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M N F C Bordeaux 25-08-18


Midlands National Flying Club Bordeaux

            ‘A Dream Day for Mark Williamson’

When the strings were cut and 911 Birds were released at 6.15am into fresh North Westerly breeze in Bordeaux all of the members who had entered the race were dreaming of timing an early bird. That said few would have ever dared or envisaged the results that Ashbourne’s Mark Williamson’s pigeons achieved from both of the ‘Double Header’ race as from the Vire race he took 1st place in the North East section. This result must have made him feel pretty upbeat but to time a bird from Bordeaux at 7.24pm which was to win 1st Open in the Blue Ribbon must have really had him floating on air. In truth Mark had an absolutely fabulous race as further arrivals won 2nd, 5th and 7th North East section places. All one can say is brilliant flying.

Mark told me that he thought that it could be a long evening given the hard and testing conditions at first he thought that he needed an arrival time of 7.30pm  but when no shorter flying birds were on the leaderboard he had a rethink. During the early evening Mark was plagued by returning birds but they were all late arrivals from Vire. Then just before 7.25pm a bird was spotted coming from the South across the fields but this one seemed different as this one was flying with far more purpose than the others and dropped onto the sputnik trap and to Mark’s surprise it was a Bordeaux pigeon which recorded 1256.

Mark Williamson with his Bordeaux National winner 'Lady B'

‘’ The rest of the evening and early next morning were a nightmare spent checking the leaderboard every 5 minutes to see if anyone had clocked a faster pigeon’’.  Since his return to the sport in 2012 Mark said that ‘’his ambition has been to compete in cross channel racing and to try and win a National and to have now achieved it is a very special feeling and seeing Lady B hit the loft is one that I will never forget’’.

Mark would like to thank the convoyers who had looked after the pigeons so well as the birds returned in great condition. Also a well done to all of the fanciers and gallant birds that made it home from Bordeaux.  It’s a long old fly and they need big hearts to cover the long journey home.

Back to the National winner which has been named ‘Lady B’ which is one of my wife’s nicknames. She is bred from a cock which is one of Mark’s very best breeders and was bred by Jos Reilly of Ireland and he is an inbred grandson of Jan Hooymans famous bird ‘Harry’ and his parents ‘Jonge Bliksem’ and ‘Dirkie’. The mother to ‘Lady B’ was bred by Gaby Vandenabeele and is the nest sister to the sire of Mark’s section topper from Vire with both birds being off Gaby’s cock ‘The Butler’.

'Lady B'  (photo courtesy of Dave Stone)


Mark’s 2nd section winner is a yearling Blue Hen. In fact he also had a further three yearlings home on the second day with nine birds in total from his fifteen bird entry. Very impressive figures which amply highlights the quality and fitness of the team. Well done sir.

In 2nd Open position and winner of the South Centre section is Chris Turner of Coventry who clocked his 2 year old Dark Chequer cock on 1237. The bird was very well fancied and will win his owner a cheque for £1430. The pigeon now named ‘Larch Tree Alfie’ is bred from KO Van Dommelen  bloodlines with his sire being ‘Kleine Warte’ and the dam ‘Larch tree Pearl’ being of Van Dommelen x Brochkamp breeding and was a summer bred youngster. Chris tells me that he had a second arrival ‘Larch Tree Hector’ a Kipp & Son pigeon arrive at 8.20pm but it was only when he went to get the birds details that he realised that it hadn’t registered on the EtS so wasn’t timed until 9.25pm. Another lesson learned ‘ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CLOCK’

Chris Turner with Neal and Debbie and his 1st SC section and 2nd Open winner

Chris sends his congratulations to Mark Williamson and all of the other section winners. Well done Chris you are a gentleman.

In 1st South East section and 3rd Open we find Peter Wraight of Bluntisham Peter timed a yearling Blue Pied cock which covered the 515 mile journey and recorded a velocity of 1212. In the past rarely did yearlings get sent to the longer races now though it would appear that more fanciers are prepared to send their yearlings to the 500 mile plus races and who can knock it when they are timing them.

