talking to Jim Emerton
About the BICC and a new Marking Station
1 You have a distinct Objective and purpose to Initiate a BICC Marking Station to serve some of the more northerly fancier’s In England etc.
1. The Idea of trying to get a marking station came about through a discussion with my brother Rob about joining the BICC. The nearest marking station to us is ChIrk which Is approximately 45mInIute drive for me so an hour and a half round trip without the time spent marking which isn't too bad but the marking time is between 2 and 4 so it means we would have to take half a day of work to mark the birds. So we decided it would be better to try and get a marking station at our club which is the Barn Owl pub in Barnton near Northwich Cheshire and set it up for the working man so we are looking to mark from 6.30 to 8.30 In the evening after work. It is close to the M56 and M6 motorways which give’s easy access from Manchester and Liverpool hopefully it gets well supported.
3 What can we do to promote the concept and ensure the success of any new Marking Station.?
3. With It being a new marking station we have no Idea of support it will get so we are having a meeting at the club on Sunday the 16th of Feb at 2pm to go through a few Ideas to try to make it a success all welcome and any ideas welcome the more the merrier at the time we thought the transporter would collect the birds this Isn't the case the logistics’ of getting a wagon up hear and back down again and onto the ferry would be a nightmare so we have to get the birds down to one of the southern marking stations which one will be discussed at the meeting I have just purchased a 8 x 5 trailer that we can use to transport the birds down at the moment I am looking at costing of getting racking built that could be fixed to the trailer once a fortnight to take the race birds down and offer training which from me Is approximately 140mls and the cost of this would go towards getting the birds to the marking station.
4 Will you be sending distance /marathon birds yourself and your friends and contacts too?
4. That's the Idea I have three earmarked on Barcelona never flown that far before cannot wait to give It ago there a few pigeon flyer's in the northwest into the longer channel races hopefully they will come on bored.
5 What Is the essence and lure of BICC racing up to International level Geoff?
5. For me the lure of the BICC Is the race programme 15 channel races to have a go at another reason Is the weather over the last two years I have entered Tarbes with the NFC In 2018 I sent off my entries but never sent the birds as It was too hot last year I did send but had a bad race the heat was unreal I am a builder so work outside we can go to the tap to cool off cannot Imagine what It would of been like In that waggon . with the BICC If the weather Isn't right then then you can hold back until It gets better as there are plenty of more distance races to choose from.
Geoff Bebbington's logt and guard dogs
I only started back Racing pigeons In 2015 after a short break I packed up then started to work 7 days a week 12 hours a day no fun In that so I got the birds back very rarely do I work weekends now. when deciding on which birds to start back with I took to the Internet and kept looking up long distance pigeons the Van Wanroys kept coming up so I decided as them on my base line as they can fly long distances in hot weather. The next were the De Sablons and a couple more different lines to cross Into each other now to start again from scratch takes some doing with bringing birds in from different places. the first thing was I had to start to vaccinate for everything I could the last two years not had one bird go down fingers crossed I have started to breed a lot earlier to give the young birds a chance to build a good Immune system up before racing starts.
6 Please describe your birds and breeding and flying systems to us?
6. the way I fly the birds Is a mix of widowhood round about and natural first I let them have a round then separate then re pare just before racing starts before the eggs have chance to hatch separate again then they are on round about until I pick which race they are getting entered Into then then they go natural Its seems to work for me. next year I am trying something different with my young birds as young birds racing has really gone downhill the programme Is far too short for me distance wise Its had a bit of Improvement for the Fourth coming season but still not far enough for me I didn’t enjoy the young bird racing one bit last year so I thought how can I race my young at the distance that I want, I decided to take a number of latebreds from my main racers and a couple of stock these were bred September October time 13 In all one went missing over the winter so down to 12 these look fantastic they have gone through the moult darkness system but I don't have to shut them up winter months mother nature does It for me now they are In the young bird loft with the young I am going to bring them Into racing with the old birds on nice days then race them with the fed on the channel the fed channel programme Is Carentan Fougeres Messac then Carentan again Messac Is 375 to me I think I will miss that but send to the others If this goes to plan I will do the same again this year with about 40 and not bother with young birds at all I know allot of fancier’s don't like late breds but for me they are just young birds If you breed young In January / February then by the time the channel racing comes around In September they are 8 to 9 months old If you breed In September October when the fed channel races come around In may they are 8 to 9 months old no deference If Its under 12 months old it’s a young bird over 12 months Its a yearling over two years old a two year old and so on and I think the big advantage of racing young birds this way will be they Will be learning from the old birds old birds don't hang about unless It’s a bad day and there will be less sickness about.
