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NEWS


Thurso 2015


Ask David Rouse what is his lucky number, and he will have no hesitation in telling you that it is 16.

.A few weeks ago he would not have had one, but great performances in the North Road Championship Club’s two longest – and hardest – races in the five-race old bird programme have brought that number readily to mind.

The Kimberley partnership of Rouse and Webster – that is just David these days – was second open and first Section A from Lerwick.

Now he has gone one better and won the PJ Lofts-sponsored Thurso race and, of course, is again winner of Section A.

And the ring numbers of both pigeons end in 16!

Also the successful pigeons share the same ancestry. The two-year-old blue widowhood cock that now has second Lerwick on its cv, and the dark chequer yearling, also a widowhood cock bird, that won from Thurso, have the same grandparents.

The grandmother is a blue pied Jan Aarden hen bought from Louella, and the grandfather is from Phil Boley’s Pau winning lines.

Crossed into these are John Salt’s Soontjens. Together they have come up trumps for David to enjoy what can only be termed an outstanding finale to the old bird season.

Both races were difficult with day birds at a premium on both occasions after two-day holdovers.

David’s section winner from Thurso was prepared for the last race of the season by having most of the races in this summer’s programme, and had shown good form by winning two races with Pinkston North Road Club and also being second Derbyshire North Road Federation. This is a big improvement on its young bird performances, when he was 9th to the loft in his first race from Wetherby, but took until the end of September to return from the next race at Newton Aycliffe. Mind you, many other youngsters encountered difficulty with this particular race.

“He was a bit bedraggled when he came back from Aycliffe,” said David. “He had obviously been roughing it, but with some good food and attention he got through the moult and wintered well. I am always willing to give birds another chance if they have made their own way home. I was confident he would make it from Thurso.” It was raining, but still quite bright, when he was timed at 19-49, but David said the bird was tired and was not interested in the overtures from his hen.

He sent eight birds to Thurso, five cocks and three hens, and had four cock birds home at the weekend when we spoke. He blames himself for the failure of the hens because, he says, they had not had the work necessary for such a testing race.

After pre-season hawk attacks had taken a huge chunk out of the team he planned to race for the 2015 season, he started with 13 widowhood cocks, and now has 11 left, having lost only one racing. The other one was shot.

Five of those left have flown Lerwick this season, four have flown Thurso, and the remainder went to Fraserburgh.

All of them will be in the race team next season, if everything goes to plan, and he is looking forward to taking the Thurso winner and Lerwick runner-up to the NRCC Day of Champions at Springfields Exhibition Centre, Spalding, on December 5th.

Now 71, and retired from his job as a long distance lorry driver, David took on a new lease of life when he had two knee replacement operations early in his retirement, and this has enabled him to enjoy a sport that has been his hobby for many years. He started his working life as a miner but, when the pit was closed, he drove Coal Board lorries before going into the long distance job.

Records show that this is only the third time that NRCC Thurso has been flown in a south-east wind. The first occasion was in 1958 when Louis Massarella won with a velocity of 937ypm, and, in 1997, Jake Cottterill won on 1078.

This year the winning velocity was 873, and the distance to David’s loft was 396 miles. There were only ten birds verified on the day, and only 300 birds from an entry of 1618 sent by 206 members made it in race time.

Midlands-area fanciers took the first four provisional positions with that great NRCC supporter, Mick Wilson, of Calverton, flying a mile less, finishing second on 870, Mr and Mrs George Knowles, Mansfield, third on 838, and fourth-placed KD Spiers, of Nottingham, recording 827.

A popular provisional winner of Section B, and fifth overall, is veteran Alf Parkinson, of Spalding.

One of the NRCC’s most consistent performers, Terry Winterton, of Holbeach, is the winner of Section C, which is a change of section to him this season.

Arnold Bennett, of Peterborough, gained his fourth Section E win of the season, M James, of Chatteris, wins Section F, and there are outstanding 500 mile-plus wins in Sections H and I for Mickey Connolly and Son, London (also winners of the section from Lerwick) and R Tate, of Fobbing. NRCC Thurso 2015

Ask David Rouse what is his lucky number, and he will have no hesitation in telling you that it is 16.