4th Open and 1st North West section is taken by Roger Sutton who also had a wonderful weekend because as well as his 1st NW section win he also took the first three positions in the NFC’s section L race from Signogne on the previous day when he timed three widowerhood cocks in just 14 minutes which Roger rates as ‘one his most memorable days in over 50 years of racing’. From Vire he had 11 out of an entry of 12 yearlings home in good time with the first one in 9th section. Then to top his weekend off in style Roger timed a well fancied 3 year old Blue hen after 14 and a ½ hour fly on 1172 . Her preparation was five inland races while still unpaired and then raced from Coutances and Messac after being paired. Then she was given seven 15- 20 mile training flights with the young birds before going to Bordeaux sitting on 10 day old eggs. So there you have it the way to prepare a bird to fly 575 miles on a tough day. Roger also took 4th section with a 5 year old Blue hen and 24th Open placing.

Roger Sutton with his 1st NW section and 4th Open winner. What a grand view Roger!


In 2nd NW section and 5th Open  we see a real long distance enthusiast in the form of Paul Dewsnap of Packmoor who clocked a 2016 Blue Pied cock on 1158. I suppose that Paul considers Bordeaux to be a stepping stone for his birds that are finally expected to fly from Tarbes. Yes he must have a heart as big as a bucket.

Paul Dewsnap 2nd NW section and 5th Open


In 6th Open and 1st South West section we see another 2 year old Chequer cock that was raced all season unpaired before being coupled and sent flying back to his first pair of eggs for the year for M & C Lee of Alfrick and recording a velocity of 1156. Just like the earlier birds this one was also bred for the job being a crossing of the lines of M Williams of Hereford and Brian Denney’s ‘Dark Charm’ and ‘Dark Dancer’ lines. The partners send their congratulations to the race winner.

Micky Lee 1st SW section and 6th Open


7th Open is filled by a second SW section flyer in the form of Gavin Duggan who clocked a 4 year Old chequer W/F hen that was sent sitting 14 day old eggs. This obviously motivated this game hen to achieve a velocity of 1138 when she landed just after 7.00pm after a flight time of 12 hours 49 minutes. The bird’s breeding is down from Gavin’s old Jan Aarden lines which have performed well from 90 to 550 miles.

Gavin Duggan 2nd SW section and 7th Open

8th Open and 2nd SC section is filled by Rob Glover of Earl Shilton. His timer on this occasion is a 2 year old Chequer hen. As Rob tells me she has been a consistent performer flying in the 2017 Ancenis race when like so many she homed out of race time. This time she has had all four MNFC races and won 9th section and 126th Open from Tours when she was duplicated back to win 4th Leicester Federation. Her breeding is from a half-brother of Geoff Cooper’s National winner ‘George x a Mick McMurchie bred Kruger bird she being a granddaughter of Black Soul, Carrie, Hannibal  and Dark Angel. Rob also clocked his grand pigeon the ‘Murphy Hen’ which after finishing in 39th Open position on this occasion and will win a Diploma of Merit Award for being in the first 100 Open placing three times. Rob was full of praise for the good condition that the birds returned in.


                   Rob Glover's 2nd SC section and 8th Open winning bird                        One of the latest 'Diploma of Merit' winners 'The Murphy Hen'

9th Open and 3rd NW section was claimed by another of our ‘Blue Ribbon regulars’ in the form of Brian Heath. His timer was a 4 year old cock which was extremely well fancied and has won the cheque to prove it! Brian tells me that this his fourth time on the Longest MNFC race result. Brian was yet another wishing to congratulate Mark Williamson for a super ‘Double Header’ result along with all of the other members who had the pleasure of seeing a bird home on the day.

Brian Heath another Bordeaux specialist 3rd NW section and 9th Open this time

10th Open and 3rd in the SC section is taken by another marathon man in the guise of Lol Turner who is often seen prominently on the longest race result. This year his first arrival was a 2 year old Dark hen on 1099. I noticed that Lol also took 38th and 50th open places with his tried and tested birds.

