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Ten of the Best

I have a list of fanciers whose pigeons have flown exceptionally well in the NFC this year. The ten I am looking at are the pigeons that flew and figured from Fougeres, Cholet, Alencon & Tarbes. Got to be good pigeons to figure in them all and be near the top of the list. C.M.Nelmes of Bristol has the leading vel of 1225 but what made me look twice was 2nd 4th & 5th that are all racing to the lofts of Mr & Mrs T.Robinson over in Hull. Mario Lupo & Daughter also had a couple that finished 3rd & 10th with the other positions going to R & M Grayston of Lancaster (some miles that pigeon put in). T.Welch of Chichester is 7th followed by Eric Deacon from Horndean 8th and B.Simmons of Bristol 9th. This information comes from the database of Paul O’Leary. I will be gathering information on these pigeons for a future article.

National Flying Club

I received a call from the club convoyer Geoff Allen who then sent the following report. “Well that’s another national season over; my first as chief convoyer. I’ve been working with a great team in Paul Bakewell, Ian Anderson and the rest of the PJ Haulage staff. Nothing has been too much trouble for these guys; they just cooperate fully and get on with the job, which makes my job so much easier. Also thanks to Brian Long for his line of flight forecasting which has been brilliant, leaving me to decide when to liberate. Not forgetting all the other people that I phoned in England, which I regularly do for weather situations in their area. And I owe a big thank you to the marking station I/Cs for getting the transporters away so promptly. The transporters in my opinion are the best I have worked on, with all the teething troubles sorted out and with the new bottoms in the crates the birds are comfortable and arrive home in first class condition. At least this is what I am told so I can only go on hearsay. When in France we always get a lot of French fanciers coming to look at the transporters and while we were at Tarbes one guy was there for about six hours just walking around the transporter and watching us feed and water the birds. He asked if he could go inside so I took him in and he was amazed at how cool it was. He also remarked that there was no smell and commented on the mesh bottoms in the crates. He said it was the best he’d ever seen. All that remains for me now is to say a very sincere thank you to all the people concerned for a brilliant season. Yours in sport, Geoff Allen, Chief convoyer NFC”

Still with the NFC I was in conversation with Chris Knowles about an Ace Pigeon Award for the National FC, we had worked on this system with the NWCC and it has worked.  “Calculating the coefficients in pigeon races. To calculate the coefficient you must take into account the two most significant factors, which are the position that the pigeon finishes, and the number of birds being competed against. Position of pigeon in the result. Number of birds in race. By taking the above factors into account, you are calculating the fairest possible evaluation of the performance. Therefore when you evaluate which pigeon is the best pigeon over a series of races by this method, you also bring into the equation a number of different sets of race conditions. The end product therefore is the fairest all round calculation that it is possible to make within the rules of pigeon racing. Below is an example of two pigeons competing in the same races. Pigeon A Pigeon B Positions Coeff. Birds in race positions Coeff. Race 1 1st 0.78 127 3rd 2.36. Race 2 10th 4.48 223 8th 3.58. Race 3 7th 4.76 147 5th 3.40. Race 4 4th 4.04 99 2nd 2.02. Race 5 1st 0.51 195 2nd 1.02. 14.57 12.38. Ace Pigeon Coeff = Position x 100. Birds in race. The lowest resulting number is the best coefficient therefore; Pigeon B is the Ace pigeon from the above series of results. Although pigeon A won 2 x 1sts and beat pigeon B twice, pigeon B actually beat pigeon A three times and had a better series of results than pigeon A did. On a points basis where 1st = 10 points and 10th = 1 point, the result would have been: Pigeon A = 42 points. Pigeon B = 35 points. If on each of the races, there had been a 1 minute gap between the two pigeons, flying to the same loft location, the total flying time of Pigeon B would have been 1 minute less than that of pigeon A and therefore would have a higher average velocity. Within the UK mentality of pigeon racing, Pigeon A would normally be considered the better pigeon. Yet in our wonderful Premiere League for football, considered the best in the world, the best team is the team with the best average, taking into account all games played. On a system of 3 points for a win, pigeon A beat Pigeon B twice and gets 6 points and Pigeon B beats Pigeon A three times and wins the league with 9 points NFC Ace Pigeons. The NFC could calculate Ace Pigeons by introducing the method of calculation illustrated as above and adopting the following. Example Race Programme: Fourgeres Race 1 Cholet Race 2 Alencon Race 3 Tarbes Race 4 Saintes Race 5 YB/Hens Race 6. It is imperative to fix one race as a constant that ALL pigeons must have achieved a position in. The logical option in the above is Tarbes. This race is the club's blue ribbon race and as the longest race it eliminates some elements of geographical advantage to some fanciers. The selection of this race as the constant suggest that Race 5 Saintes should also be eliminated as it would not be fair to the club's longer fliers if it were kept in the series of races from which Ace Pigeon is calculated, if Tarbes is the constant. Race 6 is a YB race and is automatically eliminated unless you are using Coeff. To calculate the Championship Loft of the NFC over all races in programme. You are now left with Races 1, 2 and 3 in addition to the constant, which is race 4. There is now a choice whereby you can stipulate all races taken into account for calculation or give members an option. Example: Ace pigeon calculated from fixed series e.g. Fourgeres + Cholet + Tarbes or Ace Pigeon calculated from Tarbes + any two from Fourgeres, Cholet and Alencon”

