Midlands National Flying Club
Mick Godfrey and E.S.E. section Dominates Portsmouth
I think that from the minute that the 2116 birds were released on Saturday the 9th September at 9.00am into a West South West wind that the race would be dominated by the Eastern side of the country. Few though could have imagined that the East South East section would have taken the first sixteen Open places. Every credit though must go to the fanciers who took full advantage of the weather conditions which prevailed on the day.
For sure it is often when the race winner actually clocks three birds in just 4 seconds but that is exactly what Walsoken’s Mick Godfrey did to take 1st 2nd and 4th section and Open with velocities of 1913.4, 1913.4 and 1912.4 truly the stuff of dreams for any fancier.
Mick Godfrey the race winner who had a never to be forgotten race day
Incredibly Perry Brothers and Son sneaked in on 1913.2 to fill the 3rd Open position. Let’s take a closer look at Mick’s birds as he also filled 6th 8th and 12th open placings. The winning bird is a Leen Boers x Silvere Toye Chequer cock. The 2nd placed bird is a Leen Boers Blue cock while 4th & 12th Open is filled by a nest pair of Leo Van Rijn x Leen Boers. The 6th and 8th Open winners are another nest pair but this time their breeding is Marginus Oostenbrink. Mick tells me that the Leen Boers pigeons originate from Tumley Lofts and the Van Rijn off Rod Ogden of Wretton while the Oostenbrink pigeons came from Spalding’s Flowers & Dawson. The birds were flown on the natural system and trained up to 30miles three times a week and raced every week in the Fens South Road Federation. All I can say is a big well done to Mick and commiserations on being so close to Perry brothers who finished in 3rd Open with a young Blue hen. Wisbech fancier Alan Maile takes 5th Open and Stewart McCurry also peppered the result taking 7th 9th 10th 11th 13th 14th 15th and 16th Open .
Alan Maile 5th Open
Stewart Mc Curry who had eight birds in the top 16 Open positions
Winning the East North section and breaking the ESE stranglehold is Dave Beadle of Skeffling who clocked a Vandenabeele based hen on 1854 bred from stock loaned via Kerry Mellonby and Stuart Knowles. The hen underlined her racing ability by taking 5th fed in the Yorkshire Middle Route the following week after her MNFC result. Dave is grateful for the loan of such high quality stock. He also took 2nd section with another Vandenabeele but this one’s parents originate from Tony Meek and Gordon Burton. Dave uses the darkness system with his youngsters and they get a lot of training up to distances of 50 miles for which Dave is grateful to Martyn Dawson. In 3rd section with a velocity of 1808 we see the afore mentioned partnership of Mellonby & Knowles with a young Blue cock. Hull’s John Eastham takes the 4th section place with a young hen clocking 1805.
Dave Beadle who did the old 1-2 in the ENE
Kerry Mellonby & Knowles 3rd ENE
Over in the East section now and we see Frank Bristow take pole position on 1805.7. The bird that did the trick was bred from stock from Les & Phil Adams from Stoke who swapped a few summer bred youngsters in 2017 with frank. The bird had shown her ability a couple of weeks earlier when she won 1st Club and 2nd Fed. Jack Ramm of Folkingham took the next two placings the first of which winning the Club’s 2 Bird Nominated race and so will win a nice trophy for his first bird’s achievement. 4th slot is filled by the Grimsby partnership of Ward & Winchester who clocked two birds in 9 seconds to record 1735 and 1733.
