The West Cumbria Amalgamation enjoyed a very good first race of the season from Stafford – in keeping with what’s gone before.
It was the delayed opening race in the Amalgamation after both the Derwent Valley Federation and the West Cumberland had got to Appleton by their own separate means.
Racing had been on different days of the week – away from the usual weekend liberations – and the racing has been some of the best fanciers have experienced with their young birds for some time.
So what would it be like when they got together at Stafford? Just the same as it turned out, another good race with excellent returns to set-up the last two races of the season.
No wind was given when the birds were liberated at 7.45am on Saturday with the Amalgamation winner being clocked by Mike McGrady of the Sandwith club in Whitehaven at 10.23am covering the 132 miles at 50mph.
Mike’s West Cumbria Fed and WC Amalgamation winner is a chequer hen which had a third club in the first race of the season from Flookburgh and was one of five he obtained from the renowned, retired Egremont flier David ‘Sugar’ Wilson.
The Derwent Valley Federation was won by the Workington Victoria loft of Richard Martindale and George Lawman.
They have had a relatively quiet young bird season, compared to previous years, but burst back with a vengeance with six of the first seven on the Fed sheet and 11 in the first 30.
The chequer hen that won is through stock birds they obtained from Leach brothers of Hebdon Bridge and she’s half-sister to Fed and Amal winners.
She’s actually fortunate to be still alive never mind racing as she had her back wing knocked out and was clawed in the neck by a peregrine attack.
She only had her first race from Garstang.
David Fitzwilliam, the partnership’s loft manager, is pictured with her.
The season should have ended with races from Wollaston and Cheltenham but that has now been changed.
Following a meeting between the Amalgamation chairman Jimmy Nelson; the race controller Neil Buchanan and the convoyer John McNichol it has been decided to race from Cannock this week-end before completing the programme with the Combine race from Cheltenham.
There’s also been a change in plans for the popular and prestigious Cleator Moor A ring race run by Danny Rodgers.
Due to finances, caused by a drop in birdage etc, the North West Grand National Flying Club will not be racing on September 18 and their last race will be from Lyndhurst on September 11.
The A ring pigeons were going to be transported with them on the 18th so Danny has had to explore other possibilities.
It has been agreed that the birds will now be transported to Weymouth for the race on the 18th and they will be liberated with the Border Amal and North Cheshire Fed.
Fanciers will be competing for £6,250 in prize money.
WEST CUMBRIA AMALGAMATION (2,238): 1, W. McGrady and son (Sandwith) 1470; 2, 4, 6, Martindale and Lawman (Workington Victoria) 1469, 1467.7, 1467.63; 3, Evans and Abraham (Workington Victoria) 1468; 5, Tomlinson and Banks (Cleator Moor) 1467.68.
WEST CUMBRIA FEDERATION (827 birds): 1, W.McGrady and son (Sandwith) 1470; 2, Tomlinson and Banks (Cleator Moor) 1467; 3,Nolan, Hetherington, Coultas and Easdon (Cleator Moor) 1464.9; 4, 5, 6, Graham and co (Cleator Moor) 1464.6, 1464.3, 1464.2.
CLEATOR MOOR (10 sent 436): 1, Tomlinson and Banks 1469; 2, J. Fitzsimmons and son 1468; 3,4,6, Graham and co 1467.7, 1467.48, 1467.3; 5,Nolan, Hetherington, Coultas and Easdon 1467.43.
EGREMONT HS (83 birds): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6, Wilson and Buchanan 1460.8, 1460.8, 1460.2, 1459.7, 1459.6, 1441,
DERWENT VALLEY FEDERATION (1,411 birds): 1, 3,4,5, 6, Martindale and Lawman 1469, 1467.7, 1467.6, 1467.4, 1467.1; 2, Evans and Abraham 1468.
WORKINGTON VICTORIA (8 sent 347): 1, Evans and Abraham 1479; 2, 6, Martindale and Lawman 1478, 1476; 3, Williams and Hadfield 1477.4; 4, Mr and Mrs Walters and son 1477.3; 5,McLuckie bros 1477.1.
WORKINGTON SOCIAL LIMIT (6 sent 160): 1, 6, Mr and Mrs Walters and son 1466.2, 1454; 2, 3, Williams and Hadfield 1466.06, 1465.7; 4, 5, McLuckie bros 1465.6, 1465.02.
HARRINGTON CENTRAL (10 sent 344): 1,2,3,4, 5, J. Devlin 1463.9, 1463.6,1462.5, 1462.1, 1456; 6, Mr and Mrs Carter and sons 1455.
SEATON RBL (3 sent 67): 1 ,3, 4, 5, Mr and Mrs Dustin 1478, 1460, 1455, 1441; 2,6, Dobie and Palmer 1461, 1423.
CUMBERLAND SOCIAL CIRCLE (17 sent 34): 1, Williams and Hadfield 1453; 2, Mr and Mrs D. Wood and son 1448; 3, J. Devlin 1442; 4, McLuckie bros 1437; 5 , Martindale and Lawman 1432;6, 6, Todhunter and Grisedale 1428.
FLIMBY HS (9 sent 372): 1, Nelson and Crellin 1481; 2, J.Varty, son and grandson 1466; 3, 6, A. Bromley and co 1462, 1458; 4, 5, Rushforth and Hunter 1461, 1459.