The National Peristeronic Society

The National Peristeronic Society


On behalf of the members of the National Peristeronic Society I would like to thank Carol Cooke for all her hard work over the past 12 years as Secretary / Treasurer, and to inform those members who were not present at the recent AGM that I have taken over those positions of this historic and prestigious society.

The Society holds a limited supply of metal badges and cloth patches. The metal badges are for members only with the patches available for anyone to buy. Both are priced at £5.00 each. To send by post would be £1.00 extra.

It is my intention to add to the Societies archives and list all the previous 6 Bird class winners, Presidents and Secretaries. Any information from before 1980 would be welcome. I also hope to publicise this world famous society more.

Richard Henderson

Hon. Secretary/Treasurer.


6 Bird Class Winner 2013

Kevin Pratt, from the Robin & Kevin Pratt partnership beside their winners of the "6 bird class". A very attractive team of red Magpies.

6 Bird Class Winner 2014

Blue White Barred Fairy Swallows exhibited by Dennis Ison

6 Bird Class Winner 2015

Team of silver cream Gazzi Modenas, Bred by David Iddon


2011-2013 T.CRANE   2012- R.S.HENDERSON  
2009-2010 B.COULSON   2000-2012 MRS C.COOKE  
2007-2008 MRS C.COOKE   1985-2000 J.T.ROPER  
2004-2006 R.C.HALL   1986-1987 MRS B.ROPER TREASURER  
2002-2003 P.ALLEN   1978-1985 I.B.JOLLEY SECRETARY  
2000-2001 J.T.ROPER   1978-1986  MRS C.WRIGHT TREASURER  
1998-1999 MRS C.WRIGHT   1967-1977 H.J.SHRIVES  
1996-1997 P.COOK   ? 1960-1966 J.A.HOLLINGWORTH  
1994-1995 P.T.PRATT   ?-I956-? H.G.ANDERSON  
1992-1993 R.WRIGHT   1953-? P.B.BLOOMER  
1990-1991 T.HUTCHINSON   1946-1952 K.NORRIS  
1988-1989 C.M.PAYNE        
1986-1987 I.B.JOLLEY   1919-1936? W.H.JOHNSTON SECRETARY  
1984-1985 S.E.CLAYSON   1926-1946 K.NORRIS TREASURER  
1982-1983 T.GYNN   ?-1925 W.F.HOLMES TREASURER  
1980-1981 D.F.ISON   1910-1919 W.E.HEWITT SECRETARY  
1978-1979 G.KENYON   1905-1909 W.H.JOHNSTON SECRETARY  
1976-1977 H.G.WHEELER JP        
1974-1975 H.H.SHRIVES        
1970-1971 T.W.BARFORD        
1968-1969 H.N.LEIGHTON     L.WHITEHEAD  
1966-1967 H.SCHAFFER     C.HOWARD  
1964-1965 D.HALLETT     S.C.BETTY  
1962-1963 E.P.MORTON   1868-1870 P.H.JONES  
1960-1961 C.SHARPE-MAGEE        
1958-1959 N.R.STEEL        
1954-1955     1847 F.BELLAMY TREASURER  
1952-1953 A.ALLUM        
1950-1951 E.A.KINROSS        
1948-1949 J.L.SEARS        
1937-1947 C.M.COOPER        
1936 W.A.SMITH        
1935 D.R.McLEOD        
1934 K.NORRIS        
1932-1933 E.O.JEFFRIES        
1931 J.E.WHITER        
1930 A.T.JUPE        
1929 G.BLACKWELL        
1927-1928 C.M.COOPER        
1926 E.J.LOVELL        
1925 E.HOLLSBONE        
1924 W.F.HOLMES        
1923 LASAUX        
1922 P.W.NELSON        
1921 H.C.GUTHRIE        
1920 H.N.LEIGHTON        
1918-1919 G.J.STEWART PITTS        
1916-1917 C.M.COOPER        
1914-1915 J.LEIGHTON        
1912-1913 E.J.LOVELL        
1911 C.M.COOPER        
1909-1910 S.P.PAGE        
1908 J.H.ROSS        
1906-1907 H.C.DANIEL        
1905 J.T.SAUNDERS        
1903-1904 A.W.WINGRAVE        
1902 W.C.LAMB        
1901 B.O.DICKINSON        
1900 A.W.BLAKELEY        
1899 C.J.ROE        
1898 B.J.ROSS        
1896-1897 W.H.STONE        
1895 W.H.JOHNSTON        
1894 T.SIMONDS        
1893 W.E.HEWITT        
1892 M.HEDLEY        
1890-1891 S.P.PAGE        
1889 J.SMITH        
1888 J.LEIGHTON        
1887 F.C.ESQUILANT        
1886 Maj-Gen.HASSARD        
1885 J.H.ROSS        
1884 Dr H.J.DWELLY        
1882-1883 C.HOWARD        
1881 L.WHITEHEAD        
1880 P.H.JONES        
1879 M.HEDLEY        
1878 C.SOUTH        
1876-1877 C.MERCK        
1874-1875 S.C.BETTY        
1873 W.B.TEGETMEIER        
1871-1872 J.B.JAYNE        
1870 J.C.ORD        
1867-1869 F.C.ESQUILANT        
1865-1866 C.MERCK        
1864 JONES PERCIVAL        
1862-1863 HARRISON WEIR        
1860-1861 S.BULT        
1858-1859 J.H.PARKINSON        
1847 J.J.BOWLER        





