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The Joe Murphy Column

I would like to thank all the people who forwarded birthday wishes to me last week I was so humbled to think that so many people thought kindly of me that they took the time to communicate with me. A few also phoned to say how much they enjoyed the information on my 1000 mile Palamos pigeon and it was encouraging to find that so many fanciers are still interested in Long Distance racing. My old man’s dream was to compete in the SNFC Rennes race, he never had pigeons good enough to go to Nantes 600 miles but the Blue Riband race from Rennes is what he lived for. I remember away back in the late 1950’s or early 60’s he worked in the Lochhead coal mine in West Wemyss and he cycled a distance of 7 miles to and from work every day. He sent a blue hen to the SNFC Gold Cup race from Rennes in I think 1956 and at that time Scottish national would inform fanciers of the liberation on the wireless (radio) prior to the Scottish News  at 1pm. When you heard this the birds could have been in England at they were released 6 or 7 hours before you heard the news. Back to my dad’s blue hen he was backshift (afternoon shift from 2pm till 10pm) so he knew he would miss his hen if she made it home on the day (which was a rare occurrence) later that afternoon he came round the back of the house and my mother about died (as he never took a shift off work) What’s wrong she asked his reply was ‘My blue hen will be home today and I’m not going to miss her’ and duly walked up to the loft with the clock and set the trap for her arrival. He gave the loft a quick scrap out and as he opened the loft door with the shovel in his hand the blue hen was about to drop on the loft. She got a fright and flew up onto the house roof and started to preen herself, he started to quietly talk to her and the longer she sat on the roof the more agitated he became. After so long he swore at her a thing he NEVER did in front of us and my mother gave him a row and then finally the blue hen came down and he timed her in. He then put the 2nd rubber in a thimble and I had to run to old Bob Taylor (who stayed a few streets away) with this and put it in Bob’s clock. I think this was his first SNFC diploma and I’m sure A Galloway of Leslie won the national flying 563 miles and recorded a velocity of 1385ypm against 6201 birds. I have had a look for his SNFC diploma but cannot find it great memories and I just wish my dad had been alive when Kevin & I won the national from Sartilly in 1992.

This week’s Photographs


Derek Hay's good blue hen     -     Derek Hay with his chequer cock on the nest      -     Stephen McVey, Tam McQuire and Andrew Lockhart

Margaret Murphy and Tony Coyne

The blue hen is owned and raced by Derek Hay who is also in the other picture holding his good chequer cock (see SNFC Good Birds) the other 2 photographs were taken at Blackpool and the first is of Stephen McVey, Tam McQuire and Andrew Lockhart from the west of Scotland. The last picture is of my wife Margaret (whose birthday is this week) along with Tony Coyne of Cork whom we met while down at Blackpool. We wish them all the very best for the new season ahead.


Received an email from Jim Webster who wrote: ‘Hi Joe I am a regular reader of your column in the BHW (also a fan of your jokes); I was reading about Magnetite and I remembered I used to use it some years ago and I still have some left, as I bought it at the Blackpool show from the Dazer firm, they used to advertise in BHW selling things like cat repellents, and ionisers also Bill Cowell (Bilko) used to promote their products. Magnetite was supposed to help with the birds homing ability as pigeons have some sort of magnetic source in their nose, I might not be quite correct with that but it’s something along those lines. I will now print the label for you. Natural Magnetite Fe2 O4, suggested use as a feedstuff in avian species: Add one rounded teaspoon mixed with 2 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast. 1 tablespoon of Red Lightning and1 tablespoon of multivitamins to 2 Kg of groats dampened with four tablespoons of ground nut oil. Feed daily from pairing up to 6 months. I have just remembered when I tried to purchase some more they had stopped selling it as there was no interest in it and I think that's why I stopped using it, hope this helps you out Jim’. I don’t think the Dazer Company we knew exists now as I’m sure the lad who owned the company and Bilko have both died. My old pal Jim George would have told me but sadly he is also no longer with us.

New Season Ahead

The new season has begun already with some results in this week’s column and every year as the season begins the EAST winds start to come and many a good pigeon are lost at the start of the season due to not being 100% fit to face these ‘killer’ East winds. As normal I will be delighted to put in any club results forwarded into my column; however I require these for a WEDNESDAY as I spend after teatime compiling them into an article to send away the following day. It is not hard all I require is the amount of members sending and the amount of birds competing in each race with details of the first 3 birds in each race. This can be details of previous wins or their breeding, the more information on the birds the better. I will NOT accept just a name and velocity as this can go into the results at the back of the paper. I try to make my weekly article as interesting as possible and I receive good feedback from all over the world so to just put in names and velocities does nothing for me or anyone else who wish to read the column. People want to read about ‘winning pigeons’ and how they are bred or their nest condition anything of interest so the more information you send the better it is for readers, you will find my email and house address at the bottom of the article.

