Copyright 2008 John Clements.
The NFC must be right.
I have been re-reading Charlie Miller's book about the famous Belgian fancier Gerard Van Hee of Wervik. During my reading I noted the performances of "Napoleon", (Pedigree) a notable Van Hee pigeon. As everyone knows the Belgians list lifetime performances of their famous pigeons. Lifetime performances are duly listed in this book. But an oblique comparison also came to light that indicates something about the history of two similar clubs from different countries .
In 1976 "Napoleon" was 18th in the International Perpignan, organised by Entente Belge, flying against only 614 pigeons. That same year (1976) the National Flying Club race from Pau had a much larger entry of 4,920 pigeons. Last year, a bad year because of bird flu, the Perpignan International sent 15,027 while the NFC Tarbes sent 3,477 birds. From these figures it seems the National Flying Club's longest is going backwards while the Entente Belge is going forwards.
Nevertheless we must conclude that the organisation of the National Flying club is right and the Entente Belge must be wrong. It just would not be possible that a team of experienced English pigeon fanciers managing the affairs of a major National club could be wrong over such a long time.
Surely the Entente Belge must change their policy and copy the NFC if they are to get back on track. There must be good reasons why these "Johnny foreigners" have declined to do so. Perhaps they just don't know how we do things over here, as I am sure the NFC do not know how the Entente Belge do things. Nevertheless just because I can't think of reasons it does not mean that they do not exist. I am probably being far too simplistic. I have probably naively assumed similar rates of growth should apply to both clubs.
Still, taking it a bit further, if both followed each others methods the Entente Belge would now be sending 434 pigeons, down from a 614 high, while the NFC would be sending 120,000 pigeons, up from a 4,920 low.
I must have it wrong somewhere, but for the life of me I cannot see a big enough flaw in my logic to cause such a disparity in the figures. One of them must have it right. It's probably the NFC after all, they can't have been running the club in this way all this time without good reasons for so doing. Mind you I have not taken into account human nature. That always has a big effect.