“The Original” Around The Up North Combine
By Good Corn
The Up North Combine members basketed their birds for the Eastbourne National, the first Classic race of the 2018 racing season on Thursday 10th May. The transporters left Sappers Corner, Hartlepool at 9.30pm and arrived at Peterborough at 1am Friday morning, where the birds were watered. The convoy of 18,456 birds left Peterborough at 10.00hrs and arrived at Eastbourne at 2.30pm, the forecast given for Saturday had improved and looked good for a race with no rain forecasted. The conditions on Friday were still looking good for a Saturday liberation with a South West wind forecasted. At 05.30am on Saturday morning the visibility was nil, and come 07.00am there was no improvement at the race point, the sun did try to break through but never lasted more than 2 minutes at a time. There was still no improvement at 08.30am, light drizzle did appear at 09.10hrs and come 10.10am the rain got heavier, so Chief Convoyer Peter Maw decided to holdover.
At 05.30am on Sunday 12th May there was very low cloud at the liberation site but visibility was improving and cold. The conditions were improving by 07.00am with the sun trying to break through, and come 08.30am there was high cloud and blue skies, with good visibility. Peter spoke to the forecaster who informed him that the weather front was moving East at a fast pace. Peter checked the line of flight and all gave passable conditions, apart from Newcastle up over who were experiencing rain, this was forecasted to clear. The conditions at the race point were even better so Peter decided to liberate the birds at 9.30am into a North West wind, good visibility, broken cloud, some sun and blue skies. Some of the birds were reluctant to leave the baskets, but with encouragement the birds cleared in seconds.
Alan & David Wright of Skelton Green had their birds on song after timing no fewer than five of their team to achieve the best performance of the day by winning a most impressive 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th Club from a six members entry of 230 birds, 1st, 4th, 7th, 16th and 19th East Cleveland Federation from a 65 members entry of 1,429 birds with vels of 1367, 1335.1, 1345, 1330, 1326.5. With pole position being won by a 3y blue Busschaert hen who will be well up in the Combine, the winning hen netted 4th Club, 10th Fed out of Newark. The green card was potted by a 2y chequer Busschaert cock, and he was followed by a 3y Chequer Busschaert x John Weldon hen. Fourth on the clock was a 2015 bred chequer John Weldon x Alan & David Busschaert hen, who notched up 5th Club, 11th Fed Newark. Alan & David's fifth timer was a 2y chequer Busschaert hen who pocketed 6th Club, 17th Fed Chelmsford the previous week, to round off a top drawer performance. Alan & David who were the Clubs top prizewinners in 2017 are former Brotton H/S members, but they never raced together in their Brotton days. Alan flew very successful on his own, while David was in the successful Wright & Ray Lowe partnership flying in the Brotton Six Bird Club. Between Alan & David/Ray they won 1st Up North Combine, 1st North Of England Championship Club and 1st Queens Cup Beauvais. Four days later 1st UNC Wednesday National was won, between them they also won 2 x 2nd UNC Folkestone National, 2 x 2nd UNC young bird National, 3rd UNC and 1st NECC Folkestone National and 3rd UNC Beauvais. The Combine Channel Average and the Danish Cup Of Friendship, Best Two Bird Performance was also won. Alan, David & Ray had enjoyed some fantastic years when flying in Brotton, something they can look back on as their greatest achievements.
David Wright of Alan & David Wright of Skelton Green, holding their 3y blue Busschaert hen
winner of 1st Club, 1st East Cleveland Federation Eastbourne (1) National.
The loft of Bill Chapman, Sons Steve & Colin and the late Tommy Swinburne are in 2nd spot with a 3y that won 1st Club, 1st Club Show, 2nd Loftus Championship Club Special Nom and 12th Fed the previous week from Chelmsford. This week with a vel of 1358 the blue card scorer went onto lift a notable 3rd Fed. Derek Winspear & Son Mark had a couple of birds on the clock, a yearling doing 1337 to lift 5th Club, 9th Fed and a 2y knocking out a vel of 1331.1 to claim 6th Club, 15th Fed. While the loft of Bowden Bros Mick & Boss and helper Trevor Mitchell clocked a yearling doing 1326.1 for 20th Fed.
