Midlands National Flying Club Carentan

Bateman Brothers & Son Prove that This Time West is Best

bateman

  I have started this report whilst awaiting news of the liberation of our first race of 2018 which this year is from Carentan and is being called and flown in dedication to the 1stWorld War Commemorative Centenery National , which was the racepoint selected by the members who voted on the AGM ballot paper. The Club is sorry for any confusion caused where the form in the handbook incorrectly stated it was from Coutances.

  I think anyone who had considered what the birdage for this first event would be must have expected a big drop on previous years which I believe is largely down to two things. The number one reason is early season poor race conditions causing many race cancellations to the local domestic season. The second reason is the fear of many fanciers to exercise their birds until the middle of April due to Sparrow Hawk attacks which are getting worse year after year. So for my money a couple of weeks delay in racing would be the best solution with domestic racing starting in May and National races commencing in the beginning of June. Anyway the birdage for this first race was 5,433 which is disappointing but not really any great surprise with the most noticeable drop in numbers in the more northerly sections. So is it time to move with the times? I certainly think so.

  I have just received my text message that the birds have been released at 7.50am into sunny conditions with a light North East wind in France and over the channel which turns more Southerly once in England. So it looks like a steady start with the birds speeding up on route and the East in the wind favouring the more Westerly sections. It will shortly be revealed whether this proves to be the case in a few hours when the provisional result is once again available. 

  Fast forward the time and after a game of ‘pass the parcel’ the final provisional race winners are Bateman Brothers and Son of Birkenhead who clocked their likely National winner a 3 year old widowhood hen after a flight of 5 hours and 33 minutes for her 290 mile journey to record a velocity of 1532. The bird has a very impressive CV with 4 Federation wins to her credit. Her probable velocity which I believe but stand to be corrected was the highest speed of the cross channel races flown that day. For once my prediction was bang on the money hence the several leaderboard changes as the birds headed up to the further flying Western sections. As readers can clearly see the Western side of the country dominates the first race due in no small part to the influence of the wind direction but please look a little further and you will see some superb performances on the day by lofts all around the Club’s radius. Yes this race was the Western sided members day but in some three weeks it is likely to be a very different story.

  As ever if your name is in the top four placings in your section please contact me by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or over the phone to give me a few details of your bird because if I receive no information I will consider that you don’t want the credit that your pigeon really deserves and you will therefore be absent from my full report simply what is the point of me writing details that can be found by looking at the final race result.

 So next up is the Fougeres race where I will be rather surprised if the birdage for this event fails to show an increase in entry figures.

 The Cloud Pigeon Results Database (Click to access)

   This is the latest project which Peter Humphries and Viv Oliver are currently working on which is called ‘The Cloud Pigeon Result Database’ and I’m told that already a few Clock Stations are ‘trialling’ the system which it is hoped will revolutionise the completion of MNFC race results in the near future.  So if your clock station official has access to a Laptop or other computer system then your station could take advantage of this new method of speeding up the process of producing the final result. I will quote Peter here who says ‘’ Let’s make compiling a full result quick and easy. If all clock stations used the software a result could be compiled as early as the next day after the race!’’ This would mean a speedier pay out of both prizemoney and pools.

 At the present time the time taken to produce the full result is totally reliant on the time that it takes for every single Clock station official to get their clock sheets into the race secretary and unfortunately several of them don’t exactly rush to get these important papers into the Club. This new innovation if fully adopted would obviously end the importance to get the envelope in promptly.

  So if you think that your station would benefit from this latest exciting step forward in pigeon racing simply contact Peter by sending him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                                                                                 Mike Lakin

                      Race Reports

In the forthcoming season if your name appears in the leading 4 places of your section in the provisional result and you wish to have your bird’s performance highlighted in the full report that will appear in the BHW or the RP then please take the following actions within 7 days.

 Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with a suitable photo and a few details and anything of interest i.e. Daughters favourite bird etc.

 For those who don’t have access to the internet then please send me a few particulars and if possible a photo to: 51, Northwood Lane, Clayton, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 4BN or phone me on 01782 624440

 By following these simple instructions it will help me to help you to put together interesting race reports and give your birds their much deserved coverage.

 In future if I receive no information or contact then I will consider that you don’t wish for any press coverage and so I will then react accordingly.

                                                               Mike Lakin Press Officer

Midlands National Flying Club

Highlighting a Few Changes

  By the time people are reading this short update the birds will have been sent off to the Club’s first race of the 2018 season and we all hope that ‘weather gods’ offer us better race conditions than in 2017. I do fear though as long as the Jetstream continues to affect the wind direction on the channel that it will have a detrimental effect on our results.

  I would like to offer a reminder to a couple of changes from last season. The first thing is that the verification time of first arrival has been put back to 60 minutes and please don’t verify any additional arrivals as the computer is set up that any subsequent verifications triggers the removal of the first one. Personally I believe that this is a backward step security wise and in this day and age when 99% of fanciers have a mobile phone the 30 minute rule was perfectly adequate. When you consider that in Belgium the ‘big brother’ of pigeon racing after timing in on ETS in national races a rubber must be timed into a conventional clock and within a further few minutes the bird must be verified over the telephone or by laptop. Still our members have voted to go back to 60 minutes and so that is how it will be in the immediate future.