Good SNFC Birds


Received an email from my old mate Derek Hay of Kirkintilloch, he has also included a couple of photographs and information of his 2 good pigeons that are hopefully going to win a Silver Awards with the Scottish National in 2017. The blue hen SU10AV 2469 she won 10th section E 10th West Region 46th open Ancenis in 2014 flying 606 miles. The following year she was again sent to Ancenis and she won 5th section E 5th West Region and was 23rd open. The blue chequer cock SU11AV 3977 won 11th section E 11th West Region and 37th open Ancenis in 2015, then last year he won 3rd section E 3rd West Region 50th open from Ancenis again flying 606 miles. Both birds were bred by Derek from my old tried and tested bloodlines. The blue hen has ‘Peggy’ on both sides of her pedigree and the chequer cock is from Derek’s ‘Jock Allan Hen’ crossed with the ‘Taylor Theelen cock’. We wish Derek all the very best with his 2 birds in 2017 and thank him for his good wishes to Kevin and me in the 2017 season. Continuing with the West Region I now highlight a blue cock SU11L 8101 raced by Billy Graham of Uddingston in Lanarkshire. This blue cock won 70th section E from the inland Newbury national in 2013 flying 327 miles. Like Derek’s birds above this blue cock went to the Ancenis nationals the past 2 years flying 598 miles. In 2015 he won 10th section E 10th West Region and 36th open then in 2016 he was 6th section E 6th West Region and 63rd open so like Derek above this blue cock also requires one more diploma from over the channel to achieve his SNFC Silver Award and we wish Billy all the best in 2017.


East of Scotland Federation news from John Baillie of Tranent (who had a great season in 2016 being Scotland’s Fancier of the Year we wish him all the best for the new season Joe M). John says ‘For the 1st race of the season from Ridsdale the federation were using new premises based at Castlepark Bowling Club in Prestonpans and all went well. The birds were liberated into north to north west wind at 08-45 by John Parry the Pentland Hills convoyer. Taking pole position and 2nd, 6th and 7th open in our first race of the season is Graham Wardhaugh of Dirleton. In 3rd and 5th positions is yours truly John Baillie of Tranent with ‘Spider’ Rowley of Prestonpans taking 4th position. Mr & Mrs Burgess of Ormiston are in 8th position with John Bird of Prestonpans winning 9th open and filling up the 10th position is Dougie Grieve of Longniddry.

Prestonpans HC taking the 1st & 2nd positions is John Baillie with the winner a 2 year old blue cock being a grandson of Village Lad. This cock was bred by Fred Jamieson and purchased at the Traprain breeder/buyer sale as a youngster. This cock scored in the Pentland midweek Peterborough yearling race and was 59th open SNFC Ypres. Another blue cock takes the 2nd position and is bred directly from birds bought from Dean Pallatt being Van Lint bloodlines. This yearling cock scored 85th open SNFC Young bird national from Buckingham. Taking 3rd position is John Bird with a 4 year cock that has scored many times in the East of Scotland federation. These include 1st federation 44th open SNFC Maidstone in 2014 he also won 2nd ,7th & 4th federation , 99th open Bedhampton SNFC in 2015 and in season 2016 he also won 4th ,10th & 11th positions in the federation and this cocks sire is a Vandenabeele purchased from D & J Hawkins crossed with my own distance bloodlines. Thanks for once again being part of your column Joe and good luck to you and Kevin for the new season, yours in sport John B’.

Pentland Hills Federation news Andy Miller who writes ‘Hi Joe, hope you and the boss are both well. The New Lothian Racing Pigeon Club & Pentland Hills Federation had their first race of the 2017 season on April 15th with the convoy of 2254 birds entered by 12 clubs being liberated at 08:45 into a West to North West wind for the 60-72 miles journey. Winning 1st & 2nd place in both organisations is the Gilmerton loft of Tam Nolan & son who timed a yearling hen flown on widowhood doing a velocity of 1215 with the 2nd bird on 1212.18. The winner was bred by Steven Girdwood from Sighthill from Soontjen origin and is from stock obtained from Micky Betts from Doncaster. Returns were excellent for the first race of the season. Willie Pryde & son John of Easthouses took 3rd place on 1212.14 they also take the next 7 places to 10th open in the federation.

The New Lothian Racing Pigeon Club had 49 members sending 1437 birds with Tam Nolan & son of Danderhall taking the first 2 places and the remainder won by Willie & John Pryde of Easthouses

Club Winners are as follows;

Danderhall 186 birds; 1st & 2nd Nolan 3rd Bennett

Easthouses 331 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd W Pryde & Son

Castlebrae 96 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd L Mitchell

Edinburgh Premier 238 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Gilchrist

Woodburn 132 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Brown & Black

Bonnyrigg 241 birds; 1st Stark 2nd A Dewar 3rd J Dewar

Sighthill 111 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Girdwood

Edinburgh West 138 birds; 1st & 2nd Ramage 3rd McLaughlan

Loanhead 86 birds; 1st Murray 2nd Simpson 3rd Anderson

Rosewell 57 birds;

New Lothian 34 birds;

Traprain 304 birds; 1st McLeod 2nd Whitson 3rd Thomson

Joe’s Joke

A Sunday school teacher asked the class, ‘What was Jesus’ mother’s name?’ One child answered ‘Mary’. The teacher then asked what Jesus’ father’s name was?’ A little boy said ‘Verge’ Confused the teacher asked, where did you obtain that information. The little boy replied, ‘Well, you know how you are always going on about ‘Verge n’ Mary’.

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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