Written by Terry Peart.
South East News
The second of the South of England pigeon shows was held recently at the wonderful venue of Epsom Downs’s racecourse. With a full compliment of trade stands that catered for every aspect of pigeon racing the crowds flocked in, coming from all over the country. Of the many fanciers from the Midlands and further a field many of them were very complimentary of the all round quality and comfort of the venue with particularly the ladies commenting on the fantastic views that were to be seen from the grandstand. On one side you could see all the major London landmarks and on the other side you were able to watch the many race horses being put through their training regimes, that is a wonderful sight.
It was a great show all round but as usual with all major shows the one downside of the whole day is the price of the food and drinks. We all know with any venue with no competition they can determine the prices that they charge. It is the same at any show, but there is a little hope on the horizon for this to improve as the committee have mentioned this to the appropriate people and this problem is going to be looked into for next year
On the door working extremely hard were four young ladies Val, Sue Mary and Siobhan, myself, I was tucked up in the corner being kept busy doing some pigeon photographs so for a few hours I was unable to take a walk around the show. When I did manage to get to walk around I made my way upstairs to see how the auctions were going and the room was packed out with Tony Cowan entertaining the crowd in his usual joyful manner.Tony`s helper for the day giving out the tickets was young Sophie McGee from France who was at the show with John and Lou. It was then to the bar for a very well earned drink for Mary and me and that is were I stayed for a little time meeting some old friends who had travelled to the show, I had a nice chat with Bobby Black who had travelled down from Scotland, I usually meet up with Bobby at all the major shows but it was nice that this time it was on my doorstep.
When I was just a schoolboy I was given my first ever pigeon by Billy Holden who now races in partnership with Kevin Pratt who have just had a great young bird season. I mention this as when I was young some fifty plus years ago Billy lived opposite me at the time and in our street in Croydon there must have been a dozen pigeon lofts, a couple of doors away and on the other side of the road Billy’s uncle Alf Holden raced pigeons and at that particular time he had probably the poshest loft around, I always remembered it as it was painted a nice pastel light purple and white. The reason that I have mentioned this is that Alf had a partner to help him with his pigeons, a fancier by the name of Dave Bradshaw. I mentioned earlier that pigeon shows are where you meet old friends well they don’t get much older than this, while Mary and I were having our drink in the bar a gentleman come over to introduce himself and asked if I lived in Croydon as a youngster to which I replied yes and I was quite shocked when he said that he was Dave Bradshaw.As it had been over fifty years since we last saw each other I was quite surprised, as Doug McClary recently mentioned another person who knew me when I had a little more hair.
The committee would like to thank all the stall holders and very much appreciated their good feedback on the day with many of them already booked again for next year, also to all the fanciers who attended the show it’s the people who come through the doors that make the show the success that it is so thanks to you all. (From the show committee).
Whilst in the main hall I met up with ex Croydon fancier Ray Duffield on his stand. Ray when he lived in Croydon flew an excellent pigeon from over the distance channel races winning many top National and Classic positions
When he was a member of the London South East classic club he was a winner of a diploma of merit which is awarded to a pigeon scoring in the first fifty of the longest race three times. Within this club Ray won 1st open from Tours, he was also 4th open from Pau on the day when only six pigeons made it on the day, his pigeon on this occasion was his Wescott dark chequer hen “The Classic Hen“ and she scored several times from the channel also being 19th open Alencon in the classic club. The sire of this wonderful hen was a half brother to “The Pau Hen“ 3rd section E 4th open National flying club Pau.this performance also won Ray two R.P.R.A. awards. Around the same time as these top performances Ray had another great win in the S.M.T. Combine scoring 1st. Open Le Mans withn8,699 competing with his hen “Little Mo“ all these good racing hens at the time were all being raced natural.
Ray now lives and runs a very nice B & B in the village of Tip Toe near Lymington on the outskirts of the new Forest. While we were talking Ray said that he read my recent article in which I stated that the Surrey federation were going to try to organise a race in memory of Tony Peters who died of cancer last year so they hope to raise money for a cancer charity. I did mentioned that they would be looking for some sponsors a little nearer the time and at the show Ray did not hesitate to very kindly offer a weekend for two people to stay at his very nice B & B which comes highly recommended by yours truly as I have stayed there a few times myself. This will probably be put up as a nomination but this will be sorted a little nearer the time. Thanks to Ray for this very nice gesture.
The Woodside f.c. was the first local club to hold their end of season presentation, this being held at the clubs H.Q. The guest of honour to present the prizes was Frank Carson; Frank is a top fancier who has for over thirty years been a premier prize winner himself in the local clubs, federations and combines many times over with the past two seasons being exceptional putting up some fantastic performances. The clubs Premier prize winner for the past season was Les Bicker with 6 x 1sts, 6 x 2nds, 5 x 3rds also winning the Old bird average, as I am going on holiday shortly I will do a full report on the evening on my return.
Written by Terry Peart.
For many years now the Bromley marking/clock station has provided the local pigeon fanciers with first class facilities expertly managed mainly by Tom Fimager and Harry Kennett who have been the most efficient pair of workers you are likely to see anywhere.
