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B I C C Northern Marking Station 04-03-20

British International Championship Club


New marking stations announced for Northern England




Northwich, not to be confused with Norwich, is a town in the north of England. It lies 19 miles south of Manchester, 18 miles east of Chester and 847 miles north of Barcelona. Why mention this? Well if you live in the north of England and want to fly long distance races, the BICC have just opened a marking station at The Barn Owl Pub, Barton, near Northwich.



Geoff Bebbington, of Northwich, had the idea of opening this marking station to enable working fanciers, like himself, the opportunity to basket their pigeons in the evening. The Barn Owl Pub will mark from 6.30 pm to 8.30pm, enabling fanciers to come to the club after work. The plan is to open the marking station for the first four Nationals and then look to extend it to suit the races fanciers want to compete in. Geoff will transport the birds to the Northampton marking station to meet the main transporter and he hopes to combine this trip with a training toss. If all goes to plan, Geoff has 3 birds that he wants to prepare for the 847 miles Barcelona challenge.



However, this isn’t the only new development in the north. A new marking station is also opening at Cartlon, a town situated between York and Doncaster. Adrian Carr, the Chairman of the North East Provisional Club (NEPC) is helping to organise it, but it was Harry Jackson’s idea. It came about, Harry said, because he’s wanted, “to have a go with the BICC” for a while. When he spoke to others about it, a lot of people said that they were interested and so the idea of opening a marking station took off. The marking station will be at, The Forester’s Arms in High Street, which is an existing NEPC marking station with good facilities.



There is also good news for the established Chirk marking station, near Wrexham. They will mark all National races this season. In the 2019 they only marked four races, so this development will offer northern fanciers even more opportunities to compete. This decision was agreed at the recent AGM of the Eclipse club. David Woodworth, Alan Shinton and the team at Chirk are great supporters of the BICC. They promoted the BICC at last year’s Liverpool Show and they even collect the Irish birds sent over by ferry. They travel to Holyhead to pick them up what a service!  



The BICC is hoping that northern fanciers will be as excited about these developments as Jim Emerton is. This is music to Jim’s ears and he is doing all he can to encourage fanciers to use these marking stations. “These are the distances to take seriously, as they are marathons in duration and are difficult; I hate easy races” said Jim.



Jim has presented the BICC with some magnificent trophies for members who excel at the distance. In 2019, Ray Strawbridge and the late John Williams lifted the Jim Emerton Trophy for the Longest Flying bird in Race Time. Ray’s bird flew 741 miles to its loft in Newport to take 7th Open Barcelona. But, the Jim Emerton Dream Trophy for the Longest Flyer over 750 miles wasn’t won. This is a beautiful trophy and ripe for picking up by northern fanciers, many of whom will race over 800 miles from Barcelona. So it’s all to play for this season, with these trophies up for grabs and three marking stations to choose from Northwich, Carton and Chirk. If you are interested, look on the BICC website for more information.


Mike Jackson

BICC Press Officer


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