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The Joe Murphy Column


I mentioned in last week’s column about Ant Morley of the Rousell & Morley partnership informed me that they had bred Stevie Fergusons good red cock that won 9th open SNFC Ancenis this year. Ant wrote and said ‘The dam of Stevie’s winner was a red hen that was inbred to your 1st open SNFC Sartilly winner Mystical Rose (which pleased me no end) many thanks to Ant for this information. I have just received a phone call from Rob Glover of Earl Shilton near Nuneaton (see photograph) who informed me that a blue hen I bred for him has just won 1st section 2nd open Midland National Flying Club from Poitiers yesterday. This was to be the Bordeaux race but they brought the birds back to Poitiers which is 432 miles to Rob instead of the 530 miles from Bordeaux. The convoy of 984 birds were liberated at 07-20 am into a West to North West wind, the ‘Murphy Hen’ has previously won for Rob 31st section 121st MNFC Bordeaux; 53rd open MNFC Ancenis 4500 birds; 5th section 52nd open MNFC Bordeaux; 39th section 215th open MNFC Ancenis 4331 birds in 2017 and has now won 1st section 2nd open MNFC Poitiers. Needless to say Rob is over the moon and said to me that she is one of the best hens I have ever had and I wish I had a loft full like her. Her sister was hawked and has been put into Rob’s stock loft. See my Falaise report below and you will see the breeding of Rob’s hen as Kevin bird is related to her. Well done to Rob and to the MNFC winners Mr & Mrs B Fisher & son of Todmorden whose pigeon flew the extra 84 miles and beat Rob by a yard; but that is pigeon racing and the best pigeon won the race.      

Rob Glover & Joe Murphy.

Falaise National

What can I say about this last national other than it has knocked the stuffing out of every fancier who competes in the Scottish national flying club. Never in all the years that I have been involved with racing pigeons have I ever experienced a year like 2017. The losses at national level has been nothing short of ‘horrendous’ with many people so downhearted they are seriously thinking of giving up the sport. From this last race from Falaise the weather forecast was excellent with the eastside of the county clear and a south west wind therefore a fast race was anticipated. The first 3 birds in the open are to the loft of Scott Irvine of Annan with velocities of 1980; 1970 and 1969 with these birds taking 6½ hours for a 446 mile fly. People are going on about Scott not putting these times on the lib line well he is a young man and could have been at work so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. We travelled up to Kevin’s and on arrival were told that the birds were in the south section so settled down to look for our entries about 15.00 hours. Well we sat and checked the lib line for arrivals but the birds were as sparse as a hair on Kevin’s head. Then I received a text from my friend Frank Mitchell of Oakley saying he had timed a yearling at 15-42 (he won 1st Fife Federation 1st section C 5th open so well done Frank, by the way this bird was bred by Wattie Sharp from Lochgelly who gave up the birds a few years ago and only keeps 3 pairs of pigeons for an interest and breeds Frank half a dozen youngsters each year; well done to you also Wattie). Again we scrutinized the sky for a bird but nothing the hours passed and the lib line was very quiet. We were getting quieter and quieter as the day progressed and we went into the house for our evening meal and while having a cup of tea my mobile rang. As I spoke to this fancier I looked out the kitchen window and saw Kevin looking upwards to the sky and low and behold we had a bird. The time was 19-54 hours and this was the last day pigeon timed ON THE DAY of the race and would you believe it Kevin won 8th section C 26th open national. There was only 33 pigeons timed on the day of the race from an entry of 802 birds and the last 4 of the 70 recorded on the open result were timed on the 3rd DAY. How on earth can you have national winners doing 1980 ypm and the 70th open doing 400 ypm? Now here is the funny thing this 2 year old cock we timed is from our 4th open SNFC Alencon winner at 574 miles she in turn is a half-sister to Rob Glover’s 2nd MNFC hen mentioned above as they are both bred from a direct son of Gilmour Brothers of Leven’s ‘Robbie’s Boy’ winner of 1st open SNFC Falaise. This cock is also the sire of a bird raced in the Barcelona Challenge Loft by John McGee that was 9th home from Narbonne and 15th bird to the loft from Barcelona. The dam of Rob’s hen is a direct daughter of ‘Kingdom Spirit’ George & Brian Hunters wonderful hen who won 10 times in the Scottish National. The sire of Kevin’s 26th open from Falaise was bred by my good mate Guy Reed from Isle of Wight and is from ‘Alwyn’ a son of ‘Wing Down’ winner of 2nd 4th & 7th open NFC Tarbes; when Alwyn was mated to ‘Lolly’ a direct daughter of Bernard Deweerdt champion pigeon ‘IBAN’.


