Established 1979 Company Number: 11693988 VAT Registration Number: 284 0522 13 +44 (0)1606 836036 +44 (0)7871 701585

M N F C Toursreport 30-07-18

Terry Kirman’s ‘666’ Conquers the Tough Midlands National’s Tours Race.

The 3078 bird convoy were released at 7.15am on the 30th June into a Light North East wind. The forecast quite correctly told us that the birds were in for no easy passage with the wind strength blowing in excess of 20mph on the channel. Without a single doubt this season has been the toughest that I can remember. This has been exasperated by the increasing numbers of cross channel races that has severally affected numbers which have had a very negative effect on the prizemoney that has been on offer this year. This is something which ‘the powers that be’ must look into, if our sport is going to continue into the future. Believe me the figures show quite clearly that the present divided mind-set is to the long term benefits of no one.

Claiming the 1st Open win is Terry & Tony Kirman with their 2014 Blue cock known as ‘Treble 6’ who is a wonderful racing pigeon which on this occasion not only won the race but this was his third West section win from this distance. His winning velocity of 1239 was a magnificent feat on a day which was extremely tough with not only the North East wind to cope with but also the blistering heat of around 30 c.


Tony & Terry Kirman with '666' and his dad                                              '666' the apple of Terry's eye 1st Open

On my visit to Terry’s I was expecting to see a special pigeon and he didn’t disappoint as in the hand he is of medium size but with a rock solid body, silky plumage and a sparkling silver-pearl eye. I asked Terry of the bird’s breeding and once again it was no disappointment here. The bird is of ¾ De Rauw Sablon blood. On his sire’s side he is a Grandson of Gerard Koopman’s ‘Noble Blue’ x a de Rauw hen. ‘Treble 6’s mother is a bird called ‘Freddy’s Best’ being a product of the late Pros Roosen’s famous cock ‘Freddy’ which he acquired from his friend Freddy Vandenheede and ‘Freddy’ is 100% De-Rauw Sablon. I couldn’t go on without mentioning that this hen may have cost Terry a ‘pretty penny’ to purchase but whatever she cost it was worth every single penny! She was perfect in every way and her eye was of the quality that I have never seen a superior one had me drooling. Yes a quality, quality hen.

I asked the lads was he well pooled? And the answer came back ‘’He had the kitchen sink on him!!’’. Terry continued ‘’how could we do any other as he has been such a great bird for us?’’. I believe that with this latest win of £2653 in pools and prizemoney now totals over £7,500. Whilst on my short visit to the Kirmans I saw some fantastic racing pigeons. These facts are proven when I get so many reports about Kirman birds flying so well for his many friends on Merseyside. One such example was his friend Lee Davison who called around to tell Terry & Tony of his great result of 2nd section L from Tarbes the previous day with a bird containing Kirman bloodlines. I know that this positive feedback makes Terry a very happy chappie.

In 2nd open and 1st North North West section is another great performance to the loft of Chorley fancier Tim Webster who clocked a 5 year old Pencil W/F cock which records 1221. One again this pigeon is a produce of top quality stock as he is a son of Tim’s ‘Pencil Breeder’ who in turn is a son of the loft’s base breeder x a daughter of Gaby Vandenabeele’s ‘Kolonel’ x a homebred Grandaughter of ‘Euro Diamond’. Tim tells me that the ‘Pencil Breeder’ has bred a host of top performers including a son with 4 x 1st fed wins and the nestmate has 2x fed wins. At National level children have won 3rd MNFC Carentan, 6th MNFC Carentan and now 2nd Open from Tours surely the big one awaits!

Tim Webster with his gallant 1st NNW section & 2nd Open winner

In regard to the 2nd Open winner himself he is a proven pigeon that is raced on the widowerhood system. He has flown the channel many times and has never nighted out. The tough race was tailor made for this warrior. Tim tells me that his next two birds that have feature well in the result are also proven MNFC  pigeons.

I delighted to see my local area represented in the form of Mr & Mrs Roy Taylor of Kidsgrove with their 3 year old Chequer hen which clocked a speed of 1217. When I drove over to see the bird we had a good chat about pigeon racing and Roy told me that since he retired that they have been able to work with the birds more and they have enjoyed the ‘fruits of his labours’. Roy is what I call a ‘mixer’ by that I mean he likes nothing better than to concoct his own mixtures and tit bits. I say if it is working then keep on ‘mixing’. We talked about young bird losses and on this score the partner are ‘old school’ and like to train their babies to 10 miles North, South, East and West’. It may mean extra work but I’m sure that losses are minimised by adopting this method.

