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Keith Mott

Writes about winning fanciers past and present...

This time we visit three top lofts in the east side of the country, and all three fanciers have that extra special interest in competing from Lerwick, the most demanding racepoint in British North Road racing.

DOODLES LAMBERT

OF NORWICH

Doodles Lambert was a South Road convoyer for over 25 years, but felt he has got too old for that job, so in later he just races his own birds, with outstanding success. Doodles liked going out on to the Continent, and was convoyer with East Anglian Federation and East of England Specialist Club. He had won from most of the long-distance North Road racepoints, but was a Lerwick specialist, winning from there many times. His best racer is a handsome De Klak dark pied cock that had won through to Thurso on the Widowhood System, including 1st Norfolk NR Federation and 1st Open Amalgamation.

Doodles raced 20 cocks on the Widowhood and the cocks were never paired up until the end of the season, when they reared a late bred. On marking night five hens were let loose in the Widowhood section and only the first 15 cocks home from the race got a hen. He fed a normal Widowhood mixture, which was beefed up as the races get longer. He liked the Widowhood System for the long-distance races and maintained that the harder the race, the better. Doodles raced in the biggest club in Norwich and never sends his hens.

The cocks were raced to a three section 40-foot loft with open-door trapping, and the hens were housed in a wire flight. His 50 young birds were fed on beans and barley, and race through to the Berwick National (254 miles). They are trained up to 40 miles through the season and no cocks are kept back for the Widowhood. Another of Doodles' best racers was a handsome Widowhood blue chequer cock, winner of 1st Club Lerwick (527 miles) 1995, 2nd Club Lerwick 1996. In the 1995 Lerwick race (527 miles) he clocked two birds in a minute to record 1st & 2nd Club, a brilliant performance.

TERRY WHITTING

OF NORWICH

Terry Whitting has been in pigeon racing for 25 years and had always been a sprint racer, but in recent seasons he has had a go at long distance with outstanding success. Terry has changed his Widowhood System to fly the longer races and has won many top positions including, 1st Federation Fraserburgh, 2nd Federation Fraserburgh and 3rd Federation Lerwick. His Federation winner from Fraserburgh was a Verheye blue chequer Widowhood cock that had previously won 2nd Club in a sprint event, and has bred several good winners.

Terry races 24 cocks on Widowhood, which he pairs up on the second weekend in January and he feeds his own Widowhood mixture. He breaks down at the beginning of the week and only shows the hen on Friday at the beginning of the season for sprint races. The cocks get their hen on arrival from the race for about two hours after the short races and five hours after the longer distance events. The cocks are only trained before the first race, then fly around the loft twice a day.

His smart Widowhood loft is 12 feet x 8 feet and has open-door trapping. Terry's 40 young birds are housed in a separate loft and are trained up to 40 miles, before flying the full young bird programme, and some fancied cocks are stopped for the Widowhood. He has seven pairs of stock birds of the Janssen and Verheye strains, which are paired up in January, and their first round of eggs is shifted under the Widowhood cocks. The top stock pigeon is a blue grandson of champion Janssen 'Arjan', and he won eight 1sts flying Widowhood and is a champion at stock, being the sire of many winners.

MR & MRS GEOFF CLARE

of Boston

Geoff Clare is one of very small band of fanciers who have won 1st. open North Road Championship Club twice with the same pigeon. His double N.R.C.C. winner was the champion blue cock, ‘Lucky’, and Geoff has a section in the stock loft set aside for his ‘Lucky’ family, including several sons and daughters of the champion.

Geoff started racing in 1970 and his great friend, Alf Jones of Normanton, has helped him with advice since the beginning. Geoff broke his novice status by winning 1st. club, 1st. Federation with a good red chequer cock which originated from Mr. Turner of Cambridge. Through the years the Clare loft has won many top positions including 1st. open N.R.C.C. (twice), 2nd. Open N.R.C.C. (twice), 2nd. & 3rd. open N.R.C.C. (twice), 4th. Open N.R.C.C. Lerwick, took the first four positions in the very strong Peterborough Federation with young birds and so on. He told me he liked middle distance races up to 300 miles and his favourite race is the Perth N.R.C.C. event.

The main Clare racing loft is 48ft. long, self built, with five sections, pantiled roof and has a corridor and open door trapping. Geoff pairs his 45 widowhood cocks up in the second week in February and they race through to Lerwick, the longest old bird race. One of his best racers  is a blue chequer cock bred by Alf Jones and he has recorded 1st. Section, 1st. Federation as a youngster and 3rd Section Thurso NRCC as a yearling,

The young birds have their own 18ft x 6ft loft with wire flight and are trapped in a wooden stall trap. Geoff said that Mons Haelterman in Belgium showed him how to race hens on the Widowhood System and he has a few hens in a 12ft x 6ft loft, with Sputnik trap, Geoff's best Widowhood hen is a blue chequer De Vadder pigeon and she has won four times 1st Club. His stock loft is fantastic, being brick-built over a big garage in 1981 it houses three families, Busschaert, direct De Vadder and his own 'Lucky' family. The inmates have loads of room in this massive loft and each family has its own section, Geoff said when selecting breeders he likes them to handle well, with a strong back and is very interested in the throat and eyesign.

Three of the very best from the east side, this week! I can be contacted on telephone: 01372 463480. See yer!

TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT

 

 

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