Wind & Rainfall Radar

I have to put my hand on my heart and say in this instance the race controllers cannot be blamed for this disaster. If I have been in charge of the liberation (I have been a race controller in my time) then with the information at hand I would have liberated the birds as well. However there is something far wrong when we experience a race as this; What the hell is going on …. Is it the transportation? Where the sides of the transporter open long enough prior to liberation? Are the losses down to dehydration? Are the birds getting access to the drinkers? Is the race point far too west of our normal route? Is the English Channel the problem as the birds panic when they reach northern France? Is it the K index factor and there is something in the atmosphere? I could go on and on repeating the questions fanciers have been discussing with me and I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS but this does not help them or I feel any better. I feel for ALL the fanciers including my son as I know how hard he has worked to just make the national result but not to get birds home is heart breaking. I know a very good fancier who has a pigeon that has won 5th & 7th open in 2 previous national races. He set this bird up for the Falaise race and when he knew it was going to be a fast race he was looking to time this bird in – He has not seen the pigeon again or any of the other birds he entered into the national. He is not alone we sent 12 birds to the race and have only the one home. One lad wrote saying ‘If you ask me Joe it is about time people who have the bird’s welfare at heart took over doing the job because many people will say ‘Sod the national I’m going to stick with club/federation racing from now on’.  When you look at LOSSES within the SNFC races it does not make pleasant reading. From the Bedhampton race there must be at least 4000 pigeons lost (which is shown up in the entry at Falaise we normally have between 1000 and 2000 birds), Then we had only 47 birds home from an entry of 1476 from Alencon and then 18 home from 184 birds from Ancenis and make no mistake about it these are THE BEST pigeons sent from fancier’s lofts. Ypres race was not much better as returns were quite erratic largely in the west section again with a lot of pigeons lost and now we have this Falaise catastrophe. It is just as well the SNRPC Arras race was not a brilliant race either or many fanciers would have moved to this club. I have spoken to a lad who sent to Arras and he said ‘Joe I have one home from my 7 entries and others fanciers have only 1 from 19. So it is the same story with us as it is with the SNFC’. I have attached the Met Office chart for the morning of the Falaise race shown at 06:00 hours to 12:00 hours on Friday. As you will see the east of England was to remain dry with sunny periods for most of Friday. The rain affecting the west side of England will slowly move eastwards during Friday day time but will not reach the eastern regions until evening. A liberation sky over Falaise should be available at first light. Scotland will remain free of rain all day. Winds are southerly and as a result a fast race on the cards. So with this data to hand I would advise an early liberation from Falaise and a good race is anticipated. See chart; received another email from a fancier who wrote ‘Hi Joe I have just been reading last weeks column again. John Tyerman talks about the birds crossing into the south coast at Kent/Sussex area. Do you think our birds fly across France and try to cross the channel here? To be honest even the earliest of birds from the Gold Cup were approximately 2 hours behind what we expected them and this would fit in with  John T’s thinking were they would have crossed. Years ago I was always told that from Rennes, Nantes, Sartilly or Avranches that the birds went up the peninsula to Cherbourg and crossed there. Is it now that we are racing the East side of the country that the birds are fighting to get onto their line of flight from whatever race point we go to in France. It seems like the officials don’t seem to care about the birds. For example; this year’s race programme was passed at the a.g.m. I also have grave concern as to why the date of the Gold Cup race was changed. The constitution of the club tells you that the Gold Cup race has to be flown on or the nearest Friday to the longest day which was 23rd June in 2017. The race was flown on the 1st July after a one day holdover, which was 8 days later now you lose 3 minutes each day from the Summer Solace which mean (a loss of 90 seconds morning and night) so in total of 24 minutes flying time is lost from 23rd June till the 1st July. Then the following weekend we have Ypres race which is the loss of another 21 minutes and if we continue we have the Ancenis race being flown on 15th July which is a total of 22 days and day light has been lost by 1 hours 6 minutes and yet the hours of darkness are from 23-00 hours to the race opening at 04-30 the next morning. But it was dark at 22-30 hours and not daylight enough for pigeon to fly early the next morning. The following week we are at Falaise and the hours of darkness are NOW 22-30 till 05-00 so can anyone tell me how this is FAIR as the Gold Cup and Ancenis birds lost an hour flying time through no fault of their own. The SNFC management committee need to go and study the rules and constitution and not change things at an a.g.m. Percy Cameron and Charlie Graham would be turning in their graves at the way things have happened to the club this year. The SNFC was introduced to promote long distance pigeon racing into Scotland and we have now developed into an INLAND NATIONAL club because that is all the officials are concerned about as these are the ones that make MONEY for the club. Many members are not going to donate any more birds to sales until better transporters are introduced because in the past the profit from these has been swallowed up to clear the balance sheet.

