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N R C C Y B 18-09-18


 By George Wheatman


Darren Perry has cemented his place in North Road Championship Club history by winning three open races during one season.


After lifting the King’s Cup from Lerwick, on the last day in July, he moved on from the longest race in the programme to take the two shortest races from Berwick, the young bird and old hens nationals, on Saturday.


This follows his previous young bird open win in 2014, and 2nd open, first section last year when he had ten birds in the first 20 and 15 in the first 30. And he is still only 31, a “baby” in pigeon racing age!


Nowadays he flies in partnership with his stepfather, Les Gardner, who, he says, is a big help.


Darren Perry (right) winner of the NRCC young bird and old hens races, with his two young sons and his partner Les Gardner

Both Berwick races were flown in a south-west to west wind, mainly west but variable at Alford, said Darren, and this meant he was in a favourable position, as will be pointed out by some rivals, but it must be remembered that his Lerwick victory, and the 2014 young bird win were when the wind was blowing from the east. So here is a talented fancier who can win in a variety of conditions, and can certainly make the best of anything in his favour.


The young bird winner was a dark chequer pied hen with bronze in her feathering, bred by another NRCC star, Albert Sayers, from his Leech Brothers stock.


She was among a number of youngsters Albert bred for the Perry loft this year and, on first  seeing them, Darren pointed to this particular bird and commented “Gosh, I like that one.” Albert’s reply was “If you fancy it, then that is one you will lose.”


She is a small hen and survived all the scares of training young birds that fanciers suffer every year, but didn’t do anything special to confirm Darren’s original impression . . . until winning the national on a provisional velocity of 1473 yards per minute, with clubmates, friends and keen rivals, Dave and Pat Evans in second place on 1468, another top NRCC partnership, Richard Mamwell and Son third on 1462, while it was good to see Bob Boulton bouncing back from the sad loss of his wife Phyllis earlier this year to take fourth place in the provisional results on 1453.

As usual in NRCC racing, there were commendable results against the odds in different areas, and race secretary Ian Bellamy commented:


“The early results were as expected, dominated by Sections C and F, on another tough day for our feathered friends. Well done to Darren Perry, he looks to have done the double with the YB's and the Old Hens.


“Other notable achievements must go to Mr and Mrs Brian Laws of Ipswich whose gallant bird covered 285 miles to be 25th on the verification list, and F Dawkins and Son of London whose bird flew over 304 miles to win section H.


“Returns were steady during the day with most arriving home by the end of the day.”

Provisional young bird section winners were:


Sec A - R Hallsworth.

Sec B - J Salvador.

Sec C - D Perry.

Sec E - R Waller.

Sec F - N & C Barran and R Frew.

Sec H - F Dawkins & Son.

Sec I - Mr & Mrs B Laws.


The young bird winner was sent sitting on eggs for just a few days.

Darren said he had not had a good young bird season prior to this, with just one win before the NRCC race.


He sent 33 young birds, but the second arrival to his loft was his old hens winner. She, and all his subsequent timings, were bang on line from the north, while his young bird winner came out of the coastal area.


The old hens provisional winner was an experienced three-year-old blue chequer highly rated by Darren, and was motivated by being paired to two cock birds. She was sitting eggs with one cock, and enjoying an extra marital relationship with another while not on sitting duty.


Strange things happen in rural Lincolnshire . . .


The pigeon is bred down from what Darren calls his “old family” and is, indeed, related to his Lerwick winner in that she is bred from a sister of the mother of the King’s Cup winner.


Darren is always thinking of ways to motivate his pigeons and this is one of them. Weather predictions for the weekend dictate how much, and from where, he trains in midweek, and he is always working out new tactics, especially in relation to NRCC racing which is his big love. One secret he keeps is his feeding routine.


The sort of success he enjoyed this season is just what he and his late father talked about so often, and it is something which would have delighted dad Mick.


With two young sons demanding his attention, Darren is lucky that he, and the whole of his family, enjoy the sport and offer their complete support.


As he builds a winning gene pool in his loft, it is likely that the young bird winner will retire to the stock loft at an early age.


It is the support that the family gives to Darren that always impresses NRCC chairman Brian Garnham when he visits and, he says, this was in evidence again when he verified the two winners. “Here is a young man who definitely knows what he is doing with the pigeons, and it is great to see what it means to the whole family,” he said.


Brian also paid tribute to all those fanciers who have supported NRCC racing in what has been a successful season, and he is particularly grateful for the help received from so many people in so many ways.


He hopes that there will be a good turnout for the NRCC Day of Champions at Spalding on Saturday December 1st when everyone can enjoy a great day out.