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West Ches Fed S R Presentation 02-05-18

West Cheshire Federation (South Road) Presentation 2017

Friday 17th November 2017 saw the combined Hooton HS and West Cheshire Federation presentation evening. Without the usual compare John Waters due to a previous commitment Bob Maudsley stepped in to compare the evening along with the able assistance from Hooton club secretary Dave Cotterell, Federation secretary Jenny Dodd and ex Federation President Ron Dodd.

Hooton HS has long been one of the best organised flying clubs in the locality with a huge array of club trophies along with the federation trophies meant the trophy table was a sight to behold which unfortunately is a rare a sight these days. Congratulations to the Hooton HS for arranging such a display and presentation along with our federation hierarchy for an enjoyable evening with great company.

Special guest for the evening was Mickey Locke (AKA the Wirral Wizard). For the uninitiated Mickey Locke has put up some of the best performances recorded onto the Wirral peninsular over many a year but still presently considered amongst the top fanciers not just locally but nationally.

A previous winner of the Chester 2 bird club, the Beeston Castle Two Bird Specialist club, numerous RPRA regional and federation honours. His year on year performances which would include winning first and second MNFC young birds and also winning first section Bordeaux MNFC. Some of these performances may appear to some to be some time in the past when in fact it was within the last few years but they probably pass into insignificance today due to the fact that Mickey was to join that very elite band of fanciers who can say they won the National Flying Club Tarbes national in 2016 which was the culmination of a career of some brilliant performances. 

Mickey has for some time been a dominant fancier within the area especially with his specialist race and national race performances and for a considerable amount of years he has strived to reach the pinnacle of his hobby which he achieved in 2016.   

Christened the “Wirral Wizard” by Bob Mayo, Mickey does not hug the lime light, he is a straight talking man with a hard exterior that some people may find intimidating, the fact is, he can be an intimidating character to those on the perifery of Mickey’s company, but if you listen you will soon understand the lad from Liverpool who has had to use his own “nouse” to survive in whatever business he has participated in, he really does have a compassionate side.   

When you are in the company of someone who is driven, and when there is a glint in the eye it normally means passion and this is how I would describe this particular fancier. Driven not always by his pigeons, he enjoys his pigeons, throughout his life Mickey has been at the sharp end of anything that he has encountered or partisipated in. And today is acknowledged not just locally but nationally and will be revered for many year to come.

The presentation got underway with the Hooton HS prize presentation. The Hooton HS presentation report appeared in the press recently and as always a great job was done by the Hooton HS press officer Geoff Blackhall.

The West Cheshire Federation prize presentation got under way with the individual prize federation winners presentation followed by the thank you bouquets to the well-deserved recipients.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the federation championship to Wesley Ellis. Wesley has for a number of years been a star waiting to appear on the “big stage” as

it were. Backed by his family Wesley and his brother Luke are no strangers to tasting success locally and not so locally.

The 2017 recipients of the West Cheshire championship was by no means a fluke, previously known as KLM lofts which encompasses Luke and dad Keith the family which also includes Wesley Granddad Joe Ellis (although Joe races under his own guise in Ellesmere Port) the loft has in 2017 won the Chester two bird for a third occasion, won first and second in the Saltney Breeder buyer taking out over 3k in prizes and pools. His winning federation positions were two first federation, four seconds, four thirds and three fourths. Accumulating a score of £59 for the season.

   

The top table with the 2017 West Cheshire Federation Champion Wesley Ellis. (Left) and with his family (L to R) Keith and Margret Ellis (Mum and Dad) Luke and Wesley with Grand-dad Joe.

Stephen Williams receiving his trophies from Mickey Locke

Next up was Stephen Williams. Steve has had yet another exception year having been the winner in 2015 and 2016 and finishing runner up in 2017. Steve‘s positions were an incredible five first federations (which includes four of the six channel races). One second, three thirds and two fourths. Steve also wins the Channel averages and the combined young and old bird averages. It is also worth acknowledging that on a national basis Steve’s blue hen the 001 hen now named “Stanhope Blue Gem” All UK Ace Pigeon Middle Distance & Best Overall Performance(s) all UK 2017.

Eddie Bateman (Bateman Bros and Son) receives his prizes.

The partnership won one first federation, three seconds, three thirds and three fourths. Finishing third in the federation championship is another successful year for Eddie and co.

Archie Price (Mr & Mrs A & S Price) receives his awards.

Another previous federation championship winner, the partnership would also win two first federations, two second and three thirds. They were also recipients of the 2017 Presidents cup completing another successful year for this likeable couple.

Paul Coombes

Paul Coombes, winner of one first federation, three seconds a third and a fourth. Always a regular at the top table Paul is again in the shake-up finishing fifth in the federation championship in 2017

 

Alby Davies and Sons (Alan)

Alby Davies and sons (Alan and Young Alby) winners of two first federations a second and two fourths.

Jones, lamb and Daughter (L to R) Karen Jones (nee Lamb) husband Brian, and mum and mum in law Val Lamb.

