British International Championship Club - News Report

Firstly let me begin this report with an update on the marking station situation within the BICC. Contrary to what you may have read in a recent report in one of the weekly papers, at the present time, the BICC is the only cross border National organisation to have a fully functioning marking station in Wales and has done so for the past five years. It now looks very much like other organisations are rapidly trying to play catch up. The Gwent Greater Distance Club was formed in 2007 and immediately applied to the BICC for membership. This was granted and a marking station was set up in Newport. In the five years since the GGDC was formed Welsh fanciers have enjoyed incredible success within the BICC both at section and National level. Adrian Ware and daughter started the "ball rolling" in 2007 when they won the Falaise/ Saran National and this was followed by wins at National level for Spencer Jones of Pontypool, Dennis Ford of Blaenavon and as recently as 2011 by Brian and Anthony Williams of Ystradgynlais. Prior to this series of successes by GGDC members, other Welsh fanciers had tasted the ultimate joy of winning a cross border National race with the BICC. Recent successes by Welsh fanciers therefore are following a steady trend in the right direction! I should also point out at this stage that the BICC has more than a dozen marking stations around the country and the Management Committee is always prepared to consider applications from volunteers willing to open and run further marking stations in areas not yet covered by the club. The opportunity is there for those fanciers who may be disillusioned with the helter skelter nature of weekly club racing, to "sit back and smell the coffee", and take a more rounded view of the sport. To those fanciers who feel that way, why not give National and International racing a try. The BICC caters for sprint and middle distance racing as well as the ultimate challenge of International racing against the very best fanciers in continental Europe. Remember three BICC members won International races in 2011 namely D. Bullen & Son; Mark Gilbert and Geoff and Catherine Cooper so it can be done. The BICC has the most comprehensive race programme of any National organisation, as the programme begins at Carentan at around 190 miles to middle England and progresses in steady incremental stages through to Barcelona at more than 750 miles. The sprint /middle distance fancier can have his fun in SEVEN National races up to 350- 400 miles and the fanciers with aspirations of success in long distance races can use these early season races to prepare and condition their birds for the greater trials ahead. What could be simpler, a complete racing package under the auspices of one umbrella organisation? You know it makes sense, so come and join us and experience the thrill of pigeon racing on a truly National and International stage. The BICC is the ONLY British racing pigeon organisation that offers you this opportunity.


The club is also pleased to announce that the House of Aarden Racing Pigeon Stud based at Exeter has kindly offered BICC members an extremely generous sponsorship package for the coming season.

As most fanciers will be well aware Steve and Lesley Wright, proprietors of the House of Aarden, have literally scoured the UK and the continent in their search for top class long distance stock. I visited the stud a few years back and can vouch for the quality of the stock housed and the immaculate conditions that they are housed in. Each and every pigeon was in terrific condition and were a credit to Steve and Lesley's stockmanship. In 2011 they have offered the six winners of BICC International races a young bird bred from one of their principle stud cocks. These youngsters have a market value of £250 - £450. When speaking to Steve Wright recently he also said that he would be prepared to extend this generous offer to include the 2013 season and perhaps beyond. On behalf of all the members of the BICC I would like to thank Steve and Lesley for your extremely generous support. I have included a few photographs taken at the time of my earlier visit in 2008. The set up has since been expanded considerably such is the demand for House of Aarden stock.

Presentation Evening.

The 2012 Presentation evening at Bournemouth will have taken place by the time these notes are read and if past events are anything to go by it should be a terrific weekend in the company of some of the top fanciers in the UK. I believe that there will be close on 150 members and friends attending this year's bash. Held at the Queens Hotel, Bournemouth it is more like a family get together and most fanciers who attend make a weekend of it. Indeed, there is an increasing trend amongst members to make it a mini holiday -travelling down on the Friday and staying until Monday. Friday afternoon will no doubt, see a congregation in the bar with old friends greeting each other and almost certainly making new friends. The Irish have a saying that encapsulates this spirit - "A stranger is only a friend who you haven't yet met".

Gareth Watkins