“ON THE ROAD” WITH KEITH MOTT
Lion Brewery Mid-Week Club
The ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week Club has it’s HQ at the ‘Lion Brewery’ PH set in the wonderful Surrey countryside at Ash and it is common knowledge that the pub has been run for the last 40 years by the premier pigeon racing partnership of Mike and Lyndsay Armitage, who have won both the BICC and L&SECC in recent seasons. The pub is a marking station for the NFC, BBC and BICC, and has been the home of the ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week for many years.
I received a communication this week from my ol’ mate, Mick Worsfold, the hard working secretary and the 2016 ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week race programme has been sorted out and all will be flown on Wednesday afternoons. The 2016 race programme is: (Old Bird) 13th April Salisbury: 20th April Salisbury: 27th April Purbeck: 4th May Purbeck: 11th May Purbeck: 18th May Purbeck / Guernsey: 25th May Purbeck: 1st June Purbeck / Guernsey: 8th June Purbeck: 15th June Purbeck / Guernsey: 22nd June Purbeck: 29th June Purbeck: 6th July Purbeck / Guernsey: 13th July Purbeck: (Any Age) 20th July Salisbury: 27th July Salisbury: (Young Bird & Old Hens) 3rd August Salisbury: 10th August Purbeck: 17th August Purbeck / Guernsey: 24th August Purbeck: 31st August Purbeck: 7th September Purbeck.
Mick tells me that race marking for inland races will be held between 09.00hrs and 11.00hrs on Wednesday morning, but member can leave their race birds at the pub on the Tuesday evening by arrangement with Mike Armitage. Several of the club’s officers looked at the Purbeck liberation site in the winter months of 2014 and it was decided that it was better than the old one at Hamworthy. All the liberation site information will be on the ‘Lion Brewery’ liberation line number: 09063 656856. Inland birdage prices will be 70p per race bird and trainers, with 10p of the trainer money going to the transport fund, which stands at £2,719.00. Mick tells me, on the Guernsey races they are waiting on marking time as the Ferry company have changed their sailings, but it will be a Tuesday pm marking for a Wednesday race. As the club is limited to a 150 birds members must phone the secretary at the very least on the Thursday before the race with numbers of birds they wish to send and there is a ten birds per member limit. At present the secretaries discretion will apply to make sure the crates are filled and the bird for the Guernsey races will be £2-00 per bird. Any birds booked on the telephone must be paid for even in the event that the member sends none or fewer birds. The ‘Lion Brewery’ has adopted new very good rule recently: ‘Bad weather, no mark, no race, no holdover and no unnecessary expense’. If the race is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, a notice will be posted on the Liberation Line by 18.00hrs on the Tuesday and race results will be posted on the line by 21.30hrs on the day of the race. Mick tells me the club had a great 2015 season.
The ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week Club is 50 members strong and in 2015 paid out £52 per race, totaling up to £1,359.45 for the season. John Waldron was the club’s premier prize winner again in 2015, winning 8 x 1st, 5 x 2nd and 3 x 3rd. Johnny is a retired postman and has achieved top prize winner for the third season on the trot and has only been a member of the Mid-Week Club for those three seasons. He is a small team fancier, but a hard task master with his birds and when competing is always the man to beat. I have known Johnny since 1980 when we both raced in the Surbiton FC together and he has won many premier positions through the years, including 1st Federation several times. Other ‘Lion Brewery’ prize winners were: Mike Armitage (six firsts), Malcolm May (six firsts), Joe Deville (five firsts), Mick & Pauline Worsfold (one first), Paul Johnson, John Cudmore (one first), John Wills, Major Honey & Grandson, John Eastwood and Russell Blundell.
A phone call from Heather!
I had my annual telephone call this week from a charming young lady named Heather Donald, who has asked me annually for six files full of pigeon dropping and although this has gone on for several years, I never really knew what she wanted it for. I wasn’t sure if she was making soup with it or having it on toast with a bit of butter, but I have always suspected it was for some sort of research. In mid-May I received my annual phone call from Heather and a couple of days later she turned up at my home in Claygate to collect her six files of pigeon poo. It turns out she is a UK Sales Manager for Microgen Bioproducts Ltd, a firm based in Camberley and they produce several allergy kits, including their FSK 4 Avian Kit The scientist responsible for making the kits has emailed me and says, ‘Microgen Bioproducts produce and sell a kit for detecting hypersensitivity to avian antigens from Pigeon, Budgerigar and Poultry. Hypersensitivity can lead to hypersensitivity lung disease part of a group of diseases termed extrinsic allergic alveolitis. As part of the kit for detecting hypersensitivity to pigeons there is pigeon serum and a pigeon faecal extract. In order to produce a good pigeon faecal extract a good sample of faeces, from healthy birds is required. This is where Keith Mott comes in. The best extract has been produced using faeces collected from his birds. When the FSK 4 kit is used in double gel diffusion, a patient with antibodies to pigeons can be detected due to precipitation lines with the pigeon serum and the pigeon faecal extract’. It is always a pleasure to see Heather and she always gives Betty a nice box of chocolates in exchange for her six files of pigeon poo!
‘Facebook’ and ‘YouTube’ take over!
After many years of resisting starting up a ‘Facebook’ page, I finally caved in recently and started an account. I’m not interested in the ‘banter’ side of ‘Facebook’, which is all very nice, but not for me. I have been under pressure from several family members and friends to start up for a long time and now that I’ve started I must say, I have enjoyed it so far. I thought it would be an excellent outlet for some of my old pigeon, fishing and family photos and films. You came imagine the amount of time I’ve spent sorting my pictures out, it has taken over my life! It started with groups of 10 or 12 photos, going as far back as 1940, including my late mum and dad’s wonderful black and white wedding photos. There is something very special about those old black and white photos of the 1940’s and 50’s, I just love them. I’ve included three of my favourites from my mum’s photo album for this week’s article and they are very special. There is one of me and brother Phil in the 1950’s when we lived in Chestnut Road, Kingston. Just brilliant, we look like two lads out of ‘Oliver Twist’! There is one of mum and dad’s wedding photos and my absolute favourite, my dad when he was a young man in the early 1940’s, he looks like a mafia boss. Wonderful pictures! Then we moved on and my son, Mark, showed me how to render video films on to the page. I was like a dog with two tails! I’ve spent hours making up five minute films of pigeon liberations, fishing and family, for the ‘Facebook’ pages. Then our Mark took me up to the premier league and started me up my own ‘You Tube’ channel, which is now the home of a list of my short films. It has all taken over my life! I can’t sleep! I can’t eat! Can anyone help me, please! LOL!
Well that’s it for this from the mad man! I can be contacted with any pigeon news on telephone number: 01372 463480
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT (www.keithmott.com)