Mr. Chuck Zeller of the Los Angeles Pigeon Club is a well known and very experienced West Of England Tumbler fancier. Chuck has graciously provided me with a copy of an article that he wrote about Wests, and I have copied and pasted it here for your enjoyment. This article and others that are very, very informative and which contain many, many pictures can be found at the following link. Enjoy the entire site, but do avail yourselves of the articles in the News & Articles section. National West Of England Tumbler Club
Created in England - Perfected as a show bird in America
By: Chuck Zeller
By: Chuck Zeller
West Of England Tumbler fanciers would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of the most beautiful, colorful and popular breeds in America.
The West Of England Tumbler or West as it is commonly called traces its ancestry back to the early Old English Flying Tumblers of the 1700 and 1800’s. From the limited documentation available in early pigeon literature it is generally believed that the West became a distinct breed during the late 19th century. In England during that time period the West was primarily a flying and performing breed. Written records show that West’s were flown for times of up to twelve hours. Some fanciers kept West’s for their abilities to execute while flying very high a series of shot snappy tumbles (backward somersaults.)
In the early days of the West fancy in England the majority of fanciers flew their West’s only. There were some however that enjoyed showing their West’s in the leading shows of the day. At first these West’s were entered in the flying Tumbler class, at a later date classes were set up for only West’s.
Of interest is the fact that the West Of England Tumbler, Birmingham Roller and the Tippler are all of the same basic parentage. All three breeds are often referred to as first cousins.
The West was first brought to America during the very early 1900’s: the first imports we know of all came to fanciers in Southern California. Up through the early 1970’s few West’s were seen in lofts outside of that area. Like in it’s homeland of England West’s were mainly kept as a flying and performing breed. Also like in England some fanciers also enjoyed entering their West’s in local shows.
Due to the outbreak of WW II and the entering of America in that war the majority of West fanciers were called upon to serve their country. Many of these fanciers were forced to dispose of their entire stud of West’s. West goings on were naturally put on hold till the wars end.
Beginning in 1946 returning former West fanciers were anxious to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. These before the war fanciers sought out West’s to restart in the fancy. From before 1946 through the late 60’s the West went through many hot and cold spells. Fortunately for the breed and us a strong core of fanciers remained active in the breed and encouraged many younger fanciers to get into West’s.
In 1969 a group of West fanciers pulled together and formed the Southern California Flying West Of England Tumbler Club. Many long time, shorter time and new West fanciers joined the club. The West was seen to begin a steady climb up the popularity ladder.
In 1972 due to the influx of quite a number of outside of Southern California West fanciers joining the club the club was reorganized as the National West Of England Tumbler Club. This club remains very active today and has a membership of well over one hundred members across the country. The NWOETC supports West meets at leading all breed shows across the country. The club is affiliated with the National Pigeon Association and holds its annual meeting and show at the NPA Grand National each year. The club issues its own bands (WEST).
By 1975 the West had gained quite a following of West fanciers in many areas of America where before there were none. After the mid 1980’s there were half a dozen local West clubs in various states. There were two in California, the Central California and Northern California West Clubs.
Due to the large number of West fanciers in Southern California and their wanting more local West activity the Southern California West Of England Tumbler Club was brought back into being in 1991. To say the least this club has become very successful. The current membership stands at over seventy five. The club has taken off like wildfire the last few years with all of our shows being extremely well supported. We have bi-monthly lawn shows that draw entries of right at two hundred West’s. We have a club bulletin that is second to none. We have classes for junior members West’s, a Master Breeder Program and a Breeder of the Year Award. Over the last several years West entries at our West meet with the Pageant of Pigeons have averaged over 450 West’s.
The National West Of England Tumbler Club continues to grow and of most importance is that growth is in areas all across America. The club issues a quarterly bulletin, has its own web site and supports an invitational chat site.
While today in America the West is primarily a show breed there are still those that raise West’s for their flying and performing abilities.
The West is bred in most all of today’s popular colors, patterns and markings. The baldhead is as has it has been since the early 1900’s the signature variety. New colors, patterns and markings are always in the works, as West fanciers can not resist a challenge.
West’s are easy to raise, are prolific breeders, excellent parents and require no special handling. Top quality stock birds are fairly easy to obtain at reasonable costs.
We welcome you to take a look at the West Of England Tumbler and our West clubs. Our fanciers/members will be glad to answer your questions and put you in touch with a member that has West’s available in the color, pattern or marking you’re interested in.
Since I have only one West (Darth Vader), I don't have much to offer in the way of personal observations. The few that I do have, I will post in the discussion thread when it gets going.
Many, many thanks to Chuck Zeller and the National West Of England Tumbler Club!