When Kudos Outweighs Cash
Deciphering the best rewards shouldn’t be something of a dilemma? The cash is king brigade are paramount and can be forward in voice but its usually the winners that get the name that is remembered, (and sometimes) revered. The “also rans” can take some solace in a cash reward further down the sheet, however the name that is remembered is the winner. The phrase “nobody remembers” the runner up is probably correct (in my case the only person who remembers who was second or third is me when I manage to take a card?) I’m certain we can all be similar with this regard.
Flying for kudos is (in my mind) at the forefront of people thoughts and although when you are lucky enough to win some cash it is more than “very welcome” the real buzz comes from winning, however the better buzz and the real kudos has to be at a an acknowledgement from your peers. The people whom you compete with, the people you hold in high esteem, the people will applaud when you take the walk to the table.
Kudos should be that acknowledgement and in today’s pigeon racing climate the prize giving functions are becoming less and less, some clubs have for gone the presentation and even no longer present trophies which to this scribe’s humble mind is a pity. The presentation evening should be an evening of coming together and giving some acknowledgement to those who have been fortunate to win and in some quarters be consistent throughout the season, but more over to bring like-minded people to a function for enjoyment that can be shared with family and friends and not so much the pigeon fancy in general.
The Beeston Castle Two Bird Specialist Club can still today boast a proud tradition since its inception in 1974 of holding a premiere function. Today’s venue (which has been for a number of years) is “The Cheshire View” at Christleton near Chester. The perfect venue for an evening that year on year brings the membership of this exclusive but inclusive club together.
The committee should be heartedly congratulated on the fact that they continually year on year produce a schedule of racing complimented by the annual conclusion with the yearly presentation. The committee which includes President Norman Welch, Chairman Richard Johnson, Vice Presidents in Warren Walker, John Rixon and Keith Rowland. Committee members R Dodd, B V Jones, J Fairclough, J Oakley, C Welch and A Moglioni. All neatly managed and guided by our humble secretary and treasurer Jeff Churchill. It is worth mentioning at this juncture that Jeff has been actively trying take a step back from his management role to the probable reluctance of the membership and it a huge credit to him that this select band of fanciers can still enjoy competitive racing along with their evening every February which is not only organised but also hosted by Jeff. We as a membership (and I’m sure the committee wouldn’t mind me echoing this sentiment on their behalf) are sincerely thankful for your efforts Jeff and your sustained enthusiasm throughout the season.
Beeston Castle Two Bird Specialist Club Trophies
As normal the presentation for the 2018 season was held in early February (this year the 5th) with another great attendance of over 70 people over 9 tables. Once again, the service and food were excellent which set the scene for a most enjoyable evening. With the normal formalities of the toast to her majesty the queen and the presidents address the presentation could begin in earnest.
This year’s special guest for the presentation was Ellesmere ‘s own flying ace Andrew Lawley. Described in the presentation pamphlet as the “The Quiet Man of Ellesmere” this humble gent is the current president of the Wrexham Federation, the current secretary of the Ellesmere Homing Society, an excellent top-class fancier and a brilliant ambassador of the sport.
Special Guest Andrew Lawley
The membership competes annually in three races, in 2018 these would consist of a yearling race, an old bird race and a young bird race. The yearling Derby from Carentan an average distance of around 280 miles, the Messac Classic with an average distance of around 380 miles and the finale being the Carentan Young Bird race which can be a difficult challenge at the end of along season.
The presentation normally follows the protocol of presentation of cards and trophies culminating on the presentation of the Classic race trophy to the winners this year’s presentation would commence with founder member and recently retired committee member George Pulford. George has been a stalwart fancier in the Chester area for more years than he would care to remember and is a most consistent and welcome visitor to the trophy table.
George Pulford Receiving his prize cards from Andrew Lawley
Next to receive his prizes was the Club Chairman Richard Johnson
Wrenbury Fancier Mark Pass. Making his first appearance to the Beeston Prize table which won’t be the last time we see this young and promising fancier.
Whitchurch fancier Ben Oakley representing the former Beeston winning partnership of J & B Oakley
Current Vice president and former Beeston scribe Warren Walker collects his prizes
Former dual winning fancier Anthony Oates collecting his prize cards
Collecting the A S Jones Cup for Messac Classic George Harrison
Mr Beeston Two Bird Club himself our secretary, organiser and chief compare for the presentation evening Jeff Churchill
Collecting the R Lloyd Trophy for the runner up in the Carentan Yearling Derby we have Chuck Jones representing the Wirral Partnership of C and C D Jones
With the preliminary prizes awarded and collected it was time to move to the race winners. Commencing with the young bird race from Carentan which turned out to be a sticky affair with 23 members sending 44 pigeons it would be a steady affair with 9-day pigeons and 2 second day pigeons. The winners W Walker & Sons Keith and Alan Walker timing their winner at 14.54 (some 40 minutes in front of the second pigeon) and then timing their second pigeon some three hours plus later to take 9th position.
Keith and Alan Walker (W Walker & Sons) previous winners collecting the Brian Wilding Trophy for winning the testing young bird Carentan race.
