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The MNFC Race from Vire Brings Reality to Mr & Mrs Peter Shaw’s ‘Pipe Dream’

 When I made my trip down to Wombourne Peter Shaw told me that it had been both his and his wife Sandra’s dream to win a National race and a 2 year old Blue hen saw this become a reality for the couple. In truth the victory has been coming for a few years after a few near misses and several wins in Classic racing. So this win was no fluke performance because Pete and Sandra are top performers in the West Midlands area.

                                                       Peter and Sandra Shaw with their Vire National winner                                                  

 To succeed at the very top level you need both dedication and quality pigeons and the latest winners have both of these in ‘spades’. Let’s take a look at the race winner which had been racing on the widowhood system but was paired for this race and was flying back to a newly hatched baby which is without doubt the greatest of all motivations to the fairer sex.

A close up of 'Pipedream' the race winner

The bird now appropriately named ‘Pipe Dream’ as previously reported is bred down from stock acquired from Peter Fox’s famous ‘Syndicate Lofts’. She was actually bred by the Telford Loft of Taylor & Rigby who have made it their business to get the very best ‘Syndicate Lofts’ bloodlines. The hen’s sire being acquired from other ‘Syndicate’ fans Mr & Mrs White and he is a grandson of four of the stud’s superstars in the form of ‘Drum’, ‘Gerry’, ‘Johannesburg’ and ‘Star 300’. The Dam of the winning hen was bred by Peter Fox and owned by Taylor & Rigby and she is bred from ‘Teofilo’ and  ‘Lady Marieke’ the sister of the World famous ‘Tips’ while her sire ‘Teofilo’ is a nephew of ‘Reza’  the fantastic racing brother of ‘Drum’. So all in all ‘Pipe Dream’ was bred to turn dreams into reality! The Shaw’s proved the form that was in the loft by also filling 7th,18th, 26th and 27th Open. So all in all 5 pigeons in the top 27 Open places against an entry of 4027 birds impressive stuff!

 That must also be said about the partnership that fill 2nd Open and win the North West section. Their bird is a yearling red hen which was sent to the race sitting 8 day old eggs. Her breeding is a crossing in the form of a Lambrecht bred by Alan Dungworth and a Leo van Rijn from Ken Darlington. She has performed exceptionally well this year with 3rd,4th,6th and 9th Fed diplomas on her impressive CV. Additionally 17th and 25th Open was claimed and along with a further 5 early ones will lift over a ‘grand’ for their bosses .

Yes Prince Brothers certainly enjoyed a fine race.

Prince Brothers red Hen the 2nd Open and 1st NW section winner

Whilst in the NW section 5th Open was claimed by Mr & Mrs Andrew Hargreaves who are previous winners of the MNFC. Their timer is a 2 year old Blue hen which has several impressive wins to her name having 1st and 2nd North Staffs fed and 2nd Staffs Moorland fed on her CV. She is bred from a hen bred by R & B Smith and a Vandenabeele cock from Jack Walker from Cannock.


In 3rd section and 10th Open we see my good friends Snooker and Alan Windsor taking a little time off from their MNFC One Loft duties to work on the Vire race where they often shine as they have several good Open places including 2nd place to their credit. The bird that performed on this occasion is a yearling Chequer cock bred from stock that they got from Jack Cornes of ‘Galaxy Lofts’ fame. 4th section is taken by the Congleton farmer Roger Sutton with another yearling cock on 1266.

Alan Windsor & Snook 3rd NW section and 10th Open from Vire their favourite racepoint

Lets go back up the result to 3rd Open in the form of Willenhall’s Rob Rooker & Son who timed a widowhood hen on 1313 a decimal behind the Princes. The bird is yet another yearling and is a Gaston Van de Wouwer x Hereman Ceusters bred bird which was having her maiden trip from across the channel and she appears to have liked it!

