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Around The U N C 29-01-18


“The Original” Around The Up North Combine

Blackpool Show, NEHU and Silksworth Breeder/Buyer's

By Good Corn


   I was unsure if we would make it to the 2018 Blackpool Show, as Carole had being in hospital for a few days before Christmas, after a very worrying few days Carole got the nod to return home for Christmas. Carole has faced more complications since her return home, with her having to attend four hospital appointments in the first three weeks of 2018 and another two appointments still to come with one of them looking like a overnight stay in hospital. As it panned out my Daughter Claire was willing to cope with Carole for the weekend so my Sister Shirley, Grandsons Hayden, Tyler and myself drove to Blackpool on the Friday morning, where we had once again booked into the Rhyl Hotel. The drive saw a mixed weather of overcast, rain, sleet and sunshine, my mate Steven Bannon of Dundee was not so lucky as Steven had a nightmare drive with there been a gridlock on the motorway which resulted him being a few hours late for his arrival at the Hotel. Another mate of mine Simon Cole of Coventry and his good lady Tracey also suffered long queueing on the motorway which also resulted in them getting to the Hotel well after our evening meal, so after a swift beer the duo tucked into their meal. Bad winter weather of snow and icy road conditions can often end in hours of traffic hold ups, it's always soul destroying when you are sat there hardly moving a inch for long periods of time but after much frustration it's always nice to reach your destination safely. Regulars John & Joan Chaplin of Huddersfield were well settled into the Hotel due to the fact they arrived Thursday and were returning home Monday. Michael & Linda Pugh of Leeds and Jimmy Welsh of Newton Grange, Scotland who had previously stayed at Hazel & Graham's Hotel were also booked up for the weekend, as were a non fancier couple.


              Linda & Michael Pugh of Leeds, guests at The Rhyl Hotel.                  Jimmy Welsh of Newton Grange, with Tyler & Hayden at The Rhyl Hotel.


  Once we got our things up to the room and having a quick cup of coffee, we had time to spare before our evening meal so we did a spot of shopping, it did not take Hayden & Tyler long to remind me that I had promised to take them to Sports Direct to buy them a pair of Football boots. The boys had a good look around and tried on a number of pairs before deciding which boots they wanted, which ended in two smiley faces. And one of them was not mine because as time was moving on I did not get time to sort my shopping out, not that I was looking for a pair of Football boots, mind you after seeing what wages Alexis Sanchez is on after his transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United I might purchase a pair of Football boots. Staying with Football, it was sad to here of the passing of former England captain Jimmy Armfield, who died of cancer aged 82 on Monday 22nd January. Jimmy won 43 caps for England including 15 as captain. Jimmy played the whole of his Football League career at Blackpool, usually at right back where he made a Club record 627 appearances. He later managed Bolton Wanders and Leeds United where he took them all the way to the final of the European Cup in 1975, where they were beaten in Paris by Bayern Munich. Jimmy was also a BBC radio commentator for more than 35 years, with Jimmy being respected by many for his honesty on the games.


Diylan O’Brien of Liverpool, looking at a few birds in the Winter Gardens.

  Normally after our Friday evening meal we attend a Winter Gardens Opera House sale and then move onto the Amusements so Hayden & Tyler can enjoy a few rides and a play on the machines. But this time we gave the sale a miss and headed straight for the Amusements with the money Uncle Brian had given them, after a good hour or so there we headed back to the Hotel to drop Shirley, Hayden & Tyler off, with the intentions of me going over the road to the Hotel & Apartments Social Club (H & A Club) for a couple of beers. But on our return to base Simon & Tracey were still at the Hotel having a few more beers after their evening meal, as Steven was ready to go over the Club with me we decided to join them before the four of us went over the Club. The very popular Club was nowhere as busy down stair’s has it has been over the years and because of that we were able to get seats next to Peter Robson of Newsham, Northumberland Premier Federation and his mates. Peter is part of the very successful partnership of Robson Bros & Thompson, and is also the Brother of the late Derek. I first met Peter & Derek when I presented their Clubs silverware in 2006 and found them very nice people and very good Pigeon men. After a very enjoyable evening with the lads it was time to return to the Hotel where I had a couple of drinks with the gang before turning in for the night.

  Shirley had promised to treat Hayden & Tyler to the Odeon Cinema to watch Coco but once they got there the boys decided they wanted to see Jumanji, welcome to the jungle. So I was in for a day at the show on my own, I was very surprised how quiet the Winter Gardens was with there being plenty of room to walk around the trade stands. Because of this it did not take me long to visit the stands I wanted to purchase my goods from, with this now giving me plenty of time to see the rest of the stands, birds on show and visit the British Homing World Scribe Room. The very hard working Helen & Netty were serving up drinks and chatting to the scribes and their partners, before I left the scribes room I had a very interesting talk to Joe Atkinson and his good lady. The first lad I saw after leaving the Scribes Room was Steve Wilson of Billingham who said he had just being to purchase some Bricon ets rings and was told someone had stolen a number of Bricon electronic rings and chips from the stand, I told Steve I had purchased our rings about 30 minutes before. It was later stated that there was more than 6,500 Bricon electronic rings and chips stolen from the stand, which must have being devastating for Mark Palmer and his family. A reward of £1,000 has been offered by Bricon UK for the return or for information leading to the recovery of the 6,500 plus Bricon electronic rings and chips stolen from the stand. After meeting a few more fanciers in the show and time moving on I decided to do a bit of shopping in the Town before dropping of my shopping before going to meet Shirley, Hayden & Tyler at the Cinema. It was while walking back to the Hotel I again bumped into Ali McLeod of Billingham and Paul Longstaff of Haverton Hill, both members of the Teesside Federation. The duo who I had a talk to in the show had driven down and were staying overnight, Paul was still going on about the overnight stay car park charge. As I waited for Shirley, Hayden & Tyler I could tell by the smile on their faces they had enjoyed a great afternoon, after the short walk back to the Hotel it was nearly time for our evening meal.

