Well bar the shouting the racing season is more or less over and done with and what a season it has been. It will no doubt go down as probably the worst season for racing pigeons on record. A lot of good pigeons have been lost and as I sit here I am thinking “How many will turn up over the coming months?”
Where they go
The North East Bermuda type triangle has caused quite a few conversations outside the sport and to add to that I received an email on the subject. “Hi, After having read the article on the above. Could I just advise that a flock of pigeons joined the P&O Aurora ship whilst we were out at sea, (17-18th August) from Southampton and were on board for two days. The following morning when we docked at Stavanger in Norway, they had all left. Didn't see any on our return, but hope this helps you. I did notice that most of them had blue rings attached to their legs. Regards Phil Ellis” So there was a batch of pigeons that have ended up on the wrong side of the water and will no doubt stay there. We never know where they go but it is emails such as this that give us at least a clue as to where they can go when a set of circumstances arise.
A few weeks ago I made comment about the National young bird race and the fact that section E is the benefactor of this race. That was the case in this last race because there were a reasonable number in that part of the world when pigeons flying further up country were few not so plentiful. Over the weekend I spoke to quite a few fanciers and my initial thought was the pigeons did not cross the channel and that thought has stayed with me. It is unfortunate that this type of race appears on the scene but there is nothing that we the fanciers can do about it. As I say I was talking to quite a few and one fancier said about certain names missing from the National result and they are fanciers that are not normally missing. As I sit here waiting for some of our own missing young birds I looked at the prov result and there are still only 246 registered and it is Sunday evening. It was not just the National who had a bad weekend and although we had a good race on the Saturday from Kingsdown Sunday was not so good to me. We had a team of 17 later young birds and some were rather young so I was going steady with them and their 6 toss was only from about 6mls. The first dropped about an hour later and by the end of the day there were only 7 at home in their loft so 10 were still missing. By the time lunchtime arrived I was feeling a bit fed up so we went out for a mid day meal but left the trap open. When we arrived home the first think I saw was one of the missing pigeons hanging on the wire door so I went to see if there were anymore. As I looked in it was obvious that some more had made it back to the loft and after a count there were another 6 back. So in that short time while we were out for lunch they had arrived. The thought then went through my mind of had they stuck together and come back to the loft as a small batch. Monday they stayed in the loft but Tuesday I decided to send them for a 25ml toss and they came well so the experience looks to have done them good.
We are always interested in a good story and here is one that came on the email system. “Hi Les, Following the Open Race from Kingsdown, run by the North West Classic Club, I have noted some details of the team of pigeons that I clocked along with their origins. As the race result shows, it was a good race with leading velocities around 1600 y.p.m. and where, I timed 7 of my 10 YB entries in 11 minutes. I also had a very good training exercise with the 6 old hens that I sent, one old hen arriving with my first two youngsters. All 16 of my entries were home in good time and returned in excellent condition, a credit to the transport and race control team. From the 599 Ybs competing I was 6th, 7th, 13th, 20th and 37th Open with two more birds timed within 10 seconds of the 37th Open that could have been in the top 40 but for some reason ave not been put on the result. My only two pool entries which, were pooled in Section A and the Open, were my second and third birds timed, one only 2 seconds behind my first bird and the other 94 seconds behind it. And I was lucky enough to win the Lions share of pools with these two pigeons. My 6th Open winner, a pigeon I call “Dennis 229” gave me great pleasure with his performance, not by virtue of his position in the race but because of the way he is bred. He is a good old fashioned first cross, being from a Willy Thas cock x Wildermeersch hen. Both these birds were gifted to me by friends, both good pigeon fanciers in their own right but above all generous and honest fanciers. It goes to show that good pigeons don’t all cost a fortune and come from a so called pure strain. The two respective parents are indeed true to their strain name but the young slate blue cock that I call “Dennis 229” is created from friendship and what I like to think is my eye for a good pairing. Slate Blue Cock “Dennis 229” 5th Section A 6th Open NWCC Kingsdown 193 miles. As you can see from his picture, this young cock was prepared via a darkness method and he had cast his first flight. His motivation was 14 days sitting and the race was preparation for the upcoming YB Race with the Lancashire Social Circle where he would have been chipping out but as the race has been put back, he will now fly to a youngster.