This station has basketed and checked the clocks of so many national and classic club winners it would be an article in itself just to name them all. Just a few weeks ago the station had yet another bumper two weeks with the fanciers winning some excellent races and top ten positions in the nationals and classics. Many congratulations to the outstanding performances put up by the following fanciers. First we have P.Jackson & Son 1st. Open B.I.C.C. Guernsey cld hens, from the next B.I.C.C. Guernsey race we have taking 1st & 2nd .open K.Roberts & son, 6th open John & Brad Donovan & P.J. McHugh, 7th & 13th open Peter Donovan, Peter had a great days racing as he was also 1st open in the old hens race, not content with that he also clocked to be 4th open in the National f.c. young bird race with Wicky and Kirk Bullen of New Addington taking 7th open. The station also provided the 1st open London & South east classic club winner Chris Kavanagh.A special mention must be made to the great result obtained by Dewi Staple- Jones of Croydon with his 1st open in the Ropastore Tours young bird national when there was only a couple of dozen birds making home on the day of liberation. Although not in the Bromley station we must also congratulate two more local fanciers on their performances Tony Dye 1st open L.S.E.C.C. Guernsey old hens with Paul Arnold 2nd open, well done to everyone concerned.
Onto the last four races of the Surrey fed starting with Kingsdown with a distance of around 145 miles to most competitors, 637 birds were liberated at 10-30 in a light north east wind. Leading the way with the first five in the Surrey Valley f.c. and first four plus 7th in the federation vel.1263.7,1263.4,1263.3,1255,1244, the father, son and father in law partnership of J & B Donovan &P.J.McHugh.The federation winner on this occasion is a blue pied hen bred from R & N Steptoe Van Reet stock, second arrival was also from Steptoe stock when paired to a daughter of Fred Hall’s National f.c. Alencon winner, third on the clock was a Belgium rung blue hen purchased from Lier market as was the fifth arrival and between these two Belgium pigeons was a chequer hen bred by Wayne Steptoe.1st.2nd 3rd & 4th Bromley Common f.c. 5th 11th,15th,18th fed vel.1248, 1219, 1214, 1213, J. Donovan & son,John`s winner on this occasion was a blue cock bred by Neil Steptoe this youngster is already a winner of 3 x 1sts,the second arrival a chequer pied hen being a Belgium missile from Lier market.
Paul Kelly wins the Woodside club vel.1243 with a mealy cock that has already scored 15th fed from West Bay when the loft took the first six positions in the club, this cock was bred down from Adcock X P.Jackson & son stock, and its P.Jackson & son that take the first four in the Sundridge park for 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th fed vel.1209x 2, 1208 x2.Thornton Heath winners were J Andrews & son vel.1187, Bob Brown the West Croydon winner 1181, with C.Brazier the Peckham winner 1165.
Purbeck 766 birds liberated at 11-00 into a light north north west, topping the fed is the Surrey Valley winner Harry Young with a chequer hen 1427,1st & 2nd Bromley Common 2nd & 3rd fed 1424 &1423 J.Donovan &son with two of their Belgium missiles a chequer pied hen and a mealy cock J & B Donovan & P.J.McHugh2nd in the Surrey Valley 4th fed with a chequer pied cock.The Valley members dominated this result with 18 of the top 25 positions R & N Steptoe5th, 6th, 7th,8th,22nd,25th.Chris Kavanagh 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th,18th, 19th,20th.Les Bicker 1st & 2nd Woodside f.c. 21st 23rd fed 1416,1414 with two blue hens bred from his Cooremans family
Exeter 610 birds liberated at 07-30 in a light south west wind.1st & 4th Surrey Valley f.c.plus 1st & 5th fed is Fred Hawke’s vel.1568 & 1535with two hens that were flying to Fred’s new loft location, fellow club members J & B Donovan/P.J.McHugh 2nd & 3rd club,2nd,3rd,17th,21st,25th fed vel.1559,1558 down to 1499,first pigeon a gay pied Belgium hen of Marcelis Rocket breeding this was followed by a chequer pied cock that has been 4th fed from Purbeck and 14th fed from Blandford.Les Bicker once again tops the Woodside f.c. and 4th fed with a blue pied Cooremans hen bred by Mick Sheehy.J. Donovan & son again top the Bromley club 6th fed 1528 with a blue cock bred by Neil Steptoe,this treble club winner was also 5th fed from Kingsdown a couple of races ago.P. Jackson & son take the first three positions in the Sundridge Park plus 8th, 9th, 10th fed 1516.1,1516, 1514 with three cocks.R.Morris is the red card winner in the Thornton Heath for 11th fed 1510,J.Andrews & son are the West Croydon winners for the second week running taking 18th fed 1505, with Ted Brookes being the Peckham winner 1333.
Yelverton 357 birds liberated at 12-00 light north west wind. This turned out to be a two club result with these two clubs taking 23 of the 25 fed positions between them. Leading the way is the Surrey Valley partnership of J&B Donovan/P.J.McHugh with the first five fed positions plus 16th,17th & 25th some racing with the leading velocities being 1280 (2), 1275, 1267, 1263,First pigeon on the clock a blue hen from a special breding,the sire was the partnerships 2nd open National f.c. Messac winner “déjà vu“when paired to R & N Steptoe`s “Dicks Dream“1st open National f.c. Carentan, all the youngster bred from this special pairing this year have all scored in the club and federation. The second arrival a chequer pied cock was a self bred Staf Van Reet again bred from Steptoe stock this was followed by a chequer cock of Janssen x D.Bullen & son stock, next came the same the Leir market Marcelis rocket that was 2nd fed from the previous race from Exeter the pigeon taking 5th fed a Steptoe x Fred Hall chequer hen was previously 2nd fed from Kingsdown.John King who wins the Thornton Heath is one of only two other club members to make the fed sheet taking 6th vel.1261.4 with a chequer cock.P.Jackson & son take the first six positions in the Sundridge Park,9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th federation all hens clocked within 20 seconds next we have the remaining club winner this being Paul Kelly of the Woodside f.c. taking 15th fed 1247 with a blue pied hen.
