Writes about winning fanciers past and present
Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week Club
The ‘Lion Brewery’ Mid-Week Club recently held a charity cheque presentation night at the pub at Ash, when several thousand pounds were presented to different charities. The main donation on the night was the £500 raised by the ‘Lion Brewery’ and Bromley Mid-Week Clubs from their Merville race in June of 2009, which was sponsored by Unikon and raised the money for the 9th Parachute Regiment. David Coward-Talbott of Essex won the ETS system nomination on the Merville race and received the prize donated by Unikon on the night. A second ETS system donated by Unikon was presented to eleven year old Tyrone Buggy of Kingston and this was won through a competition run by the British Homing World’s ‘Squeaker’s Corner’. Young Tyrone is a member of the ‘Lion Brewery’ club and has won some good positions with his small team of pigeons in recent seasons, including several firsts. Several charities were presented with handsome cheques and Gordon Newton and Alan Edwards of the 9th Parachute Regiment were present, and received the cheque for £500 from the ‘Lion Brewery’ secretary, Mick Worsfold. Later in the evening Gordon and Alan presented the open race trophy and prize money cheque to the Merville race winners, Tony and Gudder Dann of Leatherhead. The ‘Lion Brewery’ presentation evening was well attended and a vote of thanks to the publicans, Mike and Lindsey Armitage, for the wonderful buffet they provided.
The ‘Lion Brewery’ and Bromley Mid-Week Clubs could not have picked a worst weekend weather wise for its Merville Charity Open Race, but of course it was organised around the Parachute Regiment 9th Battalion Memorial Fund and the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day landings celebration on 6th June. The whole weekend was closed in with rain in the English Channel, France and mainland England, and most organizations racing out of France that weekend, including the National Flying Club and Merville race were held over until the Monday morning. The race was self supporting and all profits went to the old solders of the 9th Parachute Regiment. The London & South East Classic Club very kindly donated the use of their transporter free of charge for this charity event. With marking stations all over the UK, including Ash, Bromley, Chichester, Exeter and Manchester the entry of 850 birds was very good and after a long wait for a clear line of flight the convoy were liberated on the Monday at 05.30hrs in a south east wind. Returns were very good with early birds being recorded all over the country, including Leatherhead, Northampton, Bromley, Exeter, Reading and Manchester.
Although I didn’t sent to Merville I derived great pleasure from the race as my good friend and ‘Rat Pack’ member, Tony Dann of Leatherhead, had three pigeons well out in front to record 1st, 2nd and 3rd open. Tony was at work on the Monday morning and his wife, Gudder, clocked the pigeons in, and had two come together, the first being clocked at 08.19hrs to make a ‘banging’ velocity of 1460. The winning pigeon was a three year old natural Van Breemans blue hen, sent sitting 17 day old eggs and she had previously scored as a young bird. Gudda is Danish and she clocked the winner in, which was a blue, so Tony has now named his Merville winner, ‘Danish Blue’. This game hen had been at stock for two years, being restarted racing this season with two ‘Lion Brewery’ mid-week races, a West Bay training race, a Lulworth treble up training toss and then in to the Merville open race. The next two pigeons on the clock to take 2nd and 3rd open were two more natural Van Breemans blue hens, ‘Megan’ and ‘Molly’, and they are full sisters and a half sister to the winning pigeon ‘Danish Blue’. All three hens share the same sire who was one of some Van Breemans pigeons purchased by Tony’s late father, Wally Dann of Cobham, in 2002. The day after the Merville race a highly delighted Tony Dann brought his winning pigeons to my home in Claygate to have them photographed and he said, ‘We did it this time! The ‘Lion Brewery’ held a very successful Merville open race five years ago, which attracted an entry of 1,035 birds and Reg Whenman of New Malden and I were both on the same yard, with Reggie winning the race on a decimal’. Tony is a very likable guy, who would do a favour for any one and wouldn't see any genuine person in trouble. He is one of the best pigeon fanciers I know and has been a great worker for the sport of pigeon racing for many years. He has not been a member of a Saturday Federation club for several seasons, so decided to use the ‘Lion Brewery’ midweek Hamworthy races for training and have a go at the National and Classic events.
