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Tribute to Derrick Nordon of Langholm



Derrick Nordon of Langholm; I received a phone call from Ralston Graham of the same village who informed me that Derrick had passed away this morning Sunday13th October. Derrick has not had good health these past few years and has never been right since having his gallbladder removed. Recently he has been very breathless and the doctors in the hospital told Anne that he had taken a silent heart attack (which no one know about) lately he caught pneumonia and this took its toll on him. Needless to say I was totally shocked at this news as Derrick his wife Anne and son Brian go back a long way.

When I was a long distance lorry driver I used to stop over at Langholm on a Monday night and spend the evening with both Anne & Derrick and sometimes Albert Tedham and we had some good laughs. They gave me a bed for the night instead of sleeping in the lorry this kindness is the mark of both Anne & Derrick and I have held them in high esteem ever since. A nicer couple you could not wish to meet and it breaks my heart to write this obituary of someone I have always held in high esteem. To Anne, sons Derrick, Brian, daughter Louise and their children and grandchildren I send my heartfelt condolences at their sad loss. 



Derrick was an outstanding pigeon man and his records prove this as during his racing career he won 2 SNFC Gold Awards in 1983 and 1989 and also won a SNFC Silver Award in 2018. He won the Dewar Trophy for Scotland Bird of the Year in 1984 with a blue bar Dordin cock bred by Tom Wall and gifted to Derrick and raced on natural system. This 1982 rung bird won 6th south section 9th open SNFC Sartilly (1) from an entry of 4011 birds; he then competed from the Gold Cup race from Rennes a distance of 490 miles and won 2nd south section 27th open from an entry of 5639 birds.



He was then sent to Hastings due to the Sartilly (2) national being cancelled and won 34th south section 228th open from a convoy of 4036 birds. Derrick also won the SNFC twice with his first winner from Sartilly in 1996 being ‘Anne’s Delight’ and his 2nd national win was in 1999 with his blue hen ‘Anniversary Girl’ who won 7th open SNFC Frome and then won 1st open SNFC Rennes in the same season. Derrick won the SHU Dewar trophy for Bird of the Year for the 2nd time in 1996.






This was a blue pied hen a Van Hee with her sire being bred by Bobby Carruthers of Bonnyrigg in Midlothian while her dam was bred by Gus Power of Gretna and also contained the Van Hee bloodlines. The pied hen won 10th south section 16th open from SNFC Rennes and in the same season won 13th south section 22nd open SNFC Sartilly. Derrick & Anne Nordon were without doubt one of the premier lofts in Scotland at this time, with brilliant performances in the SNFC.

The main families kept were Bricoux / Kirkpatrick’s from Tommy Gilbertson of Carlisle and the late Bobby Carruthers of Bonnyrigg, the Van Hee’s obtained from Bernard Miles from the south of England. Derek won countless SNFC Averages and trophies during this time and was fellow scribe Jim Renwick’s ‘Scotland's Own Fancier of the Year’ in season’s 1993 and 1999. ‘Hightower Darren’s Boy’ in 1989 won 150th open Rennes, 1990 won 10th open Rennes, 91 won 97th open Rennes, 92 won 186th open Rennes and 93 won 36th open Rennes flying 490 miles and was clocked on the day from these 5 races.

‘Hightower Jamie’ won 51st open in 91; 57th open in 92 and 2nd open in 1993; ‘Hightower 1330’ won 34th & 38th from Frome, 44th open Rennes, 4th & 11th open Sartilly. In the 1999 season the Nordon loft won 1st & 2nd open SNFC Rennes race and at that time he was the first fancier in over 100 years to win 1st & 2nd ‘Kings Cup’ race in the SNFC. Derrick then won the Rennes National flying 490 miles with his good blue hen, ‘Anniversary Girl’, and ‘Danny Boy’ was clocked a few minutes later to win 2nd open.

Derrick always said that the blue cock, ‘Danny Boy’, was one of his best racing pigeons he ever had and indeed he was a ‘Champion’ in the truest sense of the word. As many of his offspring also won well in distance national races, Dale Newcombe did exceptionally well crossing children from ‘Danny Boy’ into his own family of pigeons.



‘Danny Boy’s winning performances were as follows: In 1999 he won 2nd open Rennes SNFC from an entry of 2,865 birds; He was also 65th open Frome SNFC against 4,005 birds. In 1998 he won 5th open Rennes SNFC 3,019 birds; in 1997 he won 38th open Frome SNFC against 3,272 birds; he then won 9th open Rennes SNFC 3,269 birds and won over £7,000. ‘Danny Boy’ was a brilliant national racing cock and was bred from a Van Hee blue cock, bred by Gus Power of Gretna, which won 19th open in the SNFC Young Bird National.

Derrick purchased the young blue cock pigeon at a sale for £13. His dam was big blue hen bred by Allister Ray of Bonnyrigg and Derrick raced her and she won 1st federation Cheltenham.  In 2018 Derrick’s blue bar hen named ‘Hightower Wee Lizzie’ SU13S 191 won a Silver Award in 2018. Her performances are as follows; in 2016 she won 17th section A with no open prize from Roye flying 448 miles, in 2017 she won 7th section A 12th open from Ancenis flying 544 miles and in 2018 she won 7th section A 40th open Reims flying 507 miles.

I think you will agree after reading the above that Derrick Nordon was an extraordinary pigeon fancier; however to me he was a very dear friend whose company I always enjoyed. To Anne and the remainder of the family we send our heartfelt condolences at this sad time. Derrick may no longer be with us but he will NEVER be forgotten.

Derrick’s funeral will take place on Monday 21st October at 1 o’clock at Langholm Cemetery.


Joe Murphy

Scottish Scribe