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sapper756

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About sapper756

  • Birthday 03/11/1959

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    The Kingdom of Fife
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    Retired Doo Man
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  1. If interested contact: Aurel Intorsura 07465204742
  2. The colour of GB rings for 2023 are Green
  3. I have been given permission to share with Basics members
  4. Saw this on Facebook and thought I'd share it with Basics members Walsall Area
  5. UP NORTH COMBINE LOFT VISITS (PART 2) The late, great Ralph Iley. The sport of pigeon racing recently lost one of its best ever fanciers when the great Dr. Ralph Iley passed away, at the age of 83. I had the great pleasure of meeting Ralph several times through the years and visited his loft in the mid-1990s, with ‘Many Miles with Mott’ video team. He loved the sport and even after so many year racing pigeons, he always seemed to have the enthusiasm of a new starter. Ralph is famous for the good work he did in the sport, especially for his beloved Up North Combine. Another legend has left our sport! Ralph had been president of the Up North Combine for well over 30 years, and said he had seen a lot of changes in our sport in that time. When visiting his loft a few years ago he told me he thought the main progression had been going over to the road transporter, since which the Up North Combine has never once failed to get all the birds to the race point, at that time. This is a fantastic achievement when you realise that on some Up North Combine races there are 15 road transporters and over 20,000 birds taking part. Ralph also told me that the Up North Combine is a limited company and has a wonderful team of workers behind it. Ralph built his first loft as a schoolboy in 1939, and joined the Percy Main Club, and his first pigeons were obtained from his later to be father-in-law. He liked the middle to long-distance races, but had won his fair share of sprints and had been 2nd Open Up North Combine a fantastic seven times through the years, although he had never won the Combine. In 1991 he was 2nd Open Up North Combine in three races on the trot, from 360 miles through to 580 miles. A wonderful performance by a brilliant fancier! On my visit to his loft, Ralph showed me his wonderful widowhood blue pied cock which had won 2nd Open Up North Combine Clermont (20,000 birds) in 1991, bred off Ralph's old Channel family. Ralph raced both widowhood and natural, but had never won a 600-mile race with a widowhood cock. His loft housed 90 widowhood cocks split into three teams, as Ralph raced in four clubs. He started to pair up his widowhood cocks during the second week in January, each team being paired up at a different time, at two-week intervals. The cocks raced at the beginning of the season and were put on widowhood after about four races. The reason Ralph liked widowhood was because you don't have to train the cocks; he said he had never trained a widowhood pigeon in the 18 years he had used the system. Bill Porritt of Staithes. Bill Porritt's loft was halfway up a cliff overlooking the North Yorkshire coastal fishing village of Staithes. He had to cross a river on stepping stones, and then climb a long, steep path to reach his pigeons. Corn had to be carried up and the pigeons had to be carried down, which was bad enough in the summer, but must have been horrendous in the ice and snow. In spite of this hardship, this great fancier had won the mighty Up North Combine four times on a Saturday and once on a Wednesday. The Bill Porritt pigeons were raced on a natural system, but were fed the widowhood method, with a light feed in the morning and a heavy one at night. Bill told me you feed pigeons according to what you want them to do, and said likewise you wouldn't pair up early if you want to win the late long distance races. He fed a good widowhood mixture; which was beefed up for the long-distance events. Birds were paired up at the end of February, and Bill liked races from 200 to 500 miles, declaring that these distances are true races. Bill won his first race at 13 years of age and had at the time I visited his loft, had actually been in the sport over 40 years. He said he had won many premier races throughout the years, but his main achievement was to win the Up North Combine. Apart from his five wins in the Up North Combine, he had won countless other positions including 2nd, 3rd (twice) and 4th open Up North Combine. On my visit to his loft, Bill showed me his champion blue pied Busschaert cock 'Shergar', which he said, was the finest pigeon that had ever been or will ever be. This fantastic cock has won many top prizes, including 2nd and 11th open Up North Combine in 310 mile races, and in north-west winds. 'Shergar' was also an ace breeder with Bill's good hen 'Blue Haze' which was inbred to the champion cock. This natural blue hen won 1st open Up North Combine Folkestone (22,000 birds) and was dam and grand dam of many winners. Another of Bill's top racers was the Janssen blue chequer hen Champion 'Diddy Girl' which won 35th open Up North Combine (22,000 birds) as a young bird, then went on to win 1st open Up North Combine (27,000 birds) Folkestone Old Bird National. This great hen had proved golden at stock, breeding many premier winners, their credit including 4th, 6th, 9th and 13th open Up North Combine. A fantastic pigeon! Bill's families were Janssen, Busschaert and Geerts. He told me he had won the Combine with all of them. Because of carrying the birds down the cliff path, he never kept more young birds than he can get in two baskets, which was usually 35, and his main aim with the youngsters is the National race. Bill Porritt, one of the ‘all time’ greats of the Up North Combine! George Wandless of Hetton-Le- Hope. George Wandless first became interested in pigeons immediately after the Second World War. He was 12 when he and his friend Robert Lowery, who was then a retired police inspector, built a little 5ft loft to house two pairs of tumblers. He says he was not encouraged by any fancier, but the birds he got from Rutter Brothers, the late Tom Kilner (a very good friend), J. J. Horn and Tommy Mercer of Trimdon got him where he is today. George is a retired miner, working at Eppleton Colliery for many years and today the 30ft Wandless loft, at Hetton- le-Hole in County Durham, houses both widowhood and natural racers and has put up some fantastic performances over the last 30 years, racing in two clubs, Hetton Workingman's and Croft P.C., including in 1985 sixteen times first in Channel and inland races; 1994: ten times first; 1995: eleven times first and 1996: ten times first prizes. George's biggest thrill was winning 1st open Up North Combine Clermont and the ‘Queen's Cup’ in 1991. Some of the loft's best performance birds were as follows: mealy pied hen 90HET4614 winner of 3rd club, 7th Federation Lilliers, 1st club, 1st Federation, 1st open Up North Combine Clermont and winning the ‘Queen's Cup’; blue hen 91HET2135 winner of 2nd club, 4th Federation Mansfield, 2nd club Grantham, 1st club, 2nd Federation, 80th open Up North Combine Abbeville, 1st club, 1st Federation, 1st Section, 1st FCC, 1st TRCC, 1st open Up North Combine Provins. The loft has housed countless champions through the years and at present George calls his pigeons his own old breed, as he thinks this is only right after 36 years of blending. Through the years he has introduced Frans Van Wildemeersch, Vandies, Busschaerts, Staf Van Reets and Janssens and George maintains his birds are outstanding from 75 miles through to 560 miles. Only one of his sons, George junior, has been interested in the pigeons, and his wife has been around pigeons all her life, being the younger sister of the Rutter Brothers Full article to appear in the BHW soon. (November 2022)
  6. sapper756

    Unikon ETS

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