“The Original” Around The Up North Combine
2020 Blackpool Show Weekend
By Good Corn
I received a phone call from my mate Simon Cole of Coventry to see if I had booked for the Blackpool Show weekend, as I had being meaning to phone Hazel & Graham Turner of The Rhyl Hotel, where Hayden and me have stayed since 2008, Simon said he was about to book himself and his partner the lovely Tracey in at the Hotel and asked if I wanted him to book our rooms at the same time. Simon phoned back and said he had booked us all in for the weekend, as Tyler was looking for the wwe wrestling figures of “The Usos” that were out of stock in all stores in our area but were in stock at Smyths Store in Coventry I asked Simon if he would pick the figures up if I ordered and paid for them and bring them to Blackpool with him, knowing full well Simon would not let me down, which resulted in a very happy Tyler. As always John & June Chaplin of Huddersfield had booked into the Hotel for the weekend, John has not raced Pigeons for a few years now but kept quails for a while but has now moved on to Tumblers. Michael & Linda Pugh of Leeds have stayed at the Hotel for around 3 years now, there is also always a number of non-fanciers who stay at the Hotel while we are there.
Graham & Hazel Turner props of The Rhyl Hotel with Tyler
I planned to leave for the drive to Blackpool around 10am on the Friday to give Claire, Hayden, Tyler and myself a bit of extra time to do some shopping in Blackpool before our evening meal. But as my good friend Steven Bannon of Dundee was interested in a couple of Howard Jackson's birds that were up for auction in the Winter Garden in the afternoon sale I said I attend the sale, I gave my daughter Claire some money to take her two sons Hayden & Tyler shopping while I headed to the sale. When I got to the Winter Gardens there was a good crowd, some seated and a number still looking at Howard's birds. I handled the birds Steven was interested in and reported back to him on what I thought of the birds, unfortunately due to Steven's very expensive taste in Pigeons I was unsuccessful in buying the birds he had picked out. As we still had a hour or so before our evening meal I phoned Claire to say I would meet up with them to do a bit of shopping together before our meal.
June, Tracey, Tyler, Simon, John & Hayden enjoying a great weekend at The Rhyl Hotel.
After our evening meal Claire, Hayden & Tyler headed off to the Amusements for an hour while I went to a sale in the Winter Gardens where I was hoping to purchase one of two cocks we were interested in. I was outbid on the first cock but with still his brother going under the hammer in the next lot I was still in with a chance of getting the cock. I ended up buying the cock for a lot less than I was willing to go to and was very pleased with my purchase, I'm sure the cracking cock will go on to breed the goods. There was a bit of a misunderstanding in the price of the cock I bought but thanks to Harry Crowther, Fred Postill, Tommy & Robert Barron I ended up paying the price the hammer went down on the cock. After the sale I phoned to see where Claire and the boys were and after meeting up will called in to McDonalds before making our way back to the Hotel where I was going to call for a couple of pints at the Club just over the road from our Hotel. As we came to the Club Simon was stood outside having a cigarette, so I spent the rest of a very interesting evening with Simon & Tracey before returning to the Hotel for the night.
Kevin Winter of Pigeon Botanicals & Owen Simpson at Kevin's Blackpool Show weekend stall.
After Saturday morning breakfast the plan was for Claire, Hayden & Tyler spending the day shopping and me going to the Show. I had a good look around the stalls and bought the things I needed, and in between that I had a quick talk to Kev Breckon of Loftus and then chatted to Terry Moore & Craig Lister of Stockton. I also had a chat with Paul Haswell of Silksworth before talking to Kevin Winter of Pigeon Botanicals and Owen Simpson of Darlington. It was while I was just finishing off looking at the Show winners that I bumped into my old mate Bernie Britton of Edinburgh, I have known Bernie and his good lady Wife Carole for a number of years. We phone each other regular to ask how our family’s and birds are doing, which can often result in an hour’s chat. Bernie & Carole's daughter Darcy is studying to be a Nurse which was good to hear, and I wish Darcy all the very best in her very interesting career choice. Bernie asked if I was intending to buy any birds at the sales and told him I had purchased the cock the night before and was hoping to buy three cocks at the Louis Cooreman sale later in the day, which we would be keeping for pairing in 2021. After leaving Bernie I attended the British Pigeon Fanciers Genetics in Interstitial Lung Disease (BPF GILD) room for a follow up test on the previous year’s tests which had confirmed I had Pigeon Fanciers Lung. I await the results in the hope they match my previous scan in December at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and my recent breathing tests at the Hospital which showed very good signs of no further damage to my Lungs.
Michael & Linda Pugh of Leeds at the Rhyl Hotel
With time moving on I phoned Claire so I could take Hayden with me to the late great Louis Cooreman sale that was being held at the Metropole Hotel while Claire & Tyler went back to the Hotel, Keith & Matty Arkless of Loftus, Andrew & Jackie Wynn of Skelton Green were outside the Metropole talking when we arrived, we chatted for a few minutes before going in to the sale. I handled the birds we were interested in before returning to my seat where we were joined by Keith & Matty, Clubmate and lifelong friend Sack Peirson later joined us, Keith & Matty stayed for a few lots while Sack stayed for a bit longer. With Hayden doing the bidding we were outbid for the first three cocks but managed to purchase the fourth cock on our list and followed that up by buying a second cock. We had two more of our picked-out cocks to come with the first one being my favourite one, the remaining cock was up last. So, with it being 5.30pm and saying we would be back at the Hotel for a late tea at that time I was determined to buy the fancied cock that was up next. Hayden knew what price he had to go to, and it went over that price so I said put another bid in which was topped. I would have waited for the last cock to go under the hammer but did not know what he was going to bring, Hayden looked at me to see what I wanted him to do. As I liked the cock that much I said make another bid which was topped again, after another look of what to do from Hayed I said make a final bid mate and it was that final bid that got us the cock, I feel the cock will not let us down in breeding winners. After paying for the birds it was a very pleasing walk back to the Hotel for our evening meal knowing full well we had obtained the birds we had set out to purchase and at the end of the day it is up to us to produce the winners from the birds we have obtained. The Louis Cooreman birds we have purchased from both Louis and Bob Fenech have produced numerous winners over the years, a family of Pigeons that have withstood the test of time producing Club, Federation and Section winners including Up North Combine Medal winners. A direct Louis Cooreman cock we purchased and named “Cavendish” a few years ago bred a Federation winner is his first nest and went on to sire three East Cleveland Federation winners for us paired to two different hens. “Cavendish” is one of many Louis Cooremans who has helped us win numerous Club and Federation averages over a great number of years. Total respect to Louis and Bob for producing so many outstanding pigeons all over the world, the legacy of Louis Cooreman will live on.
After our evening meal Claire & Tyler decided to stay at the Hotel for the night so Hayden & me made our way to the Amusements for an hour before going for a McDonalds which ended with Hayden going back to the Hotel while I called for a pint at the H &A Club. My intentions were to have one pint and turn in for the night but Simon & Tracey joined me so we had a couple of drinks before going for a late evening snack before calling it a night. After Sunday morning breakfast we thanked Graham & Hazel for a brilliant weekend and wished our friends a safe journey home.