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The Joe Murphy Column

A few weeks ago I wrote receiving a 1955 Homing World Stud Book along with a note from Gavin Russell of Buckie in Morayshire who informed me that inside the front cover was the name J S Stratton who must have been a Fifer as there are some references to the Fife Federation within the book. I received a phone call from Walker Kennedy of Dunfermline who informed me that Mr Jackie Stratton was a member of Dunfermline pigeon club when Walker joined it in 1964. Jackie was a joiner and worked in the 4 hospitals in Dunfermline during this time.  Walker worked as a bus driver and when they went for a pint after race making on the Friday night he would say to Jackie ‘How’s the joiner getting on’ He would reply ‘Not bad how is the bus driver’ and Walker as quick as a flash said ‘I’m a coach driver Jackie’ and he replied ‘Oh are you then well that makes me a cabinetmaker’ and they would have a good laugh. Jackie did a lot of work regarding the upkeep of the pigeon club and was highly thought of... Walker said that there were a lot of good fanciers in the club at that time with Willie Miller & son who won 2nd open Beauvais in 1963 the year Geordie Robertson won the national with ‘Isabella’. Willie was cleaning his hut out and when he entered the 2nd section he found his bird sitting on the nest he could not believe it. (I remember Willie Miller who was a great friend of Jimmy Callen of Blairhall Joe M) Walker told me that a Mr R McCutcheon had a double storey loft and lived not far from where Walker now lives. In this 1955 BHW Stud Book there is a cutting out of a newspaper with the result of the Fife Federation 2nd Selby race with an entry of 4125 birds competing which would have been going by rail at that time which was some task. You can bet the officials wish they had this birdage nowadays but unfortunately due to pigeon politics Fife now has 2 federations and 2 transporters going down to the road to the same race point on a Saturday; Changed days indeed!!!  Walker and I also discussed how this Stud Book managed to get up to Morayshire, I asked him if Jackie Stratton ever worked in the hospitals up north but he did not think so as gradually the 4 hospitals started to close and unfortunately Jackie passed away before he reached retiring age. While reading Jackie’s notes in the book it was interesting to see that he only had 9 pairs of birds with these from Mrs Pinkney, Mr Feeney; Mr Robertson, J Callen and Jock Reid of Stenhousemuir. It was also interesting to note that he lost some birds while trying to settle them to his loft, one hen spent the night out on 15th March but was settled to the loft on the 20th and was back out again on the 25th while on the drive. Another pair we recorded as both being ‘erratic’ while feeding the youngsters but soon settled down. While another pair were both keen on ‘hatching’ youngsters.

There are also articles written by some of the top Scottish fanciers at that time; ‘My Kingdom’ by Davie Fowler of Methil who won 1st open SNFC Rennes in 1954 with another written by James Kilgour of Salsburgh on the ‘Start of the Season’ then we have one from Charlie Ironside of Aberdeen on ‘Long Distance Flying’ and ‘Finding Time’ by Stewart Brown of Condorrat Glasgow, which I will try to cover in a future articles. I hope this has helped Gavin Russell who forwarded the book after being in hospital and I hope he is recovering well.

Scottish Homing Union Trophy Winners 2016

This week I start with the Ina Renwick Memorial Trophy for ‘Scotland’s Own’

Fancier of the Year 2016 this honour is bestowed on John Baillie of Tranent who was also the fancier to win the Best Average ALL SNFC RACES in the Scottish National in 2016.  The SHU trophy is worked out on a Co-efficient system on the 4 old bird races from over the channel and there were 2 fanciers who competed for this trophy. John Baillie and Jim Sanderson of Pathhead in Midlothian for details see chart below;

Ancenis              Reims        Roye         Ypres     Co-efficient

Birds               294                 1330          1135        2324 
Positions won  22nd              32nd            23rd           21st           12.8                 J Bailie

        Positions won    17th               26th            106th         94th           21.1                J Sanderson

Congratulations to John Baillie on winning the above award and also on having such a wonderful season, well done also to Jim Sanderson of Pathhead (Our double SNFC Nantes winner from 1981 and 1982) who is still continuing to hold his own against the very best fanciers within the Scottish National Flying Club.

The next trophy is the Ogilvie Trophy for the Best Individual Performance by a bird into Scotland and the winners are Lindsay Cowan & Mark Findlay of Ardrossan of Ayrshire. They also won the SHU Yearling Trophy (Friendship Cup) for the outstanding performance in the year.  This was for her win of 1st club; 1st federation; 1st section F and 1st open SNFC Buckingham flying 296 miles recording a velocity of 1477 ypm against a convoy of 4328 birds. This yearling hen had previously won 1st club 15th federation Stobbs Camp flying 81 miles against 1691 birds. She also won 2nd club 8th federation Sedgefield flying 149 miles with 1658 birds competing. She then won 2nd club 18th federation Melton Mowbray a distance of 255 miles flying against 410 birds.

