Our race this week is from Ypres, Belgium an ancient city located in the Flemish province of West Flanders This is our last and longest race of the season. It?s around 450 miles back into central Scotland. The 726 birds sent by 109 members were liberated at 6 15 am with no wind turning north west on route.
This year?s winner is one of the best fanciers ever to compete in Lanarkshire being Jim Cullen of Viewpark, Uddingston. I had the privilege to undertake a loft report last year when Jim won this race last year with his blue hen" Poppy" Full report was in the BHW yearbook.
Jim Cullen (R) holding 1st open Tom Corrie snr holding 2nd Open Ypres
This year his result was even more spectacular winning 1st,2nd,5th,44th Open. Jim also wins 1st section and 7th Open in the SNFC .
Timing his four year old dark check pied cock after twelve hours and seventeen minutes for a velocity of 1071.
Dark Pied C 1st Open Ypres 2019 for Jim Cullen
I took the time in the company of my Dad to visit Jim to congratulate him on his latest performance.
Jim has a lovely set up with everything in the right place. His back garden loft really is a smart affair, with everything you would ever need for a pigeon fancier. It is down the bottom of his garden and a lot of effort and planning was made to make this one a top set up.
Jim Cullens loft
We were warmly welcomed by Jim and soon got to talk over his recent top performance. Jim races his birds in the strong Uddingston club & Lanarkshire Social circle & SNFC, that provides the keenest of competition with big birdage most weeks. He races his team on the roundabout system up to Maidstone(370 miles) race and then they are put down on eggs for the longer National races .The birds were trained privately from the south and sent to Kelso(60 miles) come back race the week before Ypres
Jim is a well-known face in Lanarkshire and also in the National scene. He is a real character who likes a wee bit of banter when at the Lanarkshire Social Circle night outs. Jim has great help from his wife Jean who manages the loft when Jim is working. Great character and determination has shown in the brilliant performances this season when both haven?t been in the best of health.
Jim has also been crowned Lanarkshire federation Old Bird Average Champion of Lanarkshire
Jim sent twelve to the race with ten returning.1st Open was sent sitting eggs and was very keen on return for the nest. He is a very good pigeon already recording 7th Open Bedhampton ,as a two year old returned hawked. As a three year old won 7th section Maidstone.
His breeding Sire is from John Duthies National winner "Better Still" paired to Jim's own 5th Open Alencon winner. Dam was out of Billy Bilsland of Ayton National winner which is Vanderabelle lines.
2nd Open is a three year old late bred check cock and was again sent on eggs Sire was a Louella Corbert Busshaert out of Champion Skater lines. Dam was from a hen purchased at Gareth Rankins sale .This hen had won three national certificates.
Jim has a brilliant record from Ypres winning 2 x 1st Open and 2nd Open in as many years.
Thanks Jim for some insight into how to race from channel racing and Tom snr enjoyed his wee dram of whiskey.
Well done Jim on a brilliant result and top season.
Ypres Open top ten
1st J Cullen
2nd J Cullen
3rd G Mann
George Mann wins 3rd Open with his brilliant blue cock that has scored in its last three National races and two firsts in Airdrie club.
Also a pocket full of pools.Well done George ya old master!
4th A Nelson
5th J Cullen
6th P Martin & Son
7th A McInnes
8th W Graham
9th F Hillan
10th J Cosegrove & Son
John Cosegrove & Son win Larkhall club
1st Centre section Jim Cullen
1st West section Alan Nelson
1st East section John Lawrie & Son
John Lawrie & Son win Newmains & Cambusnethan/ Morningside club
Old Bird Average Board
1st J Cullen 1261
2nd GWP Macaloney 1243
3rd G Mann 1237
4th Eadie & Kelly 1230
5th A Nelson 1226
6th J Wood 1219
Callum McMillan wins Carluke club Dave Burnside wins Lanark & Dist.
Bobby Dingwell wins Chryston club
Dave Penman wins Dalziel club JJK Gillon wins New Stevenson club
Danny Mitchell wins Clarkston with a good BPC that won Buckingham earlier in season
Eddie Robin wins Cambuslang club Alan Nelson wins Burnbank club
Jim Meikle (R) wins East Kilbride
Well that?s it for the 2019 Old Bird Programme ,thanks to our race controller/convoyer Tommy McDonnagh for his care of the pigeons throughout the season. Giving the members and pigeons the best of care and attention. Also to Jim Cameron our Secretary for a first class job.
The only disappointment in the days that most have mobile phone I still can?t get photos of club winners each week. Really is disappointing that winners are not getting the credit they deserve.
Personal thanks to Bob from Tow Law ,who took great care of my yearling who had been injured by a raptor and when he was fit enough released him to return home.
Tom Corrie jnr
Lanarkshire Press Officer