More from Les J Parkinson
I wrote about the cake that Bill Carney made for me in the 80’s to give to the pigeons and how well the pigeons flew that season. I have had quite a few calls about it but I have no idea what was in the cake and Bill has never told me. I have since spoken to Bill and he was saying it is that long since he last made it and cannot find the paper with the mixture on it so there is no point in contacting him. I also had a fancier on saying nothing is that good for pigeons, from someone who has used it, believe me it is that good. The recipe would be worth a lot of money to the big boys but even if he still had it I very much doubt if Bill would let it go.
There is always something that comes along and improves what we do with the pigeons. This can be in the way of how and what pigeons are fed or treated with. There are always the systems that we use in the sport. I suppose we could look at it from the point of view that somewhere someone has come up with a system and winning out of turn, that system would soon get around and others would use it. One day a fancier was winning out of turn and fanciers were wondering how come he is winning so much and so easily. The system I am referring to is widowhood which is no used by many fanciers around the world. It’s the same with Darkness for the young birds, someone came up with it at some point. Again, now many fanciers use it but I remember breeding early in the 70’s and 80’s, that was a natural darkness system. With that in mind has the early breeding brought about the darkness, someone sitting there thinking about the sport and come up with changing the hours of darkness in the loft to get them through the moult. It all started somewhere.
These systems soon get about but the cake has not. Yes, if someone is winning with racing pigeons there is a reason, finding that reason is another matter. Some fanciers are just natural’s when it comes to racing pigeons as are some people good at whatever they are doing in life. There will always be naturals at all sorts of things, not just racing pigeons. There is also the point that any system does not suit everyone no matter how hard we try to do it. I suppose there is also the point that every year is different therefore what we do one year does not always work the following year. We all wonder why and end up looking for the reason why but generally don’t know what that reason is. I often wonder if I had used the cake the following year if it had still worked the same, something I will never know.
Places and photos.
Looking through the photo of places brings back memories, in fact talking about memories I was talking to Keith Mott about writing. I started writing in 77 and he started 5yrs before me and like me has enjoyed doing the job. Back to the photos, I came across one of Roy & Audrey Bishop, I have met some nice people in pigeons and anyone who knows them will tell you these are two of the nicest people I have ever met. I first met them on a visit to the Gazette offices in the early 70’s and then again when we visited their show on the south coast, this was after I had been talking to Bilco who was a great friend of theirs. Keith was telling me that he had seen the lofts on the Hill where the rock and pop stars started moving too, Cliff Richard had moved there just before we visited. I saw it in the paper and when we went, I asked and yes it was the same place. The Gazette offices were down on the main road because getting to where the stars and SWE Bishop lived was always easy because it was private access, Keith managed to get up there through work he was doing.
Les with Roy & Audry Bishop
When I look at some photos, I think what possessed me to do that, like the one where I was dancing on the table with Hans Verscheren at the Bruges presentation. No doubt they were looking and think that I was a silly Englishman, they were probably right at the time. Hans was driving and we had been well over the top, he kept saying we will have to go down the lanes and there were a few of those narrow roads with drops on either side. Elizabeth and myself sat in the back and at times she was squeezing my hand so hard I thought I am going to have to say something. Anyway, we eventually got to our destination. I must add that it was a really good night. Another of the photos was taken in a cellar in a pub in Germany after we had been to a one loft race, again it was Hans who took us there with Frans Rigole. Ian Crammond and Paul Smith were also there with the owner of one of Germany’s top pigeon papers, she didn’t look comfortable for some reason. That was a good night and the first one I had seen a clover leaf drawn on the top of a pint of Guinness. There is one taken at the Kuyper Bros lofts in the early 80’s when we were flown over by Bruce McCallister. This was the first time either Elizabeth or myself had flown anywhere, we had not experienced this form of travel. That was a good trip where we saw a few fanciers including the Kempeneers. Mrs Kempeneer was not happy with Jos that day because she was unaware of our visit. When we sat down to sandwiches, they were that big you only needed one. Still with photos the other is of the young poodle also shows the Dordin cock was 45th open Pau National and was taken when we were in Long Lane where we had a big garden but problems with neighbours on each side, they were best of buddies and caused us no end of problems. One of them put a kite in the shape of a hawk on string and when the pigeons were out would pull it on the rope which went from one end of the garden to the other. The pigeons got used to it an ignored which didn’t go down well without idiot of a neighbour.
On a trip to Kuypers with Bruce McAllister
In a cellar in Germany
Caught at the Brugges presentation doing something we should not have been, dancing on the tables
Fine dining together see notes
Taffy Bowen, yes there was a character, Roger Pleece took us there and Taffy said, “You’re an eye sign man take a look at those” I went through them and gave him my opinion. Roger asked him about the young birds in the next section to which Taffy replied, “They are all for sale” I think they were £25 each. While they were talking, I went through them, Roger asked me to pick a pair out so I did. Roger took the money out of his pocket and offered it to Taffy who said, “That pair are not for sale, they are the ones I am keeping” When we got home after the trip I called Roger and said offer him £100 for the pair but he would still not let them go.
