National Flying Club
Report by Brian Stansfield
Over the past two years the transport committee of the NFC has worked long and hard to develop the building of two new articulated pigeon transporters.
Existing types of vehicles were looked at but none came up to the high standard we were seeking for our members, so we then talked to the 'best brains' available - experts in their own fields, to make sure what we had in mind was both right and possible to achieve.
It soon became evident that we could obtain what we were looking for, to provide our members with the very finest conditions in which to send their pigeons, so reducing stress and optimising the birds' welfare both when travelling or stationary.
To achieve this the new transporters will contain the following:
The whole vehicle can be steam-cleaned and disinfected in accordance with any regulations which may be forthcoming.
Internal controls can be set at optimum levels when either moving, or standing at liberation sites. Temperature, humidity and air-exchange will all be under control.
These will be made of stainless steel of an 'open' design in order to allow maximum air to pass through each one. They are so designed as not to damage flights or tail feathers. The floor is made of comfortable mesh and all droppings and spilt food goes into a collecting tray underneath. This tray is easily removable at any time. The birds will have clean feet at all times and will have 10" headroom when stood on the mesh floor. Container size will be 48" x 33" x 11.5" overall, and the release door will be 48" x 10" with no obstructions when the birds are liberated.
Each container will have water on 3 sides, therefore every bird will have abundant easy-to-find water. In fact there will be approx 100" of water trough to each container.
This is done by inserting two feed troughs per container, which are then withdrawn after feeding. This method will keep food clean and lessen fighting for food.
The bodywork will be made of specially insulated materials to cut down heat absorption. The sides will lift up hydraulically well clear for liberations. They will provide both shade and shelter when standing and will give maximum security when closed.
LOADING OF CONTAINERS
Special loading apparatus will be user-friendly and meet health and safety requirements.
One of the transporters will have a fully-fitted compartment for sleeping, washing and cooking etc.
The release system will enable the birds to be liberated as required quickly, efficiently and safely. There will also be a 'fail-safe' backup system.
The transporter with the convoyer's compartment will hold 154 containers. The one without has 168 containers. Therefore at:
52 sq. inches per bird floor space a total of 9,660 birds.
60 sq. inches per bird floor space a total of 8,372 birds.
This will be adequate width to allow operations to be carried out in comfort.
OWNERS & SERVICE PROVIDERS - J. P. Haulage of Warwickshire
This firm is buying and operating both transporters and the National Flying Club has an exclusive 7-year contract with them. The NFC has an option to renew the contract at the end of 7 years. J. P. Haulage will handle the whole operation, and the owner Mr Paul Bakewell intends to drive one of the vehicles to the races.
With the two transporters being bought privately by J. P. Haulage this means there will be no levies required from NFC members.
SCHEDULE FOR COMPLETION
Both transporters are scheduled for completion by March 31 st when a full publicity feature will appear in the fancy press.
All the hard work put in by the transport committee has come up 'trumps' and being able to secure such great facilities for all our members makes us feel proud. Such excellent transportation befits the National Flying Club, the premier club in the land.
Finally, I would like to thank all my colleagues who have worked with me on this venture. In particular, Roy Stretton, Eric Watkins and Ray Scriven.
NFC 2006 RACE PROGRAMME
St Malo 20 th May
St Nazaire 3 rd June
Tarbes 30 th June
Dax 15 th July
Saintes 29 th July
St Malo 2 nd September
The National Flying Club welcomes new members, and wishes all fanciers happy and successful racing in 2006.