Grantham (1) - 15th April 2023
Hello all, been a while, hope the article finds you well? With our sport in an apparent decline, I thought it would be a positive thing to tell you about our progressive federation and those ambitious clubs and individuals within. For the opener of the season, grand national day to be precise. With all our athletes in the stalls conveyer Lee Fuller finds himself gracing the people of Grantham, Lincolnshire with his presence. Grantham, birthplace of amongst others, Sir Issac Newton, Margaret Thatcher and Martin Greene, a good soldier shot on operations, whisked away in a Wessex, never to lead a normal life again, God bless. The reliable members of eight clubs loaded a couple over eleven hundred birds on to the new look, more aerodynamic transporter complete with its new driver pod fitted for its maiden voyage. After a safe journey with a little weather influenced delay and a good liberation, Lee reports the wagon already proving a good investment with improved fuel efficiency a nice bonus. The starter let them go at midday precisely into a light northeast wind.
First past the post was regular feature in the winners enclosure Steve Oddy. The Battlesbridge ace flying with the strong Rayleigh club would have twin sisters land on the pad together at a shade past quarter to two, only split on the decimals in a photo finish the siblings covered the 105 mile journey at an average 1731.57 and .31 respectively. This cracking pair of blue hens were sired by one of Steve’s older racing cocks from his successful Van Loon stock and bought into the world by a hen from a Janssen Blackpool purchase from Northeast master John Soderlund, a premier prize winner, flying out of South Shields in the mighty UNC.
Completing the treble, we have a third 3y chequer hen also resident of the lofts of the sociable club man. Only 9 seconds behind recording 1728 another hailing from this considerable 34 strong prolific team with Steve also timing a fourth hen notably picking up 6th fed 5 yards behind. Retired, Steve, racing both cocks and hens on an adapted widowhood system has been an active member of Rayleigh club for over two decades has kept pigeons all his life with the knowledge, skill and experience apparent. Congratulations Steve and the Rayleigh Mob of which you belong and for which as I love a pint myself look forward to meeting. Many thanks to Paul Stacey for the Club content. Much obliged.
In keeping with the family trend and splitting Steve’s arrivals in the fed result takes us over to Hadleigh club and new member Anthony O’Mahoney who with his nestmate brothers and competing in his first race with the club picked up the coveted red card with the first of his Herbie Thorpe simply Kittel reds, the yearling chequer cock a great grandson of Blackpool Kittel on the dams side completing his 110 mile journey in seven minutes short of two hours for 1725 and his blue brother receiving runner up spot not half a yard behind on 1724 equating to 4th and 5th fed and removal of the novice tag in spectacular fashion. Only in a racing terms mind as Anthony has kept Songbirds and avian cousins for a lifetime which would influence his decision during the pandemic in 2020 to enter our great sport. Great start Anthony, long may it continue. In 3rd at Hadleigh, picking up 15th Fed was R & S Thomas registering at five minutes to two with a yearling blue hen clocking 1679.1 Simons Bird being a lambert bred by Mark Tanner.
Hutton are now marking alongside neighbours New Laindon with Steve Smith and the rowdy Basildon boys; however, each club still produces an individual result. Russell Jaques scooped the top three podium positions at the marking station meaning a clean sweep in the Hutton result. Russell kindly informs me that his winning bird was a 2y cock with agent starling/wild wind lines of the formidable Heremans Ceusters. This magnificent looking chequer made it to his Doddinghurst loft at just gone twenty to two, completing the 99 mile journey at 1722.8 for 7th fed. Russell had a cracking race from Grantham with his next two pigeons also making the top ten of our ultra-competitive organisation. His second and third arrivals, not a minute later took runner up in the club and 9th position in the fed result with her loftmate a second behind on the pad picking up bronze and the final top ten spot. The preceding hen, a 3yo from Drum lines crossed with Hereman Ceusters golden Euro line made that vital connection at 18 minutes to the hour calculating 1706.29 with her younger yearling blue loftmate on the same yard. This well-bred cock has the origins of Dirk van de Bulck red alert / Val Boxer blended with other top European blood of Bosua van Osch and Ejjerkamp. Good effort Russell and thanks for taking the time to contact me.
In the middle of Russell’s three fed birds, we hop over to Stambridge club and secretary Malcom Scouler, Malcolm another regular in the top echelons of our county racing and nether far away, manages the day to day duties of our current Fed average champions, small in numbers and only established 30 years but leading the way into central Essex. Malcolm won the club and gathered in 8th fed with a lightning 2yo blue, a full six minutes ahead in his returns and yet another of these popular sprinting sensations we know as Ceusters. The Premier lofts roundabout hen one of 42 Malcolm has ready for the upcoming season took the red card and the accolades with 1711.8 flying just short of 110 miles in 1 hour, 52 minutes and 46 seconds. John Wickenden would reserve the Stambridge silver medal and 17th fed with his yearling blue hen’ 60 ending her 116 mile journey 10 minutes later at a couple of minutes past 2 hours calculating 1676. Malcolm who assisted me with the club information rounded up the first 3 at Stambridge with a second 2yo blue landing with a yearling chequer at two minutes two with the hens achieving 3rd spot on 1634.5 and a close up fourth with 1634.3. Thanks again Malcolm and best of luck for the season ahead.
