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OBITUARY FOR MAISIE WARD.


It was 1976 when I first met Maisie at St. Lawrence Working Mens Club in York. I liked the lady and she flew a good bird and mucked in with us lads in the pigeon club. She loved animals and was clever with sighthound dogs like whippets. I loved my times round at Jim and Maisies bungalow, where she treated me to bacon @egg and nice chatter. A great character she was popular and loved by many, and a real card and village personality. Another great soul has passed on.

Jim Emerton.


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MY WILD LARDER


I recall days in the fields, woods and marshes in pursuit of nature’s bounty. It could be a wily old marsh pheasant on the Wash or a grey partridge inland. The real prise would be a Pink Foot in the wide open lands of the estuary, as whooper swans lit up the sky with their wild beauty. My hunting days were rugged, primitive and primal and exhilarating on a profound and deep level. From time to time hares and rabbits would line the pockets of my Barbour Solway Zipper-I wear a goose down jacket today and it is much warmer. I have been out in pea souper fogs, and snow with fingers frozen to the gun barrels. The sport is ideal for oddballs, nutters, eccentrics and hardcases, and colourful diamonds they all are. Certain men must have a sense of freedom which I know to be spiritual. In my twilight years I feel the warm glow of nostalgic reflection.


Jim Emerton.


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REAL DISTANCE PIGEONS.


These will have performed in actual distance races over 500 miles, irrespective of name or origin. I like head wind day birds over 500 miles. Performance birds over 700 miles are marathon birds, and often confined to the north of England, because this is where the distances become rather serious. 800-mile pigeons at Barcelona BICC are rare because of the difficulty of the race, at that distance for a racing pigeon. They are not the best birds in the world for distance migration. I like to put the genes of these rare pigeons into my strain. The greatest modern bird in these shores has been The Marco Wilson Cock-see google for pic and performances. It is an onerous challenge to go 800 to 1000 miles in today’s racing and climate of opinion, with the mindset, systems, fanciers and birds of the day. Wise to realise that we are looking at specialist minorities here.

Jim Emerton.


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WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR RACING ABILITY.


Desire and dedication go a long way, coupled with persistence, perseverance, power and patience and planning. A working knowledge of nature and the natural world is a good tool and your place within it. I like people who will study and learn of systems and details and the intricacies of every aspect of the sport from top to bottom. Adopt a method and approach that is individual to you, starting on the lower rung of the ladder and aim for the top, as you can make an enduring career from pigeon racing. You will meet obstacles and competition along the way, as the sport consists of rivals to your objectives and aspirations. Research inbreeding, outbreeding and all the foods and supplements for birds, and be creative, innovative, original and experimental in your thinking of the sport. Sourcing of birds is important and it is wise to be sharp and shrewd in your selections. Join a club with a strong ethos of International racing like the BICC.

Jim Emerton.


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THE JIM EMERTON BARCELONA CHALLENGE 2018


This is conceived as a serious test for ultra-marathon men in the UK. The task is to time a pigeon on the second day of the Barcelona International liberation at over 800 miles. This plan can be extended to 1000 miles in 5 days. The challenge will identify the limitations of the modern racing pigeon and the fancier involved. It is possible to do and achieve, yet not probable in race reality. Most pigeons are on the limit over 750 miles, although I have always aimed of taking them further-I managed to clock at 879 miles, yet not on day 2. The furthest out of BICC Barcelona on day 2 has been The Flange of Jim Biss at 778 miles. Perhaps one or two people will have a go, as it will produce some good birds in the process. It is on the edge of possibility, and the realm of the pioneering, dreamer and optimist.

Jim Emerton.


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DEATH OF THE SPORT AND ITS SPECIALISATION.


Participating no’s have declined in the UK and Ireland. Two of the big reasons are the attitudes of competing people which can be detrimental in terms of jealousy and negativity due to the competitive nature of pigeon racing, as in reality it is ego first and dog eat dog. Another reason is the determined pursuit of more and more money through slick, subtle and clever, hyped advertising, with pretty pictures and alluring script, which has been cunningly conceived by human minds that are ticking over behind the scenes. Young people are glued to technology and communication machines, and many avoid being out in nature. To offset this sophisticated, specialist clubs like the BICC are thriving due to a great race prog with International racing. It is as good as it gets as a keen fancier can make his mark on the big picture of Europe. Many little clubs are struggling due to short racing and a decline in channel competition. The win win win, mind set and psychology is hardening the grass roots of the game. I still believe in the little man who cultivates a long distance strain over many years from his back garden. The essence of the sport has to be the creation of a distance or marathon champion at International level, which brings out the qualities of man and bird. Good birds should be given away or exchanged in a sporting spirit. The values within the sport need radicalisation from novice to champion.

Jim Emerton.


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