Frank Bristow on top in the East
Jack Ramm 2nd & 3rd East section
The North section became something of a procession behind Simon Parkinson of crowle who had no less than 8 birds drop together with the first arrival a bird bred from Jochen van Hasselt stock. The sire is a great breeder having previously bred a section winner in 2015. The dam is a daughter of Favouriet the partners No1 breeding hen this young cock recording 1812.8 while the 8th arrival clocked just 2.4 yards behind. Simon’s second bird is a Van Hasselt x van Mechelen and his sire is ‘The Special One’ a superb racer and breeder while the mother is a granddaughter of Gaby Vandenabeele’s famous cock ‘Rudy’. 3rd place is Luc van Mechelen bred cock and his sire is another bird that has bred a section winning bird being grandson of ‘Jason’ and the vandenabeele Mr Magic. This one’s mother is a daughter of Adriano and New Robina. The 4th bird is another exceptionally well bred pigeon of Luc Christieans x Van Mechelen breeding her sire being also the father of ‘Paula Radcliffe’ Simon’s 1st North section winner from Bordeaux. While her dam is Roberta a granddaughter of Gaby Vandenabeele’s famed Rudy and this grand hen has bred no less than 10 x 1st prize winners. The other four early arrivals also have very impressive CV’s but space doesn’t allow any more details. I would though like to give a mention to Terry Higgs who clocked the first two birds behind the Parkinson avalanche.
Simon Parkinson who battered the North section picture with his dad
Terry Higgs well up in the North section
Talking of avalanches Ripon’s Brandon & Nigel Simms filled no less than 9 of the leading 11 North Centre section places. Sadly I have no details of their birds. Filling the 3rd place is Castello & family who hail from Huddersfield. This partnership has had a good year in the NC section but like the Brandons birds no details on this occasion.
In the North West section we see Roger Sutton take 1st & 2nd section with two hens recording 1637 and split by just .4 of a yard. Talking to Roger he said that after a rather negative start to the season that his birds have hit good form. You can say that again Roger as over the last few months you team has been absolutely majestic. Remember for those who doubt my comments that in the last NFC Old bird race of the season Roger took the first three section places and followed this up by winning the section in the MNFC from Bordeaux and now the trend is continue in the same vein. Well done sir. Manchester’s Steve Maylett who is a young bird specialist has three birds in the top nine section places when he was 3rd 5th and 9th positions. In 4th section we see Mr & Mrs Phillips who cocked a well fancied young cock which will win a nice cheque for his owners.
Roger Sutton who is enjoying a golden year 1st & 2nd this time in the NW
In this race of domination we see J A Murphy continue the trend in the South centre section when his team fill the top five places with the leading bird clocking a velocity of 1731 homing to his Willoughby home followed closely by another quartet of other arrivals. Gerry Wright of Lutterworth then nips in to take 6th and 8th positions.
John Murphy took the top 5 positions in the SC section
Gerry Wright 6th & 8th section in the SC
The winner of the South East section is Adrian Webb. After a number of top 10 section placings Adrian clocked a son of his most consistent channel pigeon that has won plenty of pool money win the coveted top slot. The bird’s breeding is down from Corbett Busschaert’s that he introduced from Louella quite a few years ago. I’m told that Adrian is a good worker and is a big help at the Raunds marking station. Well done sir I like it when one of the workers gets their reward. Now he is setting his sights on getting a better prize from Falaise than his 3rd section place in last season’s Carentan race. John Bellerby who you no doubt will remember won the Vire National race a couple of months ago followed this up by filling 2nd 3rd and 4th section with three cocks clocked in just 9 seconds. John did tell me at the time when I visited him that his young cocks impressed him more than his hens and by the look of this result he could be right.
Adrian Webb victorious in the SE section
John Bellarby taking a rest after clocking 3 birds in 9 seconds to take 2nd 3rd & 4th SE section
Moving over the country to the South West section where R & G Till of Rugeley clocked their Blue Pied cock to lift top spot with a velocity of 1551. Followed by Arnie Tonks of Wednesbury who saw home a Dark hen of Mark de cock x Maurice Matthueews breeding. The grandfather is one of Arnie’s star racer breeders ‘Mark 2’ this bird has repaid his owners a hundred times over since coming from Mark de Cock’s stud. The 3rd and 4th section places both go to Rugeley fanciers namely D Stockhall & Sons 1544 and Dougie Nesbitt & Son 1523 respectively.
