Royal Cheshire County Show
I know time is rolling on when I get the brochure for the Royal Cheshire County Show to be held on the 18th/19th June 2019. This might appear to be a bit early but not for the organisers who have a mammoth job setting up one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country. For those who have never been, this really is a big show with plenty for everyone, such shows are not just about the farming community there is so much more on show. The event is easy to find being about one mile from junction 19 on the M6 motorway heading to Northwich. When Elimar took over as Stewards we were not informed of what was involved, we were thrown in at the deep end to say the least. This year will be different with Kim listing everything in order so that we don’t miss out. These are the shows that the sport needs to attend, we need to show pigeon racing off to the general public. Pigeons have been seen for far to long as “Flying Rats” and that is something we need to change, unfortunately the ever-growing feral pigeon problem does us no good at all. There are many things going wrong with the younger generation today with the major problem being knife crime. These youngsters must have nothing else to do, unlike when we were at school, far more of us took to a hobby and in my case that was pigeon racing, as many more pigeon fanciers of my generation will recall (70 in May). It has been proven that taking problem children out and giving them an interest changes them, they become more responsible for their actions. Back to the show, if you are going to support this event there are 4 classes for racing pigeons, 4 for show pigeons and 7 for fancy pigeons. If you are interested in taking part, you can contact The Royal Cheshire Show on 01565650200 and they will post you the leaflet giving full details. Elimar Pigeons Services Limited are sponsoring the prize money per class as follows. There are 15 classes with prize money as follows, 1st £10, 2nd £6, 3rd £5, 4th £4, BIS £10, BOS £10 and this year all winnings will be paid out on the day of the show. David Knaggs from All Keep Penning is also sponsoring the show with the judges being Mr P Yates and Mr J Postill. Judging starts at 10am on Wednesday 19th June so make sure you are there by 9.15am to avoid delays. It is also important to note that entries close on the 31st May so the sooner you contact the officials at the show office the better. The RPRA are having a stand at the show for the two days where Richard Chambers will be in attendance. Having the RPRA at such shows is a good incentive and hopefully will go a long way towards putting pigeon racing in the minds of many more members of the general public. I am told that Richard will be attending other agricultural shows over the summer months, so a good move by the RPRA, we have needed someone publicity minded filling this position for many years. I have also been in discussion with the organisers on several occasions and they assure me that they are giving us more space than they did last year. The event will be advertised in the BHW around mid-May time with all classes listed to keep an eye open for that. The only problem I see for this show is the time of year because pigeon fanciers are still racing. Even so I think there will be a lot of pigeons that have finished for the season so could be entered. Young birds are still a few weeks away from their first race so it would not harm them to be put on show for a few hours.
Graysen Crowley & Joanne Martlew
Clive Edson & John Wheatcroft
Is another show that Richard Chambers will be attending and that is on the 31st July, this being a one-day show but a big event, I am told it is the biggest one-day agricultural show in the country. This is the show where our general manager Ian Evans will be judging the racing classes, they are also bringing back the Show racer section which will see a big increase to the number of birds entered. I have mentioned the shows before and as mentioned the Nantwich show is already not far off qualifying for the Blackpool show, another incentive to enter. In this show the Show Racers are back on the agenda and if they get a good entry, as expected, it will take the numbers past those required for automatic entry into the Blackpool Show. This is a quality show for racing pigeons with over 300 entered in the 4 classes for the 2018 event. The benefit for this show as compared to the Royal Cheshire County Show is the old birds have mostly finished racing so fanciers are more inclined to take them out to such shows. This show has plenty of room for expansion because the organisers are given plenty of room to set the show pens up. Just as I was working on these note’s I had a conversation with Show organiser Dave Windsor who tells me that there are proposed changes for the 2020 Nantwich show. They lost over £20,000 in 2018 so, looking forward they are considering their options and making changes and that means the show could possibly move to the third week in July and be held on the Thursday, Friday & Saturday. As Dave pointed out the pigeon section has been going so well and these changes might set it back because they are moving into a prime time for racing fanciers who are still racing their pigeons. The pigeon section itself would still only be on the one day but most fanciers would be basketing on the Friday and racing Saturday on that weekend. Not sure how this will affect the pigeon section, but I suspect they could possibly be down on numbers if such changes are implemented for 2020. In 2010 there were 165 birds entered into the show and when you look at 310 in 2018 it proves how well the show has grown and if you have the right circumstances pigeon fanciers will join in, no matter how much we think our hobby is on the decline. This show has £600 plus in prizes plus with what is now a big possibility of a straight entry into the Blackpool Show what more could we want. Joanne Martlew is the one looking after the extra section for the show racers, adding to a good team of people running the show. Joanne is a racing fancier but knows her way around the shows and did help me when I took over as chief steward at the Royal Cheshire County Show. The classes for Joanne are 4 for Show Racers and 9 for Fancy pigeons, for more information you can call Joanne on 07887812518.
G O Jones, Judge - Chris Knowles and LJP
The other Shows that Richard Chambers is looking at attending are the Great Yorkshire Show, Royal Cornwall plus, the Staffordshire Show. If you have anything to do with the organisation of these shows it would be worth you contacting the RPRA who will put you in touch with Richard. I cannot emphasise enough the fact that these are the shows where we can get our pigeons in full view of the general public. I know through being at such events, people are interested to know about pigeons, there are many questions asked. With Richard being the official representative of the RPRA he will be in prime position to put our case forward. And the fact that we are showing off to the general public and not just pigeon fanciers, any help that you can give Richard for these shows will be appreciated.
As secretary of the North West Classic for channel racing, I am getting calls regarding the way forward. As it stands at this moment in time the information, I am getting tells me that there should be no problem racing out of France. What I will say is the French have never really gone out of their way to help the UK and that can be seen with the unnecessary hold ups at the channel crossings. If they agree that we can take the pigeons over then I cannot see them holding livestock up at the crossings, if they did there would be repercussions as there always is where animals are concerned. We can only carry on with what we are doing and cross that bridge when we come to it, if it goes belly up something will be done, we will be notified in advance. One thing is for sure the EU don’t want us to leave because of what we put into their accounts, it costs an awful lot of money to run a place like Brussels. Plus, the fact if it works for the UK, and it will, others could follow suit and they don’t want that to happen.
I have included a couple of photos taken at last year’s agricultural shows in Cheshire. One is of the winners at the Nantwich show G O Jones with judge Chris Knowles and sponsor Les J Parkinson. The others were taken at the Royal Cheshire County Show where Graysen Crowley presenting Joanne Martlew with her £20 special from Graysen, I notice he was holding on to the money until the last minute. Plus we have one of Clive Edson & John Wheatcroft with their trophies.