The second race on the NRCC calendar was on 28/05/22 and was from Perth. Some 2300 birds were sent on their way around lunchtime on Friday 27th after all the feeder services had met at Wyberton and the birds were loaded onto the NRCC lorry and trailer.
The birds arrived on site at Perth just after 10.00pm when conveyer Darren Shepherd turned the lights on the vehicles and proceeded to give the birds a well needed drink
The sun rose early on Saturday morning and when Darren had received his weather reports from our contacts and further checking down the line of flight Darren liberated the birds at 7.30am in a light northwest wind.
The birds sailed home but when the birds arrived at their respective lofts the early timers could not verify their birds on the NRCC verification service, after they had listened to the instructions on how to verify the line went dead. This was the start of the problems for the me (Ian). After I had flicked the switch from the liberation time to the verification page, I thought all was well and I sat and waited for the first verification to arrive from the verification service. I sat there and sat there and thought to myself that the birds were taking longer than they ought to. It was when the phone and mobile started ringing from fanciers who were panicking because they could not verify their birds, then I started to panic because as far as I was concerned everything was as it should be. I telephoned our service provider and received a message that they were only open from Monday to Friday, Great, now what do I do.
I decided to go into the settings of the verification service only to be confronted with lots of boxes in which some were ticked and some wasn’t, meanwhile both landline and mobile were still ringing like mad, I was trying to concentrate on the settings page where after a few minutes I found an unticked box which said “receive phone calls” which I then ticked and low and behold almost instantly the verifications stated to come through thick and fast. How the settings had changed from our first race to this I cannot answer. Computerised systems are brilliant when they work correctly.
By this time, it was around an hour after the first bird was home, so the early timers were asked to verify again in the hope that I did not miss any. Obviously, this made me well behind in trying to keep up with the live provisional result so all I could do was press on and slowly catch up.
Once caught up with the early timers, Martin Sharpe was top of the provisional list very closely followed by Darren Perry who are both in the Alford clock station. There was only 2 ypm separating them and with the race being close to 2000 ypm the winner would be on the clock variations.
I did not contact anyone on Saturday evening from the Alford clock station because I’m afraid the day had taken its toll on me, and I had not eaten so I thought I would make a fresh start on it on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning arrived and after contacting the Alford clock officer it transpired that after the clocking sheets were read to me, I worked the velocities out and found that Martin Sharpe was doing 1978.74 ypm and Darren Perry 1978.325.
Congratulations to Martin Sharpe and congratulations to Darren Perry for being so close.
Pigeons reached all parts of the NRCC by early afternoon and once again as in our previous race from Dunbar we had over 96% of fanciers who sent their birds verify their first arrival.
As Ian said it was shortly after my arrival, I went up the garden to verify my own bird and my phone too was ringing off the hook, WhatsApp, text messages, ‘I’ve verified but I’m not on, ‘don’t worry, Ian is beavering through them’ was my reply.
Early Sunday I rang Ian and when back from tidying our club results and taking them up to the club house it was back to the grind and arranging the verification of the winner!
Unlucky at Dunbar, but this week Martin Sharpe the farmer from Mumby was sitting on the top of the leader board, but this couldn’t be confirmed until we had the actual ETS Clock sheets to hand.
I’m sorry I’m typing this and getting distracted by the TV as Forest are playing Huddersfield in the play offs and my boys are at Wembley as is the clubs chairman, six minutes extra time and I have six more section winners to cover!
Sec C, 1st Open – M Sharpe – Mumby
Eleven years have come and gone since Martin won 1st Open Fraserburgh, but he didn’t have to wait long for his arrivals in last weekend’s NRCC Perth as every-one we spoke to said ‘it was like it was raining pigeons’!
Martin moved house last year and with the help of club mates a loft was quickly erected and some youngsters bred, the winner was one of these May weaned young birds that now has a 1st Open NRCC win to add to his youthful CV. Martin says ‘he was too young really, he is from my M&D Evans Vandenabeele pigeons and only had one race as a youngster, and then when I started him off this year he went down at Seaham Harbour, to return the following weekend looking sorry for himself!
Martin only has 16’ x 8’ loft with two sections one for 24 young birds and the other for 12 pair of old birds which are flown on the natural system.
Now in this young yearling chequer cock’s absence his hen had become fond of a different cock bird, so Martin removed the ‘young womanising pigeon’ and the hen settled back down to her sorry looking mate. Over the week he soon picked up and missed the NRCC Dunbar race going the following week with the Peterborough Federation by now tis young cock was driving hard so he was ear marked for Perth.
Only a small a small team fancier, he races natural, and the birds are coupled mid-January and are allowed to sit them for about ten days after which they are parted, during this time they will get rudimentary treatments for canker cocci and worms, prior to training they will also be given Orni Special from De Weert for the head.
When they are recoupled prior to the start of the season the birds are on open hole from day light till dusk and get two training tosses a week at about 20 miles.
Feeding is with Versele Laga Gerry Plus and Beyers ‘Gabby’ mix which Martin feels is heavier than the Gerry mix, the Versele Laga conditioner seed is also given throughout the week.
‘Sec A Nuttall & Son – Nottingham
Well, those six minutes have gone, and Nottingham Forest are back in the premiership, one such loft from Nottingham that has been ‘premier league’ for a long time is that of D Nuttal and Son, Ryan who will be 1st Section A, birds were tippling in’, and Ryan says, ‘we may also be second section’.