His sire , a dark chequer is bred from a direct son of Willy Thas’s “Rooney” and was a gift from my great friend Alistair Ewart from Melton Mowbray. Alistair is well known to have one of the best collection of direct Willy Thas pigeons in the country which, are winning for many fanciers. The dam of “Dennis 229” is a slatey mosaic coloured hen known as “The Fed hen” which was one of several Wildermeersch pigeons gifted to me in 2011 by Dennis Cheshire of Tamworth. It was the likeness to the Wildie hen that prompted me name the young cock via his last 3 numbers on his ring and Dennis Cheshire’s Christian name. The name of Dennis Cheshire may not be one that is know so well around the Cheshire and Lancashire area but it is certainly well know around the Midlands. I met Dennis through my good friend Alan Smith and was fortunate to be able to visit him whilst he still had his pigeons. Now at the age of 76, Dennis has finally had to part with all his pigeons following several difficult years during his battle with cancer. In fact “The Fed Hen” who came by her name for her performance in the Fed. Was clocked by Dennis from a shelf that had to be installed for the purpose because at the time he was not able to bend to catch and clock pigeons. It was with the help of Pat Harrison, that Dennis managed to carry on through this very difficult time. All of Dennis’s stock had to pass a very critical regime of selection to survive and they were bred down from the cream of the original Wildies from the late 70’s and 80’s.
Numerous people can attribute some of their success to Dennis and two that spring to mind are Alan Smiths “500 Cock” which won the Tamworth Fed Breeder Buyer £1,000 prize for Elmore and Smith and then went on to win 3 other firsts before a bad accident ended his racing career and Clive Yates whose good blue hen twice topped the Burton & South Derby Fed plus a 2nd Fed, all in NE winds. Again the fabulous Wildies lines of Dennis Cheshire. When I left the loft of Dennis Cheshire with the pick of his loft, the price was very clear, look after them well and let me know how they go on. Well Les, I haven’t spoken to Dennis, as I know that he is away at his Caravan for a break but you can bet he will be checking the BHW as he always does and when he reads about “Dennis 229” I hope that it gives him the satisfaction the it gives me to be able to say thanks Dennis, the pigeons are a credit to you! My 4th pigeon which finished 21st Open is also bred from a hen bred by Dennis Cheshire. My 2nd arrival and main pool pigeon was a daughter of the Sire of my 2009 Eccles 2 Bird winner from Fourgeres when only 2 birds were timed on the day. The dam of the pool pigeon is a daughter of “Brother Beyond” my Championship of Cheshire” winner from Falaise. This again by the way is a cross bred pigeon from Jan Loot x Verheye x Wildie lines. This young hen was flying to her perch and had previously won 2 fed positions prior to the NWCC race. My third pigeon and other pools entry was a blue cock of Willy Thas x Roy Seaton lines, he was sent sitting 10 days. All my Willy Thas pigeons come direct from Alistair Ewart. I hope that you are able to include these details in your notes Les as I always feel that in the pigeon sport, it is important for fanciers to give the credit and recognition to those who have helped to achieve success. I know that I didn’t win the race but I was certainly pleased with the team performance of my 10 entries which were competing against some very good fliers and pigeons across the North West. I would also like to add Les a well done to Rick Geary, the race winner, Mellor Bros and Martin Hough who fished above me on the result and also to all those fanciers who clocked good pigeons on a good racing day. Just flown the Lancashire Social Circle YB race from Bedhampton approx. 185 miles where, the slate cock “Dennis 229” was my nomination entry. Only three members remain in the running for this trophy after the old bird programme and I was hoping to time a decent pigeon with my Nom. True to form the young slatey cock put in another good performance and gave me the best YB trap that I have had all season. I think I named him well calling him Dennis and racing into Cheshire. Thanks again to Dennis Cheshire, I hope your keeping well Dennis! Regards Chris Knowles”.
London International Race, FCI Olympic event 2012
What a sensational performance by Premier Stud's racing loft in this London International race. As it stands at the moment the Premier team are probable 1st and 2nd International Old Birds, 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th and 8th Yearling International, 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th and 10th Open International in the combined result against 6,940 birds. The International Convoy was made up as follows, Germany 2,300 birds, Belgium 1,757 birds, Holland 1,465 birds, Hungary 839 birds, France 389 birds, Slovakia 141 birds, England 49 birds. I was talking to Derek Nicholls about the race and he said, “ There was a very poor show of support from the British fancy can only be blamed on the UK Organisers who were unable or unwilling to publish well in advance details of marking stations and full details for this race in plenty of time, so fanciers could fully understand what they were dealing with, also the fact the cost of £15 per bird was off putting for a lot of fanciers. However a few brave UK fanciers did decide to commit to the race, even though full details were unknown, and take on the Continentals in a reverse roll of the usual international format when we in the UK have to fly the Channel and our continental competitors stay on the dry land! Of course this race called for our Continental Competitors to fly the Channel and our UK birds to have the Luxury of a dry land trip! Anyway the Appointed day duly arrived Saturday August 11th and the 6,940 birds were Liberated at Bovingdon, the closet Official Liberation site to London at 08.15 Local time 09.15 Continental time. These birds were flying all sorts of distances from 100 km in the South of England 250 to 400km to the North of England 200 km to the North of France 350 to 450 km to Belgium 500 and 600 km into some parts of Holland and Germany and even up to 1,000 km into Hungary! A very diverse race indeed as always the wind would have a strong influence on the Nationality of the International Winner which is why the FCI insisted that entry would be by advance ticket purchase only, so fanciers would have to commit to enter the race before knowing the likely wind direction and stop a late rush from the most favoured country wind wise on the day of basketting! As it so happens the wind on the day was East South East, this being a disadvantage for the Continentals to add to the first disadvantage of having to fly the Channel!