This partnership had yet another particularly pleasing season locally and not so locally. Winners of two first federations and two fourths, they are this year’s Messac Federation winners and also managed last year winning the Chester 2 Bird yearling race and also gaining 10th with their other entry and then gaining fourth in their Ancenis race. They then managed to go one better in the Messac Classic race with the Beeston Two Bird Specialist club winning the blue ribbon event.

 

  

 

Robbie Sandland representing father and son partnership of R & R Sandland

Robbie and Roy Sandland had for what is by their standards a lean year gaining two seconds and a third federation. Consistently finishing in the top echelon of the federation championship and finishing ninth this season’s championship.

James Farnworth

James closed the top ten of the federation championship with one first ad one second federation. It’s also worth mentioning that James topped the Amal in 2016 which didn’t get reported by myself and so proving this is another loft that is becoming consistent and will be there or there about’s in the new season.

Tommy Hayes receives his prize

Arthur Wilde receives his prizes.

 

Stan Griffiths representing the partnership of Dodd & Sampson

Flowers for the organisers Karen Jones receives her thank you bouquet.

Jenny Dodd West Cheshire Federation Secretary receiving her thank you bouquet.

 

 

Some of the attendees before the commencement of proceedings

Brian & Geoff Jones and Families

Current and ex members of the Victoria HS Ellesmere Port (L to R) Richie Denny, Stan Griffiths, Robbie Sandland, Ronnie Denny, kavin Green and clube secretary Morris Thornhill.

Tony Prevete, Robbie Thomas, Stevie Farragher, Eddie Bateman and Jonathon Parrott

 

 

“Lest We Forget”. During the young bird and the closed season we lost four of former and current fellow fanciers from our federation and more locally to myself with three of them former or current fellow club members of the Victoria HS Ellesmere Port.

Bob Peacock. I was not personally racing when Bob Peacock raced in the Port. But I was fortunate to meet Bob a couple of years ago and get an insight into the days of old about racing locally and who and what made the area tick with regard to the fancy.  Bob also lost his wife Ann the previous year and was very grateful for the friendship of Vick Chadwick especially in later years as Vick was this main contact with the outside world taking Bob and Ann out for lunch at least once a week. My article on Bob called him the “Elder Statesman” which was apt for a man who did so much locally to help other fanciers and also introduced the Buscheart strain locally. Bob passed away in August of 2017 and will be sadly missed by all who knew him and especially those close to him. RIP Bob.

The late Bob Peacock. Ellesmere Port

Tommy Ferguson. Tommy passed way in November of last year. Another life time spent in this hobby of ours. A stalwart with regard to integrity of our hobby and enforcement of the rules Tommy spent 65 years of his life dedicated to his hobby. Having spent many a ten minute debate with Tommy it would be this man who would say or make one of the most profound statements to me about racing pigeons that I had ever heard, which I will share with you in a moment.

Tommy although still had his pigeons up until he realised he could no longer care for them told me in a conversation that people were missing the point about racing pigeons. People are so busy trying to win and trying to find something else to put in the water to get them to home quicker that they miss what this hobby is about. It’s about enjoying yourself.

The man who wins today can sometimes find himself being the loneliest man in the club. The social side is missing, it’s the coming together, the banter, having a pint with the winner to celebrate but there really needs to be a social side to the fancy and that can be enjoyed by everyone. People should look forward to going to the club win lose or draw. The racing result should be secondary the social side needs to discuss the returns and how the race panned out for others and have the banter etc.

The one statement that Tommy did make to me was also profound as he said “I have spent a long time in this wonderful hobby, and I have made numerous friends through this hobby, so much so after living on his own for some time now I still through my hobby receive over one hundred Christmas cards every year.”

Tommy also spent a lot of his spare time helping and caring for his best mate Noel who had been suffering with dementia for some time, Tommy would collect Noel every Monday and take him out for a run to Cliff’s Pigeons and Pets in Chirk, which is invariably where our paths would cross at least twice a month. Unfortunately Noel was to succumb to his illness some months prior to Tommy passing. Tommy will be sadly missed by his club mates and especially his big friend Clifford Davenport. RIP Tommy.

 

The late Tommy Ferguson

Steve Sargeant. Steve another member of the Victoria HS passed away in December at the young age of 57. Steve was paid a very respectful tribute by the attendance of his regimental colours and bugler from Steve’s former army regiment, funny how as fellow club mates we never really found out about Steve’s back ground especially the fact that Steve was a professional carer and it wasn’t until the funeral we were to learn that Steve had served in Northern Ireland. Steve passed away at home after being treated for a major heart attack at Broad Green hospital in November and having stents fitted, he was to return home and pass away in his sleep on 12th December RIP Steve.

 

Mickey Dunne. Mickey although a Chester HS member spent his Friday nights in Ellesmere Port with the Victoria HS lads socialising so it was another poignant time for our local club when the announcement was made of Mickeys passing. Mike, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, 27th December, 2017, aged 63 years young. A much loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and son.

