AROUND THE UP NORTH COMBINE
by Keith Simpson
Lillers, Melton Mowbray 2 & Rivenhall 1
The Up North Combine liberated a day early from Lillers on Friday 23rd May due to the very poor weather forecast for the weekend. At Skelton Green the loft of Bowden Bros timed a couple of birds to win 1st and 4th Club from a 10 members entry of 133 birds, with pole position being won by a 4y blue Van Loon cock recording a chart-topping vel of 1597 which was enough to chalk up a well-earned 3rd East Cleveland Federation from a 74 members convoy of 829 Birds. Mick & Boss who won 1st Club, 3rd Fed out of Huntingdon when there were 2,483 birds competing, winner is no stranger in the clock for he is the previous winner of 3 x 1st Clubs and scorer of other positions. The yellow card was netted by a well-fancied 3y blue Van Loon widowhood cock achieving a vel of 1506 to lift 15th Fed. 1st £1 Fed nom, 2nd £2 Fed nom and 1st £5 Fed nom banking £155.20. The cock who has flown very consistent for Mick & Boss scoring many times won 1st Club, 1st Fed Lillers (1) last season. Alan & David Wright the winners of 1st Club, 4th Fed Eastbourne (1) National out of 1,341 birds, timed two of their entries to pocket 2nd and 3rd Club with the blue card being potted by a Busschaert cock making 1520 for 11th Fed; and the green card was awarded to a dark chequer hen. Mr & Mrs Andy Thompson timed a yearling dark chequer Busschaert through Louella lines doing 1496 to take 20th Fed; while Bill Chapman, Sons Steve & Colin & Swinburne clocked a previous winning Wildemeersch hen making 1496 to notch up 27th Fed. We have a very popular winner at Marske & New Marske where Club secretary Martin Hogarth records his first win of the 2014 racing season, with the forever trying Martin’s chart-topper being a 2y blue roundabout hen achieving a top vel of 1450 to go onto net 34th Fed. With the sire of the red card winning hen being direct from the late Jack Brown & Tony Hunt stock, while the dam of Martin’s table topper is bred down from original stock gifted to Martin by Craig Wedgewood. Craig himself filled a couple of cells to chalk up 2nd and 5th Club with the blue card being awarded to a 2011 bred red widowhood cock from John Whittaker, who has provided Craig with a number of winners and other birds to score in the past. Second on the clock was a 5y dark Chapman, Sons & Swinburne widowhood cock. Jimmy Reed is in 3rd spot with a 2y red roundabout hen of Brown & Hunt stock, the green card scoring hen is carding for the second time is 10 days for she took 3rd Club out of the Eastbourne (1) National. Geoff Bavin & Son filled a single chamber to take 4th with Geoff’s timer being a 2y mealy roundabout cock from Brown & Hunt stock.
Boss Bowden of Bowden Bros, winners of 1st Club, 3rd Lillers and 1st Club, 2nd Fed Rivenhall (1).
The East Cleveland Federations 70 members Melton Mowbray (2) entry of 1,326 birds hit the sky at 7.45am flying into a South wind on Monday 26th May, once again it was going to be a fast race. Mr Tony “Simply The Best” Bannister & Col Robinson record their second win of the season at Skelton Green after timing a couple of birds to win a top notch 1st and 3rd Club from a 11 members entry of 258 birds. With top spot being won by a 2y smokey blue Soontjen cock through John “Jacko” Adams of Great Ayton fame, achieving a vel of 1743 the red card winning cock went onto score a very impressive 3rd Fed. Banno who is proving to be better than all the rest and his partner Col’s green card potter was a 2y Tony Hunt x Ian Axe Soontjen mealy cock making 1712 to pocket 21st Fed; the cock won 1st Club, 17th Fed out of Melton Mowbray (1) a couple of weeks previous. Banno & Col are proving to be a bit of a handful this season with a number of very good performances so far, the two lads will be well pleased with their birds this time around. Winspear & Son headed by Derek return to the frame after timing two of their entries to lift a notable 2nd and 6th Club, 4th and 41st Fed; with their blue card scoring Stuart & Joy Arkless of Brotton yearling blue Heremans - Ceusters hen knocking out a vel of 1733. The lads second timer was also of good friends Stuart & Joy’s bloodlines, but this time it was a 2013 bred blue Eijerkamp Van Loon hen, I don’t think this lofts very far away from winning a race this season and I hope it comes more sooner than later. Bill Chapman, Sons Colin & Steve & Swinburne are in 4th position with the lads yellow card lifter being a 3y chequer Wildemeersch hen doing 1711.7 to pot 23rd Fed. Roche, Terry “Benno” & Daniel Bennison & Tich Crame are hard behind in 5th spot with a 2y dark chequer Chapman, Sons & Swinburne x Janssen hen doing 1711.3 to notch up 27th Fed. The hen is carding for the second time this season for she chalked up a notable 3rd Club, 4th Fed Newark from a convoy of 2,596 birds. Jimmy Reed returns to the winners’ enclosure in great style at Marske & New Marske after timing no fewer than five of his entries to win 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Club. Leading the way was a 2y blue roundabout cock of Brown & Hunt bloodlines and he was followed by a yearling blue roundabout cock of Jim’s own lines crossed with his Brown & Hunt family, the blue cock scored twice as a young bird winning a 1st and 3rd Club. The green card was awarded to a 2013 bred chequer Jan Aarden roundabout cock from Varney & Wignall of Manchester; while the yellow was netted by a blue Wildemeersch roundabout cock out of Jim’s old lines. And he was followed by a blue hen who is his nestmate and is also the previous scorer of a 3rd Club as a young bird, to round off a very enjoyable day for the inform Jimmy.