Their three-year-old chequer hen is flown in the round-about system and is from their best ever racing cock who is now tucked away in the breeding loft. He is mainly of Syndicate Lofts Leo Hermans lines while her dam is a double granddaughter of Peter Fox’s super breeder ‘Drum’ This pair have now bread 3 generations of winners for us, she has been coming nicely and will now be set up for Fraserburgh, by the time we went to the club they had nineteen homes from their entry of twenty.
Sec B D Hayes – North Hykeham
This is Deans first season on the north and his first. NRCC race with turned around pigeons and described it as a super day getting a few birds on the drop. His first bird across the line was a three-year-old blue pied cock bird bred from birds acquired from Keith Hibbert of Rotherham
Another loft racing on the natural system as Dean said ‘because I have just turned the pigeons around it was easier to train them while they were sitting. I trained them like you would your youngsters, starting them off short and gently building the distance up.
I’m at work ten hours a day and only exercise them once a day and that’s with the basket and the car’ I missed the first two races because of turning them from the south road to the north. They were sent with the federation, I missed Dunbar and sent them from 130 miles and into Perth’. Dean went on ‘I feed them with Swainstons Sport Light’ mixture and towards the basketing day use the ‘Swainstons Sport Heavy’. The food is put in the hopper at 6am and my wife takes it out at 7am because I’m at work by then. The birds don’t go out after the race until Tuesday when their only exercise will be a training toss, I must do it like this because of my shear lack of time’.
Well Dean and welcome to the north road and well done!
Sec E/D C & J Jarvis – Yaxley
I met James of the C & J Jarvis partnership at the Dunbar marking where he was keen to help at the marking station which some-times gets a little intense when your face with some 8-900 birds, so it was nice to see a worker get some reward by way of a nice result. James races on his own now and the ‘C’ in the partnership is in honour of his late father Cecil.
He described his section winner as ‘he’s a fantastic blue cock is only a yearling and has been in fine form winning the following positions this year in the club and PDF winning 1st club 1st SW section 5th open Driffield, 1st club 1st SW section Seaham Harbour. Now his gone one better winning 1st section E from Perth along with winning the rose bowl for section E and winning the club absolutely pleased as punch. He is full of character and has a great pedigree also with direct grandchild of Vale jackpot on the sire’s side and on the dam’s side a direct daughter of the fantastic blood of Lee and Alan Painter RPRA winner Taffy’.
Sec F – Woods & Batch Loft 1 – Norwich
Andy Woods & Kevin Batch topping the section, this partnership is better known locally as the “Pet shop boys”. Andy Woods is his flying partner, they both fly independently, they share the stock birds between them, but when it comes to racing, the competition between them is fierce, rivals on race day, but best of mates all the rest of the week. Andy was second section from his loft from Dunbar only two weeks ago, this time it was Kevin’s turn, only going one better by topping the section. Kevin Batch has just turned 60, he’s been a plasterer for the last 40 years. He’s kept pigeons since he was 9-year years old, from 17 years old he started racing. In that time, he’s topped the section around 5 times, this one is a special win for him as he’s topped the section from Perth with a hen, Kevin’s been waiting some time for hen to wiån a special race, now he’s going to name this blue white flight hen after his late mother Jean. Kevin’s section winner is a two-year-old hen flown on widowhood. The sire came from Jutla Bros, a Hereman Cuester, the dam came direct from Hans & Evert – Jan Eijerkamp, a Steffan Lambrecht. Back to the winning hen, she flew the 326 miles from Perth to Lakenham in Norwich in 4 hours 55 minutes, for a provisional velocity of 1938 ypm, Kevin would like to thank everyone involved locally with the marking and the convoyer and his team for a great race.
Sec H – M Bulled – Harlow
The name Bulled is synonymous with North Road racing in London, Mark who raced a great pigeon with his late father Cecil moved from north road racing to the south where he has won at the highest level and to be fair you don’t need me to tell you what this guy has achieved, he is one very passionate fancier that must race and loves it! Mark timed a four-year-old widowhood cock bird from a son of his ‘Champion Legacy 1st National Tarbes’ when coupled to a gift hen from Lee and Kevin Buddle from Dover from their top distance cock. This same hen bred 21st BBC Elgin and 32nd BICC Lerwick last year.
The cock. Flew Bordeaux as a yearling and scored 125th NFC Pau as a two-year-old and flew Lerwick in race time last year but wasn’t clocked. He has flown 600 miles north and south and he will now be prepared for Lerwick, now could this guy win Tarbes on the South and Kings Cup Lerwick on the North
Sec I G & J Blunt – Clacton
Julie and Gary Blunt race in Clacton and are keen to get he NRCC going in the area so when they get themselves into the ‘section winners enclosure’ it’s great.
While Gary races widowhood, the winning pigeon is a’ cock bird of ‘Hienz 57 variety’ flown on the ‘natural system’ by Julie. Julie does admit though ‘Gary beats me most weeks in the club, but I was sure I could beat him on the longer races’ We entered eight birds to Perth, and I got two birds before he had one! The birds were paired, this cock never got to rear his own youngsters as the hen trampled on them in the box as they were hatching, she went back down on eggs and was sent sitting 7-day eggs.
It is quite time-consuming compiling these reports getting them in for the coming weeks print, so I would like to thank Ian for his insight on the nightmare that unfolded for him as people tried to verify their first birds. All the fanciers at the marking stations, because the work there is quite intense making sure that they get all the vehicles on the way to get the driver and conveyer on their way in good time, Nick Barran for covering section F me and to you all for taking time to email your images to me.
The next NRCC race is from Fraserburgh on 11th June when it is hoped that there will be another bumper entry. Please note that marking for Fraserburgh is on Thursday 9th June.