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Reports by Heather Rogers

Alencon Race 23rd June 2007

West Cheshire Federation South Road raced on 23rd June 2007 from Alencon with 63 members sending 456 birds and in Deeside Amalgamation of Federations 97 members competed with 703 birds. They were liberated at 6.30am in a West to South West Wind.

Mickey Locke, Fed Topper Alencon 2

The first four in the West Cheshire Federation were:-

M. K. Locke                         1242.505                     Willaston

Les Taylor                            1242.502                     Willaston

E. Chadwick                         1227                            Chester

M.K. Locke                          1222                            Willaston

Willaston: - 9 members sent 129 birds. Mickey Locke was the Club & Federation winner on 1242.505 & 3rd Deeside Amal with a blue Gaby Vandenabeele “wittebuik” line hen he calls “k9” as she is a tough little hen who flew the tough Gold ring on the day and this year at Falaise 2 was 7th club, 19 Fed. Mickey took all pools with this hen and won the West Cheshire Championship Club. Mickey was also third on 1222, 4th Fed & 8th Amal with a gay blue pied cock whose sire topped the Amal in 2005 and the dam from Dave Greenhaulgh. Second was Les Taylor within a split hair of Mickey on 1242.502, 2nd Fed & 4th Amal it is a shame that they couldn’t have both won the race? She is a cheq yearling Lefebre Dhaenen x Deemester flown on the natural system. Les would like to thank John & Ian Millward for breeding such fine birds for him. Fourth Bob Tudor on 1218, 5th Fed & 10th Amal with a cheq pied Hofken widowhood cock bred out stock bought from Jackson & Andrews of Goole.

Hooton: - 9 members sent 73 birds. The winner is Brian V. Jones on 1218, 6th Fed & 11th Amal with a Janssen blue cock flown on roundabout. In the previous race from Falaise this year was his second bird back but not carded. Sire broke his wing and now in the stock loft where he has earned his keep breeding two winners to date. The Dam won the Beeston 2 Bird yearling race in 2005. Second George Harrison on 1186, 10th Fed & 17th Amal with a blue Dordin cock that previously won Cholet in 2005 and bred down from George Price’s of Crewe. Third is J.F. Jones on 1159, 18th Fed & 30th Amal with a Janssen x Krauth dark cheq roundabout hen from her son Brian Jones’s stock. Fourth is family member Colin W. Lamb on 1140 & 24th Fed with a red cheq Soontjen x Janssen flown on roundabout and bred from Brian Gower of Amblecote stock. This hen has bred 3rd Beeston Two Bird this year.

Moreton: - 7 members sent 39 birds. First on 1173, 14th Fed & 23rd Amal, Lang Bros with a Lefebre Dhaenen hen from Roy Sandland stock. This week it was the turn for the hens to be sent as alternates each race. They are flown on a form of roundabout but are allowed to stay together when returning from training. Second Pete & Kate Robinson on 1169, 16th Fed & 25th Amal with a yearling chq cock which is their own breed, won Westbay as a young bird and this year 22nd Amal from Hereford and 2nd Club from Falaise. Pete & Kate were also third on 1155 & 19th Fed with a dark cheq three year old hen sent over sitting eggs. The breed made up over the years to form their own strain. This is the hen’s first card as was raced as a young bird and then kept as a widowhood hen until last season. Fourth club Lang Bros with a hen, again flown on the same system, with the breed through Tony from Uttoxeter.

Robbie Lang of Moreton club

Victoria: - 10 members sent 57 birds. First & fourth club Paul Coombes on 1191; 1125, 9th & 29th Fed & 15th Amal with pigeons from his well known Geronimo family, built up over the years showing they are good for any race distance, whether inland or channel. Second on 1163, 17th Fed & 28th Amal was Arthur Wilde with a latebred off Roy Sandland. Only lightly raced as a yearling, but this year, completed a full Inland programme. Third Alan Coombes & Son on 1140 & 25th Fed with a Flor Engels widowhood cock, not won previously.

Rock Station: - 4 members sent 25 birds. First & third club were Harris & Bolton on 1175; 1103 & 13th Fed & 22nd Amal.  Second and fourth Neville Shakeshaft 1154; 999 & 20th Fed.

