would say that they're yours once they enter your loft. This is because you would be selecting your birds differently than ol' Gordon would and this is true. Like I said previously, what you may keep....he ( Gordon ) would not. Now, what many fanciers are doing, with different top tippler families, is maintaining those well known tipplers. Yes, if we keep going back to the strain, it will be there. But there will come a time when a cross is needed, Gordon Hughes told me just that in a letter. He had two crosses in his loft that I know of, this was way back when. If you look at the tippler website and the photos of his loft and birds, you'll see a black tippler and a blue badged hen. These were two crosses that he introduced into his 'family! ' of tipplers. One was from a top Welsh fancier and the other may have been from the late George Marlow of Sheffield or the late Arthur Newton of Leicester, both former World Champs! If the crosses 'worked out', then they became a part of the Hughes line. Many of these ol' timers exchanged a bird or two............but didn't go about advertising their actions.
But nowadays, it seems that the reference to the old tippler families goes on and on. It will be many years before the names change, don't worry about it....just enjoy the tipplers for what they are.
In Toronto, my long time friend...Oskar Zovic, his tipplers are referred to as the Davies (the late Jos Davies/UK) family of tipplers. The fact is that it was Oskar who salvaged the remnants of the Davies tipplers in Canada and with a few other specimens from other tippler families created his own. At present, they're still called the Davies tipplers when they should be called the 'Zovics' !Those famous names just don't seem to fade away!
"T.T. Hughes Type Author: Stanley Ogozalek
About the Hughes tipplers, (there was another e-mail where the writer had thought that they were someone else's Rollers), as I've written before there are the older type...the V.Jendzo imports and the recent importation of the Hughes type tipplers from Brian White ( or as I refer to them as the 'new type' ) of Sheffield, England.
Yes, they're mostly blue bars though occasionally there may have been a grizzle, I've never raised any. Some say that you could get silver duns but that isn't so. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. And there are no badges that I know of in North America........yet. The newer imports supposedly have the blood of the badges in them and may produce some, hopefully soon.
Gordon Hughes, a well respected name amongst fanciers in the Great Britain, was a great competitor and consistent flyer of tipplers. I have a copy of his birds pedigree that dates back to 1953 and continues to 1973. It shows that he started with two pairs and continued. I have trouble following it maybe someone else can. Like I said before, he introduced crosses form time to time as shown in my photos, the black hen and later a badge hen and possible some in between. Many in England have used and use even today his tipplers to cross onto their own type with much success.
Brian White received tipplers from Gordon and from what Jack Prescott tells me, Brian never crossed them with any other tippler.
My own Hughes types vary their height in flight and others have reported them to be good high flyers.I've seen them 'in the pins' but for the most part, they fly at a medium height.
It has been my observation that the older type tend to be the more nervous type. I've commented to others that the newer type were more calm. And the Ed Young type of Hughes tipplers tend to be calmer than my old type even though they originate from the same 4 tipplers.
I was able to control the older type better and my DQ's weren't that many. Now, it seems that I am getting them to fly longer times but am unable to get them at dark. As you know, because of my job, I am unable to train them to the dark and so they 'go over'. That includes the Hughes-Zovic and the Hughes-Shannon crossed youngsters. As you know, once a kit of young tipplers 'go over' in training, they're as good as spoiled. This has happened to me in 2000 but I continued training them in the hope that I might get lucky on contest day and get them down. But as the record shows, I had way too many DQ's. It has been suggested to me that I have been feeding the kits for 20 hours flying times when there is only daylight for 16. I'll be trying something to correct this fault in the upcoming flying season. Let's hope that it works!
Sheffield Tipplers: a type of Tippler bred in Sheffield, England to participate in endurance competitions. These birds are referred to as Sheffield Type. This type of tippler has flown over 20 hours many times. They usually come in colors red and yellow.
Gordon Hughes Tipplers: a type of Tippler bred by Gordon Hughes in Derby, England to participate in endurance competitions. These birds are referred to as Hughes Type. This type of tipplers have flown over 19 hours many times. Flying record of 18:07 in 1976 (young birds).
Jack Boden Tipplers: a type of Tippler bred by Jack Boden in Handsword, England to participate in endurance competitions. Flying record of 20:40 in 1975 (old birds). Boden Tipplers have flown for over 20 hours many times.