Moving around the sections now and in the East section Ian Cameron had a field day filling the first five places. His first bird is a 2 year old De Rauw Sablon x Hardy Kruger cross. The sire is from G W P Macaloney  and the hen which has already bred a pigeon which won 1st section and 15th Open in 2016 is a bird acquired from Premier Stud. The 2nd section winner is a 3 year old Premier Stud De Rauw Sablon pigeon being from a double granddaughter of The Gilbert. Previously she had been 112 Open from Bordeaux as a yearling. In 3rd section is a 3 year old Mealy hen having gone to the MNFC’s longest race three years on the trot now loftmates have prevented her winning 2x1st section wins. In 2016 she was 2nd section and 18th Open from Bordeaux. 4th section is another Premier Stud Sablon 2 year old pigeon which was on the result from Tours. 5th section was claimed by a 2 year old Blue hen another past MNFC prize winner which has won 1st section Yearling Classic and 2nd section from Coutances. She is closely related to Pat Frisby’s National winner and a granddaughter of the bird which Ian rates as the best hen that he had ever owned. Ian tells me that all of his birds were on the result from Tours and were sent sitting eggs. Ian is soon off to his homeland of Bonnie Scotland so this way was a great way to sign off his seasons with the Mid Nat.

Ian Cameron who took the first five places in the East section. Well done sir.

Only two gallant birds made their way home in race time up in the East North East section which is hardly any great surprise as birds up into this location must cover nearly 650 miles. Anyway one of the birds which conquered the race was to the loft of Mr & Mrs Wayne Sellars who takes 1st place up into Bridlington with a 2 year old Chequer hen bred for the job being a Mark Gilbert x a DeWeerdt vis Colin Smith and Brian Maude. The hen was 12th section from Tours when her uncle finished 6th. The section winner’s dam is mother to several  top performers including 1st fed Joye Le Chatel and 4th fed Arras and her G/dam was 1st Fed Pithers 423 miles while her Grandsire has bred numerous performance pigeons including 2nd & 7th fed from Bourges and 7th & 17th section from Bordeaux. Wayne has previously finished 2nd 4th 6th 7th 16th and 17th from the Mid Nat’s longest race so no one can begrudge him his win. He told me ‘’It has taken me 10 years to finally win the section at 635 miles and being one of the furthest flying members it is a hard challenge to accomplish’’. Wayne finished his chat with a really sad note when he informed me ‘’I am regrettably leaving the sport due to the decline in sportsmanship and general expense. The big team flyers in my view are pushing fanciers like myself out of the sport but at least I am leaving with a bang and I couldn’t ask for more’’.

Wayne Sellars the ENE section winners taking in a football match with his young ladies.

I do sincerely hope that Wayne and his good lady have a change of heart because the sport can ill afford to lose long distance enthusiasts like you. Also your comments have hit home with in regard to expense and I have ideas to offer a more affordable option within the MNFC and I am determined to do my very best to relaunch the 2Bird Nominated into a race with a format with a separate result which was the way which it was intended because as I said originally this offers fanciers the opportunity to compete within a level ‘playing field’.

Anyway back on track in 2nd section we see Dave Fussey who also hails from Brid making me wonder if there is something in the sea air up there?. Dave’s bird is a widowerhood cock and is a crossing of Brian Denney ‘Dark Dancer’ lines x a Frank Tasker Van den Driessche. I say well both to both these intrepid birds and their owner.

Dropping down country now and once again we see the very successful partnership of Mr & Mrs Ron & Angie Auker win the East South East section. I feel that I must put into print what the partners told me when they said ‘’Can there be a better feeling than timing a pigeon from 500 miles plus on the day and winning a section and also having the only bird on the day in that section? I think that this is the stuff that long distance fanciers dream off’’.  Well the Aukers had that thrill when a 2 year old chequer ck of home bred Leo Pronk bloodlines after over 14 ½ hours on the wing. They say that the bird homed in good shape and they give great credit to the club’s convoyers for this fact. This was the bird’s fourth MNFC race of the season being twice their third and once their 4th arrival in the other races. This is a common feature of long distance birds which generally shine at 500 miles plus. The bird was sent on the natural system and feeding an 8 day old baby when basketed for the race. Additionally the partners also took 3rd section with another 2 year old but this one is a hen and was sent sitting on overdue eggs and this Padfield x John Halstead bird also flew in the Tours race three weeks prior to the Bordeaux race.

