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May 20, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Race marking for Fougeres National

Well that’s the first Bowburn Marking Station completed and overall it didn’t go that badly.

The hall we have tapped into is first class, quite spacious, and accessible with reasonable parking for all. There are parking spaces behind the main Community Centre which we can use more of in future if required.

The transporter was a little late in arriving due to heavy traffic but to his credit Bob, the driver kept me informed. He was able to park up, unload and load the crates quite easily and it is only a short walk from the hall to the vehicle.

Big thank you to all the members who acted as helpers. It does require quite a number to people complete the marking task especially with the tight security arrangements in operation. Barrie Blackett was in attendance early to set up the ETS which worked well. And the traditional task of rubbers was efficiently overseen by Jim Nicholson assisted by Jim Sexton & Colin Walker.

No doubt we will get better in future as we work smarter. Hopefully the same helpers will be in attendance next time and build on their experience.

Once again thanks.

The fanciers from Section O and K were also very supportive. One thing we learned is that for Unikon Profi system we need a larger base station as the Champ hardware is too small for the pocket clocks.

Race Day 20th May

As we know the birds were held-over because of the weather (as were MNFC) and to be fair I thought it was a good call. Check out the website for up to date weather forecasts if you don’t already. It is pretty impressive. Sunday looks a much better day and there is every chance given the forecast that Section N birds are in with a shout. So the best of luck to everyone.

Bob Mckie


May 13, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report


Check out the latest article raising the clubs profile in this weeks BHW.

RPRA Dispensation

I understand that the RPRA have stated that with NFC & MNFC 2017 rings carrying the extra zero, the first zero on the ring can be ignored for all National races.

Nick Adshead

I have spoken to Nick and he has provisionally agreed to attend our annual prize presentation evening as the main guest.

Avian Flu

Nothing further to report on the latest outbreak in Lancs. where racing has been banned within the isolation zone.

Fougeres National

Hope your preparations for the first National have gone well. Jeff Walton has been working tirelessly to ensure that our marking station at Bowburn is all ready to go. We will require all your support and hope everything works out ok on the night although there are bound to be some hiccups.

I am currently in talks with the NFC to finalise Transporter issues albeit the driver is aware that we start marking at 5.30pm. You may be interested to know that birds will receive their first light feed on the Thursday morning at Sheffield.

I am expecting the odd fancier from outside the Section boundary to be using the Marking Station.

Bob Mckie

April 24, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Annual Young Bird Sale

Just wanted to say a big thank you to Jeff & Matthew Walton and John Fellows for their sterling work in organising and co-ordinating the event both in the British Homing World and on our website as well as taking the telephone bids. Its success is very much down to their hard work and endeavours. Well done.

NFC 2017 Handbook

All paid up members should by now have received their copy of the 2017 Handbook. Contact Sid Barkel if your copy has not as yet arrived.

Fougeres National

Yes the first National of the season is fast approaching (Sat 20th May) hope you have your charges winding up for the race and hopefully we will see all previous entry levels broken.

NFC 2017 Annual Dinner and Trophy Presentation

This year the event will take place on Saturday the 25th November at The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate. For more details on booking arrangements go to page 69 of the Handbook. It would be great to see a big turnout from Sportsman members.

R. Mckie

April 21, 2017

April Sale

After yet another excellent phone-in sale, the members of the Sportsman FC would like to thank all the donors and buyers who have helped make the sale so successful. As well as our members who donate each year, we must thank our friends of the Sportsman throughout the country who support our aim to promote national racing in the North-East.

April 15, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Young Bird Sale

The Club Phone-In sale starts today as advertised in the BHW.

As mentioned at the General Meeting we have a fantastic range of youngsters on offer from both club members and friends of the club. Don’t miss this great opportunity to strengthen your loft with quality stock. Follow the sale on our website to ensure you don’t miss out.


The Annual Handbooks are currently in the process of being issued. This process started last Wednesday and will take a few days to complete. Take a few moments to review the contents and if you have any questions just give me a call.

Avian Bird Flu

It appears that the situation on the Continent has improved considerably with restrictions being reviewed and revised in France, Belgium and Netherlands. This all augurs well for Channel racing in general.

April 9, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

General Meeting 5/4/17

There was another excellent turn-out for meeting which went smoothly and in good spirit.

3 more new applications for membership were received and approved.

Jeff Walton is in the lead on the Young Bird Phone-In” sale which was fully discussed. Advert to appear in BHW on Friday 14th April. There will be 31 lots of top quality young birds donated by members and friends of the club from across the UK. Sale starts Saturday the 15th and comes to a conclusion at 9.00pm on Thursday the 20th. John Fellows will be supporting Jeff in the bidding process.


Had informed clubs on Wednesday that Defra had reported the lifting of all restriction Avian Flu zones in the UK. Pigeon racing can proceed as usual in the UK. Vigilance is still essential along with effective Bio-Security arrangements.