Falaise SNFC

Good SNFC Birds

I know I have gone on a bit about the Falaise race but as usual there are some outstanding achievements put up by our feathered friends and I would just like to highlight some of them. Firstly congratulations to Scott Irving of Annan who took the first 3 open places in the race and another bird to win 11th open however I did notice that he timed another 2 birds in the next day at 13-06 (winning 49th open) and at 18-47 (winning 66th open velocity 436 ypm) I’m assuming that these are the next pigeons Scott got home from the race which is so bizarre when you think his first 3 pigeons were doing 1900 ypm and he only had 4 home on the day from his entry of 12 birds. The winner of 1st section B 8th open is the household name of John Bosworth of Elphinstone who timed in a blue bar cock that won 90th section B 211th open from Littlehampton last year. The winners of 1st section F 1st West Region 13th open are the Johnstone partnership of Morris Brothers who timed an outstanding chequer hen. These lads have done well over the years and consistently do well in section F but now pull off the extreme challenge of winning the West Region well done lads. The winner of 1st section D 16th open is my old mate Mark Doran of Broxburn who timed the same blue hen that won 2nd section D 44th open from Buckingham last year well done Mark. Ian Scott of Forfar wins 4th section C 18th open with the same chequer hen that won 27th section C 89th open from Roye last year proving to be a good pigeon. Then we come to Gerald Macpherson of Broughty Ferry near Dundee who timed in the same chequer yearling hen that won 2nd section C 27th open from Alencon this year flying 569 miles and in this race she wins 3rd section C 17th open flying 539 miles over 1000 miles in a few weeks Yours a hard man Gerald. Colin Crees from Ladykirk timed his mealy cock that won 2nd open Alencon winning a Gold Award a few weeks ago and now wins 3rd section B 57th open winning his 6th national diploma. Dave Baldie of St Andrews timed in his mealy hen that won 4th section C 34th open Alencon and also won nearly £2000 she was timed at 07-44 on the 3rd day to win 18th section C 67th open and she will now win a Silver Award. Well done to all the above pigeons they have now deserved their perch for the year.  

