After 5½ years at the RPRA I’m off to pastures new next week, as I finish at the RPRA on Friday 30th September and start my new job on Monday 3rd October.
So a list of ‘thank you’s – my apologies if I’ve missed anyone:
To the Fancy in general: it was pleasure to meet and talk with many of you.
All the staff at the BHW: thank you for all the help over the years.
All the marvellous Show of the Year committee volunteers, especially David Trippett with whom I shared many drives up to Blackpool, during which we’ve debated every aspect of the Show many times. I will miss the chip suppers ahead of the Askern meeting, and then listening to Champions League football accompanied by your snoring on the long drive back home!
All the pigeon-related commercial interests within the sport: thank you for invariably helping when asked – Bucktons and Unikon both deserve a special mention, as do Lee Fribbins and his team at the Racing Pigeon.
The great team at the Raptor Alliance, who have shown what can be done when a group pull together behind a common objective, despite the occasional sniping from the ill-informed few. When the government decide shortly on the law commission report, the team will know exactly the next steps to be taken along the journey to finally achieve protection in law for racing pigeons. A message to the fancy here – you will still need to support them; don’t whinge, just get off your arses and get active.
To Jeremy and Julie, delivering the best and most successful one loft race: enjoy the short break and carry on the superb work you and the OLR team do.
To the vast majority of councillors and regional secretaries: thank you for all your help and support; please carry on placing needs of the majority in the sport first and foremost; please ignore the self-serving interests of the disaffected vocal few who live in the past and never add anything!
To the two gentlemen who as Presidents of the RPRA provided so much help, guidance and advice thorough some occasionally difficult but mainly exciting and good times – Les Blacklock and David Higgins. The sport is very fortunate to have two such exemplary stalwarts and leaders who willingly give hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of their own time freely to ensure the sport and the RPRA moves forward. One day the sport will wake up and realise just how fortunate it has been to have these two gentlemen in place.
To all the team, past and present, at the Reddings: it’s been great fun and a pleasure working with you; a heartfelt thank you – saying goodbye on Friday will be very tough, enough said!
Finally my wing men, or should it be wing ladies: Lyna (Mrs Money, a great finance manager); Julia (wise and calm council at all times); and of course Dorothy (without whose help, guidance, laughter, advice and cups of tea I’d have simply sunk without a trace many years ago).
The RPRA will undoubtedly enter a new chapter under the new General Manager, potentially the biggest period of change for many decades, if not ever.
I hope that the many good well-meaning and positive people in the sport continue to support both him, the staff and council in support of the change that is so vital and necessary to ensuring the sport moves forward.
My sincere best wishes – see you all at Blackpool?