Speech by Randal Keynes ( great great Grandson of Charles Darwin )in reply to the toast to the guests and visitors.

It is an honour to be invited to this dinner and to be asked to speak on behalf of your guests and visitors. It is also a particular pleasure because I am sure that my great great grandfather Charles Darwin would have been specially touched by the invitation. He had a deep interest in the Fancy and held his many friends in the Philoperisteron (as it then was ) in great respect and affection. He would have been delighted to know that the National Peristeronic Society is flourishing after 150 years, so I am confident that I bring his good wishes to you here this evening.

Darwin’s work on the Origin of Species is part of your history, and the reasons for his interest I the Fancy will be familiar to many of you, but I will explain it briefly and touch on some points because what he found in the 1850s, I also have found following in his footsteps 140 years later, and they are things to celebrate in your 150th year. What then is the link, and what is special about the Peristeronic?

As everyone knows, when Darwin travelled around the world on the voyage of the Beagle, he was picking up clues about how life evolved. He came to doubt that species were fixed, and when he came back to London he was more and more convinced that many different kinds had common ancestors. He developed his theory of natural selection to explain how they had developed, and he realised that his ideas would challenge our understanding of our place in the world – that they would shake the foundations. He therefore had to check them very carefully before he published, and he had to find a way of explaining them that would carry the day against all his opponents. Working at his home in Kent, he thought about the origins of fancy pigeons and saw that if he could confirm that they were all descended from the Rock Pigeon, he could offer them as a perfect illustration of his key point about variation. He saw the extraordinary range of breeds, how they could all pair with each other, how variation occurred by the breeder’s choice and yet how good birds bred true – and he realised that in the Fancy you could see evolution taking place. To switch things round, nature was, in a sense, a blind breeder, and the natural world as it changed from age to age was the Annual Show.

So Darwin got to know your former member W.B.Tegetmeier, and other breeders; he built two pigeon houses and bred every kind he could obtain. We can plot his feelings about his pigeons in his letters. Here are a few of his comments to show what happened. Some of them may strike some chords here tonight!

In March 1855 when he first looked at pigeons and wanted to experiment but had no idea of what would be involved, he wrote to a friend: ‘ I must either breed the pigeons myself (which is no amusement, but a horrid bore to me) – or buy them young.’

In April he wrote to his school-boy son to say that he was building a pigeon house and was planning to but Fantails and Pouters.

In may he wrote to his friend: ‘I am rather low today about all my experiments – everything has been going wrong – the Fantails have picked the feathers out of the Pouters in their journey home....All nature is perverse and will not do as I wish it.’

Later in the month he wrote to his friend: .I have got my Fantails and a grand cage & pigeon house, and they are decide amusement to me and a delight to Etty (his young daughter). Both kinds have laid eggs. (I am told that his surprise at that was a clear sign of inexperience. Pigeons don’t need persuading!)

In June he wrote to his friend: ‘I have just ordered Almont Tumblers and Runts, so I shall have soon a grand collection of pigeons,’ And in August: ‘I have now got four splendid races of pigeons, which amuse me extremely.’

