The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024



Around the North East WITH BARRY PEARCE

within those two UNC Federations. Taking 3rd we have the North Yorks Fed top 2023 seasons loft of Andy Ward and Keith & Kenny Homer, they got £96,75. At 2nd it was John Cooper and Mick Preston of the home club, and they took £161.25. The winners were the Brian and Keith Simpson of the East Cleveland Fed, they take £387, a bril- liant pay out. 15 Rossett Walk, Park End, M’Bro, Cleveland, TS3 7LX

below what Alan usually wins, but the YB’s flew well to give them 25 points, which gave them the R/U spot in those averages. Billy Cowen moved into Paul Burniston’s allotment loft from flying behind his house just along from Ged and Sue on Laburnum Road in Redcar, so their will have been friendly rivalry I would have thought at each race to see who would be ‘top loft’ on Laburnum Road at each race. Bill I believe took over the lofts with some of Paul’s birds still in situ, so he had a good foundation in place, and it shows for he started straight away with a 5th Club at Selby, and then went on to get in total 35 points. He had wins at Peterborough and Newark, with other scores in the top five including 4x2nds with the OB’s, but he only had the one score with YB’s, a 5th Club Worksop, but still a good season foe the lad. Next up was a bloke that has served this club well over the years, taking the top spot in many years since he moved to Redcar from the Yarm/Eaglescliffe area, and he has been a staunch supporter of this column to. Bob McGillicuddy had another good year with a modest sized team of Widowhood cocks, and a modest sized team of YB’s, no more than 20/30 OB’s and say 40 or so YB’s, which is far below the norm in these times. He had 3x1sts with OB’s, then we go to another nine top five turns with OB’s then moving on to the YB’s he had 2x1sts with them, and another three top five turns, and amongst the silverware he had to take home on the night, was for the best position won by a club member in UNC races, and he had a 2nd UNC Maidstone which nearly got him Gold Medal number two to go with the one he won back in 2007 from Eastbourne against 10,143 birds. His points total was 56 points which got him the R/U spot in the club, but as well as he flew, and as stated as done for many years, he was a long way behind the top lofts total of 169 points, this magnificent total was won by the Paul Withers, Steve Hobson and Sean Gent loft. They had 118 points with OB’s and 51 points with YB’s, with the OB’s taking 9x1sts etc, and the YB’s taking 3x1sts etc, which saw a barrow full of trophies being won, amongst them one for being the highest placed loft in the North Yorks federation averages, R/U I believe behind Ward, Homer and Homer of the Grangetown HS. The partnership has now split up, Paul is still going to be involved as he has taken over the Federation Secretary’s job, and I hope Steve and Sean stay with us in some capacity, but whatever, they had themselves one hell of a season, that's for sure. That saw the trophy side of the night over, so it was then on to the buffet, but not before thanking John Groom for travelling across from Hartlepool to do the honours, and as stated the buffet, raffle and an auction of five birds which was towards the clubs B/B. Thanks to Ged and Sue for the information for the Redcar clubs night of nights, thanks for results during the 2023 season, and I’ll end by wishing all Redcar members all the very best in the 2024 season. BP

Of the few regular yearly invites to presentations, without doubt the one I would probably to have wished to have attended the most, is the Redcar Central HS nights of nights. This is one club that I have had a long and good association with, for thanks to Bob McGillicuddy, the results of all races flown by this good and strong club, he has unfailingly sent me the results, thus when this clubs presentation has come around, the invite to attend has always been put to me. This years was one that due to being unwell I couldn't attend, it was held during my twice weekly course of treatments at James Cook Hospital, and that fact, plus my ‘aversion’ to night driving, the invite was reluctantly turned down. Nevertheless, I wanted to give this club the publicity it richly deserves, for it has some great fanciers and people within its ranks, which to me deserve that publicity. Thanks to the long time Secretary Ged Hampson and his wife Susan for the list of winners.

The last vote of thanks go to his wife Sue for her help, especially with the paperwork, and doing the result if Bob’s not around to do it, and all this confirms my take on this club, its a good well run club by some good lads and lasses. It was then time to hand over the winnings, and on this night the chief guest was John Groom from Hartlepool.

