NRCC Arbroath 2014
For the third successive time this season fanciers competing with the North Road Championship Club had to endure a tough race. This time it was from Arbroath, the birds being liberated to face a light head wind on Sunday after a day’s holdover.
Winners were the husband and wife partnership of Dave and Pat Evans, of Alford, Lincolnshire, on a velocity of 1146 yards per minute.
After winning the old hens’ race in 2012, they have been knocking on the door for another big NRCC performance after being runners-up in their Section Two something like five times.
That big moment came on Sunday thanks to a four-year-old blue roundabout hen bred by their Belgium friend Guy Eveart.
It was no fluke for this pigeon to be at the front as she has had plenty of success in the past, including topping the Peterborough and District Federation twice.
“She is a good pigeon,” said Dave. “She is never out of the first four or five pigeons to the loft.”
She had been to every race this year and was earmarked to go to Lerwick, but has now been excused that task as her future is assessed. She may well join the old hens winner in the stock loft, but it was too early for the partners to make up their minds in the exciting aftermath of a classic win.
The Evans have enjoyed a good season so far, but Sunday’s win makes it a memorable one regardless of what happens in the rest of the summer.
Dave, a retired 69-year-old engineer, and Pat share their hobby. “I could not do it without her,” said Dave. And they have made many friends from their social involvement in the sport.
Their introduction to the Guy Geveart pigeons came on the trips to Belgium organised by the man who helped, and inspired them so much, the late Frank Tasker.
They have since become friends with Guy and now have six pigeons from him every year, invariably with a successful outcome.
Dave first had pigeons as a boy and, after a break while he was an apprentice, he re-started in 1983 and he and Pat are enjoying them more than ever now that they are retired.
“There is more time and everything, including the birds, is calmer now, and you don’t have to rush about,” said Dave. “We enjoy the social side of the sport and are lucky to compete in a good club at Alford where there is such a good atmosphere among members. They are a really good lot.
“We still miss Frank Tasker a great deal. He was good to us as he was to so many other fanciers. It was nice that Ray Knight continued the organisation of the trip to Belgium last year so that we were able to pick up our birds from Guy.”
Dave finds that the roundabout system works well for them, and utilises the hens to full advantage. They don’t train after the first race, and he says the hens, in particular, exercise well, flying at least an hour each morning and evening.
Provisional section winners are:
Section One – M Wilson, Brinsley, 1138ypm, also provisionally second open.
Section Two – Dave and Pat Evans, Alford, 1146ypm, provisional open winners.
Section Three – Mr and Mrs Guilford, Long Eaton, 1086ypm.
Section Four – M Hall, Norwich, 1108ypm.
Section Five – Miss M Judd, Ramsey, 992ypm.
Section Six – B Brooks, Carleton Rode, 1032ypm.
Section Seven – B Woodhouse and Son, Wanstead, 997ypm.
Section Eight – J and T Ivatt, Ipswich, 1019ypm.