The ‘Lion Brewery’ Midweek Club at Ash had another successful season racing out of Hamworthy and Guernsey in 2009 and because of the free membership for juniors policy the club has now got a very strong ‘young fancier’ element competing against the old boys in the club, and beating them. One of the main plus’ for me with the ‘Lion Brewery’ Midweek Club is they race mark on Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning for all Wednesday inland races and my birds can have a good 100 miles fly and not have a night in the basket. Great training for the long distance events! This 100 miles mid-week racing is proving to be a great help in getting pigeons ready for the main National and Classic events and ‘Lion Brewery’ members have figured high in several open results in the 2009 season. The subs are £25.00 and all young fancier under 18 years of age don’t pay any sub, but pay the full price for their birdage each week. That’s another plus for the ‘Lion Brewery’ Midweek Club in my reasoning, is having Mick Worsfold as club secretary! Mick Worsfold is a ‘straight down the line’; no nonsense sort of gentleman and every thing is spot on with him. We have been good friends for many years and must say it’s great to have him at the helm! Mick races his pigeons in partnership with his wife, Pauline, at their home in Bisley and their record Channel racing over the years is second to none, winning 1st open Combine (twice), 1st open British Barcelona Club (twice) and 1st open London & South East Classic Club (twice).
The ‘Lion Brewery’ recently held it’s AGM at the pub headquarters and officers for the 2010 season were elected as follows: President – Mick Worsfold: Chairman – Mike Armitage: Treasurer – Lyndsey Armitage: Secretary – Mick Worsfold: RPRA Delegate – Martin Cutt: Auditors – Daryll Luxford / Tony Dann: Convoyer – Tom Firminger (Bromley). Mick Worsfold has done a sterling job as club secretary, free of charge, for several seasons and it was decided at the meeting that he will now be paid a £7.50p per loft honorarium. Birdage prices for all inland races will remain the same as the 2009 season, at 60p per bird and it was also decided that the convoyer must leave the ‘Lion Brewery’ at new earlier time of 10.00hrs for the Seaton races. After some problems created when the birds were brought back home in 2009, from a race point because of adverse weather and it being impossible to liberate, it was decided that the member in the same position in future races would have their race fees refunded, less expenses. The club paid out £654 prize money in the 29 races in the 2009 season and premier prize winners were: Mike Armitage (seven race wins / 56 cards): P. Campbell (five race wins / 23 prize cards): Mike & Pauline Worsfold (one race win / 12 race cards): Lyndsey Armitage (three race wins / 9 race cards): Woodhouse Brothers (two race wins / 9 race cards): Tony & Gudda Dann (two race wins / 6 race cards).
The ‘Lion Brewery’ is all set for the forthcoming 2010 racing season with over 70 members on the books and has set up the race programme, which is as follows: 8th April – Hamworthy: 15th April – Hamworthy: 22nd April – Hamworthy: 29th April – Hamworthy: 3rd May – Guernsey (open): 6th May – Lulworth: 13th May – Lulworth: 20th May – Seaton: 27th May – Seaton: 3rd June – Hamworthy: 10th June – Seaton: 17th June – Lulworth: 24th June – Hamworthy: 1st July – Hamworthy: 8th July – Hamworthy: 15th July – Hamworthy: 22nd July – Hamworthy (any age): 29th July – Hamworthy (any age): 5th August – Hamworthy: 12th August – Hamworthy: 19th August – Hamworthy: 26th August – Hamworthy: 30th August – Guernsey: 2nd September – Hamworthy: 9th September – Hamworthy: 18th September – Newton Abbott (open). That’s a long ol’ programme of Wednesday racing for the lads to enjoy! The competition in the ‘Lion Brewery’ is ‘red hot’ for the fanciers who enjoy inland racing and is brilliant training for the Channel racing enthusiasts.
That’s it for this week! I can be contacted with any pigeon comments on telephone number: 01372 463480. See yer!
TEXT & PHOTOS BY KEITH MOTT.