Based on the latest protocols and information available this is an update for those intending to enter the NFC races on 4th July from Fougeres with marking on Thursday 2nd July. Nort Sur Erdre on the 18th of July, basket on Thursday 16th July and Pau 31st July, basket on Tuesday 28th July with the final old bird race on the 15th August from Fougeres, basket on the 13th August. The Y/B and O/H race from Coutances is set for the 5th September, basketing on the 3rd.
Although the Corona Virus restrictions have eased enough for us to be able to begin our race program on the 4th of July, some of the marking stations will not be available due to continuing restrictions beyond our control. As a National organisation we are reliant on the use of facilities such as Public Houses, Community Centres and Sports Clubs, which in turn are often run by committees who are themselves trying to make the best of the government restrictions. Some are happy to accept the method statement issued by the RPRA but the staff at Steventon and Ash are on furlough so will remain closed until further notice. It is also important to respect that anyone shielding or over 70 who would normally play an active role in assisting the I/C for the station, will not be expected to take any unnecessary risks and this will require different members to assist if requested. This is obviously for the good of all and a temporary situation, which we all hope will soon return to “Business as usual”
Bill Edwards, I/C for the Southampton marking station sent me the following information; “For the Southampton marking station the normal location at Sarisbury Green Social Club is not available due to the government restrictions. Although we are hoping that this will change in time for some National Racing, after going through several hoops and up many blind alleys we have managed to find an excellent alternative which we shall use for the first National Race from Fougeres. This will be at the Portchester Football Club, Wicor Recreation Ground and we are making this decision now in order to give everybody intending to use the Southampton marking station plenty of notice of the new location rather than the confusion of not knowing where to go.
The address for the NFC Marking Station for Southampton on 2nd July is Portchester Football Club, Wicor Recreation Ground, Cranleigh Road, Portchester, PO16 9DP. If you use a “Sat Nav”, it is best to enter “Wicor Recreation Ground” as your destination. For some reason, using the post code gets you close but not the exact location, but getting there is in fact quite straight forward. If you are approaching on the M27, take Exit 11 for Fareham Central, keeping left if coming from the East and around to the right if travelling from the West. As you leave or cross over the Motorway, keep left and follow signs for A27 and Portchester. At the 2nd Roundabout along the A27 go around to the right into Cornerway Lane with the Seagull Pub on the corner, after quarter of a mile turn right onto Cranleigh Road and although it is a bit bendy, follow it to the end and the football club is on the right. We hope that we will get some signs made up to help guide people in.
At the time of writing these notes the RPRA Race Marking Protocol will require a few changes to our normal race procedure for safety reasons. The race markers will collect your birds from your car along with your ETS clock if used and will return it to you in your car. This will make the procedure more labour intensive and take longer. With this in mind we will start earlier and it will be necessary for people to form an orderly queue in the car park and also to arrive in sequence NOT on a first come first served bases. You will be given a time slot in which you must turn up with your birds. For this reason it is important that each entrant clearly adds a current contact number to their entry form in order to be informed of the arrival time.”
The Leicester marking station at the Newtown Linford Club was in the hands of their Committee which met on the 11th June and they have agreed to allow us the use of the very large car park so this means that marking will have to take place outdoors for the first race at least. Considering the loss of the Steventon marking station it was important to agree to this in order to facilitate a marking station for those who may want to come to Leicester as an alternative. Please make yourselves known upon arrival and keep 2m apart until your birds are collected by the marking team.
Other alternatives for Steventon or Ash are Saffron Walden or Portchester Football Club and all other marking stations are open as usual with the details in the handbook although marking will take longer and all members are requested to ensure a timely arrival. Please also note the marking fee is a minimum of £2.00 which has previously been included on the entry form, is now to be set and paid directly at the marking station.
Any news or views to me Chris Sutton on 01530 242548 or email