After this the final young bird race it was a very close finish for the federation individual points trophy, the winner being J & B Donovan/P.J.McHugh with 54 points with P Jackson & son R.U with 53 points. The federation club trophy goes to the Surrey Valley with 171 points with the R.U. being Woodside with 66 points.
Its now very near to the first show of the season the South of England pigeon show to be held at Epsom Downs on Saturday 2nd November. it’s a full house with trade stands for all your needs and this year the Racing Pigeon will be in attendance so you will be able to purchase an early copy of the Squills year book .I will be there also, so if you have a pigeon you want photographed bring it along between 10 o` clock& 2 pm or you can book for a later date, a call would be appreciated cn 01737 352263 if you are bringing birds.
Looking to next season the Surrey fed is anticipating holding an open race in memory of Tony Peters who passed away earlier this year. Tony was only in his early 40s and died of the dreaded cancer so they are looking to have this race hoping to raise some money to donate to a cancer charity. As things progress regarding this race all details will be published in the pigeon papers, they will also be looking for some sponsors a little nearer the time.
A few weeks ago fanciers in our club were discussing the possibilities to go, again to the Show of the Year in Blackpool. Most of them has been there one or more times and were looking for something else. Especially the most of the times bad weather conditions in January made them skeptic and after Christmas and other public holidays the status of their finances was a big question mark. So, all the sudden we decided to go to the new one-day show in the UK to be held in Epsom.
On our way to Calais
Friday, November 1st one of the members left his house, located in the “New Land” of Holland ( 50 years ago still the former Zuiderzee/Ijsselmeer) at 7 am to pick his friends for the first stage of the trip to Calais ( 370k), As the fuel prices in Holland are the highest in the EU we decided to make the first stop in Belgium were we could make 12cents from each liter of petrol. In the neighborhood of Kortrijk we were faced with the first traffic jam and lost 25 minutes before we went down into the direction of the France border. Due to the hectic traffic we became more and more in a situation of a time trial to be in time for the check-in of the ferry. A few kilometers before the French border we found a filling station and went completely out of our mind when we start filling. As the technique of the station was from “outer space” it took almost 20 minutes before the fuel tank was filled with 25 liters, much more stress and regarding the speed we drove the last 60k we got the idea to be part in a Formula 1 race at Franchorchamps or the isle of Man. Arrived in time at the docks but too late for the check-in we had to wait for 1 hour for the next ferry. After a nice and smooth 2 hrs trip over the Channel we saw the white cliffs of Dover and prepared ourselves for the last 150k to Epsom. After a drive of one and a half hour we arrived in Epsom and the GPS directed us without any problem to the Holiday Inn where we booked two nights based on b/b for a very reasonable price. During the early hours of the evening we had a look in the exhibition area where most of the stand holders were busy to built-up their stands. A fantastic clean and impressive place which cannot be compared with the old fashioned and outdated exhibition area in Blackpool and other places we visited in the past in the UK. It seems that after the 1st.Sepse show in 2012 much more traders were interested to take part in the Show and, as one of the organizers told us this was the main reason that for this second Show also the first floor was used to have the space for the two auctions and an important part of the 57 booths. Around 9 pm we paid a visit to the, at a 5 minutes walk from the hotel, restaurant “The Rubbing House”. This restaurant, first built in the 18th and re-built in the 19th century was a real surprise for us. T-bone, Rib eye and Sirloin steaks from an outstanding quality for a price we, from Holland can only dream off. Incl. drinks, entrees with gambas, livers, soup and coffee we paid 71.40 Sterling for the 3 of us. In Holland for the same menu at least 120 Euro. (“God bless” Brussels).
The next morning we walked to the racecourse at 09.00 am and were surprised to see already so many fanciers waiting in line at the entrance. At 09.15 the doors were opened and in less than 1 hour the whole place was loaded with visitors. We have seen complete families, fanciers meet and greet each other after, as it seemed to be after a long time. For us it was the same atmosphere as we have seen many times before in Blackpool. Walking around the ground floor we met a lot of Dutch and Belgian people. Dr.Hans van der Sluis, Henk de Brueijs and Edward Schrijvers from Pigeoncare/Shangri-la lofts, Huub Hermans, Peter Kos of the Spring Fair in Houten, Raymond Moleveld, Dr. Peter Boskamp and staff of Bonypharm, representatives of the Dutch companies Ropa-B and Belgica De Weerd and also Yves van der Poel. From Germany we saw Rolf Schlomer and also Geraldy Transporters so we can speak about a real international company. There were a few impressive stands bringing all kind of supplements and products for our hobby and again we were surprised about the reasonable prices which cannot be compared with those on the mainland. After a talk with a few of them we moved via the elevator to the first floor which was overcrowded with people. The bar was continuous busy with serving beer and snacks and when the auction started we saw a lot of people watching the, also outside the UK, famous auctioneer Tony Cowan. The sales went well and during our second walk around the ground floor we only saw happy and smiling faces from the stand holders. For me it was a big surprise to meet my pigeon-chat friend Darren Palmer together with his wife Nicola and his little son Alfie. As he promised me to come over for the show I brought a pair of wooden shoes for the little boy which he, being the loft boy of his dad can use by cleaning the loft. Lol ! (Unfortunately for me his mum refused to sell him to me.) Around 4 pm most of the fanciers left for their home journey and the organizers were as well tired of all their work as happy with the so many positive comments they got from fanciers and stand holders. As the first estimate came out at an increase of at least 70% of visitors we dare to say that this Show will become in the very near future the leading Show in the South of England and one of the more commendable in the UK. For sure we will return next year with more pigeon “lunatics” from Holland. THANK YOU for this fantastic day.
