Here are some wonderful pictures that tell a little of the Janssen story
Charel, Adriaan, Louis, and Jef in front of their home at 6 Schoolstraat, Arendonk Belgium
Here is a wonderful shot of the Brothers in their younger years
Charel inside the "Attic" lofts admiring one of their champions
A collage from 1976, featuring the brothers, and their Super Champions
Some distinct "light checkers" inside the "Attic Lofts" Absolutly beautiful pigeons !
Some say the Janssens never had "White Flights" I beg to differ...inside the "Attic" Lofts..notice the Blue Check and Blue Bar White Flights
Here is a typical hand-written pedigree, unique to the Janssen Brothers of Arendonk.
The purchased pigeon, it's parents, and grand parents. (7 pigeons..that was it)
Simple but yet the most coveted pedigree in the history of pigeon racing.
Here is an example of one of the Janssen young birds bred here at Midnight Blue Lofts
..it is plain to see that the quality of the "Original" Janssen Pigeons is still prevelent !
...Our beautiful "Blue Street" at 10 months just finishing his first molt
.....Perhaps it was the wonderful tradition and family history of the Janssen Brothers that drew me in. Perhaps it was the simple lifestyle and humbleness of the great fanciers from Arendonk that caught my attention. Perhaps it was the memories as a young fancier, always hearing about the "Janssen Pigeons" and their dynamic impact everywhere they touched the skies. Or it might have been the first time I handled an "Original" and realized that I was holding something very special in the palm of my hands. Actually it was the ingredients of all of the above that led me to this journey, and desire of continuing this family of pigeons pure and uninterrupted...
The Brothers never married, and were able to dedicate their entire lives to the forming and creation of the legendary Janssen of Arendonk Superior family of racing pigeons
They worked collectivly with great harmony, and their progress and achievement was like clockwork. The dynamic of their common bond was their recipe for greatness and success
Charel was the fanatical "cleaner" of the lofts, and just as fanatical about the health of the colony. He was a tireless worker in the lofts, and a true master of his craft.
The list of Champion breeders and racers were endless. Fanciers world wide lined up for a possibility of purchasing the most distinguished pigeons in the entire world. They didn't seek fame and fortune .. but it certainly found them.
Their family came in a variety of colors, however the "Light Blue Checkers" were the most commonly found in their lofts. The Ceulemans cross of 1919 and 1926 introduced the "Vos" or Red Checkers. They preferred the darker version of the red checks. There were also Blue Bars and Blue Checkers that had occasional white flights, as seen above. The Brothers were very picky about type and color.
The Brothers actually did not like to bother with pedigrees, but knew they must because of the overwhelming demand for their pigeons. They only wrote the band number, color and name if there was one. Leaving it up to the purchaser to research the racing and breeding heritage.
Some of the well known physical attributes of the Janssen pigeon were ...very muscular, very strong, quite chesty, deep and soft feather, flights were well rounded, very colorful and rich eyes, well balanced, intelligent, and they possessed radiant health utilizing natural methods.
Father to the brothers Henri Janssen began the legacy in 1886 in the Town of Arendonk Belgium. He acquired the best pigeons of his time from the local area around Arendonk For the Janssens pigeons were a way of life embedded in them from childhood. Their passion and expertise proved to be a lethel combination !
Henri himself was a master breeder and racer. He taught his sons all he knew, passing along much wisdom and knowledge that gave the brothers a strong foundation. Actually there were seven sons, however it was Charel, Adriaan, Louis, and Jef that were the well known and famous sons referred to as the "Janssen Brothers"
The pigeons that created and formed the Janssen legacy were from these four sources only;
1. The Original pigeons developed from Henri Janssen.
2. The introduction of the Ceulemans pigeons in 1919 and again in 1926.
3. The Schoeters pigeons in about 1940.
4. ...and the introduction of the Halve Fabry in 1960.
The great Cas Goosens played a major role in that he and Schoeters were the closest of friends. It was Goosens the superior fancier that advised Schoeters on most of his selections, that later would end up in the hands of the brothers..so yes Cas Goosen did indeed have a big role in the developement of the Janssen strain.
In no certain order or preference here is a short list of some of the most famous Janssen pigeons of all time...
"Vos Van 1919"
"Bange Van 51"
"Jonge Witoger Van 33"
"Schoon Licht Van 55"
"Merckx Van 67"
"Jonge Merckx Van 70"
"The Oude Raket"
"Jonge Raket Van 76"
"The Grote Witoger"" "Schoon Blauw Van 76"
"Blauwke Van 54"
"The Donker Vos"
"Schone Van onder
The cleanliness and hygiene of the lofts were of the utmost importance !
The Brothers kept their lofts "spotless" at all times. They spent hours upon hours in this fashion, caring for, cleaning, and attending to their precious pigeons. They employed the very simple and natural methods for the health and quality of their stock.
They knew each of their pigeons as if they were their own children, and took great pride in knowing each and every detail about their family !! They were extremly maticulous and detailed minded in all their ways.
It has long been in our thoughts here at Midnight Blue Lofts to acquire and maintain a 100% original and pure line of Janssen Brothers of Arendonk legendary racing pigeons. All of our foundational breeders are either direct Janssens or children of direct Janssens.
It was about 2007 when we realized that the incredible legacy of the Janssen Arendonk Racing Pigeon was nearing it's end. It was then we set about to acquire these original breeders. Hoping we might have an opportunity to preserve at least a small part of this wonderful legacy.
With forty years of breeding and racing experience, we are confident that we have the ability to maintain and keep this legendary Janssen family pure and vibrant, unblemished and uninterrupted.
Our desire and goal is that for years to come, our Janssen pigeons will continue in the original quality and excellence that would have been found in the lofts at Arendonk.
We believe the Janssens in our lofts still maintain all the beauty and quality that made them famous the world over.
Tom Fremont of Midnight Blue Racing Lofts Presenting the finest collection of Janssen Arendonk pigeons, in all of North America
"Geschelpt Klamperke" Our most valued Janssen. She is an "Original", born, bred, and banded by the Janssen Brothers of Arendonk Belgium.
...I would never pretend to put myself in the same catigory of the brothers, however through dedication coupled with a lifetime of experience I feel I can continue to keep the "Original" line pure and uninterrupted. Then you, as a fellow fancier can be the judge as to whether I have achived and accomplished this worthy endeavor.
Tom Fremont, Midnight Blue Lofts
Midnight Blue Racing Lofts