Chester: - 10 members sent 51 birds. Winner of the club, 3rd Fed & 7th Amal Eddie Chadwick on 1227 with a six year old dark cheq pure Maurice Mattheus widowhood cock that won at Falaise three years ago. Eddie was also second on 1170,15th Fed & 24th Amal with another dark cheq Mattheus cock closely related to the winner as out of a brother. Eddie started with 10 pigeons and has still ten left and hasn’t been far out every week. I paid a visit to Eddie and his wife Pat’s home in Blacon as couldn’t miss out on seeing a man with such sturdy birds. A flyer like Eddie is the backbone of the Clubs, sending every week and never being far from the top. In this race Eddie sent three cocks – two scoring and the third back on his return from clock strike – good going I say? He has been in the sport for 37 years and as Pat would say she has been a pigeon widow for this length of time. She has had second thoughts on the birds on a recent visit with her sister to Belgium as on the Channel crossing realised what the pigeons have to go through on their return from Continental racing and has a lot more respect for them with regard to their achievements on returning home. The Morris Mattheus were from Freddy Coote, a member of the Chester club, when he ceased racing.   Eddie bought his loft and the pigeons, as was very impressed with his birds. He also has Van Reets and Wildermeersch, which are all flown on widowhood. The birds are given 8 training tosses before the first race, taken by his good friend Warren Walker and he wishes to thank Warren for his help and support with the birds. After racing commences they are not road trained again. They are not broken down after racing and are exercised morning and evening for an hour without forcing them to fly. He enjoys watching them return and striking off from the loft in their exercise period and sits in the conservatory watching them – no television for him? Eddie has been retired now for 3 years and is 70 years young in August. Without his birds to keep him occupied – he would go stir crazy! One last thing to say is that he believes that a pigeon is capable of winning at an older age and has proved that this week with his six year old. Two years ago he had a winner who was seven years old. As Eddie has proved- your age – whether a pigeon or a human - does not restrict your capability of winning if you put your mind to it! On leaving his house I then made a quick visit to Ronnie Dodd’s shop which was just over the road, a cousin of Eddie’s as Ronnie is his dad’s sister’s son (that takes a bit of thinking out!).  The shop is spotless and meat, fruit and vegetables were too tempting to leave and I bought a bag of supplies. I have even rung Ronnie on returning home to order more, to be taken to the MNFC marking station the following morning by his daughter Emma. The camera came out and the photos will be in shortly on his next win – which won’t be too far away? Third club on 1119 was Alan Lawson with a yearling Pepperman x Frans Laereman natural hen sent sitting eggs, who at Falaise this year was 3rd club, 4th Fed, 14th Amal & won the West Cheshire Championship Club.

Eddie Chadwick's winning bird Alencon 2

Edd's Loft

Neston: - 13 members sent 81 birds. First P Leighton & son on 1212, 7th Fed & 12th Amal with a blue latebred hen. The breeding through Jim Biss x Van Loon and bred by fellow club member Neil Coventry. Not raced for two years and this is her fourth race this season winning 2 x 3rd’s.  Second club was Knott & Higgins on 1184, 12th Fed & 20th Amal with a blue white flight widowhood cock sent sitting eight days with no hen! An Arie Visser x Irish Wildermeersch bred from an Arrie Visser cock from Brian Wilcock. The Dam is a gift from Irish National Wildermeersch hen from Gerrard Playford of Northern Ireland. Third Graham Matthias on 1146, & 23rd Fed with a cheq cock.

Neil Coventry with Phil Leighton

Graham Matthias

In my last article on Alencon 1 Graham Matthias was the Deeside Amalgamation winner and I mentioned I would make up to him for not having a photo. I paid a visit to his house this week to meet Graham & his wife Marlene and not forgetting Morgan the dog. Unusual name for a dog until told that both Graham & Marlene worked at Morgan Refactory in Neston for 33 years until they retired in 1996. As a retirement gift to Graham, his wife Marlene bought him a gundog as a gesture to remind him of the happy times they worked together.  I was warned when entering the garden not to stand on the large expanse of grass lawn as the previous day the deluge was intense some parts the garden had flooded over. Graham showed me an area where the drinkers on the concrete floor had been floating away. The breeds kept are a mixture of well known fanciers: Roy Sandland, Mickey Dixon, Dave Greenhaulgh, Van Bruanes from Paul Clements, Busschaerts from Derek Hurst and Fauconnier’s from Billy Randles when he was given four eggs over 15 years ago, from which he built up his base of birds capable of flying any distance. Graham is absolutely delighted with the performance of his hens this year with his secret being plenty of fresh air, as are kept in an aviary in the day. Part of his team is flown on roundabout and the other the widowhood system. His hens are beating his cocks back as the previous week when he topped the Amal he sent two hens and ten widowhood cocks. His first two back were hens - The Amal winner, who is named the “Spice girl” as an outstanding looking hen, who also won the West Cheshire Championship Club and prize money in total over £120 The breeding of the winner was incorrect in the first report as it is a Staff Van Reet from Roy Sandland paired to a Van Loon hen from Bob Tudor, who are both members of the Willaston club.


Graham's Spice Girl with her elixirs

Graham would really like to thank them both as very grateful for the fine breeding of the stock. His second bird was also a hen winning 2nd Club, 5th Fed & 8th Amal and from Mickey Dixon stock. While I was there his birds had just returned from a training toss and Graham had sent seven hens and ten cocks. First 1 cock then 6 hen’s then one cock followed by the last hen. Just shows you how hens are best! – But I would say that wouldn’t I?  Graham also flies in the North East Wales & West Wirral Federation in Heswall club and every week but one has been carded. This is a man who spends a lot of time with his birds, which is easy to see as all are very calm and tame and in immaculate condition. No wonder he does so well in the shows at the end of racing season as they are a credit to him. Fourth C & CD Jones on 1139, 26th Fed with a blue hen, flown on roundabout, bred by Roy Sandland.

Only two Channel races left in the club and Young Bird will soon be here. I look forward to writing about all the fanciers who don’t fly the Channel when they resume racing again. Any news or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Heather Rogers on 0151 608 4403 or Email:westcheshire@btinternet.com



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