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Parkinson L. J 09-01-18

Parkinson. L.J.

It was said to hear about the passing of one of the sports gentleman Ian Crammond we had been in his company on several occasions and he would pass comments that would make those around him smile. When I heard and told Elizabeth the first thing she said was, “I’ll never forget his comment in that hotel we were at in Belgium” Yes, the comment made us all laugh but one that I don’t think I better include here, he was so dry when he said it. That’s the way Ian was, so dry with a lot of the comment’s he made and that was what made you smile when you were in his company. Another occasion we were in a bar in Germany after being at a one loft race and again he was full of comments that made you smile. That was a really good break away and I think all present had a good time that was helped by Ian being there. Not only was he such a nice man he was also a very good pigeon fancier and had a good relationship with Nigel racing as Crammond & Langstaff. I am sure Nigel will miss Ian because at times you would think they were joined at the hip, they were such good friends and travelled a lot together and more importantly raced a good team of pigeons together. As a pigeon racing partnership, they were up there with the best winning top National positions and were one of the lofts you looked at to see if you had beaten them and if you had you were not too far off the top of the result. What will happen now is anyone’s guess only time will tell, but it would nice to see Nigel keep such a good team together especially for the coming season to be in memory of Ian. Over the years there has been a lot written about Ian even before he teamed up with Nigel Langstaff to make such a good team of racing pigeon fanciers. There is no doubt about it Ian did know a good pigeon and knew what he was looking for, a lot of fanciers find pigeon racing hard work because they do not have that bit extra knowledge that Ian had. I am sure that Ian will be wishing Nigel all the best for his time in racing pigeons not that he has unfortunately left such a good winning partnership. The sport has lost a true gentleman of the sport who will no doubt be looking down on who is doing what in pigeon racing during 2018.

Peter & Dawn Latham called round recently and we ended up with a near 5hr spell talking about all sorts of things especially when Peter & myself moved into the conservatory while the girls chatted away. It was quite interesting to talk about what has happened to pigeon racing in the town since I first moved here in 69. You know what it’s like when you have had more than a few drinks you tend to talk more openly about what your views are and what you are looking to do in the coming season. Distance racing has always been in Peter’s family and that is where I first heard so much about it through his dad Syd. He was a keen fancier on distance racing in his younger days, he still is but now into his 90’s is not as active as he used to but has daughter Joyce who is in partnership racing as S Latham, Son & Daughter. Peter was saying that he likes to send to the Grand National race from Tarbes which was the race I always liked to compete in. Over the years I had a few good pigeons at that kind of distance and in their preparation, I used a lot of oils to fill their energy sacs. There are plenty of vitamins and tonics about that are very good but when it comes to the longer races the one product that I preferred is the use of oils. When I first started racing pigeons you would use cod liver oil on the corn or the casuals because there were not fancy oils about that there are today. There is no doubt the companies who make the pigeon products do produce some good products and the oils appear to be far better than the plain old cod liver oil of those early days when I first used it. Nowadays they are not just plain oils they have additives to them specifically for the pigeon market therefore you would expect them to be better. Mind you a lot has changed in the way we feed and treat our birds while I have been in the sport. When I first started it was all beans and peas but then when I started going to the continent I saw pigeon racing in a different light. No matter what we do times change and people change we are always looking for improvement, there is always something to aim for. However how often do we change and wish we had not, we do but without that change we will not move forward, that is as long as we learn from our mistakes, it is only the fool who does not learn. Going back to the change of corn, I was telling Peter the best years club racing we had through to near 500mls we used the Vandenabeele mix which is not much difference than Gerry Plus except with the price. What I did do was add Perform oil as the distance increased. Again, as I said to Peter if the pigeons are both healthy and fit they are going to win, getting them there is another matter. If you look at the winner sin club racing the vast majority train them and that includes widowhood cocks. Elizabeth used to do a lot of training for me years ago and she would tell me who she had seen training but when you asked them they would say they did not train once the first race was over. I have to say the best years we ever had they were trained daily and exercised around home. You don’t see winning athletes sitting at home in the armchair in between races, they are out training. Regarding my own interest in racing pigeons I still take part in the odd one loft race and join a couple of others with Gold Rings, not drawn yet but who knows, and it does give me a bit of interest but still not the same as having pigeons of my own. I sometimes wonder how others go on when they have stopped having pigeons in the back garden. I have come across the odd ones who have said they miss them but said because of the time they now have on their hands they would not go back into the sport. Is that the same for everyone, of course not because there are still fanciers coming back into racing pigeons.

Things are moving along fast with a lot of our time being taken up getting everything ready for the Blackpool Show. We are on stand 72 so hope to see a lot of our friends there and they need to remember we are at the end of the phone and they have seen my photo many times but most of those faces are new to us. Quite looking forward to the show, in fact I will go as far as to say that I am looking forward to the weekend more than I have done for many years. All the stationary is done for the NWCC, Kim has done the posters and ordered pens and key rings to hand out, mind you they will soon be gone.

Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive,

Middlewich, Cheshire,

CW10 0NJ.

Tel: 01606836036    Mobile: 07871701585.

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