Anyway the 2 competing Premier Stud lofts now found themselves with an advantage over the Continentals in this East wind, However being located on the East Coast of England they were also at a distinct disadvantage to just about every other loft in the UK! Anyway like everyone else all they could do is sit and wait for their 12 entries to arrive home and Hope for the best. First bird to be clocked in the race was to R Auker in the Midlands of England at 09.41hrs, only flying 104 km this set a Velocity of 1211 for the longer flyers to try and beat! Next birds to Arrive were to the Premier Stud lofts at Patrington Haven in at 11.07hrs flying 220km giving a Velocity of 1272. The next birds reported were to the Premier Stud lofts at Bridlington another 30 miles up the East Coast of England this bird timed in at 1131 hrs for the 265Km journey, giving a Velocity of 1346 and would turn out to be the Eventual International winner! With the best Continental Velocities into Holland being returned by Burg & Ward and Verhagen Bros at 999mpm closely followed by Jos Thone in Belgium and then further decreasing velocities as the distances increased out to places like Hungary. The above result is compiled from Internet reports and early times printed in the De Duif magazine of the various National results, However we still await the Official International result and news of the prize Distribution which the FCI rules stated would be half the entry fee, which is a potential fifty thousand Euro prize pot, Now some details of the winning lofts, Firstly Mellonby & Wheelhouse of Bridlington, Kerry Mellonby works full time at Premier Stud in Patrington, and with the help of Rick Wheelhouse and Kerrys wife Lisa, they manage a loft of birds owned by Premier Stud that is located at his home in Bridlington, which amounts to 30 pairs of Roundabout old bird racers and 60 young birds each year from Premier Stud. They entered 8 birds and won 1st 2nd 3rd 5th 6th 7th 8th and 12th International. Dave Walker also works full time at Premier Stud and manages a loft of racers owned by Premier Stud that are located on site at the stud in Patrington, that amount to 20 pairs of roundabout old bird racers and 40 young birds. Dave entered 4 birds and won 4th 9th 10th and 13th International. This was a truly sensational day for the staff and birds of the Premier stud and this race will go down in History for fanciers of the future to see.
We start with the Macclesfield FC report at Blandford that saw 8 sending 159 birds with club PO Kevin Bowers does the one two on 1501/1500 the winner is a hen sent paired and was bred by club sec Bernie Barrett which is a Janssen from his stock loft Louella lines. The second is also a hen and this one was returning to the perch and is a home bred Sootjen x Shellens both parents being prize winners. Rick & Simon Geary are third on 1492 with a cock sent semi widowhood a home bred Sootjenn x Ibrecht out of their good team of stock. Ben Walton is fourth 1481 with a hen no breed details sorry missed Ben at headquarters but we can say that he is putting together a nice team and we will be seeing him in the prizes a lot more in the future I am sure. In the Poynton RBLHS 10 members sent 152 birds to Blandford approx 172 miles. Bradbury & Barnes were 1st Club, 1st North Sect Fed 19th Open 1526 birds vel 1493 with a Piet van de Meure whose dam has already bred Club, Fed and Combine winners. Richard Given was 2nd Club vel 1476 with a Chris Knowles Rolland Janssen X Bob Pickering Janssen/Van Camp. Pete Stanway was 3rd and 4th Club vels 1470/1465. His first bird has already prized and the other is a Flor Engels via Mark Evans. In the next race 10 members sent 158 birds to Poole approx 185 miles. Richard Given took the red card and 1st North Sect Fed 5th Open 85/1337 birds vel 1505 with the same bird that was second at Blandford. It also won the Produce race and has now won prizes in its last 3 races. The dam of this bird also bred the YB Poole winner in 2011. Ernie Sellars was 2nd Club vel 1486 with a bird from Hibbert Bros, Rotherham. Mike Webb was 3rd & 4th Club vels 1482.5/1482.3 with a van Loon and a Jos Thone cross Van Loon. In the Sandbach FC