World Falconry Day

November 11th 2017 will see the official opening of the British Archives of Falconry’s new exhibition facility where items from their collection may be made accessible to falconers, academics, family historians and other interested parties. Run entirely by enthusiastic volunteer falconers, the British Archives of Falconry is a charitable trust which records and preserves items linked to the sport’s long and fascinating heritage in Britain; a heritage stretching back to at least 675 AD that has greatly influenced our national language, literature art and culture.

In the years since its inception, the Archives’ collection has grown immensely thanks to generous support and donations of material from the British, and international, falconry community – a community which values its history and cultural heritage.  The collection encompasses items as diverse as sculpture and art, examples of old and more recent falconry furniture, hawking diaries and correspondence from well-known and less well-known falconers and already has an extensive collection of books, journals and audio-visual material which expands on an almost daily basis.


The Archives has strong commitments to education about falconry’s past and present practice and heritage, which it strives to safeguard for future generations. As part of this role, it has an ongoing publishing portfolio encapsulating the organisation’s work in chronicling and preserving the memory of past falconers and their achievements for others to share, enjoy and learn from.  The new facility, located in Wiltshire (a county with a continuous history of falconry from at least 941 AD to the present), will make this important collection more readily accessible in a pleasant setting conducive to both enthusiasts’ explorations and serious scholars’ studies alike.

The date of the official opening is no coincidence, having been selected for proximity to World Falconry Day on November 16th, when falconers around the globe will celebrate their shared passion.  November 11th was also the traditional date selected by early members of the British Falconers’ Club for their annual Falconers’ Feast, and thus has special resonance for UK falconry.  This celebration of all that is special about our falconry heritage will host falconers from Britain and Ireland, Europe and further afield, and a number of guests with wider interests in cultural heritage and sport have been invited.  Following the event, the exhibition facility will be open by appointment to anyone wishing to engage a little more deeply with a compelling and nationally significant heritage.



Roger Upton MBE

Nick Kester writes:

It is with great sadness that we must announce the death of our past-president, Roger Upton MBE. Few have been so well-regarded in the falconry community the world over; his passion for our sport never abated, his knowledge was, to say the least, magisterial and was recorded in some of the best historical records ever written. He was a friend to many and a guiding light to us all. He will be much missed both here and in the Middle East where he had many, many falconry friends. A full obituary will appear in the next edition of The Falconer. I know I speak for the whole membership in sending our sincerest condolences to all of his family.

Pat Coles’s Funeral

Pat Coles’s funeral is set for 11.30 Monday 11th September at Thursley St Michaels and All Angels Church. Patricia is anticipating an awful lot of people, so space will be very tight and advance notice would be appreciated.


Would BFC members who wish to attend let Alan Peters know as soon as possible so as to help with the planning.  Alan’s email address is: 

This is important so thank you for your cooperation

Nick Kester

Pat Coles Obit

Obituary, John Patrick Coles


We would like to share with you all the sad news that Patrick Coles, former Chairman of the Southern Group, has recently passed away at the age of 83.


Pat chaired the Southern Group between 1981 and 1992. During his tenure and beyond, Pat was never short of helpful advice for beginners, and many aspiring austringers will remember with gratitude the generous invitations to see his Goshawks flying. Some may recall in the early days, his superlative female, Gussy, who on one famous day took eleven head of various quarry. Pat started hawking in 1970 and never missed a season, hawking with his old friends Nick Nicklinson and Alan Peters right up to the end of January 2017.


All who encountered Pat will remember a true gentleman who was suspicious of any sort of pretension in falconry, and was always the epitome of kindness.


Pat died suddenly on Tuesday 22 August, at home, in his chair in the kitchen.


Our sympathy goes out to his wife Patricia and all their family at this very sad time.


Alan Peters

BFC National Facebook group

Dear Members

Your Club is pleased to announce the launch of a BFC National Facebook group.  The decision has been taken to provide a national Club Facebook group as a platform for discussion on falconry and related topics, and for dissemination of Club issues and events.  The group is open to BFC members only.

The Group page will be reviewed after a trial period of six months to consider whether it has been a success or whether it has been utilised for negative purposes.  Please grasp this opportunity and use it for the positive benefits that such a platform can deliver.

The group can be found at

Please click on the link and apply to join.  A member of the Admin team will approve your request upon confirming your BFC membership.

Two moderators selected from the membership are required to assist with the running of the group.  Anyone interested in taking on such a role should notify the Club secretary by email at:

Pat Coles

The president writes: I have to report that earlier this week, Pat Coles – long-term member and past chairman of the Southern Group – died. He was 83. He was still hawking last season, indeed I spent a day with him, and his close friends Alan Peters and Nick Nicklinson. He was a stalwart of the club, a committed austringer, and will be much missed.

We do not yet have funeral arrangements but as soon as these are available we will make sure everyone knows.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Patricia, his family, and his many friends and colleagues.

Matthew Kimpson’s Funeral

The President writes:

I attended the funeral of Matthew Kimpson yesterday (Tuesday 20th June). As you might expect, it was a sad affair as he was only a young(ish) man but many will know of his long fight with illness. It was wonderful to see the club so well represented but I was not surprised given his long and selfless devotion to the BFC and falconry; many there had flown goshawks that Matthew had bred. Senior Vice President, John Loft, has written an obituary for our journal, The Falconer, so it would be wrong to say more, except to thank those who journeyed from all over the country to celebrate a life lived to the full.

Matthew Kimpson

Matthew Kimpson has died, alone, except for his dogs. He was made a Life Member in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Club by breeding numbers of goshawks over the years and was well-known to the resident and visiting Lincolnshire partridge-hawkers. In living with his disfigurement he showed great strength of character, as his many friends will acknowledge

A full obituary will appear in the journal.