After the meal Shirley decided she was staying in for the night, so the three of us headed off to the Metropole Hotel for the Bob Fenech, Dirk Van Den Bulck sale, which provided some cracking top class birds that were going to bring some top prices. We were so far through the sale when Hayden & Tyler wanted to move onto the Amusements, as I was outvoted 2-1 the boys were soon off on the rides which was followed by a McDonald’s before dropping the boys off at the Hotel to Shirley, which gave me time to call at the Club for a couple of pints before turning in for the night. With some very bad weather forecasted for Sunday we had decided to give the Winter Gardens a miss after breakfast, this giving us a early start on the road to avoid the snow. It was light rain all the way except when we got closer to home where we hit light snow, Steven text me later to say he had got home safely. Thanks go out to Hazel & Graham Turner, the proprietors of The Rhyl Hotel for yet another top notch weekend stay, where they also take time out to sit in the bar and enjoy a quite drink at the end of the night. It was also great to spend time with Steven, Simon, Tracey, John & Joan, we might not have being able to put the Pigeon world to rights but with had a very enjoyable weekend.       


           Relaxing time for Graham & Hazel Turner and John Chaplin.        Steven Bannon, Simon Cole & Tracey at the 2018 Blackpool Show weekend.

  We have purchased our 5 rings for the 2018 Silksworth Comrades H/S European Gold Ring Breeder/Buyer, up until 9th January 114 rings had been sold. Conditions of entry are (1), The rings are priced at £20 each, a maximum of 5 rings per entrant/loft/member can be purchased. (2), Closing date for the entries is end February 2018. (3), A maximum of 300 rings will be available for sale. (4), Entrants must ring a youngster with the official ring and return it, to be sold at auction on the following dates; Friday March 2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th with the venue being at the Silksworth Comrades Club, John Street, Silksworth SR3 1ET, viewing from 7pm with the sales starting at 7.45pm. (5), Only Up North Combine members can purchase a youngster/s and will be allowed to race the purchased Pigeons in the Up North Combine races. No limit on the number of birds purchased. (6), The competition for prize money will be the Up North Combine Young Bird National. The fastest velocity with the Gold Ring wins 1st prize and so on. Claims from the buyers within two weeks after the race. (7), The race will normally be from Maidstone, a distance of 230-280 miles. (8), 15% of the income, plus expenses etc, from the ring sales and the auction will be deducted for administration. The rest will be paid out as prize money, spread over the result, prize money will be paid out in the ratio of 50% to the breeder, 50% to the buyer. (9), The prize money and how it will be distributed out over the result will be published after the figures are known following the last auction (taking into account rule 8).

   After previous very successful Breeder/Buyer events in the early 2000s, the Club restarted the event in 2017 where 118 rings were sold, with £7,000 being flown for from the Up North Combine young bird Maidstone National. With the 2017 Breeder/Buyer result being as follows, 1st  Breeder & Buyer - Tommy Willis & Brian Self of Seaham, North East Counties Federation winning a total of £3,500. 2nd Buyer - Armstrong, Shergold, Johnson & Moon of Plains Farm, Sunderland Premier Federation winning £1,000; 2nd Breeder - Brian & Keith Simpson of Skinningrove, East Cleveland Federation winning £1,000. 3rd Buyer - Kristain Dawson & Kyle Peacock of Plains Farm winning £500; 3rd Breeder - C & E Lee winning £500. 4th Breeder & Buyer Jimmy Nicholson of South Shields winning £500. The Breeder/Buyer organiser John Potts is expecting a £12,000 pay out in 2018, so if you want to be part of the event in the hope of winning some top prize money you can call John on 07506 326870, who will be happy to take your ring order. 

“TAZ” Bred & Raced by B & K Simpson of Skinningrove, the winner of 3rd North Of England Homing Union 2017 Futurity Race

winning £833.00 and 1st Breeder/Buyer winning £1,199.00.


  The North Of England Homing Union 2018 Futurity Race rings are also on sale, with the race being held from Reed on Monday 27th August 2018. 6 bands; guaranteed £1,100 prize money, with the bands being as follows. Band A: Border, Wansbeck, Coquetdale, Northumberland Premier, Tynemouth North, Newcastle West, New North Amal. Band B: Mid-Tyne, North East Counties, South Shields, Sunderland, Sunderland Premier. Band C: Gateshead, Houghton, Hetton, Shotton & Trimdon, Ferryhill & District, Tees Valley, Teesside. Band D: West Durham Amalgamation, Durham Combine. Band E: North Yorks, East Cleveland. Band F: South East Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough & District. Ring orders being taken: £10 per ring, maximum 20 per loft. Rings can be purchased from North Of England Homing Union Secretary David Power 58 Ennerdale Road, Walker-Dene, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 4DG. Tel: 0191 262 5440 - Fax: 0191 262 5388 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. £16,990 was paid out in the main race in 2017. Breeder/Buyer Sales: rings £5 each, birds must be in Breeder/Buyer sales to be activated. Note other FUT rung young birds can be entered into the Breeder/Buyer sale. The four Breeder/Buyer dates are: Thursday March 8th 2018 Guisborough. Wednesday March 14th 2018  Plains Farm. Thursday March 22nd 2018  Horden. Wednesday March 28th 2018 Newsham. A total of £4,797 was paid out in Breeder/Buyer prize money in 2017.