Midlands National Flying Club Forced to Substitute Fougeres to Portsmouth 

Mr Leitch

A Clear Win for Cosby’s D & J Leitch

I suppose that in view of the weather predictions it was no real shock to be informed on Monday after the third day of holdovers with very little likelihood of a release the following morning that the decision was made to bring the pigeons back to England as the prospects of getting the convoy away on the Tuesday morning in this country were far more likely. This proved to be the case with the flaps dropping at 7.15 am into blue skies and with a light North Easterly breeze blowing.

 Let’s make no bones about this one, no one either plans or wants our race programme to be interrupted with substitute inland races and a few have voiced their opinion on the subject but in my mindthe people who were controlling the race who made the decisionon this occasion to bring the birds closer to home got it right with the pigeons welfare being considered to be of the greatest importance. A cancelled channel race is always a big disappointment but when all is said and done the majority of the members birds live now ‘to fight another day’. I believe that hadconditions been cooler and the winds more favourable then the birds would have remained in France a little longer to try and get a cross channel raceI’m pretty sure that the organisations who took the gamble and released over the weekend are now in the mainrueing their decision as none of them enjoyed a particularly good race and a couple that I am aware of havesuffered what can only be described as disastrous losses.Highlighting the fact that conditions in Northern France were poor was further endorsed when the Antwerp Union brought their middle distance pigeonsback home after two days holdover and with little chance of liberation in the immediate days due to thunderstormsenroute

 On now to the actual race and the event certainly had a ‘silver lining’ for D & J Leitch who now actually only consists of the son Derekas his dad sadly passed away a few years ago. Derek clocked his first arrival a two year old widower cock at just one minute after 10 am to record a velocity of 1246 and provisionally wins 1st Open. The bird is of Vandenabeele x Janssen breeding and I’m told that he has been a solid but unspectacular performer that was until this race. I will get more information forthe full report.

 As is the norm with my reports I won’t mention any other names until the result is finalised but it was pleasing to see some of the longer flyers appearing so highly on the attached leaderboard

As ever please send your birds details to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if your name is in the first four placings in your section.

                                                                                            Mike Lakin

2018 Carentan 12018 Carentan 22018 Carentan 32018 Carentan 42018 Carentan 52018 Carentan 62018 Carentan 72018 Carentan 82018 Carentan 92018 Carentan 102018 Carentan 11

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