Now on to the points winners etc, and we’ll start with a loft that I know will only get better, as Mick Calvert and his son Kevin are previous 1st UNC winners when they flew behind Mick’s home. They then relocated to Dormanstown and more than held their own there, before again relocating to Redcar allotments, taking over lofts, as he was leaving the sport. Mick and Kevin only had the one chalk, with OB’s for just the two points, and just to say the club pays out on the first five places. Andrew ‘Wez’ Wheeler will welcome the UNC flying the water again, he much prefers the longer races, so his five points means he will be looking to better this season. Next up we have forementioned Paul Burniston & Family, Paul decided against flying behind his house, and took up the allotment and lofts of Preston and Mooney, flying just YB’s. They flew well before they sold the lofts with the idea of flying behind the house, and they have quickly served notice of the intent to do so again, for their eight points came about with a 2nd Club Grantham, and a 1st and 5th Club Chelmsford, winning the trophy for that race. The new partnership of Cooper

This years venue was Redcar Cricket Club, the new place for meetings, and this is a place I have been in on quite a few occasions, as my nephew Craig plays cricket for the club, and various family members birthdays, christenings etc have held their get together there. Ged is one hell of a Secretary, and as is his want, first off before the presentation took place, he read out some facts and figures from the 2023 season. The send numbers to all races were 5,533, which equates to about 223 baskets being used at races, a drop of about 50 from the 2022

Paul Withers top with Steve Hobson in 2023 Redcar HS.

season, and quite a drop from 7,200 in season 2022. As he says, smaller send figures and smaller membership figures. In a postscript to me with the list, he’s added that three seasons ago the club had 24 lofts, now its become 12 lofts, that figure alone is testimony of just how the sport is diminishing. The season 2023 saw a change from pooling, to a £5 2-bird nom, which saw £620 being paid out during the year. The four inland Nationals saw £310 being paid out in prize money, and £639 was being paid out on the night in point and average money. The Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show race pay out was being paid out as well, and that was £645, so taking it all in to account, about £2,200 was being paid out on the night, quite a pay out for just a grass roots club. Ged also thanked the likes of Bob Mc for doing the results, he’s quite happy to do that, and happier still if he’s on them. Also thanks to Paul Withers for his help with his van, getting baskets and show pens to where they needed to be. Steve Hobson was yet another to be thanked, Steve is the basket man, and the basket cabin man, spotlessly kept said Ged.

John at that time was the Stranton HS Secretary, and a Vice President of the UNC, but since the night he has now taken on the President’s job and is I believe doing the Hartlepool Federation Secretary’s job, so he is well and truly a ‘doer’ as I call them in this game. The first presentation is to the winners of the Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show race, this is held each year in the month of January, I and Sammy Marshall judged this in 2022. The 2023 show had 68 birds in the pens, with another 62 being nominated, 130 in total in the race which is as always the first OB National. The birds in the race that are from 10th to 7th positions receive sponsorship of various pigeon products from Mr & Mrs Arthur Andrews of Oakham, something they do annually. These the winners get more or less straight away after the race is flown, but not last season, has Arthur was in hospital for that time, and the products weren’t given until August, when they came up to near by Whitby for the regatta. Hope all is well now Arthur, BP. The show race is open to two Federations, North Yorks and East Cleveland, and there’s some terrific lofts

and Preston were next up, John and Mick starting their first season together quite well, with 26 points being won. They did quite well at the OB Nationals taking a 4th and 2x5ths, winning a trophy for timing the first yearling in from Plumpton. They also had a 4th at Grantham and ended the season with the first five at the last YB Selby race, so although Mick is evidently at sea as a ship’s painter a lot, as the birds are behind John’s house, he’s obviously getting it right while Mick is away on the high seas, or as Ged’s puts it, some- times in Redcar's Stockton Arms. The next up is the club stalwarts Ged and Susan Hampson who fly behind their house, another loft with 26 points, and they got two red cards to help with this total. They had 1st and 2nd Grantham OB’s, 1st 2nd and 4th Chelmsford (1) winning the trophy for that race, and they also had a 2nd Club at Huntingdon, so well deserved. We switch back to Warrenby allotments for the next winners, the Alan Hall, Walton and Baldwin team with 32 points, with the YB’s flying particularly well. They had just the seven points with the OB’s, far

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