This story started a while back, so ill start from there, The club i fly in decided to hold a small auction to raise some some funds for the club, why we needed to is a long story, and i wont go into that, But Rene does know, and he gratefully helped us out by bidding on a certain lot donated by keith parkinson who is one of our oldest and well respected member of our club, plus he takes some beating, the birds keith donated were Wildies x Van reets which is his winning Family. Anyway Rene bid on these birds, so i rang keith and told him a chap from Guernsey had bid on his birds, i could hear keith puffing away on his pipe ten to the dozen, then he said how the hell do i get birds to Guernsey i would know where to start, i told him not to worry its soughted ( bit of a white lie as i hadent a clue really)
Well Rene won his birds in the auction, and a plan was soon hatched between Rene and myself easy (whom im kidding) as people who know me and Bill we have never arrived anywhere without getting lost. The plan was rene would get the overnight ferry from Guernsey into portsmouth and then a train to poole where Bill and myself would drive the 200 mile to poole ( Told you it was easy LOL )
I collected keiths younguns bill and my self vacinated them so they would be ready to travel to their new home
The first picture is of rene his son and Bill our club president
The friday night rene left Guernsey on the first part of his journey, we were t leaving untill saturday morning so we at least got some sleep which is more than rene and his son got on the ferry.
3.00am sat morning my alarm goes off, not much time to do very much except put the lights on loft quick scrape out and feed before i head over to st helens to pick Bill up, with flask at the ready i headed towards bills, Bill was up waiting, i couldent believe Bill he had got Pat his lovely wife up at 3.00 to make us some toast and the best meat pies you can eat, and wave us of at 4.00, dont think many wifes would do that, she is a real gem.
car loaded sat nav set, we headed off into the darkness, no problems or so i thought, first part of the journey was nice and steady down the m6 on m5 couldent be easier, well we got onto the m5 and the sat nav wanted to take us off on to the m4, in the past ive sometimes ignored the sat nav thinking it was taking us the long way round , but this time i decided to followit as ive never been to poole before. We hadf been on the m4 for awhile u can say we had gone past the point of no return, we were in no mans land unknown territy to bill and me, when the sat nav Died. The last thing i saw on it before it died was m3 so i knew to keep on the m4 untill we came across the m3, we were now driveing without a clue of how to get to poole. Bill said if we can get the sat nav uphe will scrole through it to get directions well he statred doing this and all i could hear him say is left at roundabout right at round about infact there is 100s of roundabouts, then it died again, at this point we thought here we go again lost. Bill had a brain wave ( i get worried when he as these )he pulled the charger out of the cig lighter and fiddled with the cable, then said its got a lose conection if i can twiddle it enough it might just make the connection, well he fiddled with it that much the cable came away completey in his hands, so now we were knackerd. inthe mean time we had found the m3 this is where we were on a wing and a pray from this point we hadent a clue where to go, bill said if he had some pliers or scissers he could sttrip the wires back on the cable he was now holding and make a connection, i told him elaine carries one of these small travel sewing kits in the glove compartment with small scissors in them, great he said but before i do that lets see if we can fire up the sat nave to see if any life in it, we were approching a turn off for the m27 which hadent shown up when bill scrlled through it, the sat nav must have took pity on us as it fired up just long enough for it to say keep left and change motorway, we had less than 100yrds to go before we would have missed it, then it died again. So Bill set to work trying to hot wire the charger, when he looked up and said these siccers are for cutting round corners when i looked the were bent at a right angle, but by now i was not bothered as i seen the first signs for poole, ten minutes later bill is looking all over the place in the car, what u lost i asked them bloody scissors carnt find them anywhere, and to this day ive not found them.
We arrived at poole rail station at 08.30 we had done good time not got lost which was a miricle with no sat nav. We parked the car in the carpark bought a ticket couldent believe the price £6.00. rene rang about 08.40 to say his train had been delayed leaving portsmouth and wouldent arrive in poole till 10.30am, so with a couple of hours to kill we decided to go and see the boats in poole harbour. But to do this we had to cross the rail line to get on the other side, so i walked half way up the bridge to see if we could get out the other side, but there seemed no exit. So we had to walk round, this took us on a 4 mile walk just to get over the rail line onto the harbour front. when we walked over to where the boats were we couldent get any further as it was all fenced off, so now we had the propect of walking all the way back, we crossed the road infront of the rail staion nearly got run over in the process, jumped over the safety barrier, when bill said thought u said u couldent see an exit when u looked, so i told him i dident, well what the bllody hell is that then, we walked 4mile when we dident need to .
As we got back to the car, rene train pulled in, could see rene looking over carring his box so i waved to let him know where we were.
Rene had traveled over with his son, hand shakes and introductions all round we showed rene his young birds he had bought, 2 lovely little chequers, and rene had brought me over 2 dark cheqeurs out of his barker family he had brought in last year, and these are 2 little belters. after a quick chat at the side of the car telling each other how our journeys were, we put everything into the car and headed over to the cafe. while being served the young lady behind the counter asked where we were from, so i told her Rene and his lad from Guernsey, Bill St Helens and im from Warrington, her next question was how did you meet, so i said on a pigeon internet forum, dont think she believed me when i answered her next question which was how come ur all here, my reply was this is the most centrol point to meet up for a couple of hours before we all head home she just looked at me as if we had all lost the plot.
Rene used to keep pigeons with his dad and that is where his love of pigeons come from, Rene was telling us about training birds on the island the best u can get is about 7 mile, so most of there training is done from the coast line of France which gives them good training of aprox 69 mile to home, it makes u wonder how the birds find this tiny island in the middle of the channel, bit out either way and they will go sailing past. Rene is the chief Liberater of raceing pigeons on the island, which is no easy task, when you take in the amount of pigeons being liberated there by the big federations nationals ect. Rene used to be a sea fisherman untill he had a bad accident involving a giant fish hook, and it totaly shredded his forearm, he as a party trick he can do with his arm, with there being no bone in his forearm it drops like a letter U untill he clenches is tenons and it pulls the forearm straight, at the moment he is waiting to go into hospital in derby to have a plastic bone put in which he is hoping it will be some time this summer, Bill and i wish him well with this. Renes lad was telling us and he showed us on the map where they lived that they can walk the lenght of the island in about an hour, and some of the broches he showed us the island looked like paradise, he was also telling us that under the island are vast arays of tunnels which were dug durring the war, and that him and his mates go exploring in them. now i always thought that Guernsey was nearer to the english coast line But REne says not its nearer the french coast on a clear day they can see the french coast but not the english coast
By now a couple of hours had passed Rene was heading into weymouth and we were heading home, which i was not looking forward to at all especialy since we had no sat nav, after saying are good byes we headed off,Bill and myself headed off in the durection we thought we came in on , but guess what we couldent get out of poole so we did a u turn, and tried again, we eventially found a halfords where we pulled in to see if we could get a new charger, we were in luck i bought one of the univeral ones plugged it in sat nav fired up and home we headed, we got home about 20.30 that night, it had been along day but a very enjoyable one, Bill and i would like to that Rene and his son for a smashing time, Rene ur a true gentleman and a scholer and a cred to the sport of pigeon racing, we hope the young birds do u some good, as i know the 2 u gave me will do me some good, i look forward to meeting u again ( When Rene got home 3 of his children were ill, the day after his wife on other children went down with the same virus, i believe rene went 5 days without much sleep, hope they are all better now Rene till next time
Ken and Bill
The last picture is of me with Rene and his son