David and Robert Morris


Ayrshire federation news from Archie McIntyre who writes;
‘Hi Joe, sorry the report is slightly late but I had a week out in Tenerife j
ust after the Ypres race.  Please find attached federation Ypres race report as well as pictures of H Wallace 1st fed winning pigeon. John Davidson of the partnership J & T Davidson who won 2nd fed and Derek McKinlay holding his 3rd fed pigeon. Derek McKinlay my close neighbour was up the other night and asked me to mention he was asking after you and hopes you and your family are keeping well many thanks again Joe yours Archie’.


                              H.Wallace - 1st Fed Ypres                                    J.Davidson - 2nd Fed Ypres                                      D.McKinlay - 3rd Fed Ypres

For the Ayrshire federation’s 10th and final old bird race of the 2017 season again saw us duplicating in with SNFC race from Ypres. We entered 104 birds that were liberated as part of 2,320 SNFC convoy at 06-40 into a light WSW wind and once again as with the previous national, this race was certainly challenging for the Ayrshire members with only 4 gallant birds being recorded on the day and 19 birds recorded on day 2. 1st Ayrshire Federation this week and putting up an outstanding performance in the Scottish National as well to take 1st Region F 94th open is Hugh Wallace of the Darvel club. His winning pigeon is a 2013 chequer cock and has always been a very reliable pigeon especially on the hard days. He was sent to the race showing interest in a young hen and was growing his third flight. His Sire was bred from a Billy Allison hen that contains the blood lines of ‘Auld Reekie’ crossed with ‘Esk Valley Jackie’ when paired to a Michael Buick Jan Aarden cock. The Dam was also a Jan Aarden. This pair has bred some really good pigeons for Hugh as well as others but sadly the dam was killed by a Sparrow Hawk last year. The Sire has also bred some good pigeons especially hen’s and Hugh is now thinking of retiring him to the stock loft. Taking 2nd Ayrshire Federation is the partnership of J & T Davidson of Kilwinning; who also 3rd Region F, 115th open in what can be described as a fantastic result given how difficult a race it turned out to be. The partnership also recorded a 2nd pigeon at 06:40 the following morning. The partnership timed a 2 year old hen that was sent with her eggs chipping on day of basketting. Her sire is the ‘Rankin Cock’ and the dam a ‘Jim Cullen crossed Wilf Flockhart hen’, herself is a previous winner of 11th fed Ypres in 2014. 3rd Ayrshire Federation, 4th Region F, 124th open and again a fantastic result for the Ayrshire birds is Derek McKinlay of Largs. Derek has taken some time out from competitive racing over the last couple of years to spend time with the new additions to the family ‘The Grandchildren’. He timed a 2 year old hen racing to a small youngster she was purchased as a young birds from Louella Stud and is a ‘Jan Aarden’. As a youngster she did not have a race but was lightly trained. As a yearling she only had 2 races and this year she had 3 races out to 114 miles with her last race being Berwick. For the next 6 weeks leading up to Ypres race this hen mostly exercised around the loft till a week before Ypres when she had 2 tosses from Arniston (80 miles) with the Ardeer midweek club. Derek also timed another 2 pigeons the following morning with them both having the same preparation. I would like to thank Hugh for the information about his winning pigeon and to the daughters of J Davidson (Lorraine) and D McKinlay (Laura) for their dad’s reports and pictures. What dads can do without their daughters when it comes to technology these days?

In and around the Clubs starting with the North Section (61 birds)

Dalry - 1st D McKinlay 934, 2nd Jim Shepherd 735, 3rd John Shepherd 671

Ardeer - 1st J & J & C Nicol 617

Kilwinning - 1st and 2nd J & T Davidson 945 & 725

Central Section (19 birds)

Irvine - 1st D McCullen 575

Crosshouse – No birds timed

Kilmarnock – No birds timed

Darvel - 1st H Wallace 964, 2nd and 3rd Cowan & Findlay 895, 674.

South Section (24 birds)

Mauchline – No birds timed.

Cumnock - No Birds Sent.

Dalmellington – No birds timed.

Carrick – No Birds Sent.