Joe Shore of Comberbach with Les J Parkinson
The other photo is of Joe Shore from Comberbach a fancier who got me into the longer races. When I first started, he was one of the big National winners in the area, some were never keen of Joe but I have to say I never had a problem with him. When we did his entire clearance sale, I could not believe the tip he gave the girls, very generous. When it came to the longer races, he was one of the ones whose time you looked for. I remember the second time I sent to Pau, I had spoken to him and he said you want one by 14.30pm, I clocked at 14.22pm and was 45th Open flying 684mls. Joe had a few lofts on the grounds and there were good pigeons in each of them.
Looking at racing
There are many who are itching to get going and as I type these notes it is only early April (well ahead of myself) but the weather is good for training and preparation of the pigeons. There are many asking, including myself, why the pigeons couldn’t be raced in the first place because they say pigeons cannot catch or carry coronavirus. I understand from the fanciers point of view but we also have to think about the membership who are members of the group ordered to stay at home. There are also quite a few secretaries around the country who are in the at-risk group therefore can do without leaving home to book pigeons at clubs, and they are ones we need to think of, there are not enough workers as it is. However, I still fancy a few races old and young probably together before the seasons out, we need it to help fanciers keep an interest in the sport. After all I don’t think it will take much for a few to call it a day. It’s tough when we are competing against the younger generation who would rather sit on their backside all day pressing keys and their gadgets. As they get older, they will be wondering why they are having problems with their thumbs.
Out and about.
It was nice to see Mike O’Grady for the first time in a very long time, due to health issues, we did stay 10ft part. Mick was saying if there is any racing, he wants to take part, needs something to do. He was saying that his local club at Winsford are doing well with 5 new members, which is good news when others are falling year after year. Over many years we have had some good times, especially the trips to Lancashire when we had exchange nights out, it was one of these where Mick spent more than he expected buying Bob Meachin whiskey, good night that was. By the way Mel Mick gave me a tip when he called, unfortunately not enough for a pint, will have to have it on tap.
I am doing a series of articles based on running a Moot or Quiz Night whichever way you want to look at it. What I wasn’t looking for were photos but how can I resist putting photos in of probably Lanarkshire’s premier racing and breeding loft. The partnership in question are GWP Macaloney, Willie (father) and Paul (son), sadly due the passing of Willie’s father and Paul’s grandfather George they are down to 2 members in the partnership. However, they will always retain George’s name in honour of his life. They race their pigeons in Lanarkshire Federation in Scotland, which is one of the biggest Federations in Europe. They also like to compete in the Scottish National Flying Club a few times per season. Their goal is simple they want to win as many races as possible and be the best in their area, that’s all you can be in the pigeon sport. I think they have achieved their goal and will go on doing so because they are still as enthusiastic as ever. Over the years I have seen an awful lot written about these fanciers and all the publicity they have received is deserved. /the first time I heard of them was when I was on a visit to the then partnership of, Wall, Lunt & Green who are big friends of the Macaloney’s. After hearing about their exceptional results, I started to keep an eye on the Lanarkshire fed where I would suspect they have many records to their credit. I have also spoken to Nigel Shaw about the partnership, Nigel having visited their lofts and is racing a few of their pigeons. I have also seen a lot of their results through the Elimar web site. You can see more of the partnership in a future article and because they are so successful there is always something being written about their achievements. Here are some of the results to go with the photos.
1st Lanarkshire Federation 4,641 birds
2nd Lanarkshire Federation 3,210 birds
2nd Yearling Derby 2,230 birds
3rd Lanarkshire Federation 4,433 birds
5th Lanarkshire Federation 2,356 birds
8th Lanarkshire Federation 4,617 birds
13th Lanarkshire Federation 2,115 birds
18th Lanarkshire Federation 5,992 birds
88th Lanarkshire Federation 1,257 birds
In 10 weeks in a row he won
3rd West Region SNFC Ypres 450 miles
2nd Lanarkshire Federation 952 birds 450 miles
2nd Lanarkshire Federation 2,808 birds 96 miles
3rd Lanarkshire Federation 4,842 birds 157 miles
5th Lanarkshire Federation 2,146 birds 78 miles
11th Lanarkshire Federation 877 birds 347 miles
13th Lanarkshire Federation 4,506 birds 189 miles
15th Lanarkshire Federation 4,950 birds 78 miles
32nd Lanarkshire Federation 2,211 birds 78 miles
1st West Region SNFC Maidstone 374 miles
27th National SNFC Maidstone 2,957 birds
1st Lanarkshire Federation 4,950 birds
2nd Lanarkshire Federation 567 birds
3rd Lanarkshire Federation 5,371 birds
9th Lanarkshire Federation 1,257 birds
10th Lanarkshire Federation 4,433 birds
13th Lanarkshire Federation 2,311 birds
15th Lanarkshire Federation 5,485 birds
16th Lanarkshire Federation 4,506 birds
20th Lanarkshire Federation 4,842 birds
27th Lanarkshire Federation 4,381 birds
34th Lanarkshire Federation 2,177 birds
38th Lanarkshire Federation 2,146 birds
142nd Lanarkshire Federation 2,368 birds
1st Lanarkshire Federation 4,433 birds
1st Lanarkshire Federation 3,210 birds
1st Yearling Derby 2,230 birds
11th Lanarkshire Federation 2,437 birds