JOHN SQUIBB 1931 - 2004

John Squibb was born in Stepney, London in 1931 being the 2nd child of a family of 6. His father, Harry, was a decorated soldier having served his time with the elite commandos, The Highland Guards. His mother, Alice, was a dedicated housewife, who like many of London's East End, spent her time bringing up a family during the London blitz of World War 2.

John's childhood was spent roaming the bomb sites for pieces of scrap that he could later trade to provide a little help to the household fund. The war had just ended and Britain was in a deep depression, work was sparse and most families lived from day to day. Despite this, a community spirit existed in London's East end and people still found ways to enjoy themselves. Most had an attachment to horses as this was the preferred way to travel and work. John was no exception as his father was a wheelwright by trade and spent much of his time repairing the cart wheels that took their toll on the cobblestone streets. Along with the horses came the pigeons and most houses kept some form of loft. For many, it was in the form of the coal shed or out house that had been converted but in John's case, his father had the luxury of a good size race loft.

Johns relationship with his father was a tense one. John had his own mind and often did not see eye to eye with his father, and despite his love for pigeons he was not given access to the loft. His father would race every week and Johns role was restricted to say the least and eventually he was allowed a small loft that was no more than 2 square meters. Constructed of discarded orange boxes and old pallets it sat on top of the outside coal shed / toilet. From here John would compete against his father every week and most of the time, to his fathers annoyance, he would beat him. This competitive streak was to stay with John all his life and it could be said that this strict upbringing taught to him at a early age to stand on his own two feet and look after himself.


Behind every successful man is a woman and with John Squibb this was certainly the case.
Rose and John were childhood sweethearts, and met when they were just 15 years old. Born in Hackney, London in 1931, Rose was the inspiration for everything John did and achieved.

They got married on Christmas Day when they were 19 years old and spent a lifetime together, never apart. True to the East End of London's tradition they were to have a good size family.
5 children in total, John, Linda, Gary, Bruce and Penelope (Penny).

Starting from the moment they met, John was to be immensely possessive of Rose and would think nothing of knocking someone out should they least look at Rose.This fetched him a bit of a reputation. In those days you either stuck up for yourself or you got picked upon. John was never the tallest of people and what he lacked for in size, he made up for it with a mean right hand. In the years that followed he was to become very well known within the East End and it was a reputation that he tried hard to shrug later in life but it was never to leave him.

Unlike many couples, you would not find them walking down the street holding hands, John would tell Rose not to be so silly.
However this ‘lack of affection’ was to hide a overwhelming devotion to each other. The many friends that they made over the years will all testify to this, and the 500 or so guests that were at their 50th wedding anniversary will all tell stories of the times and laughter that they spent in the company of John and Rose.

They were the perfect host couple, always entertaining others. This warmth and hospitality is often reflected upon, by the hundreds of pigeon fliers that visited Planet Lofts from all around the world. Whether you were rich or poor you were treated the same and the thousands of cups of tea and coffee that Rose made for our guests, will all have their own story to tell.

Rose, with her unique laughter and outlook on life, has been an inspiration to us all.


Gary Squibb is the 3rd child of 5 and was born in Stepney, London in 1956

From an early age his academic skills would set him aside from his brothers and sisters and he was to find a close bond with his father John, that would last all his life. Their union would be cemented by their love of pigeons and for 37 years they enjoyed overwhelming success as the racing and breeding partnership known as Planet Brothers.

Throughout his life, Gary had worked for his father in the family business and this was varied and at times extremely hard. Unlike his father he did not have the passion to become the next business entrepreneur, nor did he have the competitive spirit that drove his father. However, he did possess a dedication and willingness to pursue his father's aims and objectives and this combination was to work to the partnerships advantage, Gary doing the work and John providing the direction.

Following the death of his father in 2004, Gary opted not to continue with the breeding stud and wanted just for the birds to spend the remainder of the days at Noak Hill, Essex. However, this was to all change, when in 2009, thieves broke into their lofts and stole 104 of the pigeons. It was a huge wake up call and the reality that their lifetimes work could easily be destroyed, by a disgraceful act, prompted Gary to pursue the breeding of quality racing pigeons so that Johns legacy, and all what Planet Brothers achieved, could, and should, be continued.

His own son, John, has now taken up the role that Gary had started with his father 44 years ago. The learning process and education will at least be passed on to another generation and through this website over the forthcoming years, the benefit of their knowledge will be passed on for the next generation of pigeon fanciers.


John Gary Squibb is the son of Gary and Karen and was born in Romford, Essex in 1986. He has an elder sister, Kirby and a younger sister Emily.

Since an early age he has been fascinated with the animal world and has kept and bred snakes for almost 15 years. During the racing years of Planet Brothers he would attend the club nights and join in with his elder sister doing the chalking and marking but his time with the birds was restricted due to the problems that his father had with Pigeon Fanciers Lung disease. Diagnosed when he was in his early 20's, Gary was all too aware of the exposure and risks that intense pigeon keeping does to your health and for this reason he never wished for his children to have too much of an involvement

As time has progressed and our knowledge of PFL become a lot better it has become easier to manage the risk and John, along with his father, has taken up the role of undertaking the running of the future Planet Lofts. The lofts of today can be better designed and the birds kept in better environments, all of which helps with controlling the risks. As time progresses, this site will dedicate time and first hand knowledge to help improve fanciers' understanding of the need to keeping our birds, and ourselves, much healthier.

Johns daily tasks involve working within the London Financial markets and this has given John a wealth of experience working with customers. His knowledge of managing other peoples money has given him a strong understanding of what a lifelong investment really means to individuals and to this end he hopes to be directly responsible for the success of others with their Planet Brothers' investment.

John will bring a fresh approach to the business and hopes to encourage the web based aspect of our sport. Through the members areas he hopes to embrace your on-line experience and hopefully keep you coming back for more.