Rob Rooker & Son the 3rd Open winners 

In 4th Open we see the Rowley Regis duo of Summers and Singh on 1298 with yes you have probably guessed it another yearling but on this occasion it was a Blue Cock bird. Shaun McDonough who is now often up with the leading placings takes 6th Open this time with a Blue hen and yet another 2016 bred pigeon.

Shaun McDonough the Pelsall 'Wildie Wizard' the winner of 6th Open

In 5th SW section and 8th Open we see Astbury & Horton on 1281 with a very well fancied yearling hen which will feed the loft for some time after winning her owners over 700 smackeroos! In 9th Open and winning the North section we see a very familiar name in the form of Mick Betts. Mick got in touch with me to tell me about his bird and as is the norm he sent once again a fresh team of birds to Vire many of which were having their first taste of channel races and these birds normally do their owner proud. The section topper is a 2 year old Chequer cock that has several club and fed prizes to his credit. He is bred from a super racer that is now doing the business in the breeding loft and he is of Freddy Vandeheede breeding. The bird’s dam is a Hereman Ceusters hen a proven pigeon that is a double granddaughter of ‘Olympiad 003’. This bird was bred by Ian Vernon from his top couple Gus x Promise.  Mick said he sent 14 and got them all home in good shape.

Mick Betts the North section winner

In 2nd N section and winning the 2Bird Nominated race and trophy on 1270 just 4 yards behind the section winner is Mally Robinson with a yearling cock which was bred from a gift bird of Pieter Veenstra lines from his close friends Margaret and Dick Evans. The mum is one of Mally’s excellent Gaby birds. This young cock looks like a real star with 3x 1st prizes to his credit and 2 x 1sts a 2nd placing in the NE Provincial club. As a young bird he also was 18th Open MNFC from Coutances. Yes he could become a real ‘superstar’.

Mally Robinson 2nd N section in front of his neat self built loft

  Nigel Laycock got his birds ‘in gear’ after a quiet year to win 3rd 5th and 6th N section in this race then followed it up with 1st section and 4th Open from Poitiers later in the day. Yes it to quote George Formby the Lancashire comedian ‘It turned out nice again’ for Nigel.

Nigel & Ryan Laycock who enjoyed a great day in both 'Double Header' races.

Another of the North’s big guns fills 4th and 7th slots in the guise of Simon Parkinson of Crowle. Simon’s first timer is a 2015 bred Blue hen and racing to a 5 day old baby after a season racing on widowhood. She is bred from his No1 Jochem Van Hasselt pair. They are certainly a bit special as they are responsible for no less than 5x 1st section winners. Simon also reports that the birds returned in good condition after the 5 days in the baskets.

Crowle's Simon Parkinson 4th N section

Touring around the sections now and in the East section we see Jack Ramm on top of the pile with the same bird that was bred by Chesterfield fancier Chris Smith that was also 5th section and 61st Open from the tough Ancenis race. Well done Jack it looks as if you have a good one there.

Jack Ramm the 1st East section winner

In 2nd section and 47th Open we see Grantham’s Mr & Mrs Gilbert on 1236. They as now seems to be the norm timed a yearling hen.

Ian Cameron the proud Scot from Broadholme fills 3rd section on 1211. The bird is a pure Hardy Kruger being bred by a Kruger cock  x a Premier bred Kruger hen which is of ‘Street Fighter’ lines and his timer a Blue hen was sitting 11 day old eggs. Frank & George Bristow the wizards from Horbling take 4th slot with a yearling Chequer cock on 1208.

Ian Cameron 3rd E section


The East North East was literally peppered by the birds entered by Derek Nicholls who managed the Premier stud up in Partrington. Derek finishes in 1st,2nd,8th, 9th, 11th ,14th…….. places. The first timer a 2014 hen is bred from a superb Hereman Ceusters hen named ‘Gold Rush’. One of her children is the fabulous he ‘Queen of France’ the RPRA National award winner after she won 1st combine from both Arras and Clermont. The section topper herself has good results to her credit. The 2nd section winner is yearling called ‘Bridesmaid’ who has no less than 5 combine prizes already to her credit. Derek was full of praise for the convoying team and from 20 mainly inexperienced birds he got 10 on the day and the others the next day and they were in great condition. Many thanks for those who gave us the positive feedback, it is much appreciated.