Tired but with a feeling of satisfaction we went back to the hotel for a well deserved nap of a few hours. When our stomach’s start rumbling we paid again a visit to “The Rubbing House” for an, again sumptuous dinner. As we had to check-in the next morning at the docks of Dover we fell asleep at 10.30 pm. After an early breakfast we left the Holiday Inn for our drive to Dover.
The weather was, again superb and without delay we arrived well in time for our journey back to Calais. After the landing in Calais we start the almost 400k drive home in a sunny weather. Without any problem we crossed the border with Belgium and like a pigeon we saw on the way back home many familiar names of liberation sites. Around 4 pm we passed the Dutch border and started to drive faster like a horse smell home. All the sudden the nice weather was over and we were faced in the neighborhood of Utrecht with the “tail” of a tornado. Hailstones like pigeon eggs lashed the cars and all the traffic stops all the sudden.
Tail of the tornado near Utrecht.
At home we heard that this was the first (little) tornado in Holland since 30 years. After 15 minutes we started the engine again and at 5 pm the first one of us arrived home. After taking care of the pigeons and a nice meal with the family we have another nice memory to talk about with pigeon friends.
Hope to see you all back during the next Show to be held the 1st.November 2014.
Written by Terry Peart.
Tommy Long Trophy Winner
When it comes to major pigeon organisations they all have one prestigious trophy that every fancier endeavours to win. Within the London North Road Combine their special trophy is the renowned Tommy Long Trophy that is awarded to the loft with the best average over the longest three old bird races.
Come the end of the 2013 season the winner of this special trophy was won by Dennis Nunn of Stepney who flies in the Tower Hamlets club with an overall combined average of 1239 y.p.m. being over 20 yards in front of the next loft.
Although Dennis has had a couple of great seasons racing he managed to win this trophy with just two of his great racing hens.Dennis`s combine racing got off to a great start from Berwick a distance of 304 miles to his loft in Stepney, not only was this the first leg of the Tommy Long trophy but what a way to start a campaign by taking 1st, 2nd, 11, 15th, 17th open London North Road combine plus into the bargain he was also 1st & 9th open L.N.R.C. Berwick yearling..
Taking 1st Tower Hamlet f.c, 1st. North London fed, 1st. Open combine was his excellent blue hen “Olivia“.This B & K Hawes Leo Van Rink x Peter Van De Meer has been a most consistent racer over the past few seasons. Prior to her Berwick success she was given two club races from Wetherby 170 miles gaining 2nd & 3rd club, 7th & 15th N.L. fed with all three of these races that she competed in beings flown on the widowhood
. As `Olivia` was a late bred she was not raced as a young bird. As a yearling just a couple of races gaining a 1st & 4th Millwall club from Wetherby and Newark. Last season as a 2 y.o. she again excelled winning 3rd club beaten by loft mates 7th North London fed, 9th open North Thames N.R. combine from Thurso 508 miles, added to this wonderful performance in the same combine she was 45th open from Alenwick 277 miles and 56th open from Berwick 304 miles, a super pigeon bred for racing, her sire is a Leo Van Rink when paired to a hen that Dennis put to stock after she had won 3 x 1sts plus 70th open combine from Stonehaven 387 miles at 11 months Old.
The second pigeon to help secure the trophy was “Denise“ another 3 y.o. blue hen this time a pure Leo Van Rink, this great hen scored in both the other two qualifying races for the trophy these being from Arbroath 363 miles and Thurso 508 miles. From the Arbroath race she was 1st. Club, 8th N.L. fed, 28th L.N.R. Combine being flown on the widowhood. When it came to Thurso she was paired up and sent sitting when she came to win 1st. Club, 3rd. N.L. Fed 3rd open L.N.R. Combine. From this Thurso race the L.N.R.C. along with the Essex & Kent Combine and North Thames Combine joined forces to compete as an Amalgamation and from this joint liberation `Denise` scored a very respectable 3rd. Open with a velocity of 1149 y.p.m. Two great results from two consecutive races. As a yearling she was a first prize winner but last season as a 2 y.o. she excelled with some of her positions including 1st club, 23rd fed, 24th open N.T.N.R.CombineBerwick 304 miles, 18th. N.T.N.R.Combine Stonehaven 387 miles5th club Wetherby 13th federation, 4th club Newark, another terrific racing hen.
With `Olivia` winning the L.N.R.C. from Berwick Dennis’s second arrival to take 2nd combine plus 1st open Berwick yearling combine was yet another blue hen “Blue Nunn“ another pigeon with a great future im` sure as she has scored very consistently, although only lightly raced, as a young bird she scored 1 x 2nd, 2 x 4ths.prior to her Berwick performance she was 2ND & 8TH club Wetherby.,her sire is one of the lofts top race cocks a black Leo Van Rink a winner of 6 x 1sts and he was paired to the same dam as “Denise“.
