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All the latest from L J Parkinson - 24-02-21

Parkinson. LJ.         

I saw the report from Pipa in the BHW about when they started in the world of on-line pigeon auctions. I remember what it was like in those early days because I started the Elimar site with the help of Steve Spinks from Blackpool at the end of 1999.  

We then met up at the Blackpool show where we set a plan for the future of the site. At that time, I started to think was it worthwhile? because in 2000 we were struggling to create interest in the site, I think in those days most pigeon men did not know how to work a computer.  The lack of interest was clear because we were lucky to get a few hundred hits a year and that was how it was until 2005 when the numbers jumped to over 70,000 hits and then the hits rose dramatically each year to their current 14 million hits each year from 109 countries worldwide. In those early days there was a time when I began to think if it was worth retiring from Rolls Royce Motor Cars, but I had a feeling about the site so stuck at it when most would have given up.  Even in those early days some pigeons were bringing good prices and I remember Geoff Bebbington putting his on and starting them at £10 but if they were in demand they soon went up in price, in fact Geoff had them soon going into 3 figures.

Over the years pigeon auction sites have come and gone and most do struggle to get going.  Having said that I struggled for the first 6/7 years, but patience paid off and there were not as many thinking they could start a pigeon auction site and make big money straight away.  Going back to the number of hits on the site, they are probably high because there is so much on the site in the way of articles as well as the auction section and in the winter months there are around 300 pigeons a week to choose from which is another reason why there are so many hits.  The added bonus is there is a good back catalogue of articles which helps to reach such heights with the hits on the site.  We, like Pipa. have had our ups and downs over the years with some stick from time to time by keyboard warriors on the uncontrolled social media, they are best ignored because they seldom get their facts right.  I remember talking to Tony Cowan about selling pigeons on the web and he said it would not work and at that time I had a few doubts, but as I have already said patience paid off in the end.  Chris Knowles once sent me an article on the www which was very good, and it was highlighting the way forward and that is what has happened.   

From the past

There was a photo on social media going around about a loft in Northwich, it was the loft of the late Harry Mather who raced his pigeons in Verdin St.  I am told he was a real nice fancier and at the time one of the few who had a car, mind you in the 50's and early 60's there were not a lot running round in cars.  I like many more remember the days when there were far less cars on the road and few one-way systems and they still managed to pass in some of the narrow roads that there were in some towns.  Anyway, Harry was one of the best pigeon fanciers in his day and there have been some good fanciers in the Northwich area over the years.  I remember when Barry & George Mainwaring used to buy the local Nantes winners because they were the races that they wanted to compete in.  There were Bowyer Bros who I went to see a few times and just up the road was Frank Gough who was also a very good racing man, showed me a thing or two Frank did. Another good likeable fancier from the area was Phil McDonald who was everyone’s friend.

mather
Harry Mather's Lofts

The start.

Is it the start of a new or refreshed loft in Middlewich, after a very nice-looking blue hen dropped into the garden and stunned itself after hitting the conservatory window? We were just about to sit down for lunch when there was a bang on the window and there standing on the lawn was a real nice looking blue hen.  I said to Elizabeth come and see this one, I knew she would be impressed by this good-looking hen because she looked like the Dordins we used to have, and they were the pigeons she always wanted.  The first thing that came to mind was to catch it and find out where the owner was. When I caught it the first thing that came to mind was that it was from a local loft because she was in real good condition and had not been out as a stray. So, I called the RPRA to be told it belonged to Mr Guirdham from Derbyshire, so I gave him a call.  I was expecting him to say that he had sold or even gifted it to a local fancier but that was not the case. He told me he had lost it from a young bird National race last year. I am now left wondering how a pigeon in such good condition was to end up in our garden when it went missing all those months ago.

My next call was to Ebony to tell her we had been given a pigeon to start us up again.  No more to do. Ebony and the family were out shopping but said they would call on the way back which they did.  I was showing Ebony a thing or two about pigeons and was surprised how well she handled the pigeon for the first time, even Graysen took a look and also handled it very well.  

Ebony with periwinkle
Ebony with Periwinkle

I did tell the owner we would keep it for now and see how things go which he was happy with.  Luckily, I still have a set of boxes down the side of the house, so I put it in there. I have now emptied the end section and put her in there, so she has plenty of space and we are after a cock for her, seen one on the auction site that fits the bill.  All that aside I am still wondering how such a fit and healthy pigeon can pop up in super condition after being lost nearly 6 months ago, I would think this one had been in someone's loft and not all that far away. Ebony has called her Periwinkle; she even named our dog Tinkerbelle so is still on the same theme. I do have a few other pigeons out and about I might see about adding a couple more to the section.

Strays

I was talking to Craig about excessive number of strays that are about, I have not seen so many except on the church, where there are far too many. They are settling anywhere and everywhere nowadays but I still think a lot is down to the solar panels where they are attempting to nest.  We have wired ours off and I think a lot more are starting to do that as well because if they are left, they will cause no end of problems for the house owners. This is giving the sport a bad name, I have had people calling at the house about them and that’s not what the sport need’s, disgruntled house owners complaining about pigeons, even though they are feral, they don’t understand, as far as they are concerned, they are all the same.   

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

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