I got my first tipplers in 2005 from Wilfried Van Poucke. The strain is currently known as Merediths. The most distinguishing feature of these birds is the black colour, the black nails and naked eye area. The strain was cultivated by Cyriel Meredith (England) on imported into the Netherlands in 1963 by Herman van den Broek. At the origin these are sheffield type tipplers mixed with some other breeds (Manchesters, Hughes, ...). In 1971 J. Van Ouwerkerk from Braschaat (Belgium) imported 3 couples into Belgium and fixed many times the Belgian record between 1984 and 1991 (19:25). In turn, Wilfried Van Poucke got his birds from Mr Van Ouwerkerk in 1990.
At the end of 2006 I also got some red Sheffields from A.S. Knobbout from the Netherlands. This Dutch line was founded by Mr Spelt, Van de Wel, Kreeftmeijer and van den Broek, and goes back to 1971, with import at that time from England from Sam Billingham, together with some Merediths, Hughes and Manchesters.
For the breeding season of 2008 I prepared 6 pairs of merediths and 1 pair of sheffields; I also crossed one sheffield cock with a meredith hen because my second sheffield hen died early 2008; this is more than enough for my loft. The mixed pair is an experiment in order to get some new blood into my meredith line.
In August 2008 I purchased three pairs of Budapester Highflyers from Josef Federer (Germany - Eching). Of course, I cannot let them fly for the moment with the risk of loosing them. I also got 7 young birds from Ben Hafmans (the Netherlands - Nuland). After some week in the aviary I got them flying but I lost three of them in the beginning of September. They really go very high and you loose sight for more then one hour.
The Dutch birds are a little bit more robust and they lack feathers on their legs. The head is more rounded. In the beginning they were all very nervous but after a few weeks this problem got solved.
4/1/2009: I added some photo's of cocks and hens; in contrast to other pigeon races, the males and females can be more easily distinguished : the cock has a more robust head, with a shorter beak and broader nose; the hens have a slightly longer and thinner beak, and the nose is not so developed.