Allow me first and foremost to thank all the members for inviting me to judge the 40th anniversary fly.

A word of thanks to all the members who transported us the 3000 miles across England.
I appreciated your chats and laughs. From Steve McGlories little bull dogs, Paul Noon's Phill Rock story to the end where Ross Young was using five divergent roads to get us to Alan Milne. I did pay him the extra 50p for fuel. Your contribution to the success of the fly cannot be stressed enough.

Without making it sound corny, words cannot thank the people enough who fed and gave us a pillow to rest our heads.

Steve and Maureen Mc Glory; When I arrived at your house it was as if I had known you all my life. Thanks for everything you have done for me. From the planning stages of the trip to the end where we were back at the airport. You left nothing to chance. The All England Roller Club is in a privileged situation to have you as their secretary. I trust that they will give you their full support and that you will be able to be of service to the Club for many years to come. A lot of people can talk the talk, very few can walk the walk. The completion of this competition, without any problems is testimony to your hard work.

All England Roller Club 2004 fly report By Johnny Conradie

Johnny Conradie

Ian and Annette Lawrence; We pray that your daughter and granddaughter will be home soon to give you endless pleasure.

Paul and Lynn Green; Thank you for an early night.

George and Pat Mason; It was a pleasure seeing old friends again. Thanks for the evening at the pub with all the fellows. This is what the pigeon game should be all about. George, your talents just never end. That breakfast you prepared was a feast.

Peter and Paula Stripp; You made us feel at home and the Chinese dinner was outstanding. Thanks Paula for making sure we have some clean jeans the next morning.

It was an honor and pleasure to spend an evening in the company of Bill O'Callaghan. The knowledge and stories locked up between the Big O and Graham Dexter can fill another Winners with Spinners. Jean, thanks for the special meal. Specially those things that you get from the ground. I think they are called potatoes, if I can believe Graham.

Our next stop was at the one and only Sammy Davies and his delightful wife, Wendy. Thanks Wendy for sending Sammy to bed at 12. We would have missed the first fly at seven if it wasn't for you. Sammy, your old bird kit at five thirty in the morning was proof to me that the pigeons in England can actually fly that time of the morning. The sun lounger you gave Chris(Koos) to sleep on made him extremely homesick ,he was imagining the whole night that he was in sunny South Africa.

Friday the 13th saw us relaxing with Des and Lorraine Murphy. The perfect place to be if you are superstitious. The company and food was so outstanding that everything else was unimportant.

Our last stop before we moved on to the Middlesbrough area was with Alan Hamilton and his delightful wife Christine. She made sure that we could watch the rugby game between South Africa and New Zealand. The three course meal of prawn starter, beef curry and the most delicious Tiramisu for desert was a fitting celebration of the Springboks victory over the All Blacks. Thank you both for a great evening.

The next seven nights we spent with my good friend John Wanless and his adoring wife, Judith. Thank you for everything you have done for us, specially the birthday dinner for Chris (Koos). He cannot stop talking about that evening.

The judging started at Steve McGlory on a beautiful, warm cloudless morning. Steve flew an old bird kit that was more interested in enjoying the weather than performing in a competition. Two very good individuals made it a pleasure to watch. However, the very warm breezeless day took its toll on Michael Manser, Rob Wilden and Ray Gudgeon's kits.

Our next stop was Garry Egglestone at Andover. What a perfect flying possition. He is flying some Mason pigeons through Trevor Slater, and took the lead with 120 points in the yearling competition. He had some very nice fast spinners in his kit and we spotted our first candidate for the Rose Bowl. We ended the day judging Ian Lawrence’s young bird kit which was flying in a very peculiar sweeping action, preventing it from performing.

After travelling 313 miles that day we were thankful when Ian took us for a carvery at his local pub. Soon after we were enjoying a well deserved rest.

The next morning we started off with Ian's old birds, but they had the same problem as the previous kit. John Lenihan with an old bird kit was next on our list. I was very excited to see this legends kit perform, but it was soon clear that the very strong wind would not allow the kit to be at its best.