Mr & Mrs Taylor 1st NW section & 3rd Open

The hen is a result of a crossing of Hofken x Koopman. The Hofken lines acquired from Ian Axe and the Koopman in her pedigree is down from a direct Koopman cock and boy he is a cracker. Roy is no pedigree worshipper but I would think that this cock has longer distance lines crossed into the world famed Koopman Van Loons. The partners are building a nice team of birds that can and will compete in the rarefied National arena as shown by this result where they also timed a second arrival which finished 37th Open.

Winning the South West and finishing in 4th Open are Mr & Mrs Peter & Sandra Shaw on 1203. This couple are making a massive name for themselves as rarely does a national result not see their name to the fore. Their bird on this occasion is a 2 year old Mandalart hen that has already won 5 inland races. On her maiden flight on the channel with the NFC she won 5th section and 37th Open. Then she was sent back to the same racepoint with the MCC when she was the partners second arrival and one week later she was sent to achieve her great result with the MNFC. Peter tells me that she homed in immaculate condition as can be seen on his Facebook page.

Sandra Shaw with their 4th Open winner

Another North Staffordshire fancier fills 2nd NW section and 5th Open in the form of Dave Everill of Halmerend who timed a light chequer cock with a velocity of 1201. Anyone who knows Dave is well aware that he has invested very heavily in what he believes to be the very best bloodlines. A second arrival a full brother to his 5th Open winner was clocked doing 1176 to win 22nd Open also. The pair are predominantly Koopmans being bred from a grandson of ‘Noble Blue’ and a granddaughter of ‘Kliene Dirk’ and ‘Showpiece’.

Dave Everill with his 2nd NW section and 5th Open winner

6th Open and 3rd NW section is Roger Sutton a fancier who is finishing the season very strongly as you will see over the next few days. The pigeon a 2 year old widower is part of Roger’s National team. He had already raced in three NFC races always consistent but beaten by loft mates. Roger tells me that his breeding is surprising as both parents are Lambrecht based from Brian Dearn the well respected man who is heavily involved with the Lancashire Social Circle of which Roger is a past President. To quote his owner ‘’Who says Lambrechts can’t fly the distance?’’

Another name so strongly linked to the MNFC is that of Jonathan Hamphlett who along with his dad Harold has chalked up many superb results. On this occasion Jon takes 2nd SW section and 7th Open with a 2 year old Blue cock which recorded 1192. Jon also took 4th section and 14th Open with his second arrival on 1184.

McGraw Clegg & Preece take 4th NW section and 8th Open with a home bred 3 year old Dark hen which the lads tell me has won many prizes. Kierren tells me that she is a sister that won them the fabulous new 1pigeon clock from Carentan earlier in the season. He continued by saying ‘’ She flew the 408 miles in 10 hours 2 minutes on a gruelling red hot day and we couldn’t be more proud of her!’’ . Passionate words from a very enthusiastic partnership.

McGraw Clegg & Preece 4th NW section & 8th Open

G Holker & Sons fill 5th NW section and 9th Open with a 2 year old Chequer cock that covered the 445 mile trip recording 1189. On hot days it is a fact that distance kills so more credit to this performance.

This also applies to the 1st NC section winner and 10th Open bird belonging to Mr & Mrs Brian Fisher & Son who you will no doubt remember won the Blue Ribbon race from Poitiers last year. This time their bird is a hen known as the ‘21’ and she has some other great National performances to her credit but to win her section by an hour is a superb performance.

11th NW section is filled by a well respected long distance flyer in George Bowyer of Congleton who clocked a 2016 Blue W/f hen on 1186. Thinking about it I ask is there currently a bigger hotbed of 500 mile fanciers that in and around the ‘Bear Town’ area? I personally very much doubt it!

Mrs Fisher & son enjoying the sunshine after winning 1st NC section & 10th Open


Talking of good 500 mile fanciers and we see Don Salt of Alton win the Yearling classic race with a 2017 chequer cock also on 1186 to fill 12th Open with this brave young cock. Well done Don another trophy for the cabinet. 13th Open and 3rd South West section is taken by R Stokes and son who timed a well fancied son of ‘Max’ the double Mid Nat winner and ‘Farlow Sadie’ the partners 1st Western Region Queens Diamond Jubilee winner. The bird is a real star winning the following Open positions in the NFC 15th Ancenis, 21st Open Fougeres, and 68th and 89th Open Messac and finally 89th Open Saintes yes this cock is good ‘un and a real ‘chip off the block’.