Onto Boosbeck where David Coates and Popeye are enjoying a winning run after winning 1st Club, 30th Fed Newark out of 2,332 birds and 1st Club, 8th Fed Chelmsford from 2,189 birds from the previous two races. This week David & Popeye timed two of their squad to win 1st and 2nd Club from a three members muster of 69 birds, with top spot being won by a fancied 2y Sablon x Roger Low hen recording a chart topping vel of 1361 which was enough to score an impressive 2nd Fed and 1st £2 Fed Nom banking £72.00. David & Popeye's blue card potter was a 2y Hardy Kruger, to round off a top notch performance. Next stop is Lingdale where we see the very popular Barry “Smiler” Kettlewell timing an early 2y to win a cracking 1st Club out of a four members entry of 48 birds and a well-earned 5th Fed on 1335.0.
Ian Stafford & Sparky Wilson timed four birds at Skinningrove to win 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th Club from a eleven members haul of 333 birds, 6th, 12th, 13th, 14th Fed with vels of 1354, 1335.3, 1335.2, 1331.9. While Tich Richards & Alice Marsay timed their very reliable and very well-fancied 5y to lift 2nd Club, 10th Fed on 1336, 1st £1, 2nd £2, 1st £5 Fed Noms banking £189.20. The blue card potter scored a few times in 2017 when 5th Club, 21st Fed Peterborough (2) was taken, and this was followed up by claiming 6th Club, 9th Fed Oakham (4) and then 4th Club, 14th Fed, 3rd £2 Fed Nom pocketing £26.40 was notched up out of the Rivenhall National. Onto Burbure (2) where 4th Club, 8th Fed, 1st £1, £2, £5 Fed Noms banking £180.00 and 164th UNC from a convoy of 10,689 birds was netted.
Mr & Mrs I & E Purver clocked their fancied 3y chequer pied Gaby Vandenabeele hen on 1327.3 to take 6th Club, 18th Fed, 3rd £2 Fed Nom pocketing £28.80. The hen was 3rd Club, 3rd Fed , 23rd Up North Combine Reims in 2017 when beaten by loftmate “Dream Girl” who won an outstanding 1st Club, 1st Fed, 1st £1, £2, £5 Fed Noms netting £177.00, 1st Section, 1st North Of England Champion Club and 1st Up North Combine winning a Combine Gold Medal from a convoy of 4,193 birds. Ian & Liz's chequer pied hen is also the previous winner of 1st Club, 2nd Fed.
The loft of Reg Wilson, Ray Mole & Partners continue their good run at Brotton H/S after timing no less than four of their entries to win a top notch 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Club from a thirteen members entry of 315 birds, with their winner being a 2y achieving a top vel of 1440 to go onto pot 8th Fed. The blue card was awarded to a 4y on 1320.6 and next came a 5y making 1318.1 and the duo's fourth timer was a yearling 1316. Frank & Brenda Reilly & Son Wayne followed up their previous weeks 1st Club, 1st Fed Chelmsford winning performance, by timing a 2y and a yearling in the space of 33 seconds to pocket 3rd and 4th Club on 1320.2 and 1318.2.
Tony Hunt of the late Jack Brown & Hunt partnership hits the winning trail at Marske & New Marske after filling three chambers to win 1st, 3rd and 5th Club out of a four members entry of 49 birds. With Tony's red card winner being a no stranger in the clock 2y blue widowhood cock knocking out a winning vel of 1335.3 which was enough to score a notable 11th Fed. The cock won 1st Club Oakham in 2017, and he also netted a number of other minor positions throughout the season. The green card was potted by a blue Dirk Seppers/Van Gompel cock who is the previous winner of 1st Club Rivenhall last season and a number of other minor positions. In cell three came Tony's red cock who won 1st Club twice from Oakham in 2017. Geoff Bavin who had won the previous two races has a couple of his roundabout team on the clock to lift a useful 2nd and 4th Club with the blue card being awarded to his good blue hen that was bred by Clubmate Martin Hogarth, with the hen being the previous winner of 1st Club, 1st Fed and 72nd UNC Burbure (1) last season when there were 13,268 birds competing. The hen is scoring for the second time in four races after taking 2nd Club Bubwith on the opening day of the season. Geoff's second timer was a 2014 bred blue Schoorisse hen, this family has being true to Geoff for a number of years now.