Annbank – 1st B Lenachan 557

Whitletts – 1st Cree & Cuthbert 669, 2nd W Lawrence 608, 3rd Cree & Cuthbert 595

Angus Federation

The result of the Ridsdale come back race there was an entry of 266 birds this was flown on the 8th July had a 07-00 liberation into a west wind. Bob Baldie of Forfar takes the first 2 places plus 9th 12th 13th & 14th federation. Davie Glen wins 3rd 4th 6th & 7th fed with David J Liddle in 5th 8th 10th 15th 16th 17th & 20th positions Ian Scott is 11th with Macaulay Ferguson & Curran winning 18th & 19th open. East section winners are Chick & Anne Carrie of Inchcape win 1st place with Less McKay of the same club in 2nd 5th 6th & 8th positions. G Campbell of Montrose is 3rd & 7th with club mates J & J Leven in 4th & 9th spots. D & D Hay of Gourdon are 10th.

Club Winners are as follows; Forfar 172 birds with the winner R Baldie; Montrose 23 birds G Campbell; Gourdon 17 bird’s winners D & D Hay; Inchcape 34 bird’s winners C & A Carrie; Arbroath 20 birds for training no racing.

The Grampian Combine Ypres result had 41 members sending 221 birds liberated at 06-40 am into a south west wind the winner is Davie Glen flying 465 miles (he won 2nd open SNFC) 2nd & 5th combine is Les McKay of Carnoustie with John Duthie of Dundee in 3rd & 6th places. Billy McEwan is 4th with J & J Hunt of Dundee are 7th & 10th with Kevin J Murphy is 8th with J & L Alexander in 9th spot 

Fife Federation

From the Falaise open race flown on the 21st July 25 members sent 109 birds these were liberated at 06-15 hours into a light west wind. The winner of the federation and 1st west section is Frank Mitchell of Dunfermline club on 1653 velocity. Jocky Scott of Kennoway is 1st east section 2nd open with Keith Cochrane of Crossgates club in 2nd west section 3rd open. Jim Mackie of Leven is 3rd east and 4th open with club mates Clark Clark & Page in 4th section 5th open. Kennoway’s Brian Chalmers is 5th section 6th open and Levin’s Gilmour Brothers Ian & Robbie are 6th east section 7th open and the last place of 7th east section 8th open is won by Dave Baldie of St Andrews on the 3rd morning. 

Dunfermline LRPS news from David Kennedy who writes; Hi Joe, sorry for the delay in forwarding this result to you have been up to my eyes. From the Bedhampton old bird race and taking the 1st x 3 places is in the club is John Robertson. His winner is a yearling roundabout hen with the bloodlines being RM Venner of Street; this hen also won 125th open SNFC. His second pigeon was a yearling roundabout cock with the bloodlines being Frank Mitchell and he won 238th open SNFC. John times another yearling hen of RM Venner bloodlines to take third club and win 320th open national this was a great result for John in a very trying day!!

Lanarkshire Federation

Cambusnethan & Morningside news from Andrew Eadie who writes ‘Hi Joe hope all is well with you please find news for the last to old bird races of 2017.  Saturday 1st July saw the club at our 2nd comeback race from Appleby with 21 members sending 370 birds for the 103 plus miles with 09:00 am liberation into t a west wind. Taking 1st position is T McSorley with a 2 year old on 1367. In 2nd 4th & 6th is the ever present Tam Richardson racing on the roundabout system. 3rd club is Alex Blyth; with 5th going to K J Millar and finally taking 7th position are J Whiteford & son James who I believe is older than his Da?. Lastly I would like to congratulate W Gordon on topping the Lanarkshire federation and well done to all who took positions in their respective clubs and sections Tam McSorley 1st Section E and Tam Richardson 2nd section E and 3rd open with approximately 3100 birds.