Stokes Brothers with their grand multi National performer 3rd SW section

Tony Whitehouse took the next SW section pigeon a Blue Pied hen called ‘Showgirl’ a full sister to Tony’s National Vire winner which is also a winner of numerous other top performances. Tony tells me that as a late youngster she was trained to 30 miles and flew down to the coast as a yearling carrying 4 nest flights. This was just her second channel race and Tony is confident that if she can steer clear of the hawks we will hear a lot more about in the future.

Tony Whitehouse with his rising star 'Showgirl'

Moving around the sections now and in the North section we see the Rotherham based partnership of Keith and Christopher Williamson who clocked a 2Bird Nominated yearling Blue Pied hen on 1082 and boy is this one bred in ‘the purple’ being bred by Ian Stafford and containing the blood of ‘The Machine’, ‘Laureate Barcelona’ and ‘Matador’ in her veins. She had previously had 3 races prior to going to Tours which was her maiden flight from across the channel proving the fact that you can jump a good bird if it is fit and bred for the job. The bird was sent sitting 15 day old eggs and proving the many obstacles that our game pigeons have to face the lads noticed after her return that she had been down on her journey and drunk something toxic which was slowly poisoning her so she was given a syringe full of goats milk and being alkaline it did the trick and the next day you couldn’t tell that she had flown 430 miles and half poisoned herself. It was nice to hear the lads give credit to not only the race winner but the marking team and the MNFC’s officials for their hard work. Thanks lads.

Chris Williamson of K & C Williamson 1st North section

In not only 2nd but also 3rd slots we see Mr & Mrs SP Sutton with two 3 year old cocks. Which chalked up speeds of 1065 and 1036 respectively well done Mr & Mrs S. In 4th section we see names that are making a habit of coming to the fore as the distances increase. These names are Knottingley’s Dave Valentine and Grandson. The bird is named ‘Foxwood’s Jason’ and Dave tells me that this is his home bred 2 year old cock’s third time over ‘the duck pond’ and each time he has been in the money!.

Dave Valentine 4th North section

In the North North West section I have already highlighted the section winner belonging to Tim Webster and his good Pencil cock which took 2nd Open. In 2nd place we see Mr & Mrs Sarre of Thornton Cleveleys who clocked a fancied yearling cock on 1178 to win an impressive placing of 19th Open.

Mr & Mrs Sarre 2nd NNW section

In 3rd section is Maurice McCartney & Son of Carnforth with a 4 year old Chequer cock. The bird was quite well fancied and will win his owners a nice little cheque. Nice one Maurice. Just 4 yard behind on 1152 we find Joe Livesey of Bamber Bridge in fact Joe had a great races filling not only 4th section but also 5th and 7th places good flying Joe.

Maurice McCartney 3rd section in the NNW

In between in 6th spot we see P & B Taylor who though not in the first four sent me a picture of their daughter Emily with their timer a Figo Fran Zwolls 2 year old cock which has topped the fed as both a young bird and yearling. Paul Taylor sent his congratulations to Tim Webster who went very close on being this new section’s national winner. Don’t worry with the quality of fanciers that are up in the NNW that win given the right day won’t be long in coming!

Emily Taylor shows off her dad's 6th NNW section winner

Travelling a little to the North Centre section in 2nd place behind the Fishers who also claimed 3rd place we see J Castello & Family of Huddersfield who timed a 4 year old cock on 1084. 4th slot is filled by Lydgate’s Kevin Thorp who saw home a 2 year old chequer hen on 1030.

Juan & Cobie Castello 2nd NC section

In the North East we have Warsop’s Albert Swindall who recorded 1150 with his 3 year old Chequer cock to finish a clear leader in his section. In 2nd place we see the highly rated R & N Dennett who were quick to heap praise on the section winner saying that ‘Albert is a fellow club member and a nicer man you couldn’t wish to meet’’. Fine and sporting words lads. Anyway back to the Dennett’s bird which is a 5 year old Busschaert X Hoogerland  hen which the lads bought at a breeder buyer sale and bred by Brian Gorton. They bought her because she was so tame in the pens. The bird has repaid them with many excellent results all in North East winds. This season she has won 4th fed 18th Combine from Falaise and 5th Open Northern Classic from the same racepoint. Then followed this up with 3rd section 57th Open from Portsmouth. She was the partners main pool bird from Tours and has repaid them with a nice cheque. Nigel tells me that she often sits on his shoulder as he walks around the garden preferring him to her pigeon mate. The power of love eh boys? Her next race is Bordeaux and the partners have their fingers crossed that she homes OK and does them proud in what will be her last race because she would be missed terribly if she went missing.

