OUR STORY, FROM 1993 - 2020...
Thames North & Eastern Counties Flying Club
Our Club has gone from strength to strength from day one
Our Club has gone from strength to strength from day one
HOW IT ALL STARTED...
In 1993, Thames North & Eastern Counties Flying Club was formed by three fanciers: Michael Harvey (Chairman), John Taylor (President) & Lynne Taylor (Secretary & Treasurer) as there was no other South Road Club in the Essex area.
The purposes of the Club was for it to act as a Training Club, to allow fanciers to prepare their pigeons for the National and International races in the BICC, BBC & NFC.
There was only one obstacle during the process of forming the Club and that was its name as it had been rejected by the RPRA London Region, it was only on the third attempt, the Clubs name was passed as 'Thames North & Eastern Counties Flying Club'. This was set up as a 'Club with Marking Stations' and has always remained this way.
The Club's Headquarters started at The Oak Pub in Romford, before moving to Basildon Sports & Social Club, where it still runs from today.
Back then, the Club had an Open radius and was split into two sections: East & West, with the M11 acting as the dividing line between the sections. There were two liberation's, one for each section and therefore also two results.
The fancier chose which section they wished to race in which was determined when they entered their first race. If you raced your first race in the East Section, that is where you remained for that season and vice versa.
Michael arranged for a transporter to be custom made and paid for this himself at a cost of £8,200 which included one set of crates, therefore this meant Michael spent two days during the week cleaning and delivering crates back to marking stations ready for the next race. A flatbed truck was purchased and provided to Roy Munk of Clacton-on-Sea who built and converted this into a transporter. The size of the transporter was specifically made to save the Thames money when using the Ferry for racing at the Isle of Wight as its size minimised the ferry cost, which was raced 6-8 times per season. This transporter allowed birdage of 1200. In the second year, John purchased a second set of crates.
Michael would decide the Clubs race programme and there was 'any age' racing, throughout the programme, this idea he got from his friend Roger in Belgium and the idea behind this was because it held the pigeons. Any Age racing is still used in the Club today.
Wednesday Open Races from the Isle of Wight were introduced which were extremely popular and well supported with birdage of between 1200-2000 pigeons. Michael provided prize money at £100 per race. As the skies were clear of pigeons midweek, the racing was far better. The Isle of Wight allowed the pigeons to get use to water, in preparation for the National and International races and is also a race point that is in the pigeons line of the flight. This was also the furthest distance race point in the programme.
In the Club's first year, the membership consisted of 47 members. Then in the second year, this grew to 80, then in the third year it grew to 100. Due to the size of the transporter, the Club had to close its membership for a period of time. With the Club being a success, within 3-6 years, the Club paid Michael back for the transporter. However, the Club outgrew this transporter and a larger one was required which held birdage of 2,200.
At the end of the season, Lynne provided each member with a Yearbook specific to the member, consisting of all results from the season, certificates of merit etc.
Michael stepped down as Chairman after 11 years in the early 2000s as he felt his job was complete; the club was formed, running well and a success. John and Lynne remained involved in the Club for approximately 14 years before stepping down.
In 2016 the Club began fundraising
for a new Geraldy Transporter, this expecting to take some years to fund.
In 2017, Lotto Bonus Balls, Elimar Auctions, a Gold Ring Race, Dog Race Evenings and Member Donations started and quickly the deposit for the transporter was paid.
These events continued in 2018 along with a Futurity Breeder/Buyer Race and the sale of our existing Transporter. We quickly made the money we required for the Transporter and it was arriving in April 2018, just in time for the start of the 2018 season. A State of the Art Geraldy Transporter!
In 2019, the Club continued
to grow further, we also branched into Kent and now have approximately 125
members across 8 active marking stations.
Our Gold Ring and Futurity Breeder/Buyer races both grew massively and attracted attention not just in the UK but from overseas too. On top of this, the first 'Thames National Messac Open Race' took place in September which we hope was the start of an annual open race. The Prize Money pay out for the Gold Ring, Futurity Breeder/Buyer & Messac Open Race totalled £24,239!
In 2020, the Club continued to grow further, we approved 4 new marking stations and with an influx of new members we now have 163 members across 12 active marking stations.
The Club is very fortunate to be run by a forward thinking Committee who put a considerable amount of time and effort into making it the Club it is today along with their dedicated past officials.
The Club is growing into one of the most of successful Pigeon Clubs in the UK with a membership consisting of many many BICC, BBC & NFC Winners.
Our Club has gone from strength to strength from day one.
- Chairman - John Gladwin
- President - David Coward-Talbott
- Secretary - Rachael Bacon
- Treasurer - Rachael Bacon
- Auditors - David Coward-Talbott & Meg Murray
- Convoyer - Adrian English
- Race Controller - Tom Hendley
- Press Officer - John Gladwin
- Vice Presidents - Michael Symonds, Tom Hendley, Sam Davis, Bob Wija, Joe House, Trace McLaughlan, Vic Craig, Paul Gilbert, Gary Heywood, David Martin, Brian Robinson, Bill Sparks, John Whitting, R. Denny & D. Packer
12 ACTIVE MARKING STATIONS
- Basildon Zone (Southend)
- Estuary (Basildon)
- Sundridge Park