Paul Coombes receiving his trophies
Next to receive his trophies is Ellesmere Ports Paul Combes. Having moved home in late 2017 and racing broken pigeons Paul struck immediately by winning the first race namely the Yearling Derby from Carentan. The race was another stiff test for the yearlings with only six pigeons timing on the day and 8 next day pigeons making the result. Paul would also collect the C Davidson Trophy (Carentan yearling Derby Winner) the Eric Oulton Shield and the Silver salver (both for the 3rd and 6th position in the Messac Classic). The Mr and Mrs J Fay Trophy (3rd Carentan Young Bird Race), and The Greenall Whitley trophy for runner up in the average for the classic and the young bird race. The Robbie Houghton Trophy for best average all races.
The last to visit the table would be the Messac Classic Champion partnership of Jones, Lamb and Daughter receiving their trophies from Andrew Lawley. (L to R Karen Jones, Valerie Lamb & Brian Jones)
This partnership which has developed from the joining of two families namely the marriage of Brian Jones to Karen Jones (Nee Lamb). Brian raced on his own right from their marital home and Karen raced with her dad from her parent’s house until unfortunately her father Colin (after a long illness passed away). It was then that Karen, along with her mother Valerie and Brian decided to join forces and race together from the Jones garden and the successful partnership of Jones, Lamb and daughter was formed.
The Lamb family have flown pigeons onto the Wirral for over 70 years with more recently Colin and Valerie Lamb racing from their home with their daughter Karen. Valerie’s own father and her brother Lenny flew in Buckley many years ago.
The Jones family (Brian’s parents), John and Eileen Jones raced into the area during the 1950’s and it has stuck with Brian and their other son Geoff whom both still race today into the area successfully. It was when their dad John passed away that their nephew Alan (Foster) then raced with their mum (Eileen) until ill health meant that Eileen would have to give up the pigeons. Unfortunately, the Jones family was to lose their matriarch mum (Eileen) only recently after a long illness bravely borne. Alan would then move to fly with his uncle Geoff which he still does today.
And so out of the years of interest and participation this partnership of Jones (Brian) lamb (Valerie) and Daughter (Karen) was created and to be fair have not taken a “second glance” backwards since their formation. The partnership are keen participants, have a competitive edge and contribute greatly to the workload required to operate a club with Brian being IC of the Beeston Two Bird Hooton clock station which is greatly appreciated.
This year’s performances in the Beeston Two Bird Messac Classic has not come as any surprise to those around the area as they have been on the podium previously in this race with something that is quite unique. The partnership last three years performances are something special and they include 2nd Beeston Two Bird Classic Messac 2016. 1st Beeston Two Bird Classic Ancenis 2017 and 1st Beeston Two Bird Classic Messac 2018. What is more astonishing is that these three performances alone have been achieved by one pigeon!! Namely GB14H17923 Schalee Blue now named Karen’s Choice.
The partnership has in the last two seasons excelled especially with their channel pigeons also winning the prestigious (and neighbouring) Chester Two Bird Clubs Messac 2018 with a pigeon that was fourth the previous year. Also 1st Chester Two Bird Yearling Coutances 2017 along with winning at federation level on the Channel with their federation (Namely the West Cheshire South Road fed).
Karen’s choice having achieved these performances along being the recipient of 2nd place RPRA Western Region Meritorious Award Best 2 Bird Performance(s)2017 and then 3rd place RPRA Western Region Meritorious Award Best 2 Bird Performance(s)2018. She is also the recipient of the first ever Beeston Castle Two Bird Specialist Clubs Certificate of Achievement presented on the presentation night for said performances over the last 3 seasons.
Jones Lamb & Daughters “Karen’s Choice” the very first recipient of the Beeston Castle Two Bird Specialist Clubs Certificate of Achievement for her performances in the Beeston Classic over the last three years.
Bouquet of flowers with thanks
Mrs Jenny Dodd with our host for the evening Jeff Churchill
Our host for the evening Jeff Churchill presenting a bouquet to his very understanding wife Joan with sincere thanks.
Dave Woodworth, Paul Coombes, and Tony Prevete and friends
Anthony Oates and friends
Tommy Hayes and friends
Alan Foster, George Harrison with Jones lamb and Daughter
The President and Chairman’s table with the Welch Family, Richard Johnson and Mark Pass
During the season the season we were to lose a good friend and a stalwart club worker. Ted Shore (Shore and Lea) Ted passed away while in hospital in August. Our former president and chairman who for the first time since my involvement had not recommend the act for the presentation was missing from his seat at our presentation.
A fitting tribute was paid to Ted after his passing, the Jones girls (wife and daughters of Geoff Jones) Leeann (Mum) Carla, Ashlee and Jamee (the girls) along with Emma (Leeann’s sister) tended and raced Teds pigeons in his club (Chester HS) culminating with them sending to the Beeston Castle Two Bird Young Bird race timing both youngsters the following morning timing in at 8.23 and 8.29 to record 10th and 11th position. Also a special thank you to Ronnie Dodd for running the birds to the club. Uncle Ted would be very proud of you girls so a special thank you from all of us to all of you.
The late Ted Shore (Shore and Lea, left) with his club mate Derek Griffiths at Beeston Marking in 2015.
The 2019 season is now upon us and the first of the Beeston Castle Specialist races will shortly be here. The yearling Derby and Old Bird Classic race program and race point this year will be the yearling Derby from Carentan.Markingwill be at the Duddon Social Club on Thursday 6th June 2019 marking from 15.00 to 17.00. Race scheduled to take place Saturday 8th June 2019.
The 2019 Ancensis Classic. Marking will be at the Duddon Social Club on Wednesday 17th July 2019 marking from 15.00 to 16.30. Race is scheduled to take place Saturday 20th July 2019.