In September he was writing to Tegetmeier: ‘Especially glad should I be for all good pigeons; I feel the greatest interest about pigeons, since I have kept a few & watched their habits and ways.’

IN October he was writing to his friend: ‘I have now Fantails, Pouters, Runts, Jacobins, Barbs, Dragoons, Swallows, Almond Tumblers.’ And he peppered the sentence with twelve exclamation marks! (Incidentally, that was the month in which he was elected to the Philoperisteron.)

For the next quote you have to bear in mind that Darwin was looking carefully at the anatomy to the different breeds. He wrote to another friend in November: ‘I am getting on with my Pigeon Fancy & have now pairs of nine very distinct varieties & I love them to that extent that I cannot bear to kill and skeletonise them.’

He wrote to his son in November: ‘I am going to bring a lot more pigeons back with me on Saturday, for it is a noble and majestic pursuit & beats moths and butterflies, whatever you may say to the contrary.

In February 1856 he wrote to his son: ‘I am getting on splendidly with my pigeons, and the other day had a present of Trumpeters, Nuns and Turbits, & when last in London I visited a jolly old brewer who keeps 300 or 400 most beautiful pigeons, and he gave me a pair of German Pouters, I am building a new house for my Tumblers, so as to fly them in the summer.

And then in June 1857 he wrote in a letter about ‘the blessed pigeons’. He loved them!

It was in the next year that Darwin felt the time had come to put his theory to the world, and started to write The Origin of Species. He kept to his plan, and so it is that his exposition of the theory which, according to the blurb of my Penguin edition, ‘lies at the root of our present attitude to the universe’, starts with a heading: ‘On the breeds of the domestic pigeon’.

He sent the completed text to his publisher John Murray who sent it to a friend for an opinion. The friend replied that he believed that readers would find the main part of the work about natural history tedious, and all the speculation should be omitted, but ‘Everybody is interested in pigeons’, and if the book focused on that, it would be ‘reviewed in every journal and will soon be on every table’. John Murray did not agree; he felt that readers would also be interested in the other, controversial bits; he kept them in and the rest is history.

That person’s comment was a sign of the times. The 1850s were a high point in your history and sadly it is no longer the case that everybody is interested in pigeons. However, after spending today in the exhibition hall and talking to so many people here tonight, I see that everyone should be. The National Peristeronic Society has cherished and developed the fancy through all the years since its heyday; that is an achievement for which appreciation and thanks are due.

I have two final points. First, why I became interested in Darwin’s pigeons, and some good news. Last year Darwin’s home in Kent was under threat, and was rescued by English Heritage with a grant from the Lottery Fund. The house, the gardens and the meadows and woods around survive almost untouched in a pocket of deep country close to London. English Heritage have restored them with great care; they will be opening them to the public next year, and it will be a wonderful place to visit. I have been helping as a member of the family with the history of the house and when I learnt about Darwin’s pigeons I was fascinated. I am very glad to be able to tell you that English Heritage hope to be able to rebuild the main pigeon house sometime soon, and to keep there a number of pairs of Pouters, Fantails, Turbits and Tumblers with perhaps a pair of Rock Pigeons. They see it as a way of showing one of Darwin’s key points with special clarity, but they also recognise that visitors will love the birds and be fascinated to learn about the Fancy. We will need much expert advice, and the National Pigeon Association and the Peristeronic have already been most helpful. I hope very much that the result will meet with your approval.

Lastly, and I now speak again for all your guests here tonight – the Peristeronic as hosts and friends. Darwin was in touch with many people who could help in his work. The welcome and willing advice the pigeon fanciers gave him was quite special. Tegetmeier and all his fellow Philos were deeply generous; Darwin greatly enjoyed their company; he was honoured to be admitted to the Philoperisteron and was glad to visit their homes and attend their meetings. The Philos drew the quiet countryman into company which he would not otherwise have kept; they clearly made him feel at home. A last short passage from a letter which may ring bells with you. Darwin is writing to T.H.Huxley, his main protagonist in the fierce controversy about evolution. The comment he makes at the end shows him picking up the practical wisdom of the breeders to make an important scientific point about cross-breeding and inheritance. ‘I sat one evening in a gin-palace in the Borough (in south London) amongst a set of pigeon fanciers, when it was hinted that Mr Bult had crossed his Pouters with Runts to gain size; and if you had seen the solemn, the mysterious and awful shakes of the head which all the fanciers gave at this  scandalous proceeding, you would have recognised how little crossing has had to do with improving breeds, and how  dangerous for endless generations the process was. All this was brought home far more vividly (in that evening in the gin-palace) than by pages of mere statements.’

