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Provisional report on Bamfords Topflight Fraserburgh

Provisional Report of the NRCC Bamford Topflight NRCC Fraserburgh RaceBamford’s TopFlight, It was the NRCC ‘s ‘Bamford’s TopFlight Fraserburgh’ race, and what a tough race this turned out to be.
I am pleased to say that the verification software behaved itself and going by a shorter race that I had earlier in the day (Ian) I expected the first verifications at around 2.30pm which was 8 hours to the shortest fliers.
Well, 8 hours came and went then 9 hours also came and went and I began to think that maybe the software is not working after all although the telephones were quiet.
Then at 4.00pm the first members to verify were Mr & Mrs Darren Kingswood whose two-year-old pigeon was home at 15.53 hours.
I then waited a further one hour plus before I received the second verification, in the meantime I had checked that the first pigeon was indeed entered in the race which it duly was.
There was a steady trickle of verifications over the next few hours then one came in from Mr & Mrs John Christensen whose gallant pigeon was flying 120 miles further than the winning bird to take 3rd Open provisional.
I was up early the next morning to carry on receiving verifications which came in right until the close of the race at 440 ypm.
The relevant information was emailed over to ray who had already made a start getting hold of the section winners for this report.

Darren & Jackie’s winning pigeon

1st Open 1st Sec C – C644 Mr & Mrs D Kingswood
It’s not many weeks since I (Ray) was in Huttoft, the reason being to verify the 1st Open Dunbar winner belonging to Darren and Jackie Kingswood, Darren’s parting words were ‘see you soon!’ Now I don’t know whether he meant at the Perth marking or that he knew something I didn’t, either way I would soon be making my way back along the A52 past Butlins and on my way to Huttoft to verify their fourth winner, their third being only four weeks ago from Dunbar!
At Dunbar when the couple verified and their name on the leader board was up and down because separating velocities were decimals, this time we were waiting for more arrivals to appear as this was proving to be a tough test for the birds and after glitch in the Perth Verifications Darren and Jackie were wondering what was happening as it was some one and a half hours plus before the next two fanciers would be able to verify let alone getting around to doing so!
Yes, arrivals were very steady. It was always going to be a tough day as the season’s races had not allowed for time on the wing and these birds were going to have to dig deep.

Darren and Jackie’s Fraserburgh winner is a two-year-old dark pied hen flown on the round-about system. Darren tells me ‘I wanted her for this race as last year she had done ten and a half hours from Elgin with the BICC, in fact my first three birds from Fraserburgh yesterday all went to last year’s BICC Elgin race too!’ Now I will tell you something “Darren sent eleven birds to Fraserburgh, and he had six on the night and two on Sunday, yest eight from eleven on a tough day!”

The birds paired up end of December take a round youngsters but this year as Darren was in a restriction zone due to bird flu he was not allowed to exercise his birds so he left them together so some were sitting again and this hen was rearing a youngster, however the restriction was lifted and during the early training her cock bird was lost and Darren says she was unbelievable her behaviour was so much that he left her to rear the youngster by herself as she wouldn’t let anything near the box.
Eventually the birds were separated the last week in March and with the club racing starting on 16th April he missed the first races as he was still getting some fitness on to the birds.

When the birds are finally separated the hens go in to 5-foot section with v perches and the cocks have a full 8-foot section with up and over boxes. On the day of basketing the hens are basketed straight from their section and will only see the cocks on the return. We use SS Corns which we buy in bulk and are fed on two different mixtures depending on the workload and the weather, one is a heavy sport mixture, and the other is a lighter mix.

Sec A – P Crooks Nottingham

Some of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire fanciers are still is under restrictions from bird flu and our club chairman Paul Crooks was lucky enough to be just outside of

the said area but has had to take his birds to a different club to mark his club birds and send federation only as he is the only fancier in his club that hasn’t been affected, but what a result his bird put up in a strong west wind to finish 7th Open and some 60 miles to the west of the leading birds in a strong south west wind.
She is a three-year-old blue hen of Hereman Ceuster bloodlines. She was paired at the end of February, reared 2 youngsters, and then parted.
The birds are not repaired prior to racing and had four federation races plus NRCC Dunbar after which she had two short races up to 150 miles. Paul said ‘they go every week, she went 146 miles week prior to Fraserburgh this week. I feed on a light low protein mix up to weds pm then a higher protein mix is used. The birds are road trained about three times a week to twenty-four miles and are also loft flown.

Pauls hen from Fraserburgh

I have my dropping tested regular and were tested last week which came back all clear!
Prior to basketing I don’t show the sexes to each prior to basketing, but on return they are left overnight and parted around Sunday lunch time. Fraserburgh was a very hard race which I think caught a lot of birds out as the racing has been relatively easy so far this season. My hen went to Hexham last week and she was last back to the loft, had the extra time on the wing done her some good or had she learned something, we will never know!’


Sec B – B669 J Ramm – Sleaford
Jack a retired bricklayer now an active ‘gamekeeper’ has only just re-joined the club as like many has been flying south with the Peterborough Central Federation however not being able to get any distance racing Jack decided to get his application in and compete in the clubs Fraserburgh race.
Prior to last week’s race this yearling blue chequer cock of Janssen origin had only flown on the south road. He secured his ticket to Fraserburgh when last week he returned from the 150-mile trip to Blandford on the south, only to ‘skit’ around the loft half a dozen times like a youngster when he returned.

Jack flies the birds on total widowhood and says it’s the hens that have been coming for him but after the way this bird came the last week it was the cocks that were going to be ear marked for this race.
The birds were lightly fed after last weekends race and then were put onto a heavier sport mixture as the week progressed with some ‘super Energy’ mmix given on the later days prior to basketing.