Up in the North West section we see Keith Nuttall on top of the pile. Since coming back to the sport in 2001 he soon made his presence felt and in next to no time he was the top prizewinner. That said he held aspirations to compete at national levels and has taken on board a lot of the advice on offer from several of the area’s best long distance flyers and he wasn’t shy in acquiring stock from a number of them. Racing up into the hills of Lancashire are a real challenge at national levels but Keith persisted and is starting to reap his rewards.
Keith Nuttall with his Portsmouth NNW section winner
This season he bred a large young bird team to select a strong team for the tough tasks that lie in wait for him. The local fanciers took notice and soon labelled him as a mob flyer but undeterred Keith worked hard on his birds keeping them in good health and training the team early and it has paid off and resulted in taking the first four places on several occasions. In 2017 Keith attended the clearance sale of S & S Wilson of Burnside North Kendal and he purchased several of the main pigeons. Stan Wilson had decided to hold on to what he believed to be the best stock pair to breed a few birds for One Loft races but this never materialised and Stan presented the two birds to Keith and it was from this couple that he bred his section topper. The sire is a son off two UNc winners and the dam is a Grondelaer from Jimmy Bambling’s old breeding pair which are father and daughter pairing bred from Mister Harlow a winner of 5 x 1st feds. This couple have bred many winners and it is Keith intention to bred a pair or two extra next year as they are both getting on a bit in years. A wise decision as many don’t miss the water until the well runs dry! 2nd section is filled by PR Heywood who records 1542.Peter who lives in a small village 10 miles North of Preston timed a Janssen x Vandenabeele containing the bloodlines of Golden Gaby, Bliksem, Golden Boy and Bliksem in her veins. This chequer hen was sent sitting chipping eggs. 3rd slot is filled by Preston fancier Tom Jackson on 1531. Tom you may remember so nearly succeeded in winning one of the earlier National races this season and on this occasion a Blue cock did the business. Keith Nuttall comes again for 4th section 1495.
Peter Heywood 2nd NNW section
Tom Jackson with his mate Jim 3rd NNW section
J & B Oakley win the West section with a Blue cock on 1503 and bred from Wildemeersch stock from the Woodfield Wizard Derrick Jones. This couple have bred countless winners including 4 x 2Bird race winners and a bird to win 2nd West section from Ancenis in 2013. They are also grandparents to the partners current star which has twice won the Beeston Castle 2 Bird race before she was put to stock and she has now bred four brothers that have been in the top 10 section places and 1st 30 of the Open in national races. The loft was on form at the time because on the same day one of their birds won 4th section and 9th Open with the BBC from Fougeres.
J & B Oakley's West section winner
In 2nd section recording 1498 we see Rob & Brian Smith who have enjoyed once again a wonderful season. Their young Chequer hen was bred off two of the race team. The sire being a full brother of a cock which won 1st section L from Messac with the NFC while the mum is a sister to Miss Alva which won 1st West section from Carentan . Previously this young hen won 2nd club and 10th fed from Yeovil she had been on the darkness system but just racing to the perch. The youngsters are fed on a good young bird mix with fat mix added as the distance increases. This is fed to appetite. Training consists of two 50 mile tosses per week from Stafford and one 90 mile flight in each of the last two weeks prior to the race.
R & B Smith enjoying yet another super season
3rd section goes to John Winstanley of Orrell on 1494 John’s bird is a Syndicate Lofts x a Jan Aarden off Steve Wright. All of John’s young birds are raced to the channel if possible to give them as much experience as possible. John is full of praise to Geoff Sanderland for all of his help, opinions and advice which John says is invaluable. 4th section is taken by Chorley’s E Little & Son who timed in a Blue cock that recorded a velocity of 1483.
John Winstanley's smart loft home of the 3rd West section winner