The New North Road Amalgamations final old bird race to report on was being flown from Elgin Town in Moray north Scotland the liberation site is a wide open field, right next to the Elgin City football clubs stadium with the river Lossie flowing at the far end of the field and the town centre a ten minute walk away there was everything you required in one beautiful local place.
For this race it was myself and a fellow pigeon fancier friend of John Jackson that was to take the birds. Myself and John have both driven and convoyed other pigeon organisations in the past for many years on both the south and north routes but not for a number of years now so for this event is was nice to be back on the road and enjoying the wonderful north Scottish scenery of mountains moors waterfalls and Glenn’s with dense pine forests as it sure is a spectacular countryside to view and enjoy.
The original race date was set for Saturday the 25th of July but as that day was forecasted to be poor throughout Scotland and England and thinking of the birds welfare just pointlessly sitting in a create it was decided to put marking back 24 hours so the birds gained an extra day in the loft to be comfortable and stress free. The marking evening was now set for Friday night rather than the Thursday night. The night of the marking ran smoothly and with all crated, loaded and a final check myself and John hit the road.
After several hours of driving through the night the morning light was breaking we decided to stop for a break at the Glasgow services where we applied water for the birds while myself and John had a costa coffee and a hours rest. After a break we drained the birds water and closed down the shutters and set on our way to Elgin.
On arrival at Elgin at 11.30am we levelled the trailer and reapplied fresh water after this was done we was greeted by a local pigeon fancier and his wife who are members of the Elgin flying club who fly in the north of Scotland federation of John and his wife where they kindly asked if we required anything and explained where everything was if we required anything from the town of Elgin.
John Jackson arrives at Elgin
At 1’o clock we fed the birds on the Bamfords high energy fat mix allowing the birds a good feed of what they wanted for a good forty five minutes ensuring all the birds ate and consumed in what they required as this will all be digested and gone come the morning of the liberation and allows some extra fuel for the flight back. After the birds had had their fill of what they wanted to eat the corn was removed from the feeding trays and fresh water reapplied. Now it was time for me and John to relax and eat so after our dinner and final checks we had an early night awaiting the Sunday morning of the race. We were hoping for a nice and early 6am lib but on the Sunday morning all was clear but grey overcast was in place we just needed that sunshine out to give the birds a confidant start.
Wee Jock of Elgin
On the morning of the liberation we were greeted by John again but with also fellow Elgin club members and fanciers of Steve and Jock where Jock kindly brought down a flask full of hot tea and a plate full of homemade cake for us which was most delicious so many thanks Jock, as we are still licking our lips. On waiting for the sunshine to poke through, our race adviser Rose Lander was phoning for the updates as the weather south of Elgin was full blue skies and sunshine so once the sun was to come out we were ready to go. Dave Smith was also checking on his weather app forecast programme for us and he notified myself the sun will be coming out just after 7.15am so we cut all the strings ready for this to happen.
The Elgin lads federation of the North of Scotland federation was holding their first young bird season race on the same day from Brechin so they were updating us on the weather at Brechin south of us and to help in holding the North Scotland federation birds from liberating until we were clear and gone with the sunshine out. The sunshine finally came out true to Dave’s words and lit up all of Elgin so myself and John allowed the Elgin lads to do the honours on liberating our birds so at 07.25am in no wind on the liberation site the birds were away and they drifted straight south over the town centre heading for home in full sunshine. After the liberation we drained the water and shut shop and said good bye to the Elgin lads and informed them as we will see you again next year as this is a beautiful liberation site and I guarantee we will be returning to this grand old place and many thanks to the Elgin fanciers for their help and kindness. Myself and John after the liberation and trailer checks walked into the town centre where we went to the Wetherspoons pub of the Muckle Cross for a full English breakfast and plenty of coffee before the journey home.
To the result now and the top ten birds winning the amalgamation and also taking 1st North Section 1st Derbyshire NR Federation and 1st Pinxton NRFC was Roger Hallsworth of Selston his winning bird is a 3y blue Belgium rung widowhood cock he has now had multiple wins in the club and federation he was purchased as a young bird at the Belgium Bevel football club young bird sale in 2017 and was bred by Johan Van Herck of Belgium this cock won £50.80p in the amalgamation and £200 in the federation the cock flew 326 miles with a velocity of 1158.268. Roger also achieved 9th & 10th open and north section with his own created strain of birds doing 1075.979 & 1060.604
Roger Hallsworth 1st Amal Elgin
2nd open and 2nd north section was Mr & Mrs Murray & Bennett of Blackwell with a Brian Evans of South Normanton bred chequer hen that wins £30 flying 322 miles doing 1145.983.
3rd, 5th & 6th open & North section was John Norris of Grantham were he also takes 1st Grantham NRFC and takes £25 from the Amal flying 343 miles his first bird a 1y chequer widowhood cock that was bred for John by his son Peter Norris and the birds origin is a PJ loft stud Delbar his second pigeon a 1y chequer widowhood cock that was a gift young bird to John bred by Terry Winterton of Holbeach Fen who was this year’s NRCC Thurso open winner johns third bird was a 4y chequer PJ Lofts Delbar chequer cock velocities of 1133.079, 1102.975 & 1102.707
4th open & 4th North section was D Fowler & Son of Grantham with a 3y blue widowhood Gabby Vandenbeale hen winning £13 flying 345 miles doing 1121.736.
7th open & North Section was Barry Baker of Newark with a natural flown 1y Grizzle hen from Van Geel lines flying 334 miles doing 1102.325
8th combine & North section was Aspley & Wragsdale of Chesterfield with a 4y blue widowhood cock that was a gift youngster from Dave Rouse of Kimberly Nottingham bred out his NRCC open winners and regular Derbyshire NR Fed toppers this was of his Jan Arden crossed Soojen based family the bird flew 318 miles doing 1076.686.
Aspley & Wragsdale
Other prize winners were Phil Horsman of Chesterfield £22 and Gregg Johnson of Ilkeston £11.
Congratulations to the topflight winners and thank you to all who supported the event.
On a ending note I would personally like to thank the Haymes family of Cromford on their continued support and kindness they give us as an organisation and my full respect and condolences to the Murray family on the very sad passing away of a great character and loyal supporter and friend of Edgar Murray .
The Rat Man ...