Derek Nicholls who had a super race up in the East North East section pictured with his grandchildren

3rd place went to Peter Thorpe of Crossgates. Peter timed one of his old faithfulls a Dark hen from 2011 to record 1114 and so just nudging out Bridlington’s Mr & Mrs Sellars by a decimal who has timed a 3 year old Grizzle hen.

  In the East South East section Terry Roughton had a field day taking the top three places. The first bird on 1180 was a 2014 bred Bert Braspenning hen that had been raced on widowhood but paired up for this race. The second timer is a yearling on her maiden channel crossing and contains B & P Winter’s long distance bloodlines while the third is an old favourite off Rocky Dolby which has plenty of ‘previous’ to his credit. 4th slot saw Mr & Mrs C Simper time a two year old Red hen on 1081.

Terry Roughton did the 1-2-3 in the ESE section

Mr & Mrs Brian Fisher & Son started a very memorable day by taking 1st and 4th section. Their 1st section winner being a bonny Blue cock which I won’t be surprised to see gather more glory for his owners in the future. The 4th section winner is a four year old which wouldn’t still be in the loft if he wasn’t a good one.

The Fishers 1st North centre section winner

2nd section in the North Centre section is taken by the Huddersfield loft of the Costello Family their 2 year old Blue hen clocking in just under 8 hours for the 336 mile journey to record 1241.

The Costello family who took 2nd NC section from Vire 

3rd section if filled by J McCall who due to his paperwork going AWOL was missing from the initial result but fortunately it turned up and so his yearling Mark Bulled’s ‘Red Bull’ family x with a Stephan Lambrecht bird the bird was sent to a big squeaker having just laid her next clutch of eggs got her just rewards.

John McCall 3rd NC section


In the North East section Bowskill & Gascoigne enjoyed not only a good race but a good day in general being prominent also from Poitiers. Their 1st section winner from Vire is a 3 year old Red hen that has won first place in the Federation in the past. Her velocity is 1258. Twenty or so yards behind is the partners 2nd section winner this one was bred from stock off local master butcher David Boot. Close behind and filling the next two positions are Turner & Pallatt. In 3rd slot is a 3 year old Chequer hen on 1234 with a yearling Pied cock right behind her on 1233


                      Bowskill & Gascoigne who took 1st & 2nd  in the NE section                                            Turner & Pallatt 3rd & 4th NE section


The Champion in the North North West section from Vire are Mr & Mrs Peter Billington. They timed a good two year old Blue W/F widower Cock which had been flying well previously topping the NW Lancs fed from Tewkesbury and 20th Open from Fougeres with the NWGN. Its breeding is Van de Brande via a bird bred by Wilson & Iddon and purchased at the Carnforth Breeder Buyer sale a few years ago. The sire is a Joop Merx pigeon.The partners sent their congratulations on to the ‘Two Toms’ for winning the section from Poitiers.

Peter & Isobel Billington the winners of the NNW section

In 2nd section once again is my friend Gary Spavin the well known pigeon screener who helps out so many fanciers with their health problems. Gary’s timer is Maurice Hasondoncx x Hereman Ceusters. For those who don’t know it the Hasondoncx colony provided the basis of the Hereman Cuesters loft and Gary as one if not the first in the UK to import the Hereman Ceusters then he should know! The sire of the 2nd section winner is a direct Hasondonck when coupled to a granddaughter of ‘Witpen As’ a winner of 18 x 1st prizes for Leo Heremans. After winning several prizes inland this was the bird’s first channel race. So not a bad start eh. Gary sends his congrats to Peter and Isobel on their win.