We now come to the Mr.  & Mrs Murphy Trophy for the Performance Champion Young Bird this chequer hen was raced by A McCalley & Son of Avonbridge. This hen’s performances are as follows flying with the Almond Valley Federation; 23rd July from Stobbs Camp she won 37th from an entry of 1290 bird flying 53 miles and recording a velocity of 1270. From the Otterburn race flown on 6th August she won 4th from an entry of 1531 birds flying 79 miles and verified a velocity of 1300 ypm. The following week 13th August she won 5 Catterick from an entry of 1242 bird flying 136 miles and logged a velocity of 1083 ypm. The next week 21st August from the Thirsk race a distance of 151 miles she won 5th against 528 birds with a velocity of 1161 then finally in the last race from Wetherby a distance of 168 miles she again won 5th place from an entry of 340 birds documented a velocity of 1318 ypm. Our compliments go to the McCalley partnership on the above success and let us hope this young chequer hen continues on the winning ways as a yearling.

Good SNFC Birds

Continuing reporting on these excellent pigeon this week I highlight a chequer hen SU12CA 2648 raced by P Ward of Linlithgow. As a 2 year old she was entered into the Buckingham race a distance of 294 miles and won 11th section D 64th open. That same year she went to Maidstone a distance of 370 miles and won 58th section D 379th open. In the 2015 season she won twice from inland races being 46th section D 399th open from Portsmouth flying 369 miles and then into the Eastbourne race a distance of 394 miles and she won 27th section D. This year 2016 she won 30th section D from Buckingham and has qualified for a Meritorious Inland Bronze Award which has not been claimed however she should get this next year at the club presentation; well done to Mr Ward and his marvellous pigeon. We now come to another pigeon who has won 5 times from inland races and his owner A Young of Danderhall in Midlothian should claim for a Meritorious Inland Bronze Award for next year. This blue bar cock SU10P 2398 as a 2 year old won 27th section B 52nd open from Maidstone a distance of 359 miles the following year he again won from the Maidstone race being 110 section B 276th open from an entry of 4855 birds and then in 2014 he completed the treble by winning again from Maidstone being 139th section B 210th open from a convoy of 4484 birds. In 2015 he was sent to Portsmouth along with 4767 birds and won his highest position being 19th section B 20th open flying 360 miles and to clinch his 5 times achievement he won from Littlehampton in 2016 being 101st section B 239th open flying 369 miles against 4482 birds. Once again congratulations to the above fanciers and their good Scottish National winning pigeons.

This week’s Photographs


Near the end of the breeding season my good mate Guy Reed of the Isle of White sent me up a couple of well-bred youngsters from his direct daughter of ‘Iban’ the Deweerdt Champion. He was asking about them this week and as I had a picture of them sent it down to him and he was over the moon at the way they have turned out. They are two beautiful cocks and I’m looking forward to breeding some youngsters from them next year. I have included the pictures of these cocks to show fanciers them.

Joe’s Joke

There will be No nursing home for Margaret and me as we will be checking into a Holiday Inn!  With the average cost for nursing home care being £188.00 per day, there is a better way when we get old and too feeble. I've already checked on reservations at The Holiday Inn. For a combined long term stay discount and senior discount, it is £59.23 per night and NO property taxes. Breakfast is included, and some have happy hours in the afternoon. That leaves £128.77 a day for lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, Privileges and special TV movies. Plus, they provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap. Give £5 worth of tips a day you'll have the entire staff scrambling to help you. They treat you like a customer, not a patient. There's a city bus stop out the front, and pensioners ride free (bus pass). The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you say you are not feeling too well) to meet other nice people; call a church bus on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there. While you're at the airport why not fly somewhere otherwise, the cash keeps building up. It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Whereas Holiday Inn will take your reservation today and you're not stuck in one place forever -- you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city. Want to see London? They have Holiday Inn there too. Is your TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem; they fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience. The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they'll call an ambulance or the undertaker. If you fall and break a hip, Healthcare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life. You will have NO worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation. The grand-kids can use the pool. What more could I ask for? So, when I reach that golden age, I'll face it with a grin.




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 Email to joejmurphy1@gmail.com


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Who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland

© Compiled by Joe Murphy




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