Midlands National Flying Club Update

The New Season is Just Around the Corner

By the time you are reading this update I’m pretty sure that many of you will have already competed in a race or two. Personally I feel that we start a little too early because times are changing and today you rarely see pigeons out exercising due to the hawk problem which carries on unabated. The sparrowhawk hen in particular loves to stock up before her eggs appear with plenty of pigeon especially in late February through to early April. Most fanciers have picked up on this fact and so the birds are kept in the loft until this period is over. This being the case surely we should be allowing a couple more weeks to get the birds fit enough to tackle the early races. After all as I write this piece it is pretty chilly outside with a fresh North Westerly wind blowing. This is no problem to a fit bird but will actually knock back a pigeon that isn’t prepared for the job. So for my money May would be plenty early enough to ‘kick off’ the season but to continue it for a couple of weeks longer at the end of the season.

2017 Handbook

Right, enough of the ‘thoughts of Chairman Mike’ and onto the latest news. The Handbook is currently being put together at the printers and it contains everything that our members wish to know and need. The book should be with all ‘paid up’ members by the end of April, so there is no need to start panicking that you haven’t received your book because we leave it as late as we can so that it contains the latest changes. This is highlighted by the fact that Trevor Bull who is the Officer in Charge of Raunds Marking station has told us that his contact number has changed to: 07941343849 unfortunately we only got the info a couple of days after going to press. So if you use the Raunds station then jot the new number down and put it in your book when you receive it. The Committee hopes that members find the book’s contents worth reading as it contains some useful adverts and interesting snippets.

Race Security

The Club has looked at other ways of increasing the security against the possibility of cheating. Unfortunately there is a very small number who could be tempted to cheat and it is believed that by taking the necessary steps the temptation will be removed. Last year we changed the Leaderboard format - this upset a number who enjoy watching the races unfold but in reality it is a readymade guide to anyone who may have malice in mind. So we are sorry but the Leaderboard will continue by not giving names etc until every section has clocked. This is also why the individual ETS companies online verification service has been ‘outlawed’. It is not aimed to spoil your race but protect members from the risk of falsified results. The same can be said about the reduced verification time which is now down to 30 minutes so please bear this fact in mind for the forthcoming season. Members will be fully informed of all the new security measures before the first race.

One Loft Update

We are delighted to say that the new loft and loft managers are doing a good job. The comments that we are receiving from people bringing in their entries is real music to our ears. The final numbers should be in the loft by the 21st April and the entries will tot up to very close to our 500 target because we were well aware that due to our delayed declaration of the One Loft Race that we would lose out to other One Loft competitors but the organisers are very happy with our healthy numbers and are very confident that if we have a successful year then next year the ‘sold out’ sign will be placed up.

Barbara & Geoff Kirkland photographed on their visit to the lofts with their One Loft entries.

The PR side has been addressed and now thanks to Dave Banks who is managing the Facebook site and Jill Smith on the MNFC website the club is keeping all entrants well informed. I know that Alan and Snook can’t wait for the closure date to pass so they can concentrate all of their time and efforts into preparing the birds for the tasks that await them culminating in the 277 mile final race. One thing I do know is that they have become dab hands at providing tea and coffee for the folk who have travelled over and brought in their young pigeons. Well done lads.

Rest in Peace Don                                                            

Don Mackay

Don Mackay who has been a much valued member of the Midlands National’s Committee team recently passed away and was buried on the 13th April near his home in Buxton. Don’s knowledge of the RPRA’s Rules was invaluable and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to his wife and family at this sad time. R.I.P. Don.

                                                                                                    Mike Lakin