Down at Staithes Deano Ward records his second win of the season after timing four birds to win 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th Club from a four members entry of 73 birds. The forever trying Chris Cooke chalks up 2nd spot for the third consecutive race, details of the timer in my next report. “Derek” Foster follows up his 1st Club Chelmsford winning performance to take 4th Club this time around. Danny Fawcett tops the Brotton Six Bird Club charts, with Mr & Mrs Golly & Linda Peirson & Tubby “Graham” Purver and loft helpers Evo Everington & Franky taking 2nd Club with a blue pied Derek Porter hen. Frank & Brenda Reilly & Son Wayne had a couple of their entries on the clock to lift 3rd and 4th Club.
Bill Ward & Grandson Shaun of W & S Ward Brotton Six Bird Club, winners of 1st Club, 18th
East Cleveland Federation Bubwith. 1st and 2nd Club, 18th and 19th Fed Newark and 1st Club
Moving onto the Teesside Federation where Tommy Clark & Son Gary of Billingham T U H/S hits winning form after timing three blue hens to win a most impressive 1st and 4th Club, 1st, 5th and 15th Fed with vels of 1370, 1332, 1301. With pole position being won by a yearling blue hen who topped the Fed charts by 8 minutes, which is seldom seen in the Fed from an inland race and looks like scoring a most impressive 4th Up North Combine. The winning hen is out of a blue cock who is the Son of Brown Bros & McKinnie of Oddfellows 2011 1st Up North Combine Lillers (2) Gold Medal winning “Our Eli” from a convoy of 10,352 birds, with the blue cock being a Grandson of Ronnie Evans 3 and 6. While the Dam of Tommy & Gary's Fed winner is a smokey blue hen who is out of Tommy & Gary's old Walter Docx hen “596” who is the Mother of the duo's loft paired onto a blue cock who is out of Tommy & Gary's 2012 1st Up North Combine old bird Folkestone (1) Gold Medal winning “Dream Maker” from a convoy of 24,246 birds, when paired onto Brian Atkinson & Keith Perkins 2010 1st Up North Combine old bird Folkestone (2) Gold Medal winning “Ollie” from a convoy of 17,336 birds. Tommy & Gary's yellow card potter was a 4y blue hen that contains the bloodlines of “Dream Maker”,who has previously won every year, including winning 1st Club, 1st Fed Oakham (4) last season when there were 463 birds competing. Third on the clock was a 3y blue Walker & Greenlay of Boldon hen through the lines of the “Old Towers Cock”, to round off a brilliant day. This performance will have cheered Tommy up no end as he has not being too well of late, with him spending some time in hospital.
Gary Clark of Tommy Clarke & Son of Billingham T U H/S, winners of 1st Club, 1st Teesside
Federation Eastbourne (1) National.
Ali McLeod the back to back Newark & Chelmsford Federation topper, had six birds on the clock to score a very nice 2nd, 3rd and 6th Club, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 14th, 17th and 20th Fed with vels of 1341, 1334.7, 1313, 1302, 1300.7, 1294. With Mac's blue card scorer who wins the Show Race and £200 being a 2y blue Vandenabeele hen who is nestmate to Ali's 1st Club, 1st Fed, 1st Section 2nd UNC Burbure (1) Silver Medal winner in 2017 and full Sister to to Mac's 1st Club, 2nd Fed, 7th UNC Burbure (2) winner in 2017, with her helping Mac to win the the UNC London North Road Friendship Best Two Bird Performance Trophy out of 10,689 birds. With these two being Brother & Sister to Mac's 1st UNC “Gaby Lou”, oozing the very best of Ali's very highly successful Vandenabeele family. The green card was awarded to a 2016 bred blue cock who is also the same lines as the 1st UNC Burbure Gold Medal winning “Gaby Lou”, with the cocks Sire been a half Brother to the Sire of the 1st UNC winner, while the Dam is a pure Vandenabeele. Third on the clock came a 2y blue pied cock who is full Brother to “766” a double Federation winner, with the Sire of the two cocks also been a full Brother to the Sire of “Gaby Lou” which has proved to be a super line. Next came a 2016 bred blue cock who is from a Grandson of Jan Hooymans world famous “Harry”, and he was followed by a 2y blue pied Vandenabeele hen who has previously scored a number of times, with her having the same Mother to the hen that was 5th UNC young bird Maidstone National in 2017, and are grandchildren from Ali's blue pied hen “64” the previous winner of 3rd UNC. Sixth on the clock was a yearling blue pied cock, this young cock has all the old Vandenabeele bloodlines in him. Steve Wilson comes into the frame after timing one of his nine entries, a 2y chequer hen achieving a vel of 1317 to chalk up 5th Club, 9th Fed.
