Enfield Continental Flying Club Update
In a recent update I mentioned that one of our members Jim Courtney had resigned from the Club due to ill health. Unfortunately, Jim passed away on the 23rd of March of Cancer. In this Update I will tell you more about him. Jim was Born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, then he moved to Tonbridge in Kent and when he was aged 14 Tragedy happened Jim’s Father was killed in a Car accident. Jim started to race pigeons in Tonbridge aged 16 which he continued to do until he started an apprenticeship as a mechanic. After completing his training, he got offered a job in Brighton, got married & then opened his own garage with Automatic transmission being Jim’s speciality. After several years he started to suffer spine problems, losing use of his left arm which led to him having major surgery in his neck. A spinal fusion gave him some use back in his arm which due to not being able to do his job the way he wanted he decided to sell his business and move to Torquay where he bought a Georgian property & some holiday flats. Jim then had another tragedy as he then broke up with his wife. After the breakup of his marriage he then moved back to Tonbridge & started to race Pigeons again & there he met up with Kath & they married in 1989. They then decided to move to Eastbourne where he become a member of the Eastbourne & District Club as well as the Sussex South Road Federation with his team of Busschaert pigeons where 1st, 2nd 3rd, & 4th Fed were taken as well as other high placed positions regularly
Jim also had a go at racing in the Kent Invicta South Road Combine where he also took 3rd Section, 8th Fed & 18th Open Positions, as well racing in the South East Combine where he also took 6th, 9th & 17th Open Combine, also flying in the South Coast Federation with over 50 top positions being taken. Jim then decided to race in the Classic & National races & in the London & South East Classic Club his best positions included 1st Section, 8th Open Bordeaux, 3rd Section, 12th Open La Ferte Bernard, 2nd Section 19th Open Wadebridge & 8th Section, 82nd Open Alencon. In the National Flying Club Jim put up his best 3 performances taking 3rd Section, 5th Open Nantes 11412 Birds, 2nd Section, 10th Open St Malo 10871 Birds, as well as scoring 13th Section, 98th Open Pau 5423 Birds with other good performances as well. After living in Eastbourne for 20 years Jim & Kath decided to move closer to London & they decided on a Bungalow in Sewardstone which is near to Chingford. They chose here so that they could be closer to their Grandchildren & he adored them & liked to take them over to Epping Forest where he would make swings in the trees for them. Once again Jim started up with the pigeons & joined a local club, this was Lindsey Street which at that time flew in the M11 South Road Fed & once again Jim performed well taking 1st & 2nd Open Poole, 1st Open Poole & 3rd Open Poole competing against some of the biggest names in Essex & London at the time. Finally Jim put a letter in to join us at the Enfield Club which flies in the Inter Counties Federation & the UBI Combine & Jim hit the Jackpot soon after winning 1st Club, 1st Inter Counties Federation, 1st UBI Combine Carentan after the birds were moved from the original race point of Fougeres, to Falaise then to Carentan due to various hold overs & bad weather. In this race Jim also took 15th Open UBI Combine. Jim’s other top performance in the Combine was 3rd Open UBI Combine Le-Mans. Jim’s last season racing was 2019 & he only had 3 races as he was unable to get down the garden to look after them properly due to an Operation on his Foot which left him unable to walk for nearly 4 months & Clubmates Mihai & Roxanna Piper were helping Jim out with the Feeding & Watering & Jim still managed to win 1x2nd & 1x4th in the Club. Jim has won a lot more than I have written about above as there are many more prize cards than what I have seen which goes to show what a great fancier that he was. Away from pigeons Jim loved to cook would throw anything together and made the best Chilli ever, as well as making Christmas cake every Christmas. He also made fancy dress costumes as well as costumes for dance classes for his grandchildren or for anyone who asked. He was always in pain, but never complained and would do anything for his grandchildren. The members of the Enfield Continental Flying Club offer their condolences to Jim’s Wife Kath, Children Daniel, Ryan & Emma, Grandchildren Kerensa, Ellis, Grace, Jacob & Alfie as well as all his family.