My theme is the companionship of the Fancy in general, and in particular the friendship of the Peristeronic. When I approached the NPA and they put me in touch with Joe Roper earlier this year, and coming here today as your guest, I have found just the same warm welcome and helpfulness that my great great grandfather found 140 years ago. This dinner has been a great pleasure for your visitors from Germany and Denmark and all your guests. We pay tribute to the Society in the 150th  year of your ‘noble and majestic pursuit’; we wish you all well for the next 150, and we raise our glasses to our hosts the Peristeronic.

Below is a copy of a report written by Bevil Rose on the 1956 NPS class in Guildford, for Fur & Feather magazine. It was included in the Society Newsletter in 1990, but I thought members might like another look at it.


I have added yet another to the innumerable happy experiences which I have had as a pigeon fancier. I was one of the panel of three judges of the six bird class at the St. Saviours Hall, Guildford on 5th December. This team competition was organised by the National Peristeronic Society, and it took place at the same time and at the same venue as the Archangel Club show and the young bird show of the Surrey Columbarian Society. My co-judges were Mr J.Eade and Mr H.N.Leighton. Mr George Danks was one of the appointed judges, but he was unable to attend.

The following teams of six in each pen competed; J.A.Hollingworth, black Schietti Modenas, Magnani Modenas and yellow L.F.Tumblers; N.R.Steel, blue laced Blondinettes and Archangels; P.W.Leah, Genuine Homers; F.M.Pinnock, Archangels; J.W.Gambrill, blue Dragoons and grizzle Dragoons; Trevor Jones, clean legged forellen Ice and white winged Gimpels; W.Bardell, black Fantails; J.H.Whyte, black Jacobins; D.Hallet, white Holle Croppers; A.H.Warwick, Genuine Homers; D.Parvin blue laced Blondinettes; R.C.Shackleton, sulphur Schietti Modens; Miss D.J.Williams, blue chequer Dragoons; H.H.Shrives, yellow Magpies; T.H.Pouncey, Dragoons; Mrs D.M.Barford, Magnani Modenas; F.Luck, yellow Schietti Modenas; G.A.Frith, red S.F.Tumblers; W and N.Postill, yellow Jacobins; Matthews and Lewis, blue exhibition Homers and blue bar L.F.Tumblers. The pens which should have contained K.G.Millar’s Modenas, R.B.Fair’s African Owls and W.W.Brown’s African Owls were empty.

Before we started out by no means easy task of selecting the seven prize winners out of the 27 teams which were awaiting our judgement, we judges went into conference. How should we approach a problem obviously differing greatly from that presented by an ordinary class of individual exhibits? We agreed that the essential desiderata should be (1) general quality; (2) condition; (3) uniformity.

With these principles as the basis we made Miss D.J.William’s beautiful team of young blue chequer Dragoon hens the winners, followed by J.H.Whyte’s black Jacobins; third Matthews and Lewis’s blue Exhibition Homers; fourth W and N.Postill’s yellow Jacobins; fifth J.W.Gambrill’s blue Dragoons; sixth Matthews and Lewis’s blue bar L.F.Tumblers; seventh G.A.Frith’s S.F.Tumblers. There was no dispute between the three of us, so fully did we agree with the above selections.

Our experience of judging this wonderful class, which contained some of the finest pigeons of their breeds in Britain, prompts me to make the following observations.

Next year – and I sincerely hope this will be an annual event – if it can be arranged, Modenas might have a class of their own, because they stand no chance of winning  a prize in mixed company. They do not roll up their bodies and tilt their tails and even Dairy and Harrogate winning Modenas looked mediocre. There are enough exhibitors of this breed to warrant the separate class which I suggest.

Then I think the Toy varieties( the breeds catered for by the R.V.P.C ) should have a class of their own if they are to stand a fair chance. Each six birds should be of the same colour. Mixed colour teams lose in general attractiveness.