In 2003 Dennis had a very bad accident that shattered his leg so he was unable to race pigeons for a considerable time. One of the main factors throughout his recovery was that he had a double Decker loft so was unable to clime the stairs. It took five years to be able to manage the stairs to the loft but even now this is not an easy task when it comes to basketing pigeons for racing. As you can see through this short report since his restart in 2008 he has managed to put himself together a top class family of pigeons. When he restarted in 2008 Dennis raced with the North Thames N.R. Combine winning many top positions but this past season he decided to revert back to flying his pigeons in the London North R Combine and what a start it has proven to be. All these results were obtained racing 22 cocks and 20 hens with both sexes being raced widowhood right through the season up to Thurso when they are repaired so that the hens can be sent natural, which in this instance has certainly paid dividends as the performances of his hens has proven. Its both sexes that get trained prior to racing, when racing starts the cocks are no longer trained just exercised around the loft, the hens on the other hand are still trained a couple of times a week as their first race is not until the Wetherby race 170 miles and this is their start towards the Thurso race. The training of all the pigeons is no longer than a distance of 30 miles and this is done by the local trainer George Fry who does an excellent job..Very soon I will be doing a full loft report on the birds and racing methods of Dennis Nunn a report I will look forward to compiling… Well done on lifting the Tommy Long trophy in great style Dennis.
Written by Terry Peart.
French young bird derby
Last Saturday John Donovan Steve Dunn and myself made an 18 hour round trip to the French Young bird Derby loft in Hernicort France to see the arrivals from the eagerly anticipated race. While on the ferry a phone call was made to John & Lou McGee to see if the birds had been liberated and this was confirmed with the hews of a liberation at 07-30 in a w. sw wind. John said that his e a t would be around 13-15 to 13-30 so that would give us plenty of time to arrive before the birds were due. We eventually arrived at the loft before mid day and there was already around 25 to 30 fanciers already there most of them having arrived on the Friday and they were either staying at the local B&B or at John and Lou`s.After a welcoming beer and meeting those fanciers that were their, some of whom we had met before it was soon time to make our way up the garden to await the pigeons arrival. The birds were flying from a race point called Gueret a distance of 295 miles to the Derby loft’s the 105 bird entry from the Derby loft were raced through Johns club so this meant that they would be liberated with many more hundreds of pigeons from the local federation
As we were all waiting in bright sunshine and very hot with temperatures in the very high 20s it was never going to be an easy race for these young pigeons. It was very near John’s e a t and low and behold he was spot on when a pigeon arrived at 13-18 and with one circle of the loft trapped imiedeatly.As the first arrivals have to be verified with the club John with a witness went into the loft to retrieve the pigeon and brought it down to the waiting fanciers for Lou to verify the pigeon in her fluent and sexy French voice to the club secretary. Job done it was then checked again with the clock and entries to be informed that the winner of the 2013 French young bird Derby winning a first prize of £5,000 was none other than Brian Clayburn, a fancier that excelles in these one loft races having just a few years ago made the British pigeon fancy so proud when he won the Sun City Million dollar race and I was there to witness this great accievment. In British racing history .Many congratulations to Brian on another great performance. This great win was only possible by way of the lofts management by John and Lou MaGee who dedicate 365 days a year to the welfare of the pigeon entrusted to them from fanciers that put their very best pigeons into a loft that they know will give them the every opportunity throughout the time they are in the lofts to show their true potential.
Onto the winning pigeon a blue hen that has been consistent throughout its time during the young bird season, the sire is a yearling blue pied cock bred by the Jutla Bros of Penge Lofts London. His breeding is P & H.P.Brockamp,his father is a direct son of “Euro Diamond“ one of the best long distance racer ever,1st Olympic pigeon Oostende in 07, 1st. National Carcassonne in 06, 2nd International 10,323 birds.The dam of the blue pied cock is a daughter of “Marseille King“ 1st International 13,930 birds.
The dam of the Derby winner is a 2 y.o. bred by Darren Peters of Fenands Loft. Her sire is “Max“ the only double National winner in the Midlands National flying clubs history.1st National Tours 3,516 birds 361 miles. 1st National Bergerac 1,036 birds 534 miles, added to this this great racing cock also scored 70th. Open Tours 3,214 birds plus 332nd open N.F.C. 6,670 birds.The hen paired to “Max“ was “Phate“1st. Open Midland National Bergerac.As you can see a pigeon bred to perform at the highest level.
Second arrival to the loft that was 13 minutes behind the winner was another blue hen entered by the ten man syndicate known as the Untouchables from Tipton in the West Midlands and it was great to meet four of the fanciers in this syndicate that were at the loft to see their pigeon arrive. It was drinks all round when it was checked to find that this was their £20 single nom side bet winning them on top of their prize money another£440.
This pigeon was another blue hen I think I was told bred by Scott Ceney my apologies if I am wrong I am having a job to read my own scribble, must have been the excitement.
The dam is an 09 bred pigeon being a Gent Phillips x Ceusters x Gent Phillips Reynaert,she was only raced as a young bird then put to stock as she flew exceptionaly well winning several top positions ,she was 2nd Kingsdown 136 miles competing in the in the Super club with 50 members she was also5th in the Turlings open Futurity race winning £1,900 added to these two great performances she also had three top twenty fed positions with up to 4,500 birds competing.The sire of the young hen was a Belgium rung 3 y.o. Leo Heremans.This syndicate is having a very good run in these type of races ,we have a winner of the Million Dollar race winning this race and this syndicate also doing well in the S.C.M.D.R. having won last season 2 x 2nd & 1 x 7th U.K. and three times top two hundred open positions. Over the course of the day this syndicate had several more birds home taking 21st, 24th, 25th, 28th, 31st. A great team performance it was just one minute before the next pigeon arrived and this was for the Carpenter, Venus David & Robert team.