A memory for Mike was that of the first big money race held on the Wirral for quite some time would be the Neston Breeder Buyer race operated and run by Paul Stewart in 2014. This was the first big money race held locally for a number of years and after a few pensive days waiting for decent weather in France the birds were brought back to the main land and liberated on a Monday morning, a difficult race ensued and as early times circulated prior to the clock strike it was obvious there was a hot pigeon in Mollington? for the £2000 prize fund on offer. 

It has been a tradition with Victoria HS fanciers in Ellesmere Port to crack open a bottle or bubbly or two when there is news of a big win. This only started in 2012 when the Victoria club moved to its new premises at the Whitby Sports and social club. The club sold champagne and it had become a small tradition to crack open a couple of bottles with federation winners were announced. It was usually up to the winner to pay for them.

Mikey Dunne on the announcement of his big win on the Wirral didn’t have to be reminded, the following Friday after his win he arrived in his normal fashion unannounced (but this time without his pint in hand). He arrived with two bottles of champagne to celebrate his exceptional win in fashion. Thanks for the memories Mickey it was our pleasure to call you a friend.  

Mickey Dunne (Right) with his Ellesmere Port Friday night mates celebrating his big win with a glass or three of champagne (L to R) Rob Sandland, Ronnie Denny, Richie Denny, Morris Thornhill, Arthur Wilde and of course Mickey cracking the champagne, and serving his friends.

John Quick. John passed away on 1st March 2018. a dedicated family man and a tireless worker for his own pigeon club, John was a key personality for the setting up and running of the Bebington HS breeder buyer race along with the clubs winter shows, in which it has to be said he excelled in. John enjoyed his specialist racing and was a previous winner of the prestigious Chester 2 Bird clubs premier event from Messac and a winner of over £1000 in the Saltney Breeder Buyer race in 2015.

John not only helped instigate his own clubs shows but he was also an avid supporter of all the local and some not so local shows around the Wirral and North Wales. John was a regular entrant and winner of the Shotton Shows where he could be found on most winter Monday evenings. John was also a regular entrant into the Thornton Hough HS shows on the Wirral as well as the Saltney HS shows held in Chester on Sundays. It was a testament to Johns character that these clubs were represented when John was laid to rest.

It was rather fitting tribute to John on what was to be his last show at his beloved Bebington clubs Christmas final he entered six pigeons and all six pigeons taking prize positions in both classes, he  then went on to win both classes. His methods of conditioning and presentation at the shows were second to none and his fervour to compete when racing was admirable.

Our hobby has lost a very special person, a man for who those who knew him and were privileged enough to call him a friend were very fortunate in deed. His empathy with his pigeons, his fellow club mates and friends has been exemplary and this small part of the world that we call home will be a far lesser place without our very special friend. God Bless and keep You John you will be greatly missed by all your friends within the pigeon fraternity.

 

John Quick with his Christmas Show Winner December 2017

 

The racing season will be under way by the time this article reaches the press and as such for those who wish for any club information to be reported in these columns please either ring me on 07734388565 or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I was approached by a couple of people at Blackpool who were enquiring firstly why there had been little of no Port news through the season and why had their AMAL win not been reported on.

Just to clarify for people (and this is not a moan)I have very little time to pull these reports together but when I do get time to write up the reports I need the information. So please send me any information you can on fanciers and their pigeons I don’t need results as I get sent these and can pull the results from the federation results and the amal results. All winners and prize winners deserve a mention in the column s if you get a gooden don’t wait for some else to get in touch get hold of me direct and I can get the information into the press for you. You need to motivate your pigeons and you really do need to motivate me so please send me the information and I will get it into the press for you.

Long Live the Conveyer: Most are aware that there has been a change of conveyer this season with Bernie Davies (Milne & Davies, Birkenhead) has taken over from Dave Cotgreave due to illness. Dave has been the West Cheshire conveyer since I started in the hobby (but that’s only six years) but he has infact been conveyer for over 28 years. Dave has recovered two years ago from a severe illness was taken ill again at the back end of last season which has saw Dave have an extended stay in the Countess of Chester Hospital before being moved to the Cottage Hospital Ellesmere Port to convalesce. Hopefully Dave you are on the mend and we as a federation and AMAL extend our sincere best wishes and a speedy recovery.

Having thought of people we have lost recently I will finish this article with a statement that was made by the late Bob Peacock (whom I called the Elder Statesmen) about Dave Cotgreave some three years ago.

 “Do you know” Bob starts on again, “the best conveyer in the business anywhere in Britain today is right under your noses here” Bob states. “Dave Cotgreave has been conveying the local pigeons as long as I can remember and one thing you need to be a good conveyer is knowledge that is gained from experience and in Dave Cotgreave you have it in abundance”. “Do you know people talk of great fanciers and great performances even you as a scribe write about them, I will tell you this, you have the best there is locally and while you have him keep him and cherish him because you would not want to experience racing in the twenty first century without Dave Cotgreave”.  “Well said Bob and get well soon Dave”   

Photo: twenty eight years ago the North Wirral Federation Transporter and conveyer Tony Anderson (Swede) sitting. Dave Cotgreave Conveyer West Cheshire Federation standing. Preparing for liberation at Frome 6th May 1989