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October 24, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Presentation Night 19th October

John & Steven Best top prize winners with Rod Adams & Isaac grandson of the Sportsman FC founder George GaskillJohn & Steven Best top prize winners with Rod Adams & Isaac grandson of the Sportsman FC founder George Gaskill Runner up at the Sportsman FC Bob McKie flanked by Tom Riddle & Rod AdamsRunner up at the Sportsman FC Bob McKie flanked by Tom Riddle & Rod Adams

Well what can you say probably one of if not the best presentation nights we have had since the Club started.

The place was busy from the time the doors opened with fanciers from all across the North East in the room with several attending for the first time. To those members who could not make it, all I can say is you missed a brilliant night.

Jim Sexton & Dave McSween winners of the Coutances youngbird raceJim Sexton & Dave McSween winners of the Coutances youngbird race Driver Dawson & Dawson winners of the Fougeres raceDriver Dawson & Dawson winners of the Fougeres race

Rod Adams was his usual ebullient self and made a fine job of the presentation and his chat afterwards was very funny and contained his usual gem” of a message in the telling.

Mrs Gaskill and Isaac, her grandson were also in attendance to present the George Gaskill Memorial Trophy to top prize winners John & Steven Best after an outstanding set of performances in their first year in the club.

Gary Heslington of Malcolm Heslington & Jones with Rod AdamsGary Heslington of Malcolm Heslington & Jones with Rod Adams Barry Blackett with Rod AdamsBarry Blackett with Rod Adams

After the presentation flower bouquets were presented to our host Belle, and Mrs Gaskill.

We then served up the excellent buffet which Belle had prepared by which time the room was buzzing.

Alan Walker & Rod AdamsAlan Walker & Rod Adams Brian Weimer with Rod AdamsBrian Weimer with Rod Adams

Later in the evening Gary Heslington acted as our Auctioneer and did a really stonking job selling 7 lots of birds donated in the aid of club funds. Special thanks to all the members who donated birds and to Brian Ford for his generous support. Also to Phil and William Curtis who entered a late bred for auction. Gary Heslington clearly has hidden auctioneering talents and was very entertaining. So many thanks again Gary. Finally a big thanks to everyone who purchased birds.

Jim Nicholson & Rod AdamsJim Nicholson & Rod Adams Our host Belle with Tom RiddleOur host Belle with Tom Riddle Mrs Gaskill with Tom RiddleMrs Gaskill with Tom Riddle

The night continued with plenty of good banter with several people expressing their intentions of joining the Sportsman next season. As always when you have a good time the time quickly passes and soon it was time to head home.

Many thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you again next year.

Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton

October 16, 2016
October 9, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

The NFC Annual Dinner and Presentation will be held in Torquay on Saturday 26th November 2016

There are one or two club members already booked-up to attend this event which is one of the highlights of the NFC calendar. There is still time to book a ticket so if you fancy a long weekend give Mick Mcgrevy the NFC President a call. Full details in 2016 Handbook

Sportsman FC club presentation night this Wednesday 19th October at the Sportsman Inn at Toft Hill, kick off 8-00pm. Everything is in hand insofar as the planning is concerned. So all we need now is a good turn-out from the membership. Jeff and I hope to see you all on the night. We will have the presentation followed by the buffet then the auction of the fivebirds pledged by our Section N winning lofts. Guest auctioneer is Gary Heslington. Check out the October Y/B Sale page on this website for more information on the birds. All the five birds will be in the pens on the night. We will also have our usual raffle later in the evening.

Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton

October 9, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Back from holidays and it’s all go.

Presentation Night

Jeff and I are pushing ahead with arranging our pay-out night at the Sportsman on the 19th October. The main guest will be Rod Adams so we will have a real touch of class in our presence. Doors open at 7.00pm for an 8.00 pm kick-off. There will be the usual buffet prepared by our hosts John & Belle, a raffle and an Auction of 5 birds presented by club members who topped Section N this season.

Hopefully we will be joined by some of our club supporters including sponsors, show judges and both old members and one or two possible new members. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to a great turn-out.

More details of the birds to be auctioned are on our October sale page of the website so please take the time to have a look at what has been pledged in aid of club funds.

Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton

September 10, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Fred McCluskey

It was with great sadness to hear of the sudden death of our friend and fellow member Fred McCluskey. Fred was a giant character in the North East sport of racing pigeons. He took his role of President in the UNC very seriously and showed real leadership despite the many difficulties encountered. He was patient and determined to get things right but knew change was not going to be easily accomplished and always had the wider membership best interests at heart. From our club perspective I will miss his sound advice and friendship.

Condolences to his family at this sad time. Rest in Peace Fred.

Coutences OH/YB

After a 6 day holdover the birds were liberated on Wednesday the 7th. And what a mixed result we experienced. Watching the race play out on the NFC website I was confident that we had every chance of seeing birds on the day although early nightfall and darkness would be a major hazard.

It was therefore brilliant news when word came through that John and Steven Best at Stockton had timed an old hen just before 7.00pm.

Final result:

1st, John Best & Son, Stockton. They followed this up next morning with 4 more birds to also take 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th Club. Winning Section N for the second time this season.

In 4th and 5th club with 2 excellent timers is Brian Wiemer, at Hartlepool .