Photo taken as the pigeon arrived from Saintes
7 Do you have heroes in your mind’s eye, or favourite birds?
7. People that I have a lot of respect for are the people that are there year In year out always at the top whether Its mark Gilbert on the International seen or Curtis-Wall-Lunt at fed and Combine level and many more In between.
8 How do we feed a 700-mIle pigeon.?
8. I feed the same base mix which Is Gerry plus the further they go add more fats and oils and spices the reason rob and I both use spices comes from a dog I had I keep English bull terriers and my daughter one day made a chili but It was that hot none of us could eat It not wanting to waste It I gave It the dog these dogs are stubborn not wanting to be beat by this chilli It ate the lot the next day when I went outside to Its pen there must of been a thousand worms In there It had been flushed out. the week before It had been at the vets and had Its wormier and when I mentioned this to the wife she had forgotten to tell me the It had been eating horse muck when she had taken her for a walk since the we have been adding Cayenne pepper to the food birds don't even notice and If you read up on the benefits of all the different herbs and spices garlic and cider vinegar all natural you don't need all the other treatments.
9 Have you read my books and articles?
9. I haven't read your books, but I do read your articles on Elimar I have never got the time to sit and read a book with running my own business.
10 How can we Improve the sport, or the public Perception of It on a world level?
10. I don't think you can.
11 Do you believe In Inbreeding, and strain creation?
11. Inbreeding not so much, strains yes, I have always had dogs If you look into the different strains of dogs there mostly crosses that produce a strain English bull terrier are bulldog crossed with the now extinct English white terrier Dalmatian borzoi and Pointer whippets are greyhound cross terrier, greyhounds had bull dogs Introduce Into them that's where the brindle comes from and lurches are greyhounds with different cross through them to produce the same type dog sometimes for speed sometimes for endurance and sometimes for power I have seen some bull greyhounds that are absolute monsters. I am looking to do the same with pigeons I have a Van Wanroy base line that I may cross with a de Sablon then I could put this back to the van Wanroy or De Sablon to get the three quarter cross I had quite a bit of success last time I had pigeons with Geoff Kirkland’s snake line which are Wily Thas they seemed to cross Into Everything I put them to.
12 Will Barcelona International birds be timed into your local fanciers’ lofts-how difficult Is this to do?
12. Barcelona up hear difficult not Impossible hoping to have a go this year If everything goes right and everything would have to be 100 % right.
13 Are British, Channel marathon bird’s superior to continentals?
13. British against the Continent I think you breed what comes in that area some birds may not do well in different areas I think Its horses for courses.
14 Can we Improve the BICC Itself In terms of organisation and effectiveness?
14. I think the BICC Is on the up so if It’s not broken don't try to fix It.
15 What are your goals for the next 5 years within the sport?
15. In 2015 I set myself a goal to win a National within 5 years most times that I have sent I am In the top 100 no were near winning so I have only this year to do It but I am up against everyone else that send they want to win as well. The next five years just send to every channel race that I can this year I have about 30 to choose from starting at the beginning of May right through to September.
16 Is old-fashioned distance racing on the rise as a romantic Ideal?
16. Both I think It Is a romantic Ideal but as club and fed racing are getting shorter and shorter distance racing Is growing It’s never going to be what It was In the past and each year we are losing more members which equals less birds Its just how long can we keep It going.
17 Do you approve of commercialism in the sport?
17 I don't approve or disapprove If It keeps people Interest In the sport in the end Its up to yourself were you spend your money.
18 What are the Origins of your birds?
18. The van Wanroys are from Steve Wright at the house of Aarden and Jacob van Alpen and I bought I nest pair of Elimar that are breeding winners one being 1st sec 3rd open Saintes In the north west classic last year he Is a 17 pigeon I gave one to my brother rob It was his single entry for Tarbes last year It wasn't back In race time but when It got back It had been hit by a bird of prey It had one single tail feather left and that was pushed through Its skin when It got back you would have thought he had one the race he was that happy they will be Going to one of the big BICC races this year.
19 Thanks Geoff-how do you wish to be remembered in the future of pigeon Racing?
19 Winning Barcelona three times in a row Into Cheshire If you are Going to have a dream might as well be a big one.