John Wanless

L-R Ian Lawrence, John Lenihan, & Steve McGlory

Alan Hamilton

Ray Gudgeon

Michael Manser

Des Murphy

After we had a cup of tea and something to eat we were on our way to Gordon Daffurn,Terry Harper and Tony Bagley. The strong wind made it impossible for the kits to perform. Tony's old bird kit showed some real promise but unfortunately flew at a height that hurt its chances to score well. It was very difficult to appreciate the quality.
Paul Williams's young bird team had a lot of single rollers, if they could convert this into breaks it would be a hard team to beat. We finished the day with Paul Green who flew his old bird kit. Paul has just finished his new loft (Photo) which must be the largest roller loft in England.
Monday the 9th was to be a very special day as we had Pete Handy on our list and it is not every day that I get the opportunity to judge the World Cup winners kit. It was a perfect roller day, overcast with a light drizzle. A lot of traveling caused us to arrive about two hours later at Pete's house than expected. On arrival we were told that a television team was waiting to film the occasion and they wanted an interview with me. Thank God I was unaware of this as I would have been a nervous wreck. To judge the World Champ's kit after that was a piece of cake. Pete has the perfect flying spot and he should win a lot more trophies. We were not disappointed by the kit. It flew at a perfect height and a postage stamp could cover them. From the first break it was clear that we were standing under a quality kit. The kit recorded 22 breaks of high quality and depth. I awarded the kit 120 out of a possible 200 quality points, the highest of the 128 kits judged. The only criticism I can hand this kit is that they did not record any breaks over 10. A kit to be proud of and worthy winners of the AERC 40th Anniversary old bird competition. Well done Peter.
We were colleted by Graham Dexter and taken to George Mason’s where spent the evening with George, Graham, Lez Bezance, Dean Forster, Gorden Forbes, Sean Fearn, and Jim Fowkes. I enjoyed listening to the expert opinions of these roller greats and master flyers.
The next morning we woke up to rain and strong wind. George was visibly upset due to the bleak weather prospect for his fly. It was still raining, but very softly, when we started judging at Kev Wilkinson’s and became progressively harder as we moved on to Andrew Bainbridge. By the time Andrew liberated his kit it was coming down in buckets. The kit was forced down by the rain and washed any hopes Andrew had with it.
George Mason's old bird kit was next, with the rain a lot softer, it put up a respectable score of 186. A very clean eleven bird break was the highlight.







Gordon Daffurn

Terry Harper

Paul Wiliams

Tony Bagley

Peter Handy

George Mason

Graham Dexter

After George’s we flew Tevor Slater, Graham Dexter and Kev Wilkinson then it was the turn of George Mason's young bird kit. All George's worries about the weather was for nothing as the rain stopped and the wind died down. It was soon obvious why George was so worried about the bad weather as his kit was putting in some clean spontaneous breaks. A break of 10 and one of 12 helped him to score 247.This turned out to be the winning young bird kit.
The 186 of the old bird kit together with the winning 247 score of the young bird kit gave George the honor as the aggregate winner. Well done George you are keeping your reputation in tact.
Next on our list was Slater, Bains and Mosley. Dave Moseley flew a very promising old bird kit, but like most of the kits in the competition, very poor kitting prevented the kit from performing to it's potential. We finished the day at Peter Stripp who flew his old bird kit. There were some outstanding spinners in the kit, but the height hurt the scoring on the breaks as well as the quality.
Wednesday the 11th was one of the most gruelling days. We started off at Peter’s and travelled to Maurice Barwick in Buxton finishing at Bill O'Callaghan in Sheffield. The fact that Wayne Kirby was not home nor did any body knew anything about the All England fly, did not help our course. We started at 7am and finished the day at 7.50 pm. We had done close to 500 miles.
During the morning Peter Petravicius flew us a young bird kit with very good quality spinners, although he only scored two breaks it showed a lot of promise. The trip to Buxton was well worth it as Maurice turned out a quality old bird kit. He only flew 18 birds of which one left the kit early and it never returned to the kit. The breaks were clean, sharp and with a lot of speed and depth. I awarded him 110 quality points. With 20 birds in the kit and tight kitting this kit would have been an outstanding one. Well done Maurice.
Back to Sheffield where we judged Bill's yearling kit. After a time wasting trip to Barnsley, as Wayne Kirby was'nt home, it was back to Bill for his old bird kit. Good quality was observed and the kit scored a respectable 160 point.

