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The Joe Murphy Column

This week is my 70th birthday and to be honest with you I’m quite looking forward to it as my daughter had organised a family get together and I wish to spend it with my WHOLE Family. My old man never managed this achievement as he died at the age of 53 and therefore I intend to enjoy mine as it is a special occasion. My wife Margaret has gone through old photographs looking for one to have printed on my birthday cake and low and behold this picture brought back some happy memories for us both. It is of me holding a red chequer cock that flew Palamos 1026 miles for me away back in 1976. The eyes of these pigeons were taken at the first Blackpool Show in 1977 by Anthony Bolton as the 1000 mile club exhibited these birds and took orders for youngsters for the following year. The 1973 blue chequer hen next to my pigeon was flown by my club mate Danny King and he had 2 hens home from his 3 entries. The 1000 mile club took orders at £25 each from a Denmark fancier with my red cock being mated to both of Danny’s hens. The club getting 50% with Danny and me each receiving 25% which was a hell of a lot of money in those days. The story gets better as a loft came up for sale and on the strength of selling these youngsters Margaret and I purchased it only for the Denmark fancier calling off the sale, which left Margaret and I in a bit of a ‘pickle’. Anyway the loft I’m standing in front of to have this photograph take was the new loft we purchased and we timed in some very good birds over the years. The caption on my birds eyes reads as follows;

A 1972 red chequer cock owned by Mr & Mrs J Murphy. In 1972 this pigeon flew all YB races in the Fife Fed. It was timed on the day from Beauvais (515 miles) in 1973, flew SNFC Nantes in 1974 and Rennes and Avranches 1975. In 1976 it flew Palamos (1.026 miles) and was the 13th bird verified by the Scottish 1000 Mile Club. The 1973 blue chequer hen, which was 8th verified with the Scottish 1000 Mile Club from Palamos, also flying 1.026 miles. This pigeon had previously flown Avranches three times. It is owned by D King of Kennoway. The third picture I have included was of yours truly with Mystical Rose winner of 1st open SNFC Sartilly in 1992 this hen won 4 times from Sartilly for me and was a very special pigeon. A lot of happy memories for me as I write this column but I’m only doing so as this is a very special occasion.


Joe Murphy and his Palamos pigeon 1976            -             Joe Murphy with 1st open SNFC Sartilly


Received an email from Ian Gourley who wrote, ‘Hi Joe, I read with great interest your article written on 26th June 2015.  I was born in Coaltown and my uncles, John and Tom, kept racing pigeons in the 40s and 50s.  I occasionally took young pigeons in a basket on the back of my bike along to Dysart and released them.  Looking back I think my uncle was being kind to me and allowing me to believe that I was helping to train them!! I am writing you for a different reason, however, and hope that you may supply me with the answer to the identification of a substance which I have found in a shed in my garden and which has been there for about 25 years.  I think it may be magnetite and I know there is a vague connection with pigeons and the previous owner of our cottage was a pigeon fancier.  The substance looks a bit like iron filings, is very heavy, glistens slightly, is not soluble in water and is an absolute mystery to anyone I have asked.  Could it have been added to the peas in small quantities to enhance the pigeons' homing performance?  In short, though, could it be magnetite? To go back to my Coaltown connection, I was born there in 1935 and left at age about 15.  I now live in Ceres, regards Ian’. My reply to Ian was as follows ‘Good to hear that your uncles kept the pigeons away back in the 40 and 50's and even taking the birds to Dysart on a bike was quite an experience one that you have not forgotten about. Regarding the Magnetite this is Iron and maybe the previous owner put a piece of this in the drinker for the birds. Things have changed now but away back then this could have been one way of the pigeons getting this iron supplement. The internet says the following;

Magnetite is best known for its property of being strongly attracted to magnets. Some forms of Magnetite from specific localities are in fact themselves magnets. Commonly known as Lodestone, this magnetic form of Magnetite is the only mineral that is a natural magnet. Due to the magnetism of Lodestone, small iron particles are often found clinging to its surfaces. (Some dealers may even intentionally place metallic filings on a Lodestone to demonstrate its magnetism.)
Magnetite may form a yellow-brown rust coating if washed or kept in a moist area. If a specimen is washed, it should be dried to prevent rusting. Rust can easily be removed by soaking the Magnetite in a rust-removing solvent such as Iron Out.
The mineral Hematite is known to form pseudo morphs over Magnetite. Such pseudo morphs are commonly known as Martite, and their appearance may be very similar to regular Magnetite. However, they differ from Magnetite in that they are only weakly attracted to magnetic fields, and have a reddish-brown streak.

Bo’ness Breeder Buyer Sale

Received a reminder from Martyn Brown regarding the Bo'ness Homing Society Breeder Buyer sale to be held in their club house (post code is EH51 0JU). This will take place this Sunday 16th April (Easter Sunday) with viewing at 12 noon and the sale starting at 1pm. The sale is open to any fancier anywhere if they wish to participate and everyone entering MUST send in all the performances of the young birds which will be judged by independent panel. Prize money is £500 for breeder and £500 for buyer with all opening bids for birds on offer at £25. There are 40 young birds promised for the sale from some of the top names in the country.

Good SNFC Birds

This week’s pigeons come from 3 different regions starting with John McNeill of Broxburn with his mealy hen SU13CA 2832 who has won 3 section prizes in the SNFC with 2 of these being from the longest race point and she just requires one more section prize from over the channel to obtain a SNFC Silver Award. In 2015 she won 33rd section D from Billericay a distance of 340 miles. She was then sent to Ancenis a distance of 600 miles and she won 6th section D 57th open then last year 2016 she was again sent to the Ancenis race point and won 6th section D 52nd open. Our second pigeon is a chequer pied cock SU13ML 325 raced by Double SNFC Nantes winner Jim Sanderson of Pathhead. In 2014 flying from the inland national from Maidstone a distance of 353 miles he won 383rd open however did not gain a section prize. Then in 2015 he was entered into the Claremont race point and won 20th section B 56th open flying 503 miles. Then in 2016 he was entered into the Gold Cup race from Reims and won 7th section B 26th open flying 545 miles. We wish John and Jim all the best with their pigeons and hope the above birds can obtain an SNFC Silver Award in 2017. My next pigeon highlighted is a blue bar hen SU13L 3343 raced by Mr A Nelson of Hamilton in 2015 she won 18th section E from the Billericay race point a distance of 342 miles the following year she was entered into the Buckingham race a distance of 288 miles and she again won a section prize being 67th section E. Later the same season she was entered to Ypres a distance of 445 miles and she won 11th section E 101st open from an entry of 2323 birds.

Joe’s Joke

The Scottish High Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene at Holyrood the home of the Scottish Parliament this year. This isn't for any religious reason - they simply have not been able to find three wise men in there and the search for a Virgin continues…….However, there was no problem finding enough donkeys to fill the stable.


Kids in Church

3 year old Reese ‘Our Father, who does Art in Heaven, Harold is his name, Amen

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 REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE or log onto www.elimarpigeons.com www.fancierchat.co.uk www.pigeon-chat.co.uk

and www.Pigeonbasics.com - Pigeon Racing the Basics! Who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland

© Compiled by Joe Murphy




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