Jim Nicholson at South Shields timed 2 birds later on Thursday morning to take 9th and 10th club.

The Young Bird race was a different kettle of fish with no birds on the day it was the ever consistent loft of Dave McSween and Jim Sexton at Sunderland who grabbed the glory of taking 1st Club 1st Section N.

2nd Jim Nicholson of South Shields

3rd Malcolm, Heslington and Jones of Wingate

Well done to everyone who got birds home and congratulations again to John & Steven Best and Dave Mcsween & Jim Sexton on winning the Vanrobaey Sponsorship prizes.


Please remember our pay-out night will take place on Wednesday the 19th October. Bar open at 7.00pm for an 8.00pm kick-off. This is a night not to be missed make sure that you don’t miss it. Would last year’s Trophy winners get them back to Jeff or me in next 2 weeks. Thanks again.

Off on hols next couple of weeks so Jeff, will keep you apprised of any important developments.

Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton

September 4, 2016

Old Hens/Young Bird National Coutences

7th September Wednesday birds liberated at 11.00 in a light ESE wind turning to SSE in England.

6th September Tuesday birds held over.

5th September Monday birds held over.

4th September Sunday birds held over.

3rd September Saturday birds held over.

September 1, 2016

Old Hens/Young Bird National Coutences 3rd September

Members will be interested to know that in Section N there are 26 Old hens entered by 6 members. And 50 youngsters entered by 7 members.

Hopefully we will get a race on Saturday. I will delay the weekly report in order to capture race result.

Bob Mckie

August 27, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

We are now moving rapidly towards the close season with the final National for both Old Hens/Young Birds to be flown from Coutences on Saturday 3rd September. Birds/Clocks will be collected at Toft Hill next Wednesday night around 8.00pm. Any members who showed interest in going to Sheffield marking on Thursday get in touch with Jeff to arrange travelling arrangements.

Make sure your entries are in promptly and remember if your sending youngsters not carrying a NFC ring then there is a £2 surcharge per pigeon to be paid at Sheffield marking station when birds are checked in.

Best of luck to everyone competing.

Race Trophies

Grateful if you could return trophies to me next Wednesday night.

Pay-out 19th October

Please make sure you have this in your diary Kick-off will be 8pm with the doors open at 7pm for those who like to get there early.

Bob Mckie/Jeff Walton

July 30, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Tarbes National

So the Big One” has come and gone and regrettably there were no birds recorded in the Sportsman Club within race time. Whilst disappointing it only serves to make you more determined to look again at your approach to this marathon event. Do you have the right stock”, is your management style geared to marathon racing and so forth. All these things will haunt us for a while then it’s back to the drawing board.

Ray & George Anderson (M Anderson & Sons) from Washington clocked a super bird early the 3rd morning to win Section N and will be well placed in the Open. On behalf of the Sportsman members I say well done and many congratulations for keeping the North East up there in the National scene.

The whole Tarbes race has been overtaken by the bad publicity following the Kelly” fiasco. At the moment it is watch this space, the Officials of the NFC have matters in hand and for obvious reasons cannot talk about the case in detail.

Young Birds

Hope your training plans are going Ok it just seems that what can go wrong will go wrong these days. Nevertheless let’s hope we see a good turnout for the Old Hens/Young Bird National in September. Jeff and I will be looking to sort out and confirm transport arrangements by mid-August.

Squills 2017

I am currently working up an article for next year’s edition which will be all about the Sportsman FC and encouraging long distance racing in the North East. Unless there is something urgent cropping up there will be no weekly report for the next 2 weeks. Holidays!!!!!!!

Bob McKie

July 23, 2016

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Well, all eyes on the Big” this week. Tarbes the Blue Riband race of the season insofar as most National fanciers are concerned. The birds were picked up on Monday night for transporting early Tuesday morning to Sheffield. We have 6 club members racing with a total of 13 birds entered in a race where the distances flown fall between 760 and 814 miles. This is real marathon racing where our little gladiators” have to be in peak condition and not just sent to make the numbers up!

When we arrived at Sheffield we met up with Ian Stalley and Phil Hickson who both make their annual pilgrimage to race marking for this event. The birds were race marked quickly and it was time for a big breakfast and a chat with some of the Yorkshire lads including Ron Dennett, Nick Adshead, Brian Denney and others. I also met up with Luke Gash a young fancier who hails from Meden Vale and is an understudy of Ron Dennett. Still at school (13 year old) he has already broke his duck and won in a very competitive club this season. I was delighted to meet him and presented him with a late bred direct from The Driver which hopefully will do him some good.

It was then back up the road where clocks and baskets were returned to members.

Although scheduled for a Friday liberation the weather was against us and they were held-over. Saturday morning was much better and word came through that the birds were liberated into clear blue sky at 6.10 am in a light variable wind, but with a northerly influence on route. They cleared well so now we just had to wait.

Watching the Tour de France cycling race you quickly get an understanding of how quickly the weather changes over there when near the mountain ranges. And it is going to take special birds to make the Channel crossing on day of release. I say this because of the shipping forecast at 17.25pm which indicated west south west winds with mist in places and some of this would be thick. All of this after a tough 500 mile flight through France.

Best of luck to everyone.

Bob Mckie

Competing in
The National Flying Club


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