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Reports by Joe Murphy

Many fanciers will have been watching the above Commonwealth Games on the TV and I have to say that we have really enjoyed them and it is good to see the home nations doing so well (especially Scotland). Kevin sent me an email clip that a few days later was highlighted on the TV emphasising a wonderful gesture by a Glasgow cycle shop that helped out Team Malawi when they found that their bikes were unfit for purpose.  The African team arrived with their cycles, which they intended to use for both the mountain biking and road events. However, when Neil Bilsland, of independent bike shop Bilsland Cycles, found out that the cycles were in such a poor state of repair he offered to step in. He fixed the bikes as best he and his staff could manage, but he was still worried about the Malawi team embarrassing themselves or having an accident. So he offered the entire team use of bikes from his store to use during the duration of the Commonwealth Games. Neil’s father Billy competed at the Commonwealth Games in 1966 and the Olympics in 1968 before opening the shop up in Glasgow's Saltmarket. Billy is now creating a name for himself in the pigeon sport as he has won 4 x 1st open SNFC races these past 3 years. He is the winner of 1st open Scottish National Flying Club races from Buckingham and Maidstone in 2014 and I’m in the process of doing a story on this charming man for the year book. I thought this was a wonderful story and congratulations to Neil on such a lovely gesture and like his dad a true sportsman. The team Malawi say that Billy’s son's kindness will make a huge difference for them in the 2014 events.

4 times SNFC winner Billy Bilsland - see text

Thank You

Lou Mitchell of Inverkeithing has asked me to thank a Mr Lazenby of South Shields who looked after one of his birds a black hen GB13S 33386. She was racing from Arras and dropped off at South Shields for a week or so. Lou says she homed on her own in great condition and he appreciates the efforts of kindness shown by Mr Lazenby.


Angus Federation news from Ann Carrie the federation secretary who informs us that 30 members sent 778 birds to Arniston liberated at 08-15 with no wind at the liberation race site. The partnership of Macaulay/Ferguson and Curran of Forfar had an outstanding race being 1st 2nd 3rd 5th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th & 19th federation well done lads. Davie Glen of the same club is 4th 6th 7th & 20th federation with Ian Scott in 18th place. The east section is won by D & D Hay of Gourdon club who are also 4th 5th & 6th section. G Scott of Montrose is 2nd & 8th with B Craig of Gourdon in 3rd place. G Campbell of Montrose is 7th with Eddie Mann of Gourdon in 9th place and the last spot going to Willie MacKnight of Montrose. Club winners are Arbroath A & A Shepherd: Forfar Macaulay/Ferguson and Curran: Gourdon D & D Hay: Letham M MacPherson: Montrose G Scott and Inchcape won by G McKenzie. Points competition leaders are D J Liddle 204 points; D Glen with 184 points. 

Almond Valley Federation news from Jimmy Young who writes ‘The Federation liberated 1237 birds at Stobs Camp at 08-45am into a light south east wind the result finds Dougie Bald of Balerno taking the first 3 positions and they are as follows; the winner is from a Willie Hay original black cock crossed with a Roland Janssen hen. The 2nd bird is a blue hen from a Dave Reed of Chainbridge Lofts crossed with a Willie Hay hen and the 3rd bird is from a pair of direct Davie Reed Vandenabeele being a blue. Ian Jamieson of the same club takes the next seven positions and these birds are bred from originals he has managed to get from his dads old family of grizzle pigeons. I am told that his mother had been advising him to get back into the old family of pigeons and she has now taken more of an interest in the birds and in fact she is now the loft manager and Ian has to do what she tells him. 

Club Winners:

East Calder members sent 120 birds to Stobs Camp liberated at 08-45am with a light south east wind the partnership of Freddie Jamieson & son are 1st 2nd 5th & 6th with their winner lifting the bulk of the pools. The first 2 birds are Galaxy bred pigeons with the winner being Piet Rietvink crossed Van Loon and this has proved a really good cross as the 2nd bird is similarly bred. R Anderson is 3rd club and was bred from a cock he got from John Jamieson crossed with a hen from Freddie Jamieson so it has good blood lines.

Armadale sent 337 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th D McBeath.

Balerno sent 183 birds: 1st 2nd & 3rd D Bald.

Carnwath sent 185 birds: 1st & 2nd Thomson Brothers; 3rd B Campbell.

West Calder sent 132 birds: 1st 2nd & 3rd J Bird.

Forth & Clyde sent 280 birds: 1st & 2nd J Loney 3rd W Horne.

Kinneill No birds sent.

As a matter of interest I received a phone call from my mate Guy Reed from the Isle of Wight saying he had a young Scottish pigeon in SU04AV 2513 a blue pied hen. She had landed at a non- fancier’s home on the island and Guy collected her and he informed me that she was rubber rung. (She was at the above race from Stobs Camp) and here she is 400 miles south. I contacted Jimmy Young who informed me that she belonged to Alex Robb of West Calder and he was disappointed she wasn't home from last Saturdays race and it makes you wonder how she got away down there. Unfortunately Guy phoned me the following night to say that when he came home from work he found the poor hen dead in a nest box. My thanks to Jimmy Young for his efforts and I look forward to receiving his results on a weekly basis.

Central Federation

Broxburn & Uphall pigeon club news from Bernie Britton who writes ‘The result is dominated by G MacKenzie who takes the first 4 places in the club where 3 members sent 131 birds to Stobs Camp. Liberated at 09-00 hours with no wind at the race point the winning pigeon is a blue bar hen Gabby Vandenabeele from M & D Evans crossed Mr & Mrs Geoff Kirkland. The 2nd bird is a blue bar white flight cock a Willie Jacobs from an Irish stud. 3rd bird is a chequer Gabby cock from M & D Evans and the 4th bird is a blue bar hen also a Gabby his sire & dam are gift birds from Mr & Mrs Forrest of Ratho; hope the Murphy clan are well yours Bernie’.