Trevor Slater

Kevin Wilkinson

Dave Moseley

Maurice Barwick

Peter Petravicius

The next day was the Paul Noon, Peter Lynam and Steve Buckley show. They had eight kits entered between them. Paul's young bird kit settled after 12 min but his yearling kit scored 114. From Paul's house we were transported around by Paul and Peter Lynam.
Paul asked me if I knew Phil Rock. I told him that I saw his name on the list for the next day but that I have never met him before. In our later discussions it was mentioned that Phil was close to two meter tall and very broad shouldered. It felt as if they were trying to tell me something so I asked Peter why I should know these detail about Phil? They informed me that I should be very careful about what I say to Phil, specially about his pigeons.
We carried on to fly Peter 's and Steve's kits before we returned to Paul for his old bird kit. This was a very enjoyable kit to judge as there was no need for estimation as each break was crisp and clear. We spotted a tortoishell bird that was involved in every break and was exceptionally fast. It turned out to be a tortoishell bald head hen and was awarded the Rose Bowl for 2004. Well done Paul. (At that stage the Phil Rock episode was still in progress) This could have cost you the Rose Bowl Paul!!!!! Lol !!!
On our way to Steve Buckley I asked Paul about Phil's pigeons. I was told that the previous judge criticized Phil's pigeons. He’d got so upset that he grabbed the judge by his shirt and pants and dispatched him off his premises. The other club members had to pacify him and beg him to fly his kit and to apologize to the judge as the judge refused to continue judging the competition. Phil flew his kit, which did not make one break, the judge competed the scorecard and hand it to one of the members and locked himself in his car. It was time to judge Steve's old bird kit. No time to think about Phil Rock.
The kit worked well with some quality breaks. Poor kitting once again spoiled a good kit. The score finished at 214 which placed him in a 4th place. Well done Steve. A young fancier who I predict will become a house hold name in the roller community. The last kit of the day was Trevor Weaver's old bird kit. As Trevor liberated the kit it was hit by a sparrow hawk. They were unsettled for a while but once they calmed down they worked well. The end of one of the better competition days of our trip. We met Ken Weaver and Sammy Davies who took us for a couple of pints before we settled down for the night. At 5.30 the next morning Sammy flew us his old bird kit as an exhibition, not that we needed one at that time of the

Bill O'Callaghan

Paul Noon

Steve Buckley

Wayne Grove

Sammy Davis

Peter Lynam

Phil Rock

Ken Weaver

We were collected by Wayne Grove who would keep us company for the day. On our way to his house he casually asked me if I knew Phil Rock? I told him what I had been told about Phil and I admitted that I was a bit nervous about judging Phil's kit. Wayne assured me that he would take care of me and make sure that Phil’d behave himself. Looking at Wayne and thinking of the size of Phil Rock I was not too confident that Wayne would be able to keep his promise.
We judged Wayne's young bird kit and was on our way to Phil Rock. Wayne stressed once again that we should not say any thing negative about Phil's pigeons. As we arrived at 208 Boulton Rd I told my scribe to go and check the ring numbers while I would be waiting outside in the street till Phil called time. The wooden garden door opened and a most pleasant man introduced himself as Phil Rock. Wayne was cracking up with laughter in the back ground. Well done lads, you had me sweating for two days. Phil's kit was in no mood to perform but I had no worries to hand him his score card. Thanks Phil for a nice cup of tea and lots to eat.
Our next stop was Ronaldo Hale, who's yearling kit scored 146 to be placed 2nd in the Yearling competition. Well done 'Ron'.
We ended the day with Des Murphy at Barrow-in-Furness. What a beautiful place. After we judged the young bird kit we had a most delicious chicken curry before we retired for the day. The stress of the Phil Rock episode had taken taken its toll. Early the next morning we flew Des's old bird kit before we set off for our 2 hour trip to Eddie Bayne in Bradford. Beautiful scenery and intelligent conversation made this a very short 2 hours. Thanks Des.
We finished all the flyers in Bradford and end the day at Alan Hamilton. Not a day to remember as far as the competition was concern. All the kits were extremely flat.
The next day was Sunday and we had Mac Tosh in Norton, Barry Shackleton in Hull ( three kits) and Mark O'Neill in Bedale to judge.
We finished Mac's young bird kit at 9.30 am and were on our way to Barry Shackleton, a legend in his own time. I was in great anticipation to judge Barry's kits as I have heard such a lot about him in South Africa during the seventies and eighties. We started off with his young bird kit , but it was soon evident that they were more interested in enjoying the sun and clear skies. After 30 minutes the kit was down and the old bird kit was on the clock. Some very fast individuals was spotted in this kit. A further 30 minutes later the last kit, a yearling kit, was under judges orders. Although the kits did not perform the way Barry was hoping for it was clear that he was in total control of his pigeons. The fact that three kits were flown within two and a half hours was proof of that. I am sure that he will reach the same heights as years gone by. Thanks Barry for selling me one of your books at a special price.
Our last stop of the day was Mark O'Neill. This young bird kit was also in Sunday afternoon relax mode and had no desire to do any work. It was time to say goodbye to Alan and Christine Hamilton. It felt like leaving some family behind.