  The second change is in regard to future race reports. Attached to this update are the new guidelines on how members in the leading positions should get into contact with the club’s Press Officer. To explain further when I started to cover the Club some 15 years ago and goodness me that seems light years ago now, we had 4 sections and I tried to contact all 16 of the top 4 in each of these sections and actually visiting the section toppers if it was possible. Now though we have 12 sections which has definitely been necessary in most of these cases but for me to contact nearly 50 people by telephone after each race is really mission impossible. I must admit that age is starting to catch up with me as I am now a OAP but I still do my best to go and see our race winners though occasionally it isn’t possible. Therefore please take note of the attached notice to help me to give a little publicity to those who wish to give credit to their bird’s performance.

 Also a ‘heads up’ for those who are planning to race with the new ETS clock the Ipigeon. Please check with your local marking and clock station to see if they have the knowledge and facilities to operate it. Though it looks like it is a fantastic timing system it will only be usable if we have the necessary training education.

The MNFC One Loft update

 The entry this year has grown on last year’s figure and so the race can now offer £30,000 in total prizemoney for the final and 3 Hotspot races. This is an increase of £3,000 on the 2017 figure. Another very pleasing fact is that the number of participating competitors has increased by 32 more people. 

 We are well aware that a number of our members aren’t exactly over enamoured by the Club getting involved with One Loft racing but believe me this type of racing is growing all over the world and the MNFC will benefit from their decision to set up a One Loft Race. The ‘Snook & Alan’lads who are currently undertaking the Management of the loft are doing a great job both in looking after the birds and their PR is fantastic with everyone who brings in their birds offered a cuppa, a chat and a good look around the set up. You don’t have to believe me just ask the folk who have made the decision to enter the series of races at the friendly reception that they receive. 

  Finally good luck to everyone who is participating in our 2018 races and are following the wording on our 2018 Handbook ‘Reach for the sky and dare to dream’

Mike Lakin

Race Reports 2018

In the forthcoming season if your name appears in the leading 4 places of your section in the provisional result and you wish to have your bird’s performance highlighted in the full report that will appear in the BHW or the RP then please take the following actions within 7 days.

Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with a suitable photo and a few details and anything of interest i.e. Daughters favourite bird etc.

For those who don’t have access to the internet then please send me a few particulars and if possible a photo to: 51, Northwood Lane, Clayton, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 4BN or phone me on 01782 624440

By following these simple instructions it will help me to help you to put together interesting race reports and give your birds their much deserved coverage.

In future if I receive no information or contact then I will consider that you don’t wish for any press coverage and so I will then react accordingly.

Mike Lakin Press Officer

Dear members,

Our 2018 handbook has been posted to all paid members. The MNFC committee would like to wish you good luck for the 2018 season. 

Front Cover

Midlands National Latest Update

‘Remember to Pay Your Subscription’

  Folks if you are a member of the MNFC then please make sure that you have paid or act promptly to pay your 2018 subscription fee otherwise you won’t receive your handbook in a few weeks and in its place you will have a reminder drop through your door which will have had a £5 extra surcharge on it as per the rule on late payment. So if you don’t want to pay £35 then please, please get your subscriptions in pronto the form is in the 2017 handbook or you can download it from the Club’s website. Failing this simply put your name, address and membership number (if you know it) on a piece of paper along with your cheque.

  Whilst on this topic if you know of someone who has either past away or left the sport please let me know on 07917060002 because we have no desire to pester people at this sad time for them. It doesn’t matter if I have already been made aware because I would rather be told twice rather than not at all and run the risk of upsetting their family by chasing them for money because all we want to do is to keep our membership figure up to date.

  2018 Birdage charges

 I have heard that there have been grumbles from a few members in regard to the announcement that there will be a 25p price increase on most of the races in 2018. Let’s now take a little closer look at this one shall we? First of all how long ago was it since there was a price increase imposed by the Club? I’m not 100% sure but it must be close to 10 years ago. During this period how many price increases to ferry and fuel costs have the Club absorbed? I can assure members that there has been quite a few but the Committee has held the price down and declared ‘No price increase’ yet during this period how many price hikes has there been in pigeon corn costs to name just one example. I constantly hear a small percentage of our members complain about the cost of pigeon racing but largely ignoring the fact that the Mid Nat’s prize pot has seen a significant rise which dwarfs most if not all of the other National or Classic pigeon organisations.

  I would like to put a couple of examples of why the complaint that the pigeon sport is becoming increasingly expensive quite simply ‘doesn’t hold water’. First of all when I first started to race as a 13 year old in 1966 the entry fee in my local club was 2 shillings (10p) to equate this figure to reality a pint of beer was also 2 shillings. How does this compare to 2018? Well most local clubs charge 60-80 pence per bird but a pint of the amber nectar is now between £2.50 and £3.50 ! If you are still not convinced then look back to 1965 when the Midlands National in its infancy charged a Guinea (£1.10p)per bird. If that price was to then be projected up to the present day the cost of entering a MNFC race would be over £25 per bird. Yes your eyes aren’t deceiving you £25. With all of these facts in mind surely the complaints are unjustified.