A sole entry on the fed result this week for our county town representatives with Chelmsford city patron Mr john Payne picking up the capitals accolades and 12th fed with an enthusiastic 2019 Vandenabeele cock bred by former Stambridge flyer Colin Mann. The blue bar with formula 1 origins touched down with John well ahead at 13:42 traversing the 98 miles at 1701. Jo Teixera followed up a mile further and 5 minutes later with one of his own consistent mix of breeds Character Jo laughs at the mention of pedigree, very much like someone very close to me. Well done to you Jo with your 2y blue chequer pied hen recording 1624. In 3rd place We go back to the victor John Payne who’s 3 y cock same way bred as the club winner takes bronze with 1617 with an additional 2 cards for this wonderful family of Colin Mann protégé. Messer’s Payne and Teixera both report excellent returns and the Chelmsford pair enjoyed a great days racing. John and I are in the infancy of establishing comms at present thus No images to publish much to the disappointment of the fancy I’m sure, good work John, well done and I appreciate your effort.
Rounding off the coveted top twenty federation birds were C & P Vidgeon with a distinguished 11th, 14th and 18th registering 1702.2, 1680 and 1662. Fellow Rayleigh members I & M Hayes snatch 13th on 1699. Our unsung heroes Mr and Mrs John and Gaynor Ashenden take 17th fed at 1665 with them back to Hadleigh alongside clubmates C & R Rand 19th with 1659 and B Davis on the sheet at 20th with 1642.
With such a large geographic federation, individual club dominance within our collective is impossible and week to week results will vary, which for both you and I makes for the excitement of when Saturday comes and I am sure you will be hearing much more from the Winners of our next club, Maldon. The bocking Bullets of Derek Parsons and Son Derek cleaned up in the Scraley Road result with a good 2y Mealy hen trouncing the rest of the field on a notable 1626, over 60 ypm ahead of her nearest rivals another home bred 2y blue cock on 1559 trapping just ahead of a product of their stock loft, last year’s Grantham winning dark chequer cock, twice a participant on the fed podium. Well done Gentlemen and Cheers to the dangerous duo for getting back to me.
It’s a close run thing between the top spots in our final 2 clubs to report from but winning by a nose, the boys from Laindon. I’m a big fan of New Laindon club, who must be commended for the ambition shown by the committee from our latest acquisition. We are talking about racing North Road into Essex for combined prize money of a touch under ten grand. Credit given where credit is due, and I promise to give the event all the coverage it deserves. They are a social bunch down there with a few wagers flying about. Gary Watts leads the celebrations at the bar this week with a yearling blue cock bred from the late great Alex McKenzie touching down 4 minutes shy of 2 hours averaging the 105 miles at 1602. Jason Reeve’s runner up a home bred 2y was next on 1596 taking silver and leaving Jason a grateful recipient of a hard earned tenner, courtesy of 3rd place Marcin Grzedowicz, the sheriff’s deputy down in the southern heartlands, his 3y Sayers brothers blue cock finishes the day on 1590. Congratulations to Gary and I can’t give enough superlatives to the man responsible for the information received. A true ambassador of our local sport, the tireless Steve Smith.
I’m still to make contact with our final club and I reach out to Burnham for future correspondence, however after receiving their club result I find it no surprise that Mr and Mrs Moss top the charts, not least a partnership who as well as pipping dad and I a decade ago in the Arbroath combine but the holders of Numerous Fed winning cards and exceptional pigeons. Mr and Mrs Moss took the first 4 over on the crouch, headed by a blue chequer pied yearling 5 seconds in front of a 4y blue, followed close up by a pair of blue chequer pieds, the first three cocks a yard apart with 1601 the winning velocity.
Well good people of our fraternity I bid you farewell for this week and with another Grantham contest on the cusp of marking I must get on. Thanks again to all contributors for which the article would not be possible and I apologise in advance for any discrepancies published. I do proofread my material, but Genuine editing mistakes are forever possible.
All the best.
C L Elmes
The new look Transporter, complete with brand new pod Russell Jaques handsome Heremans Ceusters 1st Club Hutton
Steve Oddy taking first 3 places in the fed, 1102 pigeons Laindon’s Marcin Grzedowicz handing runner up
Jason Reeve his winnings witnessed by club winner Gary Watts
Derek Parson’s & Son 1st Club Maldon Anthony O’Mahoney 1st Club Hadleigh
Simon Thomas 3rd Club Hadleigh Malcolm Scouler 1st Club Stambridge