The situation across Europe is still vexed with 2 new outbreaks in the Netherlands and both Belgium and France have restriction zones in place.

Section N Marking Station at Bowburn

This was fully discussed with some constructive comments being discussed. It is down to the membership to make this a success and we agreed that flexibility was essential.

Local Clock Stations

These will be operated at Sunderland, Ferryhill WMC, Stockton and Toft Hill. Greenside is no longer viable.

Bob Mckie

April 2, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

General Meeting will be held this coming Wednesday the 5th April (Kick Off 7.45pm)

Elimar Website

Take a look at the website and read the latest Jim Emerton interview with yours truly. All about distance racing in the North East, and raising the profile of the Sportsman FC. Hope you enjoy the read.

Young Bird Phone-in” Sale

Jeff is in the process of finalising the sales list. Please take time to study the birds on offer. There is no doubt that the young birds are class and will make great addition to our lofts. Once again we have had tremendous support from both members and supporters of the club. The advert will appear in the BHW so don’t be shy in bidding.

Bob Mckie


March 26, 2017

Calling all North East Fanciers interested in National Racing

The National Flying Club created a new Section N for the North East in 2016 and has now confirmed a Marking Station will operate at Bowburn for the first 3 races in their 2017 Programme.

This decision has removed the major problem of accessibility and gives anyone interested in flying against the rest of UK fanciers an opportunity to compete.

The Sportsman FC at Toft Hill was created with the intent of bringing NFC racing to the North East. However you don’t have to be a member to compete in NFC and if you do fancy testing your birds and skills against the best in the UK there is still time to join us for 2017 and use the new marking station.

However the benefits to joining the Sportsman are numerous not least the friendships and support given to all. We all share in each others success and remain strong in raising the profile of distance racing. We attract excellent support from sponsors and where necessary will arrange for birds to be ferried-in to Sheffield Marking Station in the extreme distance events when entry numbers do not justify the financial cost of sending a transporter this far North.

Of course National racing is not for everyone and many are put off by the thought of losing birds. It is true that you take some knocks but it is a real test of management skills to prepare your birds for these testing races. Fast pigeons that simply follow the crowd often fail miserably when switched to national racing and yet really good” pigeons do respond to the challenge. One thing for sure is that the Transporters used are top quality and your entries are exceptionally well looked after. When they return from a race their condition is invariably excellent.

So if you think your up for the challenge why not join the National Flying Club and have a go. Once you have experienced a couple of races I can assure you that many will be hooked!!

For more information just give me a call.

Bob Mckie (Mobile 07828961442)

March 18, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Bowburn Marking Station

On Wednesday night I had a get together with one or two members to sort out the requirements of the Marking Station. Everything is in hand and I will provide a full update when action points have been finalised.

Couple of key points were identified not least the need for helpers on the marking nights. I feel confident that this will not be an issue. Secondly and one issue which I will continue to emphasise. Members are personally responsible for ensuring that ETS ring numbers are recorded correctly and tally with your Pocket clock or Base unit. Any pigeon whose details do not meet this security test will be rejected and not allowed entry on race night. It is also important that you record the correct sex and colour of the bird.

Avian Bird Flu

There have not been any further reported outbreaks which is good news. The RPRA Website has up to date guidance on DEFRA requirements when near Restricted Zones and is worth a look.

Annual Young Bird Sale

Jeff is busy compiling the sales list. Please let him have details of your pledges asap if not already submitted.

General Meeting

There will be a General Meeting at the Sportsman on Wednesday the 5th April (Kick-Off 7.45pm).

Bob Mckie

March 12, 2017

Secretary’s Weekly Report

Longitude & Latitudes

I have requested these from some of our new members and would be grateful if you could forward to me asap if not already submitted.


If you have not done so take a couple of minutes to check out the Sportsman FC article. The photographs of the NFC Transporter are impressive.

Vanrobaeys BE

Since the AGM I have had confirmation that they will for the 3rd season running, sponsor the Club. This is simply brilliant and we will continue to promote Vanrobaeys throughout 2017.

Young Bird Auction

Would members who are donating to this year’s event please let Jeff have brief breeding details of their bird(s).

Avian Flu

I have had no reports of fresh outbreaks from the RPRA. Hopefully the worst is over for the UK. There remain concerns about other parts of the EU not least France –lets hope this is arrested sooner than later.

Annual Subscriptions

Would members please ensure that these have been paid as soon as possible. Also your NFC and RPRA fees.

NFC Annual Young Bird Auction

This has now gone live and there are some well-bred youngsters on offer. Check out the advert in the BHW/RP this week also the NFC Website.

T3 Testing

Would those members intending to use T3 clocks this season make sure that they have been tested before racing starts.

Bob Mckie

Competing in
The National Flying Club


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