East of Scotland

From Bedhampton Jim McNeil's is the federation winner and also wins 50th open SNFC this bird was bred from a Taylor Brothers cock when paired to a hen from Mick McMurchie. It was good to get a text from John Bird of Preston Pans informing me that ‘Peg’ his 2nd open SNFC Ypres winner that has also won many federation 1st prizes has returned home from Bedhampton. Well Joe, we are now onto the longest races, I’m not sure what to expect with a small convoy being liberated on a Saturday amongst all the thousands of birds going towards Holland and Belgium so it’s fingers crossed Joe many thanks once again John Baillie’.

North of Scotland

From the Ypres old bird race flown on the 8th July 22 members entered 146 birds these were liberated into a light west to southwest wind. Topping the west section and 1st open place is John Thomson of Elgin & District This yearling also won 1st section G 26th open SNFC flying 529 miles. John also won 4th & 5th west section 14th & 15th open. 1st east section 2nd open are Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District with club mates Dave & Calum McDougall in 2nd section 3rd open place. Robbie Higgins of Fraserburgh West End club is 3rd & 10th east section 4th & 13th open with  C & M Williams of Peterhead & District in 5th section 6th open their club mate Gordon Willox is 6th section 7th open and Walter Masson of Fraserburgh & District is 7th section 8th open. Ninth open is won by G Russell of Buckie & District who wins 2nd west section with George Taylor of Peterhead & District winning 8th section 10th open. 11th open is won by G R Duncan of Keith club and also wins 3rd west section. Stuart Maskame of Peterhead & District is 9th east section 12th open. 6th west section 16th open is J Reid of Keith.

Club First Bird. J Thomson of Elgin & District J & A Donaldson of Peterhead & District R Higgins of Fraserburgh West End;  W Masson of Fraserburgh & District; G Russell of Buckie & District; G R Duncan of Keith. Well done to John Thompson on topping the federation and to Jim & Anne Donaldson on winning the East Section.

Update of Breeder / Buyer & Late Bred sale; an update on the breeder / buyer I received no corrections to the list of ring numbers that I sent out so everything appears to be fine.
Please remind everyone about the need for the person racing the bird to transfer it for it to qualify for "buyer" prize money.
Late Bred Sale
 the Breeder / Buyer prize money will be handed out at the Late Bred sale on Sunday 10th September at Inverurie Loco Works. This is only 8 weeks away so I would really appreciate it if you could have a think about donating a bird for the sale.

We have already had some really generous donations of youngsters that were sold for federation funds. However, rather than the fed relying on the generosity of the "always giving" I would like to appeal to a wider audience to take this opportunity to put a bird into the sale and to turn up on the day and have a bid. After all the fed is there for all of us and we all share the responsibility to keep it running. Thanks for your support Rick Richards North of Scotland Federation

Brechin young bird race; had 46 members sending birds these were liberated at  1214 birds into a fresh east wind. The west section had 33 members sending 796 birds they dominated the race with the first 10 in the west section taking the top 10 places in the open. First & 2nd is J Abel of Devern Valley with club mates Fulton & Ritchie in 3rd & 4th place. A Wilson of the same club is 5th with namesake G Wilson in 6th spot. A Mair (John) again from Devern Valley is 7th with J Cumming of Buckie in 8th & 9th spots. D Feaks of Elgin makes up the top 10 places.  

The East Section had 13 members sending 418 birds with R H Whyte of Peterhead & District winning the section and being 21st open. G Willox of the same club is 2nd 3rd & 8th section winning 24th 25th & 31st open. C & M Williams again of Peterhead club are 4th 5th & 6th section winning 27th 28th & 29th open. H McAllister from the same club is 7th & 9th section 30th & 32nd open with G Findlay of Peterhead winning 10th section 33rd open.

Clubs First Bird Devern Valley winner is J Abel; J Cumming wins Buckie & District; D Feaks wins Elgin & District; A Cruickshank wins Keith; R H Whyte wins Peterhead & District; J S Robertson wins Inverurie. Well done to Jim Abel on topping the federation and to Robert Whyte on winning the East Section. That’s it for this week Joe yours George Duthie.

Joe’s Joke

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'  Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.' Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.


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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