The only training the birds have or four or five tosses with the car prior to the season then after the first race they are only loft trained
Basketing was Thursday morning at 6:00am the cocks and hens were run together for half an hour and Jack picked up what he wanted depending how they were behaving and their fitness on the day

When the birds return especially after yesterdays race the birds were left with their partner overnight. Jack said of the race ‘it was a hard day race, and you could see he had a fly but he’s back in good order and will soon perk up from his hard day at the office’ he has the makings of a good pigeon!’

Sec E – D694 Mr & Mrs Pateman & Son

Robert is the son in this partnership and flies with his dad Steve and mum, Rob say’s ‘mum don’t have a lot to do with the birds now, but she is always there when an extra hand is required’. The partnership has always flown on the north with the Leicester NR Fed and a short while were also in the Notts Fed.

L-R; Rob with Dad Steve

The birds are housed in a 12 x 6 wooden loft and were paired early December, and all reared a nest after which they are separated until they were later re-paired for the

Their hen bird back on her youngster

flying season
They started the season flying cocks and hens on total widowhood however Rob had to have an operation on both feet and Dad Steve works nights and getting everything done around the loft was proving too much so after five weeks in they repaired the birds and started flying them on natural, Rob say’s ‘he has found at club level the ‘naturals’ are little off the pace than the widowhood men and it’s been 20 years since flying natural so it’s a big refresher course, but not being so mobile they are giving him great pleasure and it’s a joy to watch them around the loft!This hen was sent coming back to a 5-day old baby, she has previously been to Dunbar and Perth this season with the NRCC and every week with the federation, so she was going to be left at home this weekend but was selected at last minute as she was sitting tight and acting different around the loft, some things you notice when the birds are not shut up when on widowhood’!

‘Her sire was bred by J Norris of Grantham he has been a very consistent pigeon for us too from the longer races, when she returned she looked like she’d worked hard to get home but was still in good condition we had one out of two on the day, so we are really happy with the result on a difficult race, we would like to thank club mates Brian Manning for taking us to the marking station every race, Steve Dewick for training the birds and Darren Shepherd for convoying the birds with Merv and keeping them in great condition’.


Sec F – S & L Bowles
Shaun and Lisa Bowles have been enjoying a great season their club and local federation, so it was no surprise to see their name pop up on the leader board.
Their three-year-old blue Soontjen widowhood cock bird has previously won three races, ‘he also went to Dunbar and Perth this year with the NRCC and was their first bird home from Thurso last year’.

The loft paired up in January and let the race birds have a round of youngsters taking the hens away before they lay for a second time and leaves the cock to finish the youngsters off, he will then repair six weeks before the first race training the birds while they are sitting and then split them two weeks before the first race.
I asked Shaun if he did anything to motivate the birds prior to basketing, his reply ‘No there are no secrets I practice a standard widowhood system, I do show the bowls and then the hens before the race and I like to see the cocks go deep in the bowl when calling the hen. Feeding is the same I start light at the beginning of the week and heavier towards the end, depending on how hard the race is going to be, and this one was hard!
I showed my hens prior basketing Thursday morning, nothing different just the same as I always do. Last week we went away as it was the Jubilee, so the birds didn’t get their regular exercise, so I gave them a training toss with the car.
His last race was Perth NRCC had not seen his hen since then but did show her Thursday morning before basketing. The cock that came was amongst my first few from both Dunbar and Perth, he was also my first pigeon from Thurso last year and has won 3 previous races, he’s a good pigeon and on this day on his return he was very tired on return flown most of his body weight off, my second pigeon was twenty minutes behind the first arrival, and he should be 2nd section to his loft mate’.

Sec H – No entries

Sec I – John & Sylvia Christensen Basildon Essex
What a result for these guys and their galant pigeon flying just short of 435 miles on the day, clocking at time this blue 3-year-old ‘Hession Van Reet’ widowhood cock bird is 3rd open for this husband-and-wife partnership from Basildon in Essex.

John and Sylvia’ don’t keep a lot of pigeons but say what we have ‘we find we have the time and energy for this amount as due to age and health we can’t keep up like we used to, and we like to balance Pigeons and Family life, but we do enjoy our time with the pigeons and if we are away then grandson Matthew and his partner Nicky are always eager to help’
‘We have a fairly straight forward routine with the birds The old birds are housed in a 30ft loft which is split into two sections, half for the cocks where there are 15 boxes and the other half is for the hens which is cleaned out each day, in the boxes they sprinkle ‘San Dry’ which helps keep the boxes nice and fresh.
Fresh water is given twice a day, bath day is a Sunday. When we train the birds, we always single them up and when training they always return to their hen and when racing the hens are always shown prior to basketing.

‘All of our food is obtained from Ivan Rich when we are up at marking, and we like to give the birds as much as they want as it is in front of them all the time prior to basketing day as we must leave early. Some seed is given along with peanuts as a titbit each day especially on the day of basketing for the longer races. Our section winner has had every race so far with the NRCC this year. On his return on Saturday his wattles we discoloured so what he had been trough we will never know but on what was w a testing day he well and truly gave it what he could! ‘Will there be a day of Champions?
What I must say is ‘he wasn’t overly thirsty we put that down to the good care of the conveyers of the NRCC with feeding and watering. Thank you, team!’

The next race for the NRCC is the Aviform sponsored Blue-Ribbon race from Lerwick, this is what the club is all about. If you want to win the King George V trophy, get your entries in as early as possible. Please see your entry forms for full details.