The Royal Cheshire County Show
with Les J Parkinson
For some time, I have been pushing the Nantwich and Royal Cheshire Show’s for their pigeon section’s. These are the places where the sport can show off what we have to offer in a big way. As with all cases it is finding events that suit the fanciers because of the racing season, a time when most agricultural shows are held.
Clive Edson of Edson & Wheatcroft winning BIS see below.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the Nantwich Show which is the easiest to support because it is held late in July when the old bird racing season has more or less finished. This show has been going for a long time and has steadily built year on year. This year there is the possibility of them paying out even more than the £600 in prizes last year, not at all a bad pay out. We shall have to wait and see if the prizes increase even more, will be good if they do. This year they have an addition of Show Racer’s and Fancy pigeons. With over 300 entries last year they could well reach the 400 mark which increases the benefit for the show with automatic entries into the Blackpool Show. There was doubt if that was correct, but I contacted David Trippett who confirmed this is in fact correct. All the entry forms for this show are available from the front page of the Elimar web site. Also, Richard Chambers will be in attendance with the RPRA stand and Ian Evens our General Manager is judging the racer’s, big job there for the boss.
Now let’s look at the latest and the one that has just finished, The Royal Cheshire Show held at Tabley just outside Knutsford in Cheshire. This is one of the biggest agricultural show’s in the UK and is held over 2 days. The pigeon show is held on the Wednesday which is the last day of the show. As with the Nantwich show Richard Chambers was in attendance with the RPRA stand handing out leaflets and talking to anyone who wanted to know about racing pigeons.
Judging in progress above and below.
As far as pigeons are concerned there are two downfalls for the Royal Cheshire Show, the first being the time of year, old birds are not finished racing. And more importantly the schools have not yet finished so the number of youngsters in attendance are lower than if they had been off school. Having said that there were still a lot of youngsters enjoying the day off, it was noticeable that there were groups of children who were from schools in the care of their teachers. It might be worth the Officials at the Royal Cheshire Show looking at sending out information sheets to schools in the area. Such leaflets outlining the benefits to children who attend the show. This could be put over as an educational experience to the children. If children are there, then in many cases more parents could also be at the show. Some parents might not attend because they have children at school and need to be at home to collect them, who knows.
The build up to the show was not brilliant with a lot of rain about and parts of the field were flooded. The rain did ease off the day before and on the first day of the show the fields were drying out. We were thinking that Wednesday would be OK, but not the case the heavens opened up over Tuesday evening.
Richard Chambers in action at the show above and below.
On the Wednesday we had the pigeon show so Kim and myself were out bright and early to get there ready for the entrants to turn up with their pigeons. The problem was the roads came to a standstill because of the bad weather. Nothing fresh to the UK community, but in this case, it was because the heavy rain fell overnight and the heavy vehicles were having trouble moving over the grass, hence the delays. The judging was best part of an hour late starting, and Mr P Yates and Mr J Postill soon set about the job of sorting them out. We have to thank them for the good job they did, it was much appreciated.
This was the second year that Elimar were taking control of the show, so we were more aware of what was going on, unlike the first year what we were told nothing prior to the show but those present did point us in the right direction. So, Kim and I set the paperwork up and sorted out the prize money of £395, all sponsored by Elimar, this meant all winners went away with cash this year.
Joanne Martlew with her son who won 1st and special
After all the publicity that had been put into this show we were hoping for an increase in entries but that was not the case, they were slightly down on last year. When we took on the job, we did say that we would give them three years to see if fanciers were interested in pushing the sport forward at this big agricultural show. There was an increase in racing pigeons, but the fancy pigeons saw a drop, this was mainly down to one member who entered the most last year. Then after last year’s show he was telling me that he was cutting back because he could no longer manage to basket pigeons and carry crates around.
The pigeon section was on the second day Wednesday, but Richard Chambers was there putting the RPRA set up to good use. We were a bit late getting there and when we did Richard was saying that he had already signed a few up. I was pleased with the early result because I was not sure how the RPRA stand would go with it not being a school holiday. Even so, there were a lot of children in attendance, this made me start to think how many of the parents might get a fine from the school. I don’t see why they should be fined because such shows can be very educational and the children do appreciate going to such shows, a case of mixing fun with lessons. There was certainly a lot of people there considering how the weather had been. One thing about the fields used for the show they soon dry out.
The show pens were set up well by David Knaggs.
This year saw 128 birds entered, these being split between 15 classes, the fancy pigeons were not as much in favour this year with less than a handful in odd classes. As pointed out the number of racing pigeons entered did increase, so that was a good point. I was talking to a member of the staff from the show about the entries and was saying that I was pleased, even though we were a handful of birds down on last year. The reason for being pleased was because this was last year and in previous years a fancier who I mentioned above had been turning up with 3 crates of pigeons but has now called it a day.
It did rain heavily over night so Wednesday was a bit of a muddy start, but people still turned up in big numbers. Richard Chambers on the RPRA stand was telling me that he had a very good two days with plenty of interest and young people joining. Richard added that he will put these dates on his calendar for future years, it is a good show.
All the prize money was sponsored by Elimar Pigeon Services Limited and went to the following entrants. Clive Edson & John Wheatcroft £100. David Knaggs £89. Ralph & Lorraine Brett £71. J D Roberts £38. Mr & Mrs Archibald £42, G & J Martlew & Son £25. Ahmad & Witkowski £16.
This was a good show and those who entered were pleased with the end result. Perhaps next year more fanciers will enter this worthwhile event where many thousands from the general public see out pigeons on show.