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L J Parkinson 22-03-18

Parkinson L.J.

A few weeks ago, we were asked if we would run a charity sale on the Elimar auction site with 100% of sales being split between two charities. Ian Stafford is the fancier who approached us and as everyone was doing it FOC we were pleased to be involved and Ian sent the following.


"We really appreciate your help for these two great causes that are so close to mine and James heart. They are the James Cook Haematology day unit Middlesbrough, and the John Radcliffe Neurology Department Oxford. These were the two hospitals that first treated me for my cancer and secondly treated James for his brain tumour. We will be eternally grateful to both hospital” 


To make sure everything was done as well as possible Ian involved others who gave their services FOC. They are the UK's number one pigeon photographer Peter Bennett, The British Homing World and the Racing Pigeon, the team at Elimar being, Lizzie, Kim, Mike & Les. A big benefit was when Walkers Transport agreed to collect and deliver the pigeons FOC which then let buyers know they could make an extra few bids because there was no transport to pay for the old birds. What some might call a downside was the free youngsters that Ian & James were giving with each old bird purchase would not be ready until May, which meant they could not go with their free transported old birds. We at Elimar did enquire to the VAT man to see if they would waver that fee but no chance, we have obviously not got the influence that the likes of Bob Geldof has. This did cause us a problem because to get around it we had to run the sale on the normal basis showing the Elimar fee so that the VAT was calculated automatically. No doubt it would cross someone's mind that Elimar were taking a cut because on paper that's the way it looks, but that is not the case, what is shown as the Elimar commission is donated back so whatever the pigeon makes goes to the two charities.


What we must say is a big thank you to Ian Stafford and James Parker who presented the pigeons to the sale in the first place and giving one young bird with each old bird was a benefit and will be ready in May. Most would not bother but I have to say when I am watching such sales finishing I get into it. I don't normally watch sales finish because it would mean I would be on the PC far too much but when it comes to the charity sales I have to say I do watch them and the better they go the better I like it because I like to help charities where possible. The sale made £8307.07p which will be 50/50 to the two charities. Therefore, we must also thank the buyers because without them the sale would not have raised so much for charity. One way or another pigeon fanciers have always put their hands in the pocket when it comes to charities, I wish the sport got more credit than they do. There are three photos that were taken at the cheque presentation, one with the total and the other two being to the hospitals concerned.



Les J Parkinson, Kim Crowley & Elizabeth (Lizzie) Smallwood who organsied the chairty sale For Ian Stafford and JPS Lofts on the Elimar Auction site.


I hear a few organisations have put their race programmes back a week or two, which is not a bad idea after the beast from the east and them the pest from the west a couple of weeks later. You need a few weeks to get birds ready to be in the right condition for the early races. I have never changed my opinion on the best time to start racing and that is the third weekend in April, or no more that two races in that month, which all depends on when the weekends fall. We need to work back and give the fancier and their birds at least three weeks to get them in a decent condition for the first race. There are a lot of birds lost or ruined in those early races especially when they start on the first weekend in April. As I have said before that problem is caused because the channel and National races have come much earlier than they used to be. This is caused by the transport people wanting to get their hands on a better income earlier in the season. What they don’t realise is they are doing themselves out of money because the birds have not had a chance to get right for the early races and there are many sent and lost because they are not right. A lot more thought needs going into the race programmes so that the birds have a much better chance of complete the races that they are required for. 

Dave Healey is now back in Leighton Hospital after a spell in North Staffs, so I went to see him, and he is looking good and apart from lying in bed, he is his usual self. We had a good talk about pigeons as expected and Dave was saying that his wife and pigeon partner has paired the stock birds and they also had a good discussion about racing this season. Dave really is upbeat about everything and said as soon as he can get on crutches he is out of there. He still has a good sense of humour and is still keen to get back and race the old birds this year and expects to be home for then. Further down the road he is also looking at how many he is going to keep after the 2018 season, good forward thinking.

The North West Classic Club is still attracting new members and with the £1000 per race already in the bag split between the sections and open for each race plus excess money from Entry fees for each race the prize money looks good and improving all the time. The Gold Ring race is on £3,000 with £1,000 first prize so we are going in the right direction. We are still getting enquiries about the club, so it looks as if the target of 150 members for this year will be reached. The latest members who look like having a go are from Blackpool where we have had a request for 4 application forms. We are a bit surprised that there have not been more from the Preston are and in general section C, still for those who are already in the club there is more prize money and I am certain there will be more from section C joining before we get to the races.

When you look at race points there was always one that stood out to me and that was Pau that was the first grand National race that I competed in. That race point has a ring to it but alas it has now been closed so no more Pau for us. We have been at the replacement race point Tarbes for quite a few years now, but I still don’t feel it has the same ring to it as Pau did, but we cannot stay in the same place forever and a day. As I write these notes I am planning to move the young birds to a better and more spacious loft so down the side should soon be clear again. I was talking to Mike O’Hare about pigeon details and he suggested I move the young birds into one of the empty lofts at his place. Mike does have plenty of loft space but only a handful of pigeon’s, so it makes sense. Mike does like a few pigeons around him but not too many, once pigeons are in your blood it doesn’t leave that easy. I soon missed them but having a few down the side is not like having a team flying out in the garden. However, I am enjoying having them, so we shall have to wait and see what happens.

Les J Parkinson.

11 Rushton Drive,



CW10 0NJ.

Tel: 01606836036 Mobile 07871701585.

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