Joe Mitchell

Joe Mitchell

Well, it was only about, roughly I would say about 1957 or 1958 I became interested in the pigeons. And this fellow was standing with a white and red thing, a cloth full of blood. He worked in the shipyard and he said to me he didn't know anybody, and he had this pigeon wrapped up in this that'd been hurt with a hawk. And I got it, brought it home. I was only seven or eight at the time. But that's what started me in pigeons. The pigeon didn’t survive. No, it didn't, no. Then I started to build a shed myself. We had only a wee small yard at the time, about a big flat boat house like type of thing, and I built the shed on top of that. It was only about three foot by eleven, three-foot-high, and I used to crawl in it as a kid, and I used to get my dad to go to the pictures so that we could build it, so they didn't even knew it was there. They didn't even know I had it. First time I started racing pigeons was in 1957. I was racing on the East End at the time, up the road. Won loads of races there so I did 

I went from there to another club was started off the pigeons in the Britannia. It was on the Newtownards Road. And one time it was blew open, with people in it. That was 1964, then we had to get out of there and go to different places because it was everywhere you went they were closing down or getting moved on so we had to move along, that type of thing. 

But I spent a lot of time with them, you know, the pigeons. Even when I was over there, I took my dinner and all in the shed. When I was working and I came home, my ma used to hand me my dinner and all to me. Never was one to go round about to dances or where I should have been. Well I did go to them fancily, but I was always with the pigeon. Stopped the drink, just concentrated on the pigeons, and I was doing plenty of winning. We had about thirty members round here at one time.

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