35 minutes later the 8th pigeon landed and this was for Hopkinson & son of Mansfield and grandson Mark Devenshire was their biting his nails as it was a very close call to see if this pigeon was to win the Ace pigeon for the series which after a few minutes of calculating was confirmed as the winner of this prestigious award, well done on securing the Ace Pigeon. A terrific honour something to be very proud of.
We stayed a little longer to watch a few more pigeons arrive, the last we see was the 16th & 17th birds belonging to Crammond & Langstaff and Steve Tilley then it was time to say our goodbyes so we could catch our ferry home. Once again our thanks to John and Lou McGee for their hospitality. I spoke to John early Sunday morning and he informed me that the loft had recorded over 50% returns and they were still dropping in so on the whole it was a successful race.
1st. Brian Clayburn 13-18, The Untouchables 13-31, Carpenter & Venus David & Robert 13-33, Jonny Attrill 13-35, T & J Davies 13-51, Cramond & Langstaff 14-04, Cuthbertson& Huddleston 14-07-17, Terry Hopkinson& son 14-07-20,John Chipperfield 14-19, One + Two of price France 14-34, T & J Davies 14-39, Jonny Attrill 14-48, Sokota Doyle 15-26 John Halstead 16-11, John Chipperfield 16-33, Cramond & Langstaff 16-43,
Written by Terry Peart
SOUTH EAST NEWS
The last old bird race of the season for members of the Surrey federation was flown from Bergerac in conjunction with the S.M.T.combine.The birds were convoyed to the race point along with nine other organizations with the Central Southern Classic club for a combined liberation of just over 2,500 birds.The birds were liberated at 05-40 in high temperatures with a north east wind, although at the home end it looked a nice flying day it proved to be a lot more difficult for the birds than it looked with the Surrey federation having just the two birds home on the day and these two gallant pigeons turned out to be the only two on the day in the S.M.T. combine.
For the first time members of the combine were aloud to nominate their pigeons through to compete as London & South East classic entrants. It was the first pigeon clocked on the day that takes the honour of 1st. Open S.M.T. combine and 1st. Open London S.E.classic club.
With a velocity of 1059 y.p.m.the father and son partnership of A & G Young of the Surrey Valley f.c. and the Surrey federation clocked their yearling blue chequer cock “Spitfire “ after a flying time of just under twelve and a half hours for this 450 mile race. To take 1st open in both the combine and the classic club, a great achievement.
The breeding of `Spitfire is Van Loon originating from the loft of a great north road flyer Davie Hunt who is a good friend of the partnership with many good pigeons being supplied to them from Davie. For this race Spitfire was sent sitting a 5 day old squab having being prepared for this race with two inland races and two short channel races ,in these two channel races he the first pigeon to the loft on both occasions
In 2006 this loft was 1st & 5th open young bird National flying club and it is the 5th open pigeon “The Huntsman“ that is the sire of `Spitfire` when paired to another Davie Hunt pigeon.
A & G Young race their pigeons mainly on the widowhood system to one 40 ft loft, they usually start the season with around 24 cocks and these are raced right through the season both inland and channel, when the channel raced get to the middle distance they then earmark certain pigeons for the longer races so these are then treated slightly different as individuals in preparation for these more testing races. Alan and Gary have been one of the most consistent Surrey partnerships for many years with many top classic, combine and national positions to their credit. In their local Surrey Valley club on many occasions they have been premier prize winners so this fantastic double win is well deserved, well done lads.
Taking 1st. Woodside f.c.2nd Surrey federation 2nd open S.M.T.combine with the only other day bird in the combine and classic is the New Addington father and son partnership of Malcome and Dave Watkins. This partnership was so unlucky in this race as they were so near to making it a great double combine win from the longest race as last season they pulled off a great result with 1st. & 2nd open S.M.T. Combine Bergerac again with two day birds so this is a great result for them.
The lofts timer this time is a lovely 2 y.o. chequer hen, small in size but perfectly proportioned appled bodied and as well balanced a pigeon you are likely to handle also a very nice looker with her tick eye hence her name “Tick Eye“.this hen was sent to Bergerac sitting 16 days and she is a pure Koopman bred from the lofts Koopman family that originate from the loft of Bob Beasant of Kingston. These Koopmans were originally purchased for the loft to compete in the clubs sprint races so `Tick Eye “was the first of these to be tried over the channel at the distance having previously in her first channel race scored 6th federation 10th S.M.T. combine Alencon,certainly a pigeon to look for in the future. Like the winners of this race Malcome and Dave over the years have had some outstanding national and combine results particularly from the longer races and I am sure that there will be many more to follow.
The Surrey federation produced an entry of 53 birds to go to Bergerac, at the close of the race it was just 8 pigeons that made it onto the result in race time.7 of these pigeons were from the Surrey Valley f.c. with the only exception being the Watkins pigeon so the fed result reads A & G Young 1059, M.Watkins & son 979, Chris Kavanagh 745, Mr Mrs T Manning & son 522,472, Harry Young 519, 488, Steve Frost 329.
S.M.T.Combine A & G Young, M Watkins & son, C Kavanagh, R.J.Furlonger 3B 640, t. Cook 3B 635, Slight & Taylor 3B 621, D.Reed 3B 610, K. Throdorou 597, Mr Mrs F Carson 3B 573.