3rd section is claimed by Luke & Steven Gash who clocked their number ‘3’ hen which homed in both great time and condition. She is a special bird because she was one of the first birds which we bred from our stock supplied by Ron & Nigel Dennett. The bird had already gained 7th section in a previous race from Fougeres.


Luke & Steen Gash 3rd NE section

4th section is won by last year’s MNFC champs Bowskill & Gascoigne who timed their 2 year old hen on 1076.


Bowskill & Gascoignes 4th NE section winner

Winning the East North East section are Bridlington’s Gray & Atkin  who timed a 2 year old Blue cock when the section was one of the least advantage position’s on the day surely heaping more praise for the leading bird’s gallant efforts and earning every penny of his prize money. The same could be said about the other birds clocked on a very tough day particularly on the Eastern side of the country.

2nd section goes to Paul & Helen Johnson. Their bird is a widowhood hen paired to an old stock cock. She is a Premier stud Sablon x a Stuart Ward Van de Merwe. Paul told me that he was up early awaiting his Tours entries and by 5.30am he was desperate to go to the toilet. As he ambled back out he got the shock when saw my hen on the front of her box awaiting me to let her in to her mate. A word of advice mate try going to the toilet a little earlier in future because birds always seem to arrive at times like this.

Helen Johnson with their 2nd ENE section winner

Having a superb race was Brid’s Dave Fussey who sent six birds and had five in the clock taking 3rd,4th,5th,8th and 13th section an excellent team effort Dave lad. His first timer is bred from a Tom Gilbertson cock and the mother is a granddaughter of ‘The Machine; bred by my old mate Ian Stafford which Dave bought at Herbie Elliot’s bereavement sale. This brave little cock lived up to his parentage having flown in the NFC young bird race on the day and also the same club’s Ancenis race earlier this year. It looks like you have a few ‘crackers’ there Dave super flying. Another bird well worth a mention is Mr & Mrs Wayne Sellars two year old cock that looking at his breeding was bred for the job as he is of Trenton x Venner x De Weerdt bloodlines. In his details are several great performers right up to nearly 650 miles. It is often but on such hard testing days like this that the marathon birds come to the fore and bring a tear to even the most hardened eye.


The East South East section another area that had to battle to get birds home. So it was no real surprise to see Mr & Mrs Auker take 1st,2nd  section and also another two birds finishing  in 5th and 6th section. The Aukers decided to fly on the natural system this season and their first section winner a 2 year old Blue cock was sent sitting 12 old eggs. He went to the MNFC Carentan race and flew in a club race from 125 miles  the week before the Tours race and had a 30 miles toss in midweek. He is home bred from a Grandson of Jos Thone’s ‘Sumo’ and a Van de Merwe hen. The partners 2nd section winner is off Wade Brothers stock and was sent sitting 7 days. The Aukers are hoping that both birds will be in their Bordeaux team. I will keep an eye out to see if they feature on our ‘Blue Ribbon’ race result. Ipswich is the location for the section’s 3rd and 4th placed birds both to the loft of G & N Arterton. Their first a 4 year old Blue hen and their next bird a 5 year old cock clocked just 7 minutes later. Like London buses you wait for hours then suddenly two together well almost!

Mr & Mrs Auker the ESE winners

The champion on this occasion in the South centre section is John Havens who timed in his 2015 bred Soontjen x Janssen chequer cock on 1120 and it was well fancied and will win his boss in excess of £440 which is no great surprise as the bird has already won 3rd and 5th section in the Mid Nat. John sportingly sends his congratulations and commiserations to 2nd and 3rd placed John Murphy who he values as both a friend and top fancier. John was also very complimentary in regard to the MNFC saying it is a good club and one that is very hard to win. Those comments are much appreciated John. As already said John Murphy fills the next two positions the first of the two being a Soontjen cock that was his first arrival from Carentan earlier in the season and has also performed well in the local club and fed. The next four slots are filled by Coventry’s Lol Turner but sadly I have no further details on yet another fine team performance. Rob Glover sent me info on his two birds that finished in 8th & 9th section. The first being a grandson of G & C Cooper’s ‘Farm boy ‘ and ‘George’ when paired to a multi 1st prize winning Lambrecht hen off Stuart Innet. The second bird was another Cooper crossed pigeon this one being from a ½ brother of the National winner ‘George’ when coupled to a Kruger hen bred by Mick McMurchie. Rob tells me that he still had 4 good birds missing a few days after the race. I hope that they have returned by the time that you read this report.


