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Les J Parkinson Looking At Winners


Wherever you go and whatever you take part in there are always going to be winners and that applies to everything in life. Some people in life carry on at whatever they are doing and never win much at all but they are happy. Why do they carry on, well it is all down to enjoying what they are doing, you don’t have to be a winner to enjoy your chosen path in life. There must be a lot said for such people because they are enjoying that chosen path in life and no matter what, they keep going and they certainly don’t give up. Such people don’t give in just because they are not a winner; these are the people who are the engine in that particular field, in this case pigeons. We must also remember that without those people there would be nothing to do in life because they partake in everything. Without them even the lower levels of competition would not be there but again they don’t care because they are enjoying what they are doing. There are thousands of people who competed in the London marathon this year, many come back to the race year after year when they know they are not going to win the race but they are winners because they take on the challenge and have competed. More importantly they have competed and reached the finishing line, what an achievement. I have heard it many times, “There is only one winner, the rest don’t matter” that is just about the worst saying in anything that you will come across in life. I say that because everyone in life competes in one way or another and I dare bet that more are happy competing even if they don’t win than those who are only interested being in first place. Most people are more realistic and enter to enjoy what they are doing no matter what the competition is and where they finish on the result. If such people reach the top all the better and there are occasions when they do and how they enjoy the success even if only for the day. I for one have been interested in pigeons globally and not just racing them to my own back garden. I have always participated in the administration side of the sport in club, fed, combine, and have just taken back on the secretary’s position with the NWCC. Plus, writing for the various papers since 1977 and all in all this has not given me the time to race the pigeons as they should have been. Even so I have always enjoyed racing the pigeons and have had some very good National results along the way which is where I spent most of my time racing. No, you don’t have to win first prize all the time to enjoy racing pigeons or anything else if it comes to that. There are always going to be those fanciers who find winning that much easier than others and in most cases, they are working people as opposed to business people. In pigeon racing, there are some very good fanciers who are also very successful business people, no matter what they do it works and works well. Most and I do say most as opposed to all have probably grown up with pigeons in the family so know the game. We have fanciers such as Mark Gilbert and Bruce McAllister both 1st National winners who are highly successful businessmen and there are others about who are successful in both business and racing pigeons right to the top. There is one thing about having a competitive interest in birds or animals and that is you need knowledge of the species to bring the best out of them. No matter what the bird/animal you are competing with some fanciers can take them to the top quite easily. On the other hand, some can be successful but find it hard work, they are winners but not naturals and there are a lot of those about. There are some excellent naturals with racing pigeons that are at the top of the results year after year and no matter where they race they achieve success.


Wrinehill's Joe Glover              -               Eddie Froggatt with the late Dennis Gleave


The Mid Cheshire fed have always had some really good fanciers competing, fanciers who have won at all levels of competition. George Stubbs and Jack bate both of Sandbach and both top National fanciers. The late Denis Gleave who we raced against in Middlewich when this was a really good club which can be said about a lot of clubs in those days. Joe Glover has been winning 1sts prizes for the last 60 plus years and is probably the longest winning prominent fancier in the Mid Cheshire Fed, I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. Having said that a partnership who are doing very well this year have also been winning in the fed since I can remember and they are Dave & Baz Mellor two working lads who have grown up with pigeons and race their pigeons in Crewe. I remember when over 1000 birds were going out of Crewe each week and there have always been top class fanciers competing. Crewe has always been an area where the working fanciers have gained their pleasure down the garden with the feathered friends. Many years ago, you had Crewe works where there were enough fanciers at the plant to set up their own pigeon club. That was also the case with companies like Rolls Royce, ERF & Fodens, all in the area and all could have had their own club, in fact I think the later did at one time. In those days, there were pigeon fanciers who were labourers right through to higher management and when they met on the shop floor they all had racing pigeons in common. There was hardly a top manager who would not stop and talk to pigeon fanciers when they went down to the shop floor but there always had to be one. I suppose there are fanciers out there from all parts of the country reading this and thinking they had the same in their area.