Written by Terry Peart
Earlier this year I received a phone call from a pigeon fancier friend of mine Jannie Synman who was in the U.K. having flown in from South Africa to visit his son and daughter in law who had just presented Jannie and his wife Jeannie with their first grandchild.
Because the visit had been arranged to coincide with many family gatherings we could only manage to fit in a short time together, unbeknown to me Jannie`s son only lived just a thirty minute drive away from me so we decided to meet halfway to have a pub lunch and to catch up on his last couple of seasons pigeon racing in South Africa.
I first met Jannie five years ago when myself wife Mary along with friends John and Sue Donovan attended the Sun City Million Dollar pigeon race. We had a terrific week in Sun City and this was followed by us flying down to Mossel Bay for a weeks holiday and to meet up with our friends John and Heather Edward’s who i had known for a number of years. It was at a dinner party that John and Heather invited us to that we were introduced to Jannie and Jeannie.During the evening while the ladies were talking families and babies ect the men present sat down with a nice cold beer to talk pigeons.
My friend John Edward’s along with his brother Robert flew a very good pigeon in Mossel Bay and it is quite pleasing to say that a lot of their success originates from pigeons that were imported from the U.K. and these pigeons were the Klaks and Van Vurens of Mr. Mrs Lurkins of New Addington in Surrey.
During the evening Jannie invited myself and John to visit his loft anytime throughout our stay in Mossel Bay, so a couple of days later this is what we did mainly due to our very competent chauffeur John who drove us everywhere throughout our stay. This loft visit prompted me to write up a loft report for the Racing Pigeon Pictorial International that appeared in the issue no 470. This was a six page article that mostly revolved around Jannie and the performances of his pigeons plus it gave an insight into the South African way of racing pigeons.
At this particular time Jannie had introduced some stock pigeons from the very well known Welsh loft of the Padfield Brothers who are now very good friends of Jannie.Speaking to Jannie a few months ago he told me that the Padfield pigeons are doing all what he expected of them. Before Jannie flew back to South Africa I asked him to send me some more information and photos if possible on how his racing had been over the past few years, this he did so, with this info i have written a follow up article that I hope with the editors permission will appear in a future Pictorial. I have written it more as a self article from what Jannie sent me as he can describe the racing first hand as it very different to what i am used to. I am sure it will make quite interesting reading.
Because of the snow that we had a couple of months ago I was unable to make it to the presentation evening of the Surrey Valley .f.c.but I have just managed to get my hands on a list of the trophy winners as follows. Premier prize winners were the father and son partnership of A & G Young. who win Exmouth Ave., 1st Channel race trophy, Young Bird Ave,Lowest winning velocity, Combined points trophy, Young bird points, Premier prize winner Salver.
Runner Up was Chris & Denise Kavanagh with R.U.Old bird Ave,Best Ave. last two channel races, Best Ave. Longest O.B & Y.B.Races,Best Ave. Longest 3 channel races. Harry Young: Old Bird combined Ave,Combined averages y.b. & o.b,Old bird Continental Ave,Old bird challenge cup, Highest winning velocity. Next was Tony Cullip. Old Bird Inland Ave,Dorset Averages. D. Staple-Jones Runner Up Young Bird Ave., Best Ave. 2 longest young bird races. J.Donovan & P.J.McHugh 2nd. Channel race cup. Alan Mark 3rd. channel race cup. Mr. & Mrs Manning Longest Channel race trophy.
Text & Photos by Terry Peart
“Southerners Head North”
I have been attending the Blackpool show for more years than I care to remember and I always look forward to it. This year, having missed the Doncaster show because of a health scare in the family, Mary and I were really excited to be going. John and Sue Donovan picked us up at 6.30 a.m. on Friday 20th January and we began the journey to Blackpool. There were no hold ups and we made good time with just one stop on the way at a service station where we met lots of friends and continued on our way in convoy. Sue always books about 15 rooms at the Metropole Hotel so its a great chance for us all to catch up and have a great time together.
Dewi and old friend Reg Wright who now lives in Hull.
On arrival at the hotel we couldn’t get into our rooms until 3p.m.so while some went to a bar across the road the rest of us stayed at the hotel and had a few drinks in the bar there.
The Metropole is in a great location, a short walk to the Show and the shops in the centre of town but best of all just across the road from a Karaoke Bar called Nellie Deans where we all headed that night after dinner and a bit of a rest. Nellie Deans is a great meeting place for pigeon fanciers from all over the country as there is always good music being played and lots of great karaoke being performed and on Friday night we were given one of the best turns of the evening when the one and only Bob Rudge of the Southdowns club got up on stage to sing. Bob is from our own neck of the woods in Surrey. Bob was in the bar with Dave & Ben Taylor plus his racing partner Simon Emans (fireman Sam) as the girls were calling him. During the evening a face from the past came over to our table that being Reg Wright who used to race his pigeons from New Addington but now resides in Hull where he has lived for the past few years. Reg had a good long chat with one of our party Dewi Staple-Jones who was a good friend of Reggies when he lived down south. It`s amazing how quickly the time goes when you`re enjoying yourselves and before we realized it was 3.30 in the morning and thought it time to get some shuteye before the show the next day.
The self built loft of Peter Donovan.
We managed to crawl out of bed and have breakfast and then made our way to the Winter Gardens. Mary and the rest of the ladies hit the shops. While in the Winter Gardens on Saturday I went and had a chat with Peter and Sue Bennett, Peter is now rated as the best pigeon photographer in the country and in my opinion probably the best in the world, you only have to look at the weekly pigeon papers, every week there are fantastic Peter Bennett photographs adorning the front pages.