A few weeks ago he would not have had one, but great performances in the North Road Championship Club’s two longest – and hardest – races in the five-race old bird programme have brought that number readily to mind.

The Kimberley partnership of Rouse and Webster – that is just David these days – was second open and first Section A from Lerwick.

Now he has gone one better and won the PJ Lofts-sponsored Thurso race and, of course, is again winner of Section A.

And the ring numbers of both pigeons end in 16!

Also the successful pigeons share the same ancestry. The two-year-old blue widowhood cock that now has second Lerwick on its cv, and the dark chequer yearling, also a widowhood cock bird, that won from Thurso, have the same grandparents.

The grandmother is a blue pied Jan Aarden hen bought from Louella, and the grandfather is from Phil Boley’s Pau winning lines.

Crossed into these are John Salt’s Soontjens. Together they have come up trumps for David to enjoy what can only be termed an outstanding finale to the old bird season.

Both races were difficult with day birds at a premium on both occasions after two-day holdovers.

David’s section winner from Thurso was prepared for the last race of the season by having most of the races in this summer’s programme, and had shown good form by winning two races with Pinkston North Road Club and also being second Derbyshire North Road Federation. This is a big improvement on its young bird performances, when he was 9th to the loft in his first race from Wetherby, but took until the end of September to return from the next race at Newton Aycliffe. Mind you, many other youngsters encountered difficulty with this particular race.

“He was a bit bedraggled when he came back from Aycliffe,” said David. “He had obviously been roughing it, but with some good food and attention he got through the moult and wintered well. I am always willing to give birds another chance if they have made their own way home. I was confident he would make it from Thurso.” It was raining, but still quite bright, when he was timed at 19-49, but David said the bird was tired and was not interested in the overtures from his hen.

He sent eight birds to Thurso, five cocks and three hens, and had four cock birds home at the weekend when we spoke. He blames himself for the failure of the hens because, he says, they had not had the work necessary for such a testing race.

After pre-season hawk attacks had taken a huge chunk out of the team he planned to race for the 2015 season, he started with 13 widowhood cocks, and now has 11 left, having lost only one racing. The other one was shot.

Five of those left have flown Lerwick this season, four have flown Thurso, and the remainder went to Fraserburgh.

All of them will be in the race team next season, if everything goes to plan, and he is looking forward to taking the Thurso winner and Lerwick runner-up to the NRCC Day of Champions at Springfields Exhibition Centre, Spalding, on December 5th.

Now 71, and retired from his job as a long distance lorry driver, David took on a new lease of life when he had two knee replacement operations early in his retirement, and this has enabled him to enjoy a sport that has been his hobby for many years. He started his working life as a miner but, when the pit was closed, he drove Coal Board lorries before going into the long distance job.

Records show that this is only the third time that NRCC Thurso has been flown in a south-east wind. The first occasion was in 1958 when Louis Massarella won with a velocity of 937ypm, and, in 1997, Jake Cottterill won on 1078.

This year the winning velocity was 873, and the distance to David’s loft was 396 miles. There were only ten birds verified on the day, and only 300 birds from an entry of 1618 sent by 206 members made it in race time.

Midlands-area fanciers took the first four provisional positions with that great NRCC supporter, Mick Wilson, of Calverton, flying a mile less, finishing second on 870, Mr and Mrs George Knowles, Mansfield, third on 838, and fourth-placed KD Spiers, of Nottingham, recording 827.

A popular provisional winner of Section B, and fifth overall, is veteran Alf Parkinson, of Spalding.

One of the NRCC’s most consistent performers, Terry Winterton, of Holbeach, is the winner of Section C, which is a change of section to him this season.

Arnold Bennett, of Peterborough, gained his fourth Section E win of the season, M James, of Chatteris, wins Section F, and there are outstanding 500 mile-plus wins in Sections H and I for Mickey Connolly and Son, London (also winners of the section from Lerwick) and R Tate, of Fobbing.

George Wheatman Press Officer