A report on the North Road Championship Club race from Dunbar 2019

The North Road Championship Club is the premier north road racing pigeon club in the United Kingdom. Its first race of the season was from Dunbar and took place after a days holdover due to poor weather. The birds were liberated into a light south-west wind and the winner was the partnership of Dayton and Sayers from Louth.

Dayton & Sayers

Provisional winners and among the shortest flyers on 208 miles, are the Louth partnership of Dayton and Sayers.

This is their fourth open NRCC win (Perth old birds 2015, young birds and old hens 2016) but the big difference this time is that Albert Sayers has withdrawn from the frontline of pigeon racing and in the driving seat is Pete Dayton a lifetime fancier whose retirement from lorry driving luckily coincided with Albert concentrating on life away from the sport but retaining a hands-off interest. The winner is a blue yearling roundabout hen which had started its racing career on the south road, but was switched to the north after overflying Louth and finishing in a Grimsby loft as a young bird, albeit eventually returning under her own steam.

She showed she was one to watch after being the first bird into Louth from Whitley Bay the previous week. Louth members of the NRCC send their birds as trainers with the Peterborough and District Federation in preparation for the open races. From the south, the loft had shown good form by being with the leaders in every race so far this season. “We won the south road club race in bad conditions from Battle on Saturday,” said Pete, “and we haven’t been outside the first two so far.”

Dam of the winner is out of a hen bought from North-East fanciers Crehan, Gilchrist and Brennan. The sire was bought as a young bird from Simon Snook, of Grimsby. The partners sent ten and had nine home. Their second pigeon, ten minutes after the winner, was Irish Lady, winner of the old hens’ race in 2016. Pete said he was concerned – before confirmation of the provisional result – that NRCC specialist, 86-year-old Bob Boulton, of Addlethorpe, might just have beaten him. However, Bob had to be content with second place to add to his impressive list of successes.

Seventy-two-year-old Pete retired about a year ago and says that has given him extra time to look after the pigeons, especially in respect of exercise and training. Like all Louth fanciers he has to endure the nightmare of peregrines being encouraged to nest on the town’s church for many years now. The death rate is particularly bad among the young birds but at least the Dunbar winner managed to escape the carnage last year to bring another major honour to the loft. Many years ago, Pete and supportive wife Margaret, bought their present home from his then boss, Graeme Parrinder, a past winner of the King’s Cup from Lerwick, and in the garden was a 16-foot loft. He extended it by about four feet and that loft is still in use today. Race secretary Ian Bellamy said it appeared that most fanciers had a good race, and good returns. While offering his congratulations to the winners, he also highlighted a fine performance by London-based George Chalkley who won Section H, flying 324 miles.

Provisionally, other section winners are: A – Roger Hallsworth; B Shane Betts; D – R Waller; F – FW and HE Attlesey; and I – Ronald Reason.