Ronnie Hale

Janet and Edward Bayne

Mac Tosh

Monday morning we started off in Middlesbrough with George Frost's kit. He only arrived home, from holiday, at 1:30 am and it seemed like his pigeons were also still in a holiday mood. George cancelled the fly after 10 minutes. Of the thirteen kits we judged on the day only Duncan Mc Laughlan's old bird kit was in any mood to perform. He scored 175.
Tuesday saw us with fifteen kits to judge. I was expecting some fireworks as we had names like John Wanless, Peter Foster, Dean Foster, George Frost and Peter Harper on our list.
Peter Foster's old bird kit was a proving point that you do not need a mad active kit if they can break big with outstanding quality. The kit only recorded five breaks of which three were over ten. However, with good quality points, he finished on 189. Pitty they were not a little more active as they would have been hard to beat.
Dean Foster's young bird kit put in some quality breaks and scored 178 which was enough to put him second behind George Mason.
John Wanless's kit was joined by another kit just minutes into the competition. John's decision to cancel was taken too hastily as the other kit broke away after three minutes. Bad luck John.
The next kit was a young bird of Peter Harper. This kit was extremely active, but most of the breaks were of very poor quality. A large audience was very impressed as you could hear the Oh's and Ah's as the kit performed. Most of the people thought the kit was doing enough to win the competition. I told my scribe that we would have to run when they saw the scorecard, but fortunately Peter saw the kit the same as myself and was very happy with the score.
When Stephen Hopper saw the scorecard he made some enquiries about the timing of my return to South Africa. I got the feeling he had enough of me. Fortunately experience fanciers don't get fooled by activity. We finished the day with Duncan's young bird kit. It was a disappointing day in general as nothing came of the fireworks I expected.
Wednesday was our last day of hard work as we only had one Morris Hole kit to judge on Thursday. We started of at Peter Robinson who flew his old bird kit. It was raining steadily when he liberated the kit and they started working immediately with some nice breaks. Soon the heavens open and the kit was washed down on the roof. I had enough time to spot an outstanding black bald which was awarded 2nd spot in the Rose Bowl. Bad luck Peter, this kit meant business.
The next competitor's record speak for it self. Second to Bob Brown, the most successful flyer in major competitions in England, it was a great honor to judge Morris Hole's kits. His young bird kit scored 133 which placed him 3rd. Jake Denman a young lad who flew his first ever competition was next. Jake, I trust this was the first of many and wish we luck for the future.
After we finished Morris's yearling kit and John Hall's yearling kit we were on our way to Ross Young, our taxi for the day. He was very talkative the whole morning and made us understand that the leading score of 247 was easy obtainable. My scribe pointed out to me that he got progressively quiet as his turn to fly came closer. The kit had other ideas. Ross, experience will teach you to let the kit do the talking. On the brighter side, the blue white flight, dark tail in the kit was outstanding.

Deano Forster

Stevie Hopper

Peter Harper

Peter Foster

Maurice Hole

John Wanless

Alan Milne's old bird kit was in no mood to perform, but his young birds scored 106 which placed him 5th and his yearling kit took the honors with 149 points. Well done Alan.
Henry Armstrong was very disappointed with both his kit as they were totally flat, a real let down as I was told that his old bird kit was outstanding and capable of winning the competition. Sorry Henry, better luck next time.
Morris offered to fly his old bird kit if we had time and weather permitting. This would have given us a day off, but the weather turned really nasty, so we had to go back to him the next morning. This gave us some time to spend with Morris and to join him for something to eat at the local pub. Reminiscing about Morris and John Wanless's visit to South Africa and enjoying a good meal made time fly past.
Thursday the 19th of August turned out to be perfect roller flying weather. Overcast skies with a very slight breeze. Morris's old bird kit was the last of the 2004 AERC competition. The kit worked well with good style and depth. Poor kitting hurt its chances of scoring bigger breaks. A score of 203 placed him 5th in the competition. Nothing to be ashamed about , Morris.
It was a moment of mixed emotions when the timer announced the end of the 20 minutes. Tired, relieved, sad that it was all over and extremely happy that I had the privilege and honor to judge such an important competition in the country where it all started many years ago.

Alan Milne

Henry Armstrong

I wish to leave you with a roller man's recipe.
Travel 9000 miles by air and 3000 miles by road.
1. Seventy seven new and old friends.
2. Two thousand two hundred and ninty two pigeons.
3. Sixty four hours of judging.
4. A heap of pigeon stories and countless laughs.
5. A big scoop of appreciation to be part of the international roller family.
Mixed all of the above togeather and the result is heaven on earth in the life of a Birmingham Roller man.
Totsiens dit was baie lekker.
Goodbye, it was most enjoyable
Johnny Conradie
All England judge2004
Chris (Koos) Potgieter

As a special treat for Paul Noon

Just for once a picture of a roller.

This years' Rosebowl winner.