Peter & Tonia Donovan of New Addington.
In the afternoon around a dozen of us went to watch Crystal Palace play Blackpool, unfortunately the score was not what we wanted going down 2_ 1 with Blackpool scoring twice in the final few minutes. What I will say, in all the matches I have seen recently I have never been so cold. I could not wait to get back to the hotel for a cold lager to warm me up.
Saturday night was another late one going to bed at 5 a.m. Obviously breakfast was missed Sunday morning. It was back over to the show at 10 a.m. for a lethargic walk around in between stops for soft drinks.
It was not long before the inevitable happened, walking through the Galleon bar, another meeting place, I was just going to get another refreshing soft drink when I was accosted by a couple of Scottish friends of mine namely Alasdair Muir and Douglas Owen who forced me to sit and have a drink from a very large jug of lager. Not one to offend I sat down to have a drink. Through Alasdair, Douglas and also John Tyerman who I have known for over twenty + years I have been introduced to many of Scotland’s top National fanciers and I am proud to say that many have become good friends over the years. This time was no exception as there was a few more new faces around the table so it was great to chat to a few new Scottish fanciers. As in the past it does `not take long before you feel as if you have known them for ages, as I was welcomed into the group immediately.
Sunnyside Pilot bred & raced by Mr Mrs Langbridge Sidlesham, 1st. club 1st Solent Federation Fourgeres, 1,593 birds.
It was like a who `s who of the very best of Scotland’s top fanciers, there was Pete Patrick of Thornton a three times fancier of the year and also a winner of “1st. S.N.R.P.C. Saintes at 728 miles you don `t win many of those that often, a great achievement. There was also in the party Ian Gilmour of Leven Fife a prolific National fancier who raced a wonderful pigeon `Robbies Boy` who in 2005 won 31st. open Falaise and then the following year 1st. open S.N.F.C. Falaise what a great pigeon to own. Jimmy Mackie of Fife was also in the group along with the two social workers for the fallen pole dancers of Blackpool, Bobby Taylor and Walter Glendenning both of Dumfries. As mentioned before Douglas Owen a very good friend was also present, he is another Scottish National winner, this time from Ypres. I have received some very nice comments on the Pictorial article that I did recently on Andy Wilson but this was only possible to do with a great deal of information that was supplied to me by Douglas who I am greatly indebted to. What a great array of fanciers to get involved with.
At the B.I.C.C. dinner the countries three International winners Wicky & Kirk Bullen, Geoff & Catherine Cooper, Mark Gilbert.
Sunday night we all spent a quieter night in the bar at the hotel as we were aware of the long drive back home the following morning, and at this point I would like to thank John Donovan for driving us to and from Blackpool. Also big thanks to all our friends for making the week-end yet another really enjoyable time.
With the so called recent decline within the sport, particularly with new fanciers starting up its nice to see that another member of the very successful Donovan family is making a comeback into pigeon racing. Peter Donovan has had pigeons in his family for many years, when he lived at the family home in Whytetleaf as a young man his father raced a good pigeon in the Surrey Valley f.c plus he also scored 2nd. Open N.F.C. When Peter `s father passed away the partnership continued to race with Peter and his mother Sheila racing the birds. This carried on until eventually the birds were disposed of. From that period on the name of Donovan has been kept to the fore by Peter `s brother John in the form of the partnership J. Donovan &son this being John and his son John jr who for the past decade or more have achieved some fantastic performances at all levels Club, Federation, Combine National and Championship Classic clubs. A few years ago John jnr went into partnership with his father in law as Donovan & McHugh and again a very successful racing loft. With the formation of this partnership you would have thought that the Donovan & son partnership would suffer but this was not the case as the friendly rivalry between the two lofts was great for both of them with many top National and B.I.C.C. results being won by both lofts, Both father and son being very proud of what they both achieve and each giving the other the credit they deserve which is what its all about. Peter got married to Tonia last year and they have a nice home in New Addington. Peter has built his own loft from scratch which is not only really well thought out for its interior design but it also looks very pleasant from the outside and fits into the garden and the surrounding garden buildings very nicely.
The loft has been built in an L shape with three sections fitted out with eight boxes in each, one of these being for stock and two sections for race birds, there is also one section for hens and one for young birds with the final end section being a garden shed. Peter hopes that the loft will be completely finished in a few weeks in time to race a few young birds, so to Peter and Tonia we wish you well for a successful future with your pigeons.
ex B.I.C.C. secretary Jan Deacon with present secretary Carol Francis.
Reading the pigeon papers I see that there is going to be another pigeon show in the form of The South of England Pigeon Show to be held at Epsom Downs Race Course on Saturday 3rd of November. This is a great venue having been there several times myself for different events, plenty of parking good spacious halls that are very clean and modern. Although I no longer have pigeons I still like to go to all the functions and shows and with this one being only a five minute walk for me it will make a change to have a show on my doorstep.
16 of the crowd of us that went to Blackpool show got together again recently for a weekend break in Bournemouth at the B.I.C.C. dinner and trophy presentation. We all went to support our friends the Bullen family of New Addington as they were to collect their trophies for winning the Pau International. The presentation itself will be covered by the clubs press officer Gareth Watkins, but in the next couple of weeks I will do a report on our weekend in Bournemouth with rent a crowd, it matters not where we go we always enjoy ourselves and this weekend was no exception.
Copyright 2012 – Terry Peart