Mr & Mrs Auker winners of the ESE section

Squeeed in-between the Auker pigeons is another star bird belonging to Patmore & Rayner known as ‘The Golden Cock’ which was 8th Open from Poitiers in 2017. This season the bird a blend of Van Hee, Van Loon and ‘Black Giant’ lines has had four channel races being either first or second to the loft on each occasion. The bird was raced on the widowerhood system until mid June when he was coupled  and given an open loft and sent feeding two seven day old babies and in Chris Patmore’s own words ‘’He was as happy as Larry. I thought that he might have made it on the day but it was a toughie and so he arrived at 6.31am the next morning. It may sound corny but I shed a tear as he folded and hit the shed because the feeling that you get when you realise the work and effort that they have put in is unexplainable!’’ very well said Chris and this is why long distance racing is so magical. Also the bird has now proved his worth as a breeder because on the previous Saturday his son won 1st section H in the NFC’s Sigogne race. So the new dilemma is do the partners ‘stick or twist’ with him as without a doubt he is a’golden cock’.4th section is claimed by Howells & Dorritt with a 4 year old Cheq W/F cock which also takes 81st Open. Sadly no more details on this one I’m afraid.

Chris Patmore with the 'Golden cock' 2nd ESE section on this occasion

Simon Parkinson shows us that he is a man for all distances as he timed in his 3 year old Luc Christieans based hen at 6.10 am in the morning after a 602 miles flight to claim 1st North section and 14th Open. This bird is rapidly becoming something of a super star as last year she was 2nd section and 29th Open from Poitiers after a 14 ½ hour flight and fished 2nd North Section Ace Pigeon. I think that this year she will go one place better as she won 4th section earlier in the season from Carentan. The bird was entered in this last race sitting 2 day old babies as sure fire motivator. In 2nd section and 19th Open we see Mr & Mrs Newton and Down on 1041. The partners also timed a second arrival which will fill 5th section. Both of these birds are hens and bred from birds off Sjaak Buwalda of the Netherlands. These Dutch birds are well known for their long distance capabilities. 3rd section goes to Peter Hagland who is another of the areas long distance star performers. On this it is a 3 year old pied hen that records 914.

Simon Parkinson's good hen which topped the N section after last season's near miss photographed just after her return.


Heather Down with the partners 2nd N section winner


4th section goes to yet another fancier who often shines at the distance and on this occasion it is a 2015 Dark Chequer cock that keeps up Nigel Laycock’s excellent long distance reputation.

Nigel Laycock with his son 4th N section this year

Information is lacking in the North Centre section where J Finlay of Pudsey who clocked a Pied hen on 911 for a creditable 1st section and 37th Open placing. This is followed by Leach Brothers who timed a 3 year old Chequer hen for 2nd section and 92nd Open. 3rd slot is gained by the well-known Murray & Mills partnership who timed a fancied 2 year old Blue cock . With B Holland filling the 4th place with yet another 2 year old hen. One thing which I did notice here was that though the entry was disappointing the North Centre had quite impressive return figures.

The Leach family winners of 2nd NC section

Tidying up the North East section in 3rd place we have Bonsall fanciers Taylor & Hardy who clocked a Dark Chequer 2016 bred hen on 978 to also fill 20th Open. 4th position is taken by Adam Salt the son of well-known and respected Don Salt. Adam clocked a Mosaic Hen which I’m guessing comes from dad’s stock as Don has had success with his Mosaics.

