Early history of the Solent Federation

The Solent Fed was formed in 1956 because at that time the Southern Counties Combine was dispersing and South Road flying was needed mainly for racing the National races. This proved very successful at the time, particularly for the Federation as it got the name of the 'Golden Mile', because many members from Bournemouth and Hampshire were always winning these races. The radius in 1956 was 50 miles which took in Bournemouth to Bognor Regis and accrued some 800 members.

Harry Sparks took the secretary position with Bill Downton as President, Alf Cox chairman and meetings were held at the Drummond Hotel, Woolston. Even now some 40 years on from that inaugural meeting, we currently still have as members, Cyril Medway, Sid Nash, and Lennie Painter who were all at that very first meeting.

The first transporter was a flat bed lorry where wicker baskets had to be lifted on and off for each race and we then progressed onto a second-hand transporter and moving eventually onto our present state of the arts transporter.

Those very first races were from Rennes, Nantes, Morens and Bordeaux for old birds and culminating in three young bird races from Guernsey. The birdage at that time was only pence per bird and a ruling that our birds were not to be back home before 2.00pm on race days.

The pictures below this text are of our very first 1956 Rule Book and the picture on the right is the 1956 race result from Guernsey. The red arrow in this enlarged race result picture points to the late Sid Nash who at 93 years of age was still racing with us in 2007.