Baz and Dave Mellor of Crewe  

Those days are gone because of the reduced number of fanciers and managements are much tighter on the workers these days. Fanciers do come and go to the winner’s enclosure and for some reason many fall away and become the average fancier while others reach the top and stay there year after year. Why do fanciers fall down the list in this way, is it because they become complacent because they started and found it easy so don’t put as much into the pigeons, something we will probably not get to the bottom of. Having said that it could be a case of they are good fanciers when it comes to racing the pigeons but they do not have the stock sense when it comes to breeding. They have probably bought pigeons in that have suited them at the time and as we all do, tried to bring others in that appear better on paper but when put into their own birds they are not what they should be. This is where consistent winners come into the reckoning and I am referring mainly to fanciers here in the North West because I see their results on a regular basis so am aware of just how consistent they are. These are the fanciers who do their homework at length before they embark on the adventure of a new family or a new line because if we look at the continental pedigrees of top winning fanciers they are nearly all from modern day winning base pigeons. If you study the pedigree’s there are several families that are based on the same pigeons but for some reason some are much sought after and bring far higher prices than other’s. This is where the old saying comes into the sport, “The pen is mightier than the sword” and that is fact. Some continental fanciers have far more publicity than others and therefore they cost more even though they are the same base pigeons. Many years ago, I studied pedigree’s much more than I do today and found that a lot of the top names had pigeons based on those of Taverine-Rigole whose pigeons were and still are much sought after around Europe. Plus, Ferdy Vandersanden pigeons are in the same category and full of 1st National winners used by many. In this I include the UK where 1st National winners have been produced but they have never been given the credit they deserve. Why, because they are and never have been a fashionable pigeon and fanciers have never got big prices for them, anyway that’s another matter. Fanciers are mostly led by what they read in the papers about continental fanciers but over here it is different. As we know UK winning fanciers get the publicity through independent magazines that are here for everyone and there are scribes all over the country who give their time freely to cover those winners. There are cases in all areas where the actual top winners do get full credit because I have found that local scribes are generally fair with everyone. Through many years of writing I am also aware that some fanciers do not want publicity and shy away for their own reasons so credit to winners is missed. Robert Kent and his team from Northwich were prime examples of not wanting publicity, they were one of the very best through to National racing but Robert did not want his name all over the papers. I do know there were fanciers who kept up to date with winners and approached Robert about his pigeons. Again, many fanciers will know of such fanciers in their own area and probably see a disproportionate share of publicity going to the fanciers who are probably second on the list of winners. Recent years has seen the highly successful partnership of Curtis-Wall-Lunt join the Mid Cheshire fed and they have broken most of the records that other fanciers have set. They have been taking the top 4 in the fed on most occasions that they have competed but like all fanciers they are beatable. In the last 3yrs they have taken the first 4 on 19 occasions and topped the fed a total of 27 times and not competed in all the races by a good way. They are also prominent flyers in the Central Lancs Combine which is where I picked this up about winners from. In the Hullavington race when 276 sent 5,802 birds Curtis-Wall-Lunt took the top 4 positions. As we know Les Green used to race in partnership with Ray Lunt and Gary Wall so they all know what is the best way to get the pigeons going. Les takes the next 4 in this race with another prominent North West team being Crehan & O’Connor taking 11th 13th 28th & 29th. Looking down the list there are a lot of good fanciers in the CLC and it is tough competition with some top National and Classic winning fanciers being regulars in the result. These lads were much like myself in our younger days we would get pigeons from anywhere and learn the trade. I sometimes wish I spent my time with the pigeons instead of on the administration side of the sport. We are all here to do a job of one sort or another and some are better in some areas of the pigeon racing than others. I have always enjoyed what I have done and it has suited me so I have stuck to it as opposed to spending all my time with the pigeons. To finish off I am going back to Alan Woodcock’s old saying, “To win or lose it does not matter, to compete is the thing” Not sure if that is the correct wording from Alan but that is the gist of it.


Les J Parkinson.

11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ.

01606836036 Mobile 07871701585.

Email elimar908@btinternet.com web site www.elimarpigeons.com northwestclassicclub@btinternet.com


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