Has 2nd NNW section winner Gary Spavin been locked up? No he is in one of the sections in the luxury Thailand O L race Loft

3rd section is filled by Swarbrick & Greenhalgh who clocked a 2 year old Vandenabeele hen on 1238 which was bred by their friend Willy Gardner and she has  previously won 1st from Fougeres when she was the only bird on the day. 4th section is taken by Chorley’s Tim Webster with a yearling Pencil hen that recorded a velocity of 1229.


   Swarbrick & Greenhalgh  up with the leaders once again 3rd section this time.                          4th NNW section Tim & Isabel Webster

The South Centre section is like a desert for its lack of information apart for the section winner but hey ho I will do what I can. Topping the section is Paul Thumbwood who timed a three year old Blue hen which records 1252. She is of Leo Hereman breeding and was paired in February but never reared. Due to work constraints she was never raced as a young bird and until this season when she got 6 inland races in preparation for this race and this late developer certainly showed her ability when given the opportunity. Paul wishes to give them his thanks for looking after the birds which are kept at their address when he is unavailable.

Paul Thumbwood the South centre section champion fro Vire

Summers Brothers & Daughter take 2nd section on 1225. Right up their backside is a four year old hen that clocks up 1223 and wins 3rd section for Mr & Mrs Huddlestone. 4th section goes to Barry Lovell with the fourth Blue hen in a row.

  On to the South East section now where the winning bird here is owned by W Lawrence & Son. The pigeon is a Grizzle hen and is a crossing of a De Vadder cock and a Roland Janssen hen. The bird was raced on the natural system and was sent sitting on 4 day old babies.  Just .6 of a yard behind on 1209 is Bruce Mc Allister and the timer is a 2 year old Blue hen.


       The winners of the South East section                                                                    Bruce McAllister after another good result.

                  W Lawrence & Son

In 3rd section is a new member to the club in Steve Bartholomew and he only moved to Bromham from Bristol in April last year.  In his first race he sent 6 yearling hens which all had newly chipped babies. The race was a good one for him and he had 5 out of 6 in an hour with last one home the next day. The first bird was bred by  Matt & Richard Lee from a cock bird that Steve gave to them when he moved from Bristol. The Grandsire being a Mealy cock of Marcelis breeding that had topped the Bristol fed for Steve. In 4th place are Jones & Coleman who timed a 2016 bred Chequer W/F hen and she recorded 1196 for the partners.


  Steve Bartholomew and family with his 3rd SE section winner                                           Alf Jones of the Jones & Coleman team

The West section winner is located up in Chorley to Mr & Mrs F B Jennings & Son who as is becoming the norm timed a yearling hen on this occasion a Red one. The bird is a good winner that records 1261 and finishes in 22nd Open place.

Mr & Mrs Jennings & Son the West section winners

2nd section is filled by another yearling but this time it is a Blue Cock belonging to John Kettle of Abram. The bird is bred from a father to daughter mating and the sire was bred by the afore mentioned Gary Spavin. The bird was prepared with three races and John wishes to thank the Ashton H S members for allowing him to use their facilities.

John Kettle 2nd W section

3rd section is taken by B Hughes of Tranmere with yes you have guessed it another yearling hen. The bird records 1231.7 a mere .4 of a yard in front of P Moss & Son of Heath Charnock and this time the bird is a 3 year old for a change. The partners like the second placed bird belonging to John Kettle have put a few crosses by it’s ring number and they are rewarded with a nice cheque for their faith.

P Moss & Son 4th W section

Well that is the first of the Double header race reports finished now on to the Poitiers race. ‘No rest for the wicked’ my mum used to say and by golly I must be a rotter.

I must apologise for the delay in getting the report written but I refuse to write until the result is in black & white and this would be speeded up if a couple of the clock stations got their paper work in more promptly.

Also it would be wise if a 3rd copy of the print out was kept as an insurance against the letter going astray.

Mike Lakin

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