LES J. PARKINSON'S
Over the years I have come across some real good pigeons but there are always a few that stand out and a few that I can still remember are "Pluto" the Busschaert cock who was in the breeding of many winners in his day. Another that I can still picture from a visit to The Ponderosa in Holland when he was in a pen of his own while being used on the Bull system is the blue cock "James Bond" who was a real quality pigeon. A more recent one who I took to when I first saw him and have seen no reason to change my mind is "Full Try" a red cock who is responsible for many winners and is grandsire to three different 1st National winners in Belgium that I am aware of. He is also grandsire to some good pigeons here in the UK that have won well in the National and Classic races. He was sold to a fancier from the Far East a few years ago. He has never been plastered all over the papers for weeks on end so is not commercialized enough for the top lofts even though he is responsible for a good modern day winning line. This is the whole problem with many lofts and is the reason they fail to reach their goal. No matter how we look at pigeons there are always going to be those who have a preference and very often many are brainwashed into certain lines through publicity. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that because if fanciers are willing to spend a few bob there is always plenty of publicity available because that’s what keeps the sport going around.
When I was recently over at John Whitaker’s loft I saw a few pigeons that I really fell for and they were racers, producers or a genuine combination of both, in fact the two that I picked out both had the quality for both, these being the "41 Cock" and "The Raggy Tailed Cock" and there was another that stood out who is a son of the "41 Cock", in fact apart from being very slightly leaner he is a double of his dad. John was telling me that "Raggy" was probably the best pigeon he has ever raced; the one thing that let him down was the fact that he would not trap and if he had he would have been a near world beater. I must admit when I handled this cock I was very impressed and he’s a pigeon that I would like in my stock loft because he is one of those pigeons that has everything to continue producing winners. I would also expect such a cock to breed producers of winners based on the fact that he is such a powerful pigeon and the potential the offspring are showing. This also applies to the son of "The 41 Cock" who is his sire’s double and a cock that is following in his footsteps. Every now and again a cock comes along that would be ideal as a cock to use on the bull system and this is one such cock. The benefit that "Full Try" had was being in the hands of Ferdy Vandersanden who used him on the AI system and therefore there were quite a few of his children about. I have included a photo of “Raggy Tail” and also one of the widowhood hen boxes and another of the young bird section where you can see there are still the electric belts fitted.
The Raggy Tail Cock
Widowhood hen boxes
Young bird boxes with electric belts fitted
We missed the Blackpool Show this year and I must admit I did miss going but with the boss doing well but still not 100% after a second knee operation we decided not to go, which I know was the righ decision. My right hand in the job here at Middlewich thinks that we should have a stand at the show next year and no doubt we will discuss that at some point in the coming months. I think one thing is for sure and that is we will be there next year whether with a stand or not. I have spoken to a lot of fanciers about the weekend and the general feeling is that the show should move the date so that it is all done and dusted before Christmas. This may just be a benefit that the show needs because many wives would consider making use of the weekend by going to do some of their Christmas shopping while their other halves spend the day in the show or at the sales, pigeon sales that is. It is a fact that many fanciers pair their birds prior to Christmas and want to get their requirements before pairing them up. It is also a fact that many who do pair early have their pigeons on young in January and are not inclined to go away when they should be keeping an eye on the season's new offspring that they will be having great expectations of for the next few years. I hear that many had a good time and Mark Smith was telling me that he was led astray by Mark Cliffe, Rick Geary and Dave Hull, mind you knowing Mark he doesn't need any leading astray. When I was looking through some photos I found one of Mark with his late father, Elizabeth and myself taken at one of the shows and as can be seen, there is a big difference with Mark now but we won't go into that one because I am heading in the same direction.
Roy & Mark Smith with Elizabeth & Les
As I have already reported, the North West Classic appears to be on the up after a lean spell and there is a lot of new enthusiasm in the club. I was talking to Chris Knowles about the club a few months ago and he was saying it is the right time for the NWCC to move forward and he was sure that fanciers would start to support the club again. There have also been a couple of enquiries from North Wales so that would be good for the club if they follow up their initial enquiry. The annual prize presentation is going well and there are over 50 tickets sold for this Kinderton Hotel event already which is a big improvement and it is not until the 15th March so plenty of time if you want a good night out. When Mark told me the date I thought it was a bit late but it is a time of the year when many fanciers want to get together in anticipation of the coming racing season. All the information should now be out for the AGM. There was a hold up with this paperwork after health problems but all is well now. There is one thing for sure, where Mark Cliffe is concerned he gives the job 100% and is always looking to move forward and he has some people around him who also want to take the club forward. I was telling one of the local fanciers that I was thinking of having a go at this club in preference to the National this year and he was surprised with the NFC being my main club for the last 13yrs. As the old saying goes, a change is as good as a rest and that might just be what I need to compete a bit more in the regional events. One thing is for sure and that is there are many good fanciers in this club who are regulars on the National results.