On Saturday, June 1st the members of the NRCC saw their pigeons liberated from Perth at 7:30 into a lovely blue sky with puffy white clouds and a light West wind.
The forecast down the rest of the country saw the wind picking up changing North just before the Humber and it stayed that way for the remainder of the day. With strong gusts thrown in it gave them an extra pace pushing them down the country at speed becoming a bit of a blow home for some.
Many fanciers were taken by surprise as they began dropping in earlier than expected with some of the shorter flyers seeing their birds coming back out of the South after flying over.
For Dale and Diane Culling it was definitely a surprise as the only thing heard were the bob wires in the trap go after their bird had gone through! Dale wasn’t born into a pigeon environment but caught the bug at ten years old through a mate. It was fascinating to him that these little feathered friends of ours would make it home from such a long way away and it is a fascination that still keeps him loyal to the sport today. A pigeon man through and through for 52 years now and in partnership with wife Diane since 1980 it is a passion they both share and enjoy together.
Dale recounted to me that at the tender age of 16 and with the support of his family, he applied to join his first racing pigeon club, the Earlham RPC in Norwich.
With a loft that was put together with odd bits of wood, an old door and a piece of lino on the roof to keep it waterproof, his humble start in the sport began. With no money in his pocket at that age it was through the kindness and support of the other club members at Earlham RPC who all clubbed together to pay his subs for him that first year.
The club had a good 40+ members at that time and competition was stiff however, in 1978, a year after joining, Dale claimed a second in the first young bird race and was over the moon to receive a club card for his achievement. Dale has been a member of the NRCC for some 38 years and although switching to South Road racing for a couple of seasons a few years back, didn’t enjoy the racing and so switched back and now remains a loyal lover of the North Road.
Both Dale and Diane have achieved some good results on the North Road and will both openly admit to not doing so well with the sprint racing as the focus and pleasure for them is more on the longer distanced races, previously claiming 1st Section, 2nd open from Thurso in 2021.  With a move to Norfolk and the Norfolk Fed two and a half years ago the husband-and-wife team had to rebuild their race team. This was from their original stock birds that they bought with them from Norwich with the focus very much on the NRCC race programme.

The Culling’s Open Winner

The cock that took 1st NRCC open Perth was 19th Open and 6th Section from the NRCC’s Dunbar race two weeks previously and Dale told me that he was fancied for the Perth race that much both he and Diane decided to pool him in the fed and yearling NRCC noms. This certainly paid off for them!

The winner’s wing

On the day of basketing the husband-and-wife team chose eleven birds to go to Perth and by two twenty on race day they had ten out of the eleven with the last one dropping in on Sunday morning. One hundred percent returns and all in great condition. They knew he was fast and had a good feeling it was a good time and when they received a call from Ian Bellamy telling them they were provisionally sitting at the top, with a velocity of 1884, they knew their good feeling was right. It was all a bit of a blur after that and after a very restless Saturday night, it was confirmed they had indeed won and their bird would need to be verified. Both said it still hasn’t sunk in and this is despite the overwhelming number of congratulatory messages that have come their way from friends in the sport. The couple have decided to name their winner ‘Dicks Boy’ after Dale’s dad Richard. Unfortunately, Richard passed away when Dale was just a young lad and never saw him take up the hobby or see his brilliant Perth win however, he is sure he will be looking down on him with a very proud smile on his face at what has been achieved. ‘Dicks Boy’ is bred from raced parents, the sire a Franz Zwols x Janseen and the dam a Hartog.
Their team of birds are raced on roundabout, with the hens being prepared for Lerwick, and were trained three times a week prior to the start of racing but just once a week now the season has started. They are taken no further than 26 miles up near Huntingdon with the intention of the birds coming over the wash and will remain on the roundabout system now until the end of the season, with the exception of ‘Dicks Boy’, who will now be put to stock. On finishing up Dale and Diane would like to thank Malcolm Simmons who has been a great friend and help of the years. They would also like to thank everyone who has sent messages of congratulations to them. A special thank you also goes to their daughter Georgie, son-in-law Dale and granddaughter Alessa who without their help and support, it would be a struggle. It was an absolute pleasure talking with you both and I hope it is not too long before we speak again. Also, I, along with the NRCC committee, congratulate you on your win and wish you every success for the rest of the season.
Moving now onto the section winners I begin with;