After a slow start to the season the races are coming thick and fast, with the East Cleveland Federations 88 members Rivenhall (1) convoy of 1,612 birds being up and on their way at 8.30am on Saturday 31st May. The Skelton Green partnership of Bowden Bros recorded their third win of 2014, after timing a couple of birds to win 1st and 5th Club from a 10 members entry of 264 birds. With top spot being won by a very consistent 3y blue Van Loon widowhood cock who recorded a winning vel of 1437 which was enough to score a very impressive 2nd Fed. The pole position winning cock who netted 4th Club Lillers and topped the Fed out of Lillers (1) in 2013 has banked a large amount of cash for Mick & Boss in previous pools and championship events. Once again it was the lads fancy bird, that Mick certainly knows his stuff. Second on the clock was a yearling chequer Busschaert hen. Tony Bannister & Col Robinson keep up their good form to take 2nd and 6th Club, with the blue card potter being the duo’s inform 2y smokey blue Soontjen cock bred through John Adams bloodlines. The cock is scoring for the third consecutive inland race after chalking up 5th Club, 34th Fed Melton Mowbray (1) and lifting 1st Club, 3rd Fed Melton Mowbray (2); the cock has also won a Club show race this season. Winspear & Son have shown some fine form this season and this week they proved they can compete with the best of them after timing two of their entries to lift a useful 3rd and 4th Club. With the green card being awarded to a 2013 bred blue Stuart & Joy Arkless x Eijerkamp Van Loon hen achieving a vel of 1421 to go onto pot a notable 12th Fed. The yellow card was netted by a 1y blue Stuart & Joy Arkless Heremans - Ceusters cock making 1409 for 20th Fed; the cock is scoring for the second race running after scoring 2nd Club, 4th Fed Melton Mowbray (2). Jimmy Reed is proving to be a thorn in the side after enjoying another cracking race at Marske & New Marske, after filling five cells for the second week running to once again win 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Club. With the red card being won by a yearling red Brown & Hunt hen sent sitting 18 days, the blue card was awarded to a 2y red Brown & Hunt roundabout hen who took 3rd Club out of the Eastbourne (1) National and netted 3rd Club at Lillers (1). The green card was potted by a blue yearling Wildemeersch roundabout cock and he was followed by a blue roundabout cock bred out of Jimmy’s own stock. Next came a blue flipey roundabout hen bred out of Brown & Hunt stock crossed into Jimmy’s own family.
The Passing Of John Clayton
I’m sorry to have to end this week's report on a very sad note, after hearing of the passing of the very popular John Clayton who was a long standing member of Marske & New Marske. John started his racing in Saltburn flying as John Clayton & Son Shane, with the partnership winning their share of races. The late but not forgotten Henry Ransome helped John out for a number of years before changing the partnership to Clayton, Son & Ransome, when again the two lads enjoyed some successful racing. John will be best remembered for his 1999 Lillers (2) performance when he won 1st Club, 2nd East Cleveland Federation, 2nd Section and 2nd Up North Combine from a convoy of 16,175 birds. John & Henry who were often seen around and about with clubmate Craig Wedgewood and were liked wherever they went as they got on with everyone; they were always good for a laugh. John was always a big help for the Club with him doing his share of the work on basketing and clock opening. Club secretary Martin Hogarth will tell you that John made him very welcome when he joined the Club some 8 years ago. John would always pull everyone’s legs on a Friday night, which is what we miss in a lot of Clubs. John was not only very popular in pigeon racing where he made many, many friends out of the sport, but also a very good husband and father who doted on his grandchildren. On behalf of the members of Marske & New Marske and the East Cleveland Federation members, I send sincere condolences to John’s family on their sad loss. Rest in peace John, you are going to be greatly missed.