The North North West section sees another of my ‘shrinking violets’ in the form of Joe Livesey of Bamber Bridge take top spot on 1007. His winner is yet another 2 year old hen. 2nd place is filled by Frankland & Dolby on 901. The bird is a Dave Impett Bruggeman racing back to 10 day old eggs. 3rd is taken by Tom Jackson who came so close to winning the MNFC earlier in the season. His bird is a 2016 bred Blue Hen. 4th position is claimed by Peter Hargreaves of Accrington. Peter tells me that he flies to a small and bijou as the estate agents say 12 x 4 foot loft and with just 8 pairs of pigeons and in 2017 he won 4th  section place from Poitiers and now has repeated the dose with a Chequer Pied 4 year old Jan Aarden hen which was bred by C Cousins of Aberdare. The bird has competed in 4 channel races this season and flown over 2000 miles in the process. She showed her durability when she flew from Messac flying for 13 hours 57 minutes. Next on the NNW list is Roskell & Williamson who timed ‘Dark Daz’ a previous winner of 2nd section from Ancenis and then Poitiers claiming 11th section in 2017 winning 3rd NNW long Distance Ace pigeon.

Frankland & Dolby's bird 2nd in the NNW section

Peter Hargreaves with his 4th NNW section winner

Roskell & Williamson doing the business once again

Rounding up the South East section in 2nd section we have Mr & Mrs Eric Corkett and sons with a 2 year old cock that also claims 12th Open. While in 3rd and 4th slots we see the Montila Brothers who clocked two 2 year old cocks on 1084 and 1059 and 13th and 15th Open.

In 3rd South West section and 11th Open we see another previous MNFC winner in the form of Lionel Brewer record a velocity of 1097 with a 2 year old Blue cock. 4th place is filled by John Marshall on 980 who was making his second crack at Bordeaux. His timer is a 4 year old cock which has now crossed the channel on 12 occasions. John tells me that the Marshall name has been racing in Birmingham for over 70 years now and  that he also got a further two yearlings home in race time. Sadly he informs me that his young bird team has been decimated from 55 to 10 largely by peregrines with at least five nesting pairs within 10 miles of his loft and one less than a mile away. As Jim Royle would say ‘’Rare birds my a**e’’. I feel that I must give a mention to my good friends Glyn & Chris Machin who filled 5th 6th and 7th section with three birds of his five bird team being clocked in 1 ½ hours with a fourth arriving after Glyn left for work. Excellent flying mate.

Finally on to the West section now where we see the partnership of Nairn & Brown who have enjoyed a good season take pole position. The bird which clocked 1057 and took 16th Open is a cracker having previously won 8th section and 44th Open from Tours and as a baby won 1st Open in the Pirrie Gold ring lifting a cool £2500 in the process. Her breeding is Leo Heremans and bred by Curtis Wall & Lunt. In 2nd place we see Lloyd & Bagnall’s 6 year old Busschaert cock who always seems to shine when flying from across the ‘duck pond’. His past performances are as follows : 3rd Falaise, 6th Messac, 4th Fougeres at club level and 1st West section 16th Open in the MNFC last season from Poitiers when he was the only bird on the day in the section. In the NFC he has won 11th 8th and 18th section from Messac and 16th section from Ancenis. A bird to be truly proud of!. 3rd West section is achieved by a 4 year old cock belonging to Mr & Mrs G & J Pendleton which was like the previous bird well fancied. This one clocked a velocity of 818 for his trip up to Ormskirk. Dave Siner got his 3 year old multi crossed Virtue, Theelan Donaldson, Wooliss, Biss Van der Wegen  cock which recorded 799.

Nairn & Brown enjoying a great season and topping the West section this time.

Lloyd & Bagnall's super channel pigeon. See text for his CV

Well that rounds off a very disappointing season entry wise which has been reflected in the Prize pots this season but members should realise that we need large ‘sends’ to be able to offer good prizemoney. This is something that I believe the committee needs to think about but I notice that the ones who pool are the ones who have profited well from their investments. Perhaps a return to this is the way to bolster the rewards that are currently on offer.

Note to clock Stations   The races don’t close until the velocity drops below 330 YPM so members are entitled to a placing until this time of race closure. This year one or two members were deprived of a position due to premature race closures.

Mike Lakin