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L J Parkinson 15-02-18

Parkinson. L.J.

I was talking to Ian Stafford about racing pigeons and who wins what and a few names were mentioned who I had never heard of, but they are winning10/20 plus 1sts each year. I then thought about Billy Wilson & Son from my own town and they have been winning well for a few years and I think it was give or take a couple 15 x 1sts last year. It appears that there are a lot of fanciers about who win such numbers but never get the publicity that they deserve. For some reason publicity comes easy to some winners while others do not get the credit they deserve. I have been having a break from covering local notes because it can be time consuming and as we get older time goes past far too quick. When I used to hear from what the older generation were then the same story I used to think they were talking for the sake of it but now I know that is not the case. I now look at it from the point of view that I am not moving as fast as I used to do, and time is the same as it always has been and just coming up to 69yrs I still have time to do more writing, while spending less time in bed. As you can see we also go off on one as we get older, still makes interesting reading at time. 

Kim and myself had a meeting with the organisers at The Royal Cheshire Show on the 7th February to look at the pigeon section for this summer's annual show. This is one of the biggest and most prestige's agricultural shows in the country and a good place to show off our pigeons. After looking through the classes of years gone by the pigeon section is nowhere near as big as the Nantwich Show where they have a real good turnout, Dave Windsor and his team have done a good job with that one so let's hope we can get the Royal Cheshire Show going in much the same way. Prior to the meeting we were sent the list of classes from last year but there are far too many and needed reducing in numbers. Nigel & Kerry from the offices at the show ground were saying that they would like to see an increase in entries to justify continuing with the pigeon section. The first thing that came to mind was, "Are they looking at the pigeons as a money-making project and me being me asked that question", Nigel said they have been subsidising the pigeon section and would be happy to see it break even. We spent a couple of hours in this first meeting and as Kim said they are keen to get more entries in this section of the show. Anyway, we have agreed to do some publicity and attend the show and help where possible. Kim is going to set up a page on the Elimar site with all details so that should be done in a few weeks’ time. The classes will be OC's, OH’s, YC’s, YH’s. There have been all sorts of classes but there are too many which results in classes with only a handful of birds in. The racing classes are OK we have done them for many years so the next thing to do was contact someone who knew all about the Show pigeons, so I contacted Bill Carney. I told Bill that we need to get the classes down so that they are more competitive, and he suggested the following. OC's, OH's, Yearling cocks, Yearling hens, Coloured Class. I know nothing about show pigeons, so the advice was needed and taken on board. The problem with too many classes is that there are not enough pigeons to go around. So, we have 10 classes with the show pigeons and racers and we have sponsorship available at £25 per class paid out 1st £10, 2nd £6, 3rd £5, 4th £4. There will also be BIS £15 & BOS £10 for both the show pigeons and racers, that covers the £350 sponsorship. The proposed judges are Bill Carney for the 5 Show Classes and Mike O'Hare will select from the 4 Race Classes. After emails and conversations, the Fancy Pigeon Classes have come down to two mixed classes but if there are fanciers who want to discuss additional classes then this can be arranged for another year. The only problem with the list of classes provided was that most had no entries and others only had one or two, so they were taken off the list. Sponsorship for the Fancy Pigeon Classes is the same, so we are hoping this will make these classes more attractive to enter. You can also see a list of classes on the Elimar web site and will also be available from the Cheshire Show who have everything on record. If you want to enter then contact Kerry who will help you, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Fancy Pigeon Classes will have the same prize money and will be judged by Evan Murray and Hayden Bogle. We are hoping that the changes will attract more to the show but until the day we will never know. Show's such as the Royal Cheshire Show and the Nantwich Show are places that the sport needs to be there on show, but I hear the RPRA no longer go out to such events. I still think we need to increase the profile of pigeon racing but there have been many ways tried and not seen a great improvement in the sport by way of increased membership and this is not just in pigeon racing. I have a real good idea but as with all good ideas they initially cost money and getting that together is not that easy otherwise everyone would be doing it. I must add that the people I spoke to regarding the way forward were very helpful and jobs were soon sorted which I am thankful for. This was a bit of a surprise in a sport or hobby where at times there doesn’t appear enough people to go around when it comes to doing jobs.

I was talking to a fancier who was selling pigeons on the web site and all monies raised was going to the RSPCA. If I do a charity event then any expenses are covered by Elimar, so for that reason the charity concerned is paid by cheque direct from Elimar. I was more than surprised when the cheque was returned because I am told the RSPCA does not accept charity payments from hobbies where animals are concerned. I think these people don't realise that flying is what pigeons do. Yes, they are sent to longer distance’s but they are prepared and fed for the job. It's not as if they are badly treated like some other animals are, they are really cared for. Their food is far better than pigeons out in the wilds, the feral pigeons in the town centres. They are as different as chalk and cheese and those on the town buildings are not what the everyday pigeon fancier wants to see. Still there are other charities who appreciate what we are doing for them and benefit when such organisations turn the money down. The RSPCA need to get their facts right and would be better concentrating on the cases where animals are being mistreated, instead of chasing what looks to be a ghost to them. All I can say is they must have plenty of money to turn down what pigeon racing has to offer.

NWCC member and auditor Dave Healey has been having a rough time of it with his health and has been in hospital since the 22nd December. I was talking to his wife Lynn who said he is much better and going in the right direction. He has also decided that he will no longer be able to be the auditor with the club which is understandable, so mike O’Hare is going to step into the job. We wish him all the best, the old birds are going to need attending to for the coming season.

Les. J Parkinson.

11 Rushton Drive,

Middlewich,

Cheshire,

CW10 0NJ.

Tel: 01606836036 or Mobile: 07871701585.

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