John Havens the SC section winner                                      John Murphy 2nd & 3rd SC section

The South East section sees J & T Gateley top the list on 1076 with a 2015 widowhood cock he was previously 6th section in the 1st World War National race. He is home bred and his sire has won 1st prize cards at club and fed levels plus other MNFC section diplomas. 2nd section is won by the winner of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Race a few years ago in the form of Ron Fullbrook . On this occasion Ron’s bird is a 2 year old cock that was bred by Ron’s mate ‘Jolly Jack Potter’ and the bird’s many in both club fed and National races in his short career. The bird’s pedigree contains the bloodlines of the late Marley Westrop. In 3rd & 4th section is Arthur Staniford recording velocities of 1054 and 1039. Arthur’s first timer is a yearling whose sire was bred by the partnership of Mott & Bispham of Blackpool. His dam was bred off a Van den Bosch cock that was a good racer. The bird himself flew well when he felt like as a baby but this term as a yearling he was a steady performer but by his actions at home he was crying out to be sent and he didn’t let his boss down. The 4th placed bird was a 2 year old hen timed some 8 minutes after Arthur’s first arrival but no further details.


J T Gateley 1st SE section                                                                            Ron Fullbrook 2nd SE section

Arthur Staniford's winner of 3rd SE section

The East section was won by Roger Maxwell and I would like to thank Colin Greenfield for gathering the info on the 1st and also the 3rd section bird belonging to Jeff Smith. Roger’s winner was well fancied and is bred from a pair of stock birds that were gifted to him by Alwyn Paddey. I’m told that this bird has scored well before at various distances with the MNFC. Roger has dedicated his fine win to his late brother Trevor who passed away two years ago. I must admit I liked Colin’s headline of ‘ Scunthorpe’s old boy gets a turn in the East’.

Roger Maxwell of Maxwell Brothers with the East section winner

Jeff Smith 3rd East section

2nd and 4th is filled by Jonathan walker who has wasted very little time getting his birds performing to his new loft. Both of his birds were hens. As I wrote earlier Jeff Smith’s  2 year old Blue cock was sandwiched in between Jonathan’s birds. The bird is a Vandenabeele containing the lines of M & D Evans Jester & Carrie.

Jonathan Walker's fine new lofts where the 2nd & 4th birds homed too..

Finishing in 5th 6th and 7th section we see Frank Bristow. His first timer is a full sister to Frank’s ‘George’s Boy’ which won 1st section and Open from Vire in 2016. Frank tells me that all of his first four day birds were hens. Yes the fairer sex are certainly taking over.

Frank Bristow 5th 6th & 7th East section

It’s now back to the start of the report now the West section where we see Derrick Jones take 2nd section and 15th Open with a two year old Chequer cock that clocked in at 1183. The bird was yet another bred down from his great ‘Niort Cock’ which has been responsible for umpteen good performers for Derrick and others. 3rd section is filled by Ormskirk’s Mr & Mrs G & J Pendleton who timed their well fancied Blue cock on 1179. 4th 5th and 6th section are all taken by Chorley’s Mr & Mrs Jennings & Son with three 2016 hens doing the business recording 1177, 1176 and  1174 respectively very impressive stuff folks you made it look easy.


Derrick Jones 2nd West section   

George Pendleton 3rd West section

I feel that it would be remiss of me not to mention the lower than normal prize money. This I’m afraid is due entirely on the disappointing sends that we have been getting this season. This hasn’t only affected the Midlands National but also all organisations that compete in cross channel races. The reasons are quite simple it’s been a very tough season with baking conditions and almost constant North Easterly winds. The second reason that springs to mind is the obsession by some organisations to hold races every two weeks which doesn’t allow birds enough recuperation time. The membership is dropping but the folly of more races continues unabated as clubs scrabble to make ends meet. Why don’t they realise that less races equals more entries and therefore both improved prize money and profits. Time to wake up and smell the coffee I think!

Mike Lakin