As with last year I have written about the need to increase subs in the club by about £5 and I have had a few calls regarding this issue. The ones I can comment on are that they have not been increased in relation to other costs since I can remember and to be fair they should have been. There has been a great deal of money pumped into the club and I think the members should show that they are also willing to help strengthen the club by voting in favour of an increase which to be fair is very little in this day and age. Most fanciers pay far more in subscriptions to local organisations with less reward at the end of the year. Fanciers have asked about the prize money being so low but that is not going to change if the subscriptions are not increased. No matter how you look at it if the money does not go in it cannot go out. There have been a lot of complaints about the prize money in the club but when you take everything into account it is not as bad as is suggested. The band money guaranteed by sponsors has made a big difference to money available to the winners. That money will no doubt get better as the birdage and membership increases and with the present trend towards National type racing I think such increases are well within the capabilities of the club. The club are in a far better position than they have been for many years and that position can be strengthened even further by your support. This is a members club run by a committee whose aim is always to help give satisfaction to those members so why not help them to help you. What is a £5 increase, just over 1p per day, I don’t think that is too much to ask for the Premier National club in the UK. Just before finishing just remember that any club will always need money for the infrastructure and prize money depends on birdage.

B.I.C.C. Only the Finest

I wonder what is in store for the members of the BICC in 2008 and will the upward trend continue and with the increased birdage will there be another 1st International winner on the UK scene. Something that we would all like to know and until the races have finished none of us will. However there are many fanciers out there whose thoughts are on winning such races and when they do they will be as pleased as the past winners have been. Anyway that’s all for the future and we have the 2007 presentation to look forward to on the 23rd February 2008. Jan tells me that over half the tickets have gone already after such a good event in the last two years at the Park Inn Hotel, Harlow. The venue is a good one and there are plenty of places for the ladies to go for shopping. Don’t forget to get your propositions in for the AGM but make them constructive, it makes it easier to run a good progressive club. The one thing I will say is why mend something that isn’t broken.


My comments on the pigeons leaving the maize brought in quite a few calls and my pigeons are not the only ones who have decided that the maize is not as good as it should be. Normally when pigeons eat corn they get it in their beak and shake it, which indicates that they are testing it to see if it is sound. They obviously don’t think the crop used is not sound because they are tossing it to one side and then it is left to the fancier who has paid out to throw it in the bin. With the price increase at the moment and more on the way for pigeon corn I think they should make sure that what they use is sound. If I was buying cheap corn then fine I would accept it but I am not when I am paying for top quality corn.


Had a conversation with a couple of fancier recently about people leaving the sport because they are disillusioned with the way other fanciers are towards them when they are winning. This subject is nothing new and what that was first said to me by Malcolm Tweats many years ago. In pigeon racing it is a known fact that if you are winning then you are in for a knocking so you need broad shoulders. In fact whatever you do in pigeon racing you have to have broad shoulders, ask some of the scribes who have had the banter over the last 30yrs or so. Having your ear bent comes with the territory because you have dared to write what others are thinking. I asked the question of a fancier who changed to dog racing and he said it’s just the same there as with more or less all sports, there are winners and losers no matter what you do. The problem is the winners have got stuck in and set a target to achieve and when they achieve it they become a target. As I always say “Anyone can be a winner if they work hard enough” 


Had an e-mail from Carl Turner about the club’s annual xmas show, a bit early one might think but not really. An early mention might avoid cashing and bring in more entries full details will be included at a later date. The show in question is to be held on the 16th Dec at the Coppenhall club (if they will let CT into the club) with four classes.


Can you help I want to know where I can get hold of any yellow pigeons and they must be good quality. Its not very often I get asked for a family of pigeons as a colour but there is a first time for everything and as always if I can help I will.


Nice group photo this week taken only last week at the lofts of John & Alex Mellor with Roland Janssen and his wife while on a tour of lofts here in the UK.





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