East of Scotland Federation news from Tom McEwen who starts of telling us that the first young bird race of the season was from Ridsdale with the convoy being liberated at 08-30am with no wind at the race point. Topping the federation and also taking 4th & 5th places making a great start to the new y/b season for Mr & Mrs Burgess of Ormiston. Finishing with a nice treble on 2nd 3rd & 10th federation is Rab Waddell of Prestonpans with his brother Tom Waddell on a good double in 6th & 7th federation. Jim McNeil of Tranent coming in on 8th place with ‘Spider’ Rowley of Gladsmuir completing the top ten in 9th spot. Prestonpans HS is won by Rab Waddell with his winner a blue cock on 1611 and his second bird one yard behind is a chequer cock both bred by Chris Vassey. Tom Waddell is 3rd with a blue cock on 1601 his breeding is Kevin Lawson bloodlines. Well that’s the first young bird race of the season started Joe all the best to you and Kevin for the new season yours Tom’.

Pentland Hills Federation and New Lothian RPC news from Andy Miller who writes ‘We  held our first young bird race of the season on July 26th from Ridsdale a distance of 65 to 78 miles for the majority of members. Winning 1st New Lothian and Pentland Hills Federation is the loft of C & J McGregor who flies their young birds to their new loft location to the south of the federation just outside Gorebridge. Colin timed his Hereman-Ceusters youngster along with 2 others on a velocity of 1680 taking 2nd 3rd & 6th places. The winner is one of a kit purchased from the very successful loft of Dave Thomson from Hull. On the sires side is the loft of Marina Van De Velde when paired to the Olympiade lines of Gust Jansen from Beerse. 4th & 5th is J Pryde of Woodburn with A Young of Danderhall in 7th place. Club mates Willie Kinnear & son Barry is 8th with P McCue of Gilmerton in 9th spot. Making up the top ten are J & T Young of Danderhall. Returns were excellent in what was probably the best FIRST young bird race I can remember yours Andy’.


Davey Davidson of Methilhill: This is one of the hardest obituaries I have ever had to write as Davey was my pal for the past 50 years as his dad and my dad were also great pals so we go back a long time. We spoke 2 or 3 times a week and often I would come in and there would be a message on the answer machine saying ‘Hi Joe it's just me, nothing important just phoned for a blether’ and believe me I will miss these as much as I miss hearing his voice. We worked together down the pit and travelled back and forward on the ‘bogies’ talking pigeons all the time. In fact at times we were told to ‘shut up’ as the others in the mine cars could not get a quick sleep. Davey never kept a lot of pigeons and had two small lofts in his back garden but the quality of pigeons he housed was first class. He was an out and out Scottish National Flying Club man and this was his main target in life to try and make the open results. Over the years he nearly pulled off the top prize as he was 4th open Chenoise in 2002, 4th open Clermont and last year he won 8th open Clermont. Unfortunately over the past month or so he lost both the Clermont winning pigeons at this year’s races along with some other top quality pigeons and this was a bitter blow to him. I spoke to him last Monday as he was going down to his daughter's in Kent for a couple of weeks holiday and Yvonne came up on the Tuesday and they travelled down by train on the Wednesday. He was looking forward to spending time with daughter Yvonne, husband Kevin and his granddaughter, Cara, who was the apple of his eye. So when I received a phone call to say that Davey had died on the Friday night I just could not believe it. I know that as we get older that the inevitable is going to happen to all of us but the shock of Davie’s death has hit me very hard and I cannot believe that I will never speak to my ‘Pal’ again. To Yvonne, Kevin, Cara and Christine I send my heartfelt condolences. May Davey rest in peace.

Davey Davidson of Methilhill

Joe’s Jokes

Three dead bodies turn up at the Dublin mortuary all with very big smiles on their faces.  The coroner calls the police to tell them what has happened. 'First body: Pierre Dubois, Frenchman, 60, died of heart failure while making love to his 20-year old mistress. Hence the enormous smile, Inspector', says the Coroner.
'Second body: Hamish Campbell, Scotsman, 25, won £50,000 on the lottery. Spent it all on whisky and died of alcohol poisoning, hence the smile.'
The Inspector asked, 'What about the third body?' 'Ah,' says the coroner, 'this is the most unusual one. Paddy Murphy: Irish: 30: struck by lightning.' 'Why is he smiling then?' inquires the Inspector, 'He thought he was having his picture taken'.  


Prince Charles is visiting an Edinburgh hospital. He enters a ward full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness and greets the first one.  The patient replies: "Fair fa your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin race, Aboon them a ye take yer place, Painch, tripe or thairm, As langs my airm."
HRH is confused, so he just smiles and moves on to the next patient. The patient responds: "Some hae meat an canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, but we hae meat an we can eat, So let the Lord be thankit."

Even more confused, the Prince moves on to the next patient, who Immediately begins to chant: "Wee sleekit, cowerin, timrous beasty, O the panic in thy breasty, Thou needna start awa sae hastie, Wi bickering brattle." Now seriously troubled, Charles turns to the accompanying doctor and asks, "Is this a psychiatric ward?"  "No," replies the doctor, "This is the serious Burns unit."

Please continue to keep the news flowing; to Joe Murphy Mystical Rose Cottage 2 Flutorum Avenue Thornton by Kirkcaldy KY1 4BD or phone 01592 770331 or to my NEW EMAIL ADDRESS at; joejmurphy1@gmail.com REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE.

© Compiled by Joe Murphy