Needed: A Man of Character
Some have asked recently what it would take to be a modern day Bill Pensom. Many may believe that a person only has to be a good breeder and flyer but we must have overlooked the reason why Bill Pensom was who he was and that was due to his characteristics and values as well as his knowledge of the Black Country Rollers known in America as Pensom’s.
First, he was a man who wanted others to have the same level of quality that he had. He was unselfish and he did not boast. He would explain and guide but did not feel that he was the god of rollers and that everyone else had garbage. He would help the newbie as well as the old timer that may have gotten their birds stolen or for whatever reason had to get more birds from him and you never heard him mention it again.
He wanted others to understand the standard as was taught to him in the Black Country. He was a man of honor and respect. He bred for the individual rare champion and always had good things to say about others. He always gave credit to the ancestors as Bill Richards, Harry Bellfield, and Jim Skidmore who he received birds from. 30 years after Bill Richards’s death he still referred to some of his lines as the Richards line.
He had birds that Henry Lopez bred off of two of Bill pigeons and he always would tell people who actually bred the bird with no shame or falsehood. These are the characteristics that I love and try to follow as well as the concepts of Bill Pensom. Others as Herb Sparkes, Bruce Cooper, John Walters, Bill Patrick and many more continued to practice these concepts.
These are the true ideals that many do not have today. There will never be another Bill Pensom but he does have many followers and disciples that continue his work. Some have bred great birds down from Bill Pensom's strain but never practiced the above. I have known fanciers that had great birds but bashed everyone else’s stock even the very people who they acquired birds from! Those individuals, in my opinion, were not true followers of Bill Pensom.