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Another Great Night for the Midlands National

 Once again the Doncaster Racecourse was the chosen venue for the MNFC’s Gala evening, when the season’s race and top prize winners can attend and receive their awards. It really is a grand place to hold such a prestigious event. Though I don’t normally comment on the menu I feel that I must say that the food served up was first class and I never heard a single negative comment about under cooked veg or watery soup etc as is the norm at most dinners. No the food on offer was top notch or should that be ‘nosh’.

  The Guest of Honour this year was one of our regular Handbook contributors in the form of Retford’s Libbie Harrison whom I am well aware is the secret weapon used by a good number of the country’s more successful fanciers so her advice must make a difference. Her speech was a very interesting one as she told the audience that the use of antibiotics is being tightened up considerably as can be seen on the adverts currently running on the television. Certainly if the use of these incredibly valuable medicines can be safe guarded into the future then they should be used strictly only when it is necessary and certainly not as a ‘blind’ just in case method. Her comments on the ever increasing hawk problem that is threatening our sport were very sensible as she says that we should be joining an alliance with the game bird fraternity as they are probably suffering even more than we pigeon fanciers against these raptors who as Libbie pointed out have no natural predators to help us keep their numbers down. One thing that is for sure is that they should no longer have a preservation placed on them any longer as it is now our domestic birds that in truth need protection against these dangerously fast increasing raptor numbers.

  

Roy Jones the Club’s President highlighted and thanked the people who are behind the workload and help make for the fact that the Midlands are unrivalled in regard to the financial rewards that are currently on offer with close on £130,000 paid out this season in Pool and Prizemoney. In 2017 the Club also was attracting the largest number of entries and this fact and thanks to sensible management can help us to be able offer the largest prize pot. Roy also accepted that improvements must be made in 2018 to speed up results and pay out of the prizemoney and steps have been put in place to influence this matter. The President’s final quote was to ask those in attendance to try and get an extra member or better still two to replace our ever ageing number. This was amply highlighted in the minute’s silence that was well respected for two of our Committee Don Mackay and our Senior Vice President Eric Millner. Yes the work load is falling upon an ever decreasing number so good new recruits could certainly help make the Country’s largest club maintain its status.

The Magnificent 7 which made up the party of R & B Smith winners of the Coutances race after their superb season.

Bob Smith is the third person on the left of the photo.

 

   

Mr & Mrs Jakings the winners of the Fougeres race who enjoyed a great year.

 

Yet another couple who have hit the ground running since joining us in 2017 are Dan & Sharon Johnson who won the Ancenis race and topped their section from Poitiers. Well done to you both.

All of the race winners were in attendance to receive their Gold Medal and much sought after Gold winner’s tie, along with most of the other major award winners including the first four MNFC’s One Loft race winners even though John Pratt bless him who finished in 2nd place had to receive his award at the show as he had to be home early in the evening as he is unfortunately bound to a wheel chair. Thanks for your great support John. I must say that the gasp was audible in the room when Mr& Mrs Hume’s name was read out to step up to collect their £13,000 in Prizemoney for winning the race. Yes folks the One Loft race pays a rich reward with in total £27,000 paid out this year and with further and increased support the rewards will expand accordingly.

 

Peter & Sandra Shaw who won the Vire race. Helping them collect their trophies is their young grandson. Peter and his good lady are another loft that shone in a far from ideal season.

Mr & Mrs Brian fisher & Son who topped the NC section on three occasions in 2017 and put the icing on a very rich cake when they took 1st place in the Blue Ribbon race from Poitiers

Billy Marbrow receives his trophy for winning the Chale race off a smiling Libbie Harrison

Bowskill & Gascoigne the 'Champions of 2017' collect their trophy for winning the Combine Averages

Tony Whitehouse the winner of the YB Coutances race 

Nigel Laycock with his trophy and diploma of merit for his 4 times in the top 100 from the Longest race winning hen

 

A collection of the many trophy winners - how many of these winners do you recognise?

 

     

 

     

     

     

  

   

     

Mr & Mrs Hume the winners of the MNFC One Loft race with their winning cheque for £13,000

John Pratt 2nd in the One Loft race is all smiles on receiving his cheque at the Doncaster show.

Dudley Lever who won 3rd place and was awarded with the 'O.L. Ace Pigeon' trophy

Ron Irons who won 4th place and a nice cheque for £1,000 with his bird that won it's place in a £5 raffle ticket draw.

 

The 'Three Amigos' Jack Ramm standing with Alf Parkinson and John Bellerby. Alf has just turned to the south road after racing on the North road for many years from where he won the Kings cup in 1982. The remarkable thing is that Alf is nearly 90 years young and is planning to win a MNFC race to put on the sideboard next to his Kings Cup replica! I'll reserve your place at next years dinner then Alf.

I wouldn’t wish to offend any of our winners with their omission in this piece and so will give credit in the form of pictures that were taken at the presentation. I will finish now by telling all ambitious fanciers to give it their best shot to be amongst them in 2018 because judging by the number proudly sporting their past winners tie piece it highlighted just how converted they really are.

Mike Lakin