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The Joe Murphy Column

I have been making excellent progress these past few weeks after my stroke; the physio has given me some extra tasks to do in-between appointments in hospital. The Speech therapist has not told me she is signing me off her list as she is more than happy with the advancement I have made (which is great). I have been for an eye test and passed this with flying colours and my doctor has allowed me to continue driving (which is also another achievement) although Margaret is still continuing to do the majority of the driving, I’m happy if it is only about the local area for the time being. I am also delighted to inform you that I’m now attending to my birds on my own on a daily basis. As pigeon fanciers yourself readers will understand what a great thrill this is for me, I have even handled a few of the birds just to get the feel of their feathers within my hands, I’m still having pins and needles in my right hand but it was lovely to just hold a bird and feel the softness of their feathers and the quality. I like many people have taken this for granted over the years and it is not until something like this happens that you realise what holding a pigeon means to you. I also had a visit from Martyn Brown and his dad from Bo’ness with my cheque for breeding the winner of the clubs breeder/buyer prize.   

 Martyn Brown and Joe Murphy see text

Dalry Homing Society

News from Archie McIntyre who writes ‘Hi Joe, hope you are still making good progress and taking life a bit easier. I have re-sent this report I sent on the 8th Oct as I was not sure if you did receive it Joe or you have put reports to the side till your health improves; take care Joe yours Archie’.

Dalry Homing Society for the 4th year running held their Annual 2 Bird Challenge race flown in conjunction with Ayrshire Federation’s young bird race from Berwick 1 on the 25th August 2018 for a prize fund of £1000 plus £150 of donations from our sponsors. The prize fund is split as follows, 1st Prize £500, 2nd Prize £250, 3rd £100, The Prize Draw (all entered teams go into a prize draw) £100, Highest Individual Velocity for an activated or non-activated entry £100 and 2nd Highest Individual Velocity for an activated or non-activated entry £50. Dalry membership also agreed for this year only, all profits excluding expenses would be donated to Ayrshire Federation’s Transport Fund. Once again the 2 Bird Challenge was well supported with 56 teams competing this year an increase of 13 teams on our 2017 race. The 2 Bird Challenge is always well supported by our fellow clubs namely, Ardeer HS, Irvine HS, Kilwinning HS, Crosshouse HS, Darvel HS and Mauchline & District HS. As well as the mentioned clubs, we also have non-Ayrshire Federation members who enter their teams to fly through friends lofts and also non-members of any clubs who selected themselves a team in their friends loft’s in Ayrshire to have wee flutter in the race. The changes we made last year continues to see more teams making it through to compete in the race and more 2 Bird teams being timed. This year we saw 13 teams successfully being timed, an increase of 2 teams on 2017 race and an increase of 11 teams in the 2016 race where only 2 teams were timed. This was great to see 13 teams making out the final race given the weather and racing we have experienced in Ayrshire this year. Dalry Homing Society held there 2 Bird Challenge presentation night in the “Tea in the Square” café Largs. David Craddock Dalry HS is current President and owns and runs the café as well as the Largs Post Office with his wife Susan. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the members of Dalry HS to thank David & Susan firstly for the use of their café for the presentation and secondly for the exceptional hospitality arranged by David & Susan. Winner of the 1st prize of £500 is Jim Howie & Son of Ardeer HS on a combined velocity of 1126.3. This was the partnership’s first year competing in the race as they have only just started racing again this year after taking a few years out of racing. 2nd prize of £250 goes to Tom Smith of Dalry HS on a combined velocity of 1125.8 and narrowly missed out on the top prize. 3rd prize of £150 goes to Mr & Mrs Ramsay & Son (Team Jim McCann) on a combined velocity of 1073.2. Jim McCann no longer races pigeons but is still very actively involved in the sport in Ayrshire. When Jim stopped racing, he offered up a few of his stock pigeons to his good friends Mr & Mrs J R Ramsay & Son of Ardrossan. The partnership made Jim McCann an offer to compete in this competition by asking him to select a team of pigeons bred down from some of his own pigeon’s from their loft as a (Sponsor) and compete in the race. Jim has taken up this opportunity over the past few years with good success winning 2nd prize in the 2017 - 2 bird race.The winner of £100 for the Highest Individual Velocity (1195.8) for an activated or non-activated entry was won by Andy Barbour of Dalry HS. The winner of the 2nd highest Individual Velocity (1189.3) and £50 for an activated or non-activated entry was Tom Smith of Dalry HS. The prize draw for £100 took place at this year’s presentation night and was carried out by Mrs McCann. John Simpson (Team 2) of Ardeer HS carries off the £100 cheque. Mrs & Mrs McCall and Steven put up a 40oz bottle of whiskey to be drawn for as well and this went to