MNFC One Loft Update

oneloft

     The number of entrants is growing quite nicely and the prize money that will be on offer is going to be £ for £ and pigeon for pigeon the largest One Loft reward in the U.K. The most pleasing thing is the positive comments that are being made by the people who come over to deliver their birds for both the nice comments about not only the purpose built lofts but the reception that they receive from the management team who offer the visitors a welcome cuppa and the chance to have a chat and good look around the set up. Obviously visitors can’t go into any of the occupied sections but they can have a peep into one of  few identical empty sections and take a look at the birds in the aviaries and be shown how the trapping and clocking area works.  

  There is still time to get a couple of birds entered as the closing date isn’t until the 30th April and the One Loft race is open to all fanciers and not just MNFC members. This is a fact that I’m told has put a number of fanciers off sending with us as they believed that it was only open to Midlands National members. Please remember that for every 12 new entries the money on offer is swelled by an extra £1000. So if you feel that your birds are good enough contact the Manager on 07507302614.

                                                                                                 Mike Lakin

 

Midlands National News

Roy and Tony

The Club held its first meeting following the 2018 A. G.M. on the 18th February at the Club’s Headquarters and as ever there was plenty of matters to discuss and decide the best way forward in 2018. It really is a hectic time of the year with lots of work in preparing the Club’s new Handbook. This I feel is something that the vast majority fails to fully appreciate the amount of effort and work that the Committee gets through to produce this book.  While fanciers are attending the various Annual Shows a small number of Committee men spend their weekend drumming up support by way of selling advertising space in our book. Their work helps to considerably  cushion the overall expense of the Handbook’s printing costs. These lads along with the people and the businesses who have supported us have literally saved the membership thousands of ££’s over the last few years. Sadly a minority of our members seem quick to forget this and choose to criticise some of the decisions that are made. My answer to this one is simple come along if you feel that you can do a better job and are willing to give up your time and travel long distances to attend meetings on so many Sundays of the year while other members are happily tending to their birds.

2018 committee

Ferry Price increases

The club has been made aware that the cost of cross channel ferries and possible fuel prices are once again increasing and after absorbing several price hikes over the years the Committee has made the decision to increase the birdage prices almost across the board by 25p per bird. I say almost because the longest race from Bordeaux will remain unaffected. This is a disappointment for us all but it must be borne in mind that this will be the first increase to our birdage costings for quite a number of years.

1st World War Commemorative Race

The Club has decided to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the 1st World War in honour of the thousands of brave men and boys many of whom gave the greatest sacrifice of all by giving their lives to defend our country and allies. We feel it is poignant for us to hold a large liberation of our birds to highlight the influential part racing pigeons played during the two wars when their actions helped to save so many lives of our servicemen. The race chosen for the commemoration will be from Carentan our first event of the year as this should provide the largest entry. Initially the plan was to hold a joint liberation with the NFC but we could not reach an agreement with them as they wanted the race to be from Bordeaux but we felt that the total birdage  for this race would be both far less of a spectacle  in number than a mass release from  Carentan where nearly 20,000 birds could have surely been anticipated. Sadly the NFC Committee felt that the shorter racepoint  could well have an adverse effect on their race. So we will go it alone confident that the MNFC release will still be more impressive in number than a joint release from Bordeaux in Southern France.

One Loft Update

The club is pleased to announce that the entry is at this stage showing an increase on that of 2017. The prize pot as I write this is heading towards the figure of £20,000 but there is still plenty of time to swell this amount as and when more entries are booked in with us. It should be remembered that for every eight birds that are entered the prizemoney will increase by £1000. So if you want to take the opportunity of grabbing some of this cash and in turn swell the coffers fill in the entry form that was in the 9th February issue of the paper. Alternatively give us a call on 07917060002 and we will get a form sent out to you. At this moment we don’t know exactly how much we will be offering but we can guarantee that the percentage of money on offer pigeon for pigeon will be the best return for your £125 entry fee of all of the U.K. One Loft race events. We are well aware that the final which will be from Carentan and is scheduled for the 1st September will be a real challenge but this is what those that enter the event want the chance to test the quality of their young stock. The acceptance dates for entries start on Wednesday the 14th of March and every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until the planned closing date of  Sunday the 29th April. The manager’s number to make the necessary  delivery times etc on  07507302614 as the normal times are between 9.00am-3.00pm or by special arrangement.  So we ask are you up for the challenge?

transporters

It may be of interest to any organisation who is looking for transportation for a Young Bird race from Carentan on the 1st of September give me a call on 01782 624440 because we may be able to help you out and remember the birds would be travelling first class in one of our superb Geraldy transporters.      Mike Lakin