From The Chair By Chris Williams
“Go North the rush is on”, is the chorus of the 1960s song "North to Alaska” as recorded by country singer Johnny Horton and was also the theme of the movie by the same name staring one of Hollywood’s all-time Greats my hero “The Duke” John Wayne arguably the finest star of westerns ever to ride Across the Plains of “the silver screen”, what I would have given to swap places with him and stand in the shadow of the “Queen of Technicolor herself”, the wonderful, Miss Maureen O'Hara. Yes, I am 31 years old but know class when I see it and those two had it in spades. On a serious note, if going north means we can race our pigeons in 2021 then I for one am more than up for the challenge. Never having raced this route before I am sure it will add an extra dimension to the dynamics and drama of a race day; besides, I am sure fanciers would agree that the prospect of North Road racing sounds better than no racing as it’s better to have your glass half full.
Here in Weymouth on the 6th of April we had a real mixed bag of weather which included sunshine, Snow and Rain , I doubt even Michael Fish could have made it up , amazing to think they can now tell you the forecast on Mars and yet cannot get it right for planet earth, you couldn’t make it up could you, as Star treks Mr Spock would say “It's life Jim, but not as we know it."
At long last the nest boxes that Mum and Dad ordered for my Christmas present have finally arrived after being ordered last November there was a problem due to Brexit in getting them from Germany to England. I was fortunate because Jeff and Lisa Greenaway of Universal Pigeon Products in Northern Ireland kindly lent us a hand in getting them sent over along with our new aviary for our racing hens. I cannot thank, nor recommend Jeff and Lisa highly enough as their products and service is second to none and at the end of the day it is nice to know that there are still fanciers out there who are willing to lend one another a hand, so our thanks to them both once again! To say I am over the moon with how the natural loft looks is a huge understatement and now that I have the boxes as I want, we can now concentrate on getting the birds settled and ready for when racing takes place. In the meantime Dad has been busy attaching the new aviary for the racing hens, assembling the nest boxes and giving the Natural loft a brush up with the paint brush. Please believe me when I say dear reader that his hard work is very much appreciated and that we are a true partnership in every sense, each using our individual skills in effort to attain our goal of getting the best out of our pigeons that we possibly can, like all fanciers sometimes it’s a case of “one step forwards and three back “, but by working hard and most importantly enjoying the great sport of pigeon racing together we are determined to get where we want to be!
For me friendship is an integral element of pigeon sport and it is always nice to hear how they and their pigeons are getting on, during the week our friend Mick Barlow of Blackpool sent me a photograph of two lovely youngsters he has bred from our van Den Bulck birds I am sure if anyone can get a good turn out of them then Mick is the man for the job as in his time this dedicated fancier has more than held his own against some of the finest fanciers that the British pigeon racing scene has ever known “no pressure Mr Barlow”.
We also have a lot of fancier friends in Ireland and keep in touch regularly, one such friend is the brilliant Arthur O'Hanlon from Belfast who I personally have a lot of respect for as we are both passionate fanciers in similar circumstances and during the lockdown we have kept each other company from time to time over social media. Artie as he is known to his friends has flown particularly well in recent years topping the strong Ulster fed 3 times with birds from our mutual friend “The Prince of Proudstown” Herbie Thorpe of Proudstown pigeon supplies who of course won the coveted 1st INFC “Kings Cup” in 2015 from St Alloustre in France. To achieve this outstanding feat his marvellous hen “Bert’s Girl” overcame the arduous English Channel and Irish Sea. “Good luck Artie with your latest youngsters from Herbie” and we wish all the best to these two great fanciers in the coming season. Yes my friends it’s wonderful to see that friendship is alive and well within the sport and long may it continue into the 2021 season. I think I will put down my pen now and head to the lofts and see how dads getting on with the painting, being honest this chill in the air makes me glad we’re not racing just yet. Until next time enjoy your pigeons.
Our great friend Mick Barlow from Blackpool sent me this photo of the young birds he has bred from our Van Den Bulck birds. Best of luck with them Mick!
“Around The world in 80 days “ my boxes from Hermes and our aviary from Universal pigeon products being shipped out
wishing my friend Arthur O'Hanlon all the best with his youngsters from "The Prince of Proudstown " Herbie Thorpe . Over the last few seasons this great fancier has won the strong Ulster fed 3 Times with birds from Herbie .
Freshly painted dowelled doors
The nest boxes in place
Yours truly, looking very happy . The Natural Loft nearly ready for the season thanks to dad for his hard work. and big thank you to Jeff and Lisa Greenaway for helping me get the Hermes nest boxes over from Germany.
A few photographs of the new aviary for the hens
The drop flap
Front view of the aviary