I would just like to mention that instead of Ali McLeod receiving replica trophies on the Teesside Federation presentation evening the lad donates the money to well deserved charity’s. In 2017 Ali donated the £120.00 to the Butterwick House Hospice, who cares for babies, children and young adults from across the region with life limiting illnesses. The Hospice offers a home to their young people and their loved ones, where they are looked after by a brilliant team and receive the best care and support available. It costs almost £1 million to run the Children's Hospice and Young Adult unit each year and it is only with the help and support from people like Ali that they can continue to provide their expert services free of charge to families from across the North East.
Andrew Appleton & Paul Longstaff are becoming the inform loft at Haverton Hill after the two lads timed a couple of their squad to win a top notch 1st and 2nd Club out of 170 birds to record their second win on the trot. Leading the way by just under two minutes was a fancied yearling blue Ali McLeod Vandenabeele widowhood cock achieving a chart topping vel of 1334.4 which was enough to chalk up a notable 3rd Fed and 1st £5 Fed Nom banking £60. The blue cock who scored as a young bird is the Son of a 2 x 1st Federation winning cock, while the red card winning cocks Dam won 1st Club, 1st Fed and 21st UNC Bourges for Ali in 2017. The blue card was awarded to a 2y chequer Mark Walton Van Loon x Janssen widowhood hen doing 1327 to pot 6th Fed. Rob Barron lifts 3rd Club, 16th Fed with a 2016 bred chequer hen on 1300.7, with Stuart Lewis and Amber & Coby McCabe potting the yellow on 1294 while Paul Gatley, Bob Harrod & Son Dale claims 5th Club on 1293. My info man Tommy Barron is on holiday, hope you have a good time mate.
Paul Longstaff & Andrew Appleton of Haverton Hill, holding their 1st and 2nd Club, 4th and 6th
Teesside Federation Eastbourne (1) National winners.
Onto Middlesbrough H/S where the loft of the late Wayne Cole, Ste Wheatley & Grandson Connor see off the rest of the field after timing three birds to win 1st, 6th and 7th Club from an entry of 129 birds. With Ste & Connor's red card winner being a well-fancied 2y blue hen achieving a top vel of 1322 to go onto win the £5 Club Bet, 7th Fed, 1st Fed Nom and 2nd £5 Fed Nom pocketing £40.00. The red card winning blue hen has scored before this season after taking 2nd Club, 11th Fed Bubwith out of an entry of 776 birds. Ste & Connor's next couple of timers that were clocked within three seconds of each other were a 2016 bred blue hen doing 1295.8 for 18th Fed and a 2y chequer hen making 1295.6 to notch up 19th Fed. Keith Hodge & Dennis Potter had a couple of their entries on the clock with both the duo's timers being 2016 bred blue pieds knocking out vels of 1321 and 1310.2 to net 2nd and 5th Club, 8th and 13th Fed. With the lads second timer winning this race in 2017 when their winner went onto score a very nice 5th Fed, 16th Section, 112th UNC when there were 18,257 birds competing. Mr & Mrs Stephen & Jeanann Wheatley takes 3rd and 4th Club with the green card being awarded to a 2y blue cock doing 1314 to claim 10th Fed, and just over a minute later came Stephen & Jeanann's yellow card scoring 3y chequer hen doing 1310.3 for 12th Fed. With that I will sign off for another week.