MNFC Update 29.1.17

                      Midlands National Update

I must be getting old because after a hectic Blackpool Show it seems to take me a hell of a lot longer to recover especially with the workload back log that I must get through. This year we sold over 12,000 rings at the show and a good number of Gold rings as well. It was once again wonderful to see so many new members joining our ranks which will ensure that the 2017 membership will once again be increased on the figure from 2016 so of course these all need to be inputted to the database. I do though ask how many other clubs can boast a growing membership?

I must admit that I had to chuckle when a friend told me that a someone had ‘reported’ on a media chat line of the glib manner that I informed the people at the AGM that we had only received 80 or so resignations. He apparently extolled that this is 4% of our membership total and that the club should mourn such a loss.

Let’s take a look at the real facts shall we? How many of our 2100+ members are aged 60 years and over? I can’t be totally accurate but I would guess it is around 60% and so it is no surprise that a percentage of these people will be forced to depart from our ranks as the old saying goes ‘the time and tides wait for no one’. It is heart breaking to read how many of our resignation letters thank the club for some great racing but that they are no longer able to get to the marking station or keep many birds any longer. As I say it really does bring a tear to the eye of even a miserable bloke like me. I understand because I too am finding it hard to spend so much time with my beloved pigeons which have been my passion for over 50 years now yes to quote another saying this time from the Bible ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’.

In truth the membership of all clubs are like a well with the level dropping prior to the AGM and rising as new members decide to swell our ranks and as I said earlier in this report we now have recruited more new fanciers than have unfortunately left us. So whilst I don’t celebrate resignations but after 12 years in the job realise that they are inevitable. So I do wish that folk would stop posting lob sided comments and look at the whole picture.

2017 Presentation

Once again this will be held at the Doncaster Racecourse in conjunction with the RP’s Old Comrades show on the 25th November. The venue as any past guest will endorse is a fine place to hold the most prestigious occasion of the year. 

Clock Stations

There are several new stations that members will find added to the list in the 2017 Handbook that will be with you in April. That said we have received a handful of stations where the Officers In Charge are stepping down. The ones which I am aware of are the ones in Golbourne, Birkdale, Tipton and Worcester so we need replacement officials willing to continue these stations or it will necessitate their closure especially in the West Midlands area where the membership is rising well. So if you would be willing to run a station all we need is a few location details and the number of members wishing to use the station. This is simply because we don’t wish to have stations that are likely to be used my only a couple of members for security reasons.

MNFC Security

The club has appointed a committee to look at and recommend possible improvements to our security. This is because we must do everything in our powers to make our security as tight as possible.

Drug Testing

This topic was discussed and the MNFC as one of the main supporters of drug testing believe that specially trained personnel should carry out these tests to eliminate errors in the procedure taken.

One thing which the Committee believe needs rectifying is the allocation of free RPRA paid tests. At the present time I’m told it stands at 2 kits for clubs with less than 20 members and 4 for larger clubs. Our belief is that National organisations should receive a far larger allocation as after all would a fancier risk using a banned substance to win a domestic club? Surely not it is in the Nationals and such like where the temptation is likely to find a small percentage willing to resort to these illegal and outlawed practices.

 The 2017 MNFC One Loft race

The initial response has been encouraging but the committee realises that we are playing a game of ‘catch up’ due to the proposal which was only settled after the AGM. The re-action of visitors has been very, very positive with the only concern being the wires that run behind the loft but the electric company responded very quickly and the reflectors have now been fitted to the offending wires. All of the 2016 entrants have been invited to enter once again because the new loft and calibre of the new management team will I’m sure lead to a very successful race series. Additionally an entry form is in your favourite paper. Work is being put in place to allow people to enter the race via ‘PayPal’ with a small admin charge or you can continue to pay with the existing method of ‘World Pay’.

The final stages of construction of 'The Hollywood Lofts'

A wise and bold decision has been made I feel to hold the final race from Coutances the Sunday prior to the MNFC’s young bird race from the same race point. This will allow more fanciers to come and enjoy the day and hopefully see your favourite win a great prize.

The decision has been made to hold an ‘Open Weekend’ on the 11th and 12th February between 10am - 3.00pm for prospective entrants to visit the loft and chat will the team that will be involved with the running of the project. The address is Hollywood Lane, Crackley Gates, Silverdale, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 6AW. We have rectified the problems with information and Dave Banks has got a site up and running on Facebook and this has been well received already. Well done Mr Banks because the lads who built the loft can’t have a cuppa without him putting it on Facebook!

So come on folks come and see us and give us a second chance because we now have the best loft and intend to complete our aim of organising the best race series. We are sure that once it is established we will achieve our target.

The two attached photos are another view of the lofts showing how the birds trap leaving the loft via two 8 foot doors which will have traps all along the bottom of them.

Brian Fisher and his son collecting their 3 section trophies.

The second picture is rectifying my mistake of missing the partnership of Mr & Mrs Brian Fisher & Family out when I wrote the Presentation report. The family enjoyed another superb season and won 2nd Open Ace Pigeon in the Middle Distance Class and they also topped their section on 3 occasions I believe.

                                                                                               Mike Lakin