race from Kingsdown Eric Taylor maintained a high presence in the prizes with 1st 2nd 4th on 1561/1547/1542ypm. The winner and 4th go to two Blue Van De Rhees cocks sent sitting and were split by a Verheye/McDonald chequer hen. 3rd goes to Roy & Wayne Beverley who clocked a De Kuyper blue cock recording a vel of 1547ypm. The Lostock FC were at Kingsdown when 8 members sent 112 birds that saw Derek Woodward top the list with a blue Syndicate cock on 1455ypm. Keith Herbert is 2nd after seeing home a blue pied cock on 1436ypm. Kenny Burke finished 3rd & 4th with a red cock and blue hen recording vels of 1434/1425ypm. Now on to the Minshull mid week when 7 sent 124 that were led home by Jason Lambert who was also 4th with two blue cocks on 1696/1667ypm. 2nd & 3rd saw the new partnership of Howorth & Didsbury with a blue cock and chequer pied hen with two on 1675ypm. In the Mid Cheshire Fed race from Wincanton 61 members sent 943 birds that were liberated at 10.30am in a northwest wind. Sandbach winner Mick Stockton topped the list and is also 13th with fellow club member Eric Taylor taking the next four positions. Charlie Peel is 6th & 15th after topping the list with the Crewe Premier with Middlewich FC winners Mike O’Hare & Ron Woodward being 7th & 9th. John Allbutt is 8th while Wrinehill winner Frank Speed is 10th. Carl Rowledge is 11th, Tommy Hulme & Son are 12th, J Clarke is 14th, Bill Whisker 16th, Wayne & Roy Beverley 17th, Graham Davies is 18th, John Peever 19th and Winsford winners Jones Bros 20th. Been a tough week to get on the fed result in this race so a few miss out and they are Mr & Mrs John Howman in the Acton Bridge club. Rob Barnett at Moulton while the Royal Wires is topped by Geoff Hannagan. The Rudheath club sees Ian cooper collect the red card with P Birtles doing likewise in the Weaverham club and the same goes for Mr & Mrs Jones over at Kingsway. Now on to the West Coast Fed race from Hereford which was sponsored by Bamfords. The top position goes tom Queens Inv winners Paul Fisher & Son who collect £75 and the Bamford Trophy. Pilling leaders Mr & Mrs H Pearson are 2nd winning £51 with £39.60 going to PN Wyatt. With A Raby and JB Riley picking up minor prizes. Others to finish on this specialist result are Brian fisher6th, G Wilkinson 7th and Tom Roskell & Tom Williamson 8th. Now a look at the Monmouth race for the West Coast fed when 57 sent 1288 birds that were liberated at 9.45 with no wind. The top two positions go to Mr & Mrs French who won the Pilling Inv HS and also collects the Jackson & Pimlott trophy. This was a good race fro Thornton & Cleveleys winner Derek Pedley who finished 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th & 18th fed and Derek also wins the Arthur Howarth Trophy, well done. M Duckworth is 10th whil Paul Fisher & son won both the Queens Inv & Staining HS clubs in 16th & 17th positions and was also 19th and that leaves 20th for Mr & Mrs h Pearson. A few club winners missed out on the top 20 in the fed this week and they are, Ron & Shirley Mott in the Blackpool Col. Mr & Mrs K Holloway from the Fleetwood & dist with the Fleetwood HS winners being Blane,Edge & Blane. The Kirkham & Wesham club saw G Dodd top the list while the same position went to Cornell Lofts who race in the Marton Village while the remaining club to include is the Stalmine HS that was won by JB Riley. 6 Moulton club members sent 58 birds to Kingsdown that saw P Birtles top the list with a blue pied cock recording a vel of 1491ypm ahead of Rob Barnett who clocked a blue cock on 1470ypm. Mr & Mrs Rot Croxton came in 3rd & 4th with two blue hens on 1460/1452ypm.
John Lawson dropped a photo off from years gone by when we were a bit fitter and healthier. This was when the Mid Cheshire fed had a sit down dinner to over 100 fanciers, wife’s and friends. They are the late long time secretary of the Weaverham club Ray Johnson. John Lawson when he had his own column in this paper and the good looking guy in the middle is yours truly.
Les.J.Parkinson, Elimar, 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 ONJ. Tel/Fax; 01606 836036. Mobile 07871 701585.
firstname.lastname@example.org web-site www.elimarpigeons.com