Section A winner Kevin Spiers, velocity 1759:First of all, I’d like to thank my wife Donna for her help, and the NRCC committee for all their hard work in putting on these races. I would also like to my mentor, Graham Rick for taking my birds to the marking station for me. Well done to the open winner and also the other section winners. Now, on to the blue hen, I’d like to thank her for winning another section A to add to her section A win from Thurso in 2023. She’s been on form the last few weeks being 4
th fed Berwick the week before beaten by two loft mates. She was 1st pigeon from Dunbar and the week previous to that, 10th fed from Whitley Bay beaten by several loft mates. Again, she is from a son of Amulet x sister of sphinx (syndicate lofts) paired to an inbred granddaughter of Den Add from Marcel Wouters (gifted to me by billy Thompson) yours in sport Kev.
Section B winner Dan Soanes-Brown, velocity 1751: I sent a team of ten of my best cocks to the race at Perth. The whole team had missed the race the weekend before as I was to be out of town. The section winning pigeon is a two-year-old blue cock bred by Woof Bro’s of Ollerton. In May he skipped Dunbar and went to Berwick with the Notts North Road Fed instead where he finished 18th Fed. I decided off the back of that result that he should go to Perth. Being a short flier, I wasn’t expecting any sort of result with the wind blowing as it was. We had picked up 2nd section from Dunbar with another of Charlie Woof’s birds two weeks prior, so topping the section this time was a nice surprise, especially as it’s our first time flying from Perth and the longest race to date. This blue cock is flown on widowhood. I’ve tried to concentrate on the cocks more this season after struggling to find the time last year to give both hens and cocks the attention they needed to fly well. It seems to be paying off.
Section C winners Darren and Jackie Kingswood, velocity 1862: I want to congratulate the winners of the race and thank the race team for doing a great job looking after the birds. He is bred out of my NRCC Dunbar winner paired to a BICC Perth 2nd open 1st section winner. The family has bred winners from the beginning. I’ve had other BICC section winners out of this family and also fed winners. I have also put one the same way bred in the NRCC futurity sale this year.
Section E winners Hardy and Wilson, velocity 1740: My section winner is a 2-year-old blue white flighted hen from my Jelle Jellema family previously winning in 2023, 2nd club, 6th section fed Fraserburgh, beaten by her aunt. Her dame is a full sister to the sire of my Lerwick Kings Cup winner 2022 and is now breeding at the loft of my long-time friend Alan Gibb, Cheltenham. Her sire comes from a cock bred at the house of Arden from Jelle man, Jelle babe lines when paired to a hen from Luuk Becker, Holland, Zwarte Goude lines.
Section G winners: A Austin, velocity 1629. Section H winners George and Steve Chalkley, velocity 1677: No strangers to topping section H, the pigeon that did the deed on the day for George and Steve, is a Wescott hen that can be traced back to a Lerwick winner from Peter Crawford x A David Hales cock bred form his top ‘80’ pigeon. He was raced on roundabout initially but was paired up and raced natural just before Perth. Scoring for George and Steve a couple of times last year and with over a thousand miles under his wing already this year, he was more than ready for the NRCC programmes second race
Section I winners Jacqui and Terry Ivatt, velocity 1874: Terry having checked the weather forecast, said we need one in 5 and half hours, so when I heard him shout at 3 minutes past 1 from where I was working in the back room, I had to quickly run out to the garden to double check. Terry said he flew straight through the trap and was straight back on his eggs, not even stopping for water or food. Bred by ourselves from a hen given to us by John Gérard – G/dtr of Zwarte Loudes and sire bred by House of Arden from Padfield’s Invincible line. He was lightly raced as a young bird and after a shaky start to the old bird season managed 4th club from Gt Driffield the previous week. This is our 2nd time at being second open, having previously been 2nd open from Thurso when we last raced north road before a few years on the south. Hoping for third time lucky soon. A big thank you too all at NRCC, for how well the birds are looked after and to everyone at our marking station in Ipswich that help and support us, because without you all we could not be such a viable, friendly station. Moving on to something a bit different, I thought this week it would be nice to give members a bit of an insight into the people that work behind the scenes of the NRCC and was fortunate to catch up with Alwyn Cooley. He’d just pulled in at Wyberton after collecting the pigeons from the Ipswich and Cambridge marking stations. After setting out the ungodly hour of 4 o’clock in the morning to avoid the Ipswich show, he arrived at Ipswich. This is his 4th year driving with the NRCC and he does a great job. A pigeon man himself he used to race in the Horncastle South Road club until joining the Boston Central in 2012. He has raced on and off since the age of 24 after becoming interested in pigeons after an introduction into the sport by his Uncle Ted Platt and Auntie Enid. Thank you, Alwyn, it was nice to meet and catch up with you. On finishing up, I would like to amend an error from Darren Oakley’s winners NRCC Dunbar write up. I mistakenly put that he’d got 25 in the first 30 fed from Chale when in fact it was 12. He did however get all 25 home to the loft in 30 minutes. My apologies as some of the interview was lost in translation and in my notes. A case of ‘brain going faster than the pen!!’
Thank you once again to everyone who sent me in their information and pictures.
That’s all from me this week. Christina

A full PDF of the Perth OB and Yearling Nom race may be downloaded here