The 27 groups of six looked wonderful. Most of them were staged in the National Peristeronic Society’s oak pens, the remainder in large exhibition cat pens. The display took my mind back to the days of the old Crystal Palace, the four pair class there, and the historic mahogany pens which were destroyed when the “Big Glass House” was burnt down in 1936. Never were better teams entered at the Palace than those which came to Guildford. The entry was good and it was pleasing to see fanciers from as far away as Scotland competing.


   (Founded In 1847)




Like other bodies of the period, pigeon fanciers societies looked to the classical languages for suitably distinguished titles. At the time Darwin became involved a London one was grandly called the Philoperisteron Society. Philo means a lover of something, taken from the Greek philos meaning loving. Peristeron was invented by a learned founder, which he took from Greek peristera for a wild pigeon or dove. The organisation changed it’s name in 1868 to the National Peristeronic Society, in which peristeronic was another invented word, an adjective with the sense “ relating to or concerned with pigeons”. The change of name should not be taken as meaning that the members of the society had ceased loving their pigeons!

“The original Columbarian Society, long since extinct, was born at offices in Fleet St, near St Dunstan’s church. This society was replaced by the Philoperisteron Society in 1847, dear to all pigeon fanciers, which held its meetings at “ Freemasons Tavern “ and eventually amalgamated with its rival, the National Columbarian Society, the fruitful union  in 1868 producing the National Peristeronic Society, now a flourishing institution, meeting periodically at “ Evan’s “, and holding a great fluttering and most pleasant annual show at the Crystal Palace. “   Taken from the 1878 “ History of Fleet Street”


Leading up to the end of 1846 members of the City Columbarian Society and the Southwark Columbarian Society decided that there was need of a Society in the West End of London for  fanciers living in that area. The first meeting was held on Tuesday 4th January 1847 at the Crown & Anchor Public House, Strand, and the Philoperisteron Society was founded. At the meeting Mr J.J.Bowler was made chairman, with Mr F.C.Esquilant secretary and Mr F.Bellamy treasurer, other founder members were Messrs, Archer, Butt, Carrell, Gulliver, Pyne and Thirkell.  During the year regular evening meetings and table shows for members were held and the first constitution and rules adopted. At a meeting in late June a lively discussion among members took place regarding the proper colour of the Almond Tumbler ( Almond English Short Faced Tumbler ), when it was decided that the colour could not be satisfactorily settled except by daylight after the birds moult.

This article about it appeared in the London newspaper “ The Era “ on Sunday 4th July 1847

“On Tuesday evening, the ordinary meeting of the members of the above Society assembled at their rooms at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, Strand, for the purpose of permanently fixing the ground or colour of the almond tumbler ( Almond English Short Faced Tumbler ).

The chair was taken by the President, Mr Bowler, who said that one of the objects of the present meeting was to come to a decision as to what ground the Society should breed these almond tumblers. This, to those who took a deep interest in this splendid variety of the Columbian tribe, was of paramount importance. At present, one person fancied one colour and another, the reverse. Now, three birds had presented themselves to his notice, the one was the colour of the almond shell, the second was an ocherous yellow, and the third was a colour of molten gold, alloyed with copper, between 16 and 24 carats. One of these three tints they ought to breed to, using at the same time every exertion to obtain the colour in every feather; if they arrived at that, he should have to congratulate the Society on triumphing over what had hitherto been looked upon as an insurmountable difficulty.

After remarks from Mr Callow, Mr Bellamy, Mr Pyne and Mr Butt, Mr Pyne said that he was most anxious they should fix the standard colour as speedily as possible, at the same time to do so with taste and judgement; he should, therefore, move that the question be postponed until after the moulting season, and every member be solicited to bring as many almond tumblers as possible, that the feather which should be drawn and approved of by the majority, be fixed as the standard colour, and from that feather to have a bird drawn, and then, in future, to breed up to that. The matter was still more important, as the Columbian Society had been for upwards of a century endeavouring to settle the colour.

Mr Archer felt great pleasure in seconding the motion.

Mr Bellamy did not think, they ought to be guided by either metal or vegetable colour. With regard to the feather, he should prefer the yellow of the Australian blackbird, which was a most gorgeous yellow.

Mr Pyne - We might as well try to obtain the canary or goldfinch’s yellow.

Mr Esquilant – Might not the absence of gall be the cause of our not getting the brilliancy of colour?

After some further remarks, in which was urged the necessity of maintaining the purity of the Columbian tribe, the proposal of Mr Pyne was agreed to, and the meeting broke up.”

As a result of this meeting it was resolved to hold the very first daytime public pigeon show, although only actual members could exhibit their birds for the public to view them. This first show was held in January 1848 at the British Hotel, Cockspur Street, London and year by year these shows progressed, both in quality and quantity of the pigeons and breeds, and in popularity with the fancy and the public. The meetings and shows soon moved to the large hall of the Freemason’s Tavern, Great Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn.

Also in the Freemasons Tavern other groups of people gathered, for in 1863 meetings took place and the “ Football Association “ was formed.

Charles Darwin was recorded at several times at these winter shows, the first possibly on the 8th January 1856. He was elected a Society member on the 14th October 1856. In his book “ On the origin of species “ he thanks fanciers for their help and information, naming Philo’s Buit, Esquillant, Harrison Weir, Jones and Tegetmeier, who provided Darwins main source of information by letter from 1855 to 1881. It is thought the last meeting Darwin attended was the 19th January 1858. At his peak working with pigeons it was recorded in June 1857 that he had some 90 pigeons, which included Spots, English Carriers, Barbs, Scandaroons, Fantails, French Baghdads, Runts, Jacobins, Priests, Frillbacks, Turbits, Swallows, Nuns, Common Tumblers, Dutch Pouters, Laughers, Ground Tumblers, Short Faced Tumblers and Persian Tumblers. There could not have been many of each breed but it is understood that by a mix of all the extreme differences in the pigeons that after a number of generations they start reverting back to birds similar to the Blue Rock Dove.

The following was reported in the “London Illustrated News” January 23rd 1864.

“The Philo-Peristeron Society held their usual show of pigeons in Freemason’s Hall, Great Queen street on the 12th inst. In number and quality they far excelled any of the previous shows of this society, specimens of nearly every domestic variety being exhibited. The members have indeed just cause of self-congratulation on the event, as also with regard to the great number of prizes carried off by them from the various London and provincial shows during the year.

To give some idea of the beauty of the display, we will enumerate some of the varieties. Pouters were exhibited by Mr William Smith of Halifax, several of which were remarkably good birds, but did not show themselves to advantage, owing, most likely, to the weariness of the birds from their long journey. The several pens of Carriers containing ten and twelve in each pen, were the property of Messrs, Hayne, Carrel, Everett, Date, Square and Chalker, and were wonderfully fine birds, some of them as near perfection as can be expected. The Dragoon pen contained, among others, the three Birmingham prize pens, a pair of Mr Jones Percival receiving universal praise. The exhibitors of Jacobins were Messrs, Harrison Weir, Wicking and Esquilant. Mr Harrison Weir, who is the President of the Society, had the post of honour for his beautiful and attractive pen of white Fantails, which drew around them crowds of admirers. Mr Wicking had also a fine pen of Fantails, one of blue Brunswicks, one of Magpies, one of Swallows and one of other varieties. The Almond and Short Faced Tumblers were good, and were chiefly the properties of those excellent fanciers, Messrs, Lucy and Esquilant; there were also some well-bred Baldheads and Beards belonging to the latter gentlemen. The three new members, Messrs, Else, Sandys and Oats, came out strongly with Owls, Nuns, Beards, Baldheads, Trumpeters, etc, and bade fair to rival, if not to excel, some of the older members. The hall was very well attended by visitors, some of whom had travelled long distances to be present, and all seemed well pleased. On the whole, the show was one of the greatest successes of the kind that we have had the pleasure of seeing. The pigeons were shown in large mahogany pens, with green baise for the birds to stand on, and each pen contained from ten to sixteen birds.

After the show the members of the Society dined together at the Tavern – Mr Harrison Weir, President, in the chair, when some new members were proposed.”

During 1850 The National Columbarian Society, as an offshoot from the Philoperisteron Society, was formed by leading fanciers such as Messrs, Esquilant, Harrison Weir, Hayne, Maddeford and Tegetmeier, who were now members of both Societies. Its first president was Dr Foy of Brighton with the secretary being Mr W.W.Towse. Its rules provided for election of members by ballot, yearly subscriptions, monthly meetings and an annual grand show at Andertons Hotel, Fleet Street. After about four years it moved to the Whittington Club, Arundel Street, Strand, where it prospered under the official care of its president Mr Jayne, and Mr Betty its secretary, then it finally moved to the same Freemason’s Tavern headquarters as the Philoperisteron Society in 1868.

This close contact between both clubs and the fact that the majority of each Societies membership were the same, led to the amalgamation of both the Philoperisteron Society and the National Columbarian Society in 1868. The main members being Messrs Betty, Date, Esquilant, Harrison Weir, Hedley, Jayne, Jones, Merck and Volkman, acting together to make this happen. The first president elected was Mr Esquilant, and Mr Jones became the first secretary of the new Society, now called the National Peristeronic Society, being an amalgamation of the preceeding two Societies names. Membership was by invitation only, with prospective members voted in by the black ball method after being scrutinized as to their standing within the fancy, with any wrong doing,  dealing in livestock or traders of birds being frowned upon and not admitted. Also in this year the annual show was transferred to the Crystal Palace, where they continued to be staged with much success in the Societies famous mahogany pens until it sadly burnt down in 1936. At this time the shows were still confined to members only with no prizes being offered.  Meetings were continued to be held, sometimes fortnightly, occasionally at the Covent Garden Hotel but usually at the Freemasons Tavern.

This following article taken from the London“ Morning Post “ newspaper on Thursday 10th February 1870 gives an idea of a typical annual show.

“A pigeon show under the auspices of this Society was opened on Tuesday in the tropical department of the Crystal Palace, and notwithstanding the extremely unfavourable weather, the spectators were sufficiently numerous to warrant the conclusion that an increasing interest is felt in this class of culture. It appears that the object of this Society - which was established in the year 1868 by the union of the Philo-Peristeron and the National Columbarian Societies – is the advancement and encouragement of scientific pigeon culture as a “naturalistic pastime”. The Society is governed by a set of rules, many of which are so far stringent that they indicate a determination on the part of its members to preserve all the most commendable aspects of such an institution.

The President is Mr J.C.Ord,  and the Honorary Secretary is Mr P.H.Jones, both gentlemen being distinguished for the success they have achieved in the rearing of pigeons.The Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, and the Committee are also conspicuous promoters of the science, and the whole of them were among the exhibitors included in the list of yesterday.

It would be impossible in the limited space at our command to particularise the various breeds of pigeons “on view”; but it will be necessary to mention a few specimens by way of showing the various varieties here presented. There are in all about 1000 birds, and the classes best represented are those of the almonds and other short faced tumblers, and the carriers and barbs. The principle exhibitors in these classes Mr Crossley, of Halifax, Mr Ord, the President, Mr Jayne, Mr Ford, Mr Halley, Mr Else, Mr Jones, and Mr Ivory. The Pouters appear to be of a fair average merit and are indebted for their introduction to the Crystal Palace by Mr Gresham, Mr Volkman, Mr Jones and Mr Tegetmeier; while the pigmy pouters belonging to the last mentioned gentleman  are certainly most interesting specimens of the feathered tribe. There are also several varieties of Jacobin and the fantails, the latter class comprising two beautiful birds having tails of “lace”, that is to say, of feathers so closely resembling lace, and so perfect in their form, that one might possibly expect to see fair heads brought in dangerous contact with them, were it not that these most rare tempters are closely confined and guarded. The specimens of the dragon pigeon, in all colours, and of great beauty, are exhibited by Mr Betty, Mr Jones Percival, Mr Else and Mr Greenfield, while the young carriers shown by Mr Ord are of surprising quality, both in colour and carriage, presenting ( to use the technical language of those engaged in pigeon culture ) every promise of future excellence. The Antwerps ( which, it is said, have done wonders in the way of conveying messages to almost incredible distances ), the high-flying rollers, the nuns ( a charming admixture of black and white ), the trumpeters, the English and foreign owls, and the magpies, with some few others, complete the list of birds here displayed; and, whether regarded in reference to variety and beauty of plumage, or to the chorus of form and carriage, it may be said that they have never yet been surpassed at similar exhibitions at the Crystal Palace. The Society may certainly be congratulated upon the successful result of their continued exertions.”

In the early part of it’s history the National Peristeronic Society members drew up some of the first standards for the leading breeds of that time, ie English Pouter, Carrier, Eastern Frilled varieties ( Oriental Frills ) and in 1880 one for Dragoons. After this time individual breed clubs started to be formed, and drew up their own breed standards.