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Parkinson L J 06-03-18

L.J. Parkinson


Just by chance I now have a team of 18 young birds down the side of the house and I can tell you it does feel good to go into the lofts again with my own pigeons. They are in the old stock loft, so they are well out of the way and a place that only I go so do not affect anyone.


I had a call from Walkers to say they were dropping them off at 6.30am on the Thursday morning so I had to set the alarm which is the first time for many years that I have had to do that. You have heard the saying “A kid in a sweat shop” well that was how I felt. They were a bit older than I thought they would be and they were certainly fiery.


My first problem was Elizabeth and myself were spending a couple of days at the Belfry Golf centre in the Sutton Coldfield area, so I had to make arrangements for their feeding because they should never be left even for a couple of days.  It was not a good idea to get them just as we were going away but that’s the way it happened so there was nothing I could do about it.


So, I have been spending quite a bit of time with them, looking, handling and they are steadily getting used to me. The area that they are in is only 8ft x 4ft so not a lot to look after but then again, I never did mind spending time cleaning them out when I had many more to look after. It does help with the area they are in being rather small, so they cannot get out of my way in a hurry.


I have visited a few lofts where the room is limited, one such loft being that of Bruce McAllister and also Planet Bros who both have narrow racing lofts. The pigeons are generally quieter in lofts where there is not a lot of space and they get used to you a lot easier. Where these young birds are located is at the end of the loft which is netting from top to bottom then there is a 2ft gap to a brick wall. All this means that they are in a dry area where the weather cannot blow into the loft. The only problem that I do have is they are not in a place where I can exercise them, I do like to see them flying out. One thing I had to do was go and get a bag of corn and decided on the Buxtons breed and wean mix that looks good for such young birds. Plus, with using the Vior there is nothing else I need for them at the moment. What I will say is they will have to change a bit otherwise they will not all make the grade and soon get lost somewhere along the way. As I mentioned earlier they are a bit fiery but the more time I spend with them the quieter they become and at this rate they look like proving me wrong.


Going back to the fiery part of the young birds I do wonder if they are the ones with a bit more spirit in them and once you break the spirit in any animal it is never the same. Of course, this is something that we do not know but it is one of those feelings that comes across anyone who has animals. We can never really know what is right or wrong in animals we only hope that we have got it right. As we all know when you get that exceptional pigeon there is always something different about it and I wonder if their spirit is what makes them so good. We have had dogs for over 30yrs and we have one now that has her own spirit and believe me she is far more intelligent than any other dog that we have had. Anyone who has been to our house will tell you what she is like, she does have the edge over Elizabeth no matter how hard she tries to control her, she always has the last word, the dog that is. She does things that I would not have expected, it's as if she has her own mind and no matter what, she goes ahead and surprises us. When we first went to buy a dog, there were 5 in the litter and we picked one out and agreed to collect her on the Saturday morning before anyone else had been to collect any of the others. We arrived on the Saturday to collect her and the one we had selected had been washed and groomed and looked a real treat. We sat there opposite the bed that they were in, while discussing the dogs with the breeder this little scruff came out and across to us. The owner's daughter picked her up and put her back in the box, no more to do she climbed out and came back to us. Once again, the little girl put her back in the box and on this third time she came back to us I said she was the one that we would be having. That little dog had picked us and knew what she was doing, since then she has always had the upper hand on Elizabeth and as far as training goes she trained herself. The dog being Tinkerbelle, Ebony named her and not me, has also been the one in control and after 7yrs she is not going to change.


Just to let you know that our few days at the Belfry resort went well, but as with all these spells away there is a downside and that is I put on half a stone.


Anyway, getting back to the young birds down the side of the house I have just had a call to say that the original buyer is going to collect them on Saturday. With that in mind I am going to spend the next 5 days with them and see how they go. I must say I am disappointed as I was looking forward to watching them grow and maybe have reared a few young birds next year. One thing is for sure they are making a nice team of pigeons. Strange how things work out but that’s the way things happen, and they have now gone. Perhaps it’s a sign for me to have a few pairs of stock birds and breed for OLR or breeder/buyers.


The two race programmes for the local federations are available for all to compare one against the other. The Mid Cheshire Fed starts on the 14th April at Cheltenham and the on following weeks to, Mangotsfield (2), Yeovil, Portland, Mangotsfield, Carentan, Mangotsfield, Fougeres, Mangotsfield, Messac, Cheltenham with Ancensis completing the old bird programme. They then move on to the young birds starting at Worcester on the 21st July after a week’s break. Then they go to Cheltenham (2), Mangotsfield (2), Yeovil and ends up at Portland on the 1st September. The other local fed being the South West Cheshire who also start at Cheltenham on the 14th April then, Bath (2), Frome, Yeovil, Portland. They then have a land and channel on the same day which are Frome & Carentan. We then have Bath before two more on the same day from Bath & Fougeres followed by Frome before going to Messac and Frome on the same day. Back for two from Bath with Ancensis being on the same day as the second of those races. Then a week’s break before starting the young bird programme at Tewkesbury on the 21st July. Two Cheltenham races and two from Bath take up the next 4 weeks with the next three weeks’ being taken up with races from Frome, Yeovil and Portland. When we start racing in April it is surprising how quick that last race on the 8th September arrives.


Mark Smith dropped in with the prize list for the Middlewich 5B when 15 members drew money from the total pay-out of £930 in prizes and pools. By far the leaders with £226 are W Wilson & Son ahead of Alan Woodcock with £92. Mr & Mrs Dave Healey collect £100 but news is that due to Dave still being in hospital they won’t be racing this year, I hear Dave is improving so let’s hope he is out and with the pigeons sooner rather than later. Mark & Heather Smith are next with £98 and looks to be getting a few more jobs to do than he needs. Mr & Mrs Dudley Niblett pick up £75.60 followed by Ken Bossons & Son Stan with £56.80. Other winners are, Ron Woodward £54. Peter & Dawn Latham £48.40. Alan Groom £56.80. Jimmy Smith £52. Dickens & Wilkinson £16. D.J & C. J Wilkinson £14. Ted Carson £14. Tom Howarth £18. Carol & Robert Carson £8.  


I was looking through some paperwork and came across the Mid Cheshire fed results for the last two years. The standard of winning has to be high with the premier race team in the fed being Curtis-Wall-Lunt. As anyone who knows these lads are aware of how good they are, so it is tough going to get to the top ahead of them. However, there are fanciers out there who are keen to beat them which is good for the fed, anyone in any sport always needs a target and Curtis-Wall-Lunt are that target. In the last two seasons in the two feds, mind you they do not send to all races, the majority of these results are with the Mid Cheshire. Anyway, they have won 28 x1st in fed and combine races only.  No club races counted also 4 RPRA awards & 3rd best middle distance award GB. Some of wins include 5,802 birds. 5,464 birds. 1.2. 4,262 birds. 4,120 birds. 1.8.9. 4,929 birds. 1.6. 2,217 birds., 1,518 birds. 1,327 birds. 1,388 birds 1,347 birds 1,345 birds. 1,142 birds. 1,184 birds. 1,282 birds. 1,089 birds.,234 birds. 1,275 birds., 950 birds. 909 birds. 950 birds. 793 birds. 691 birds. 1.2.3. 698 birds. 598 birds. 496 birds. 1.2.4. 411 birds. 1.2. 348birds. If we consider, all their results they are well in excess of 70 x 1sts in the last two years. There are many top-class fanciers around the country who have spells of winning, but these have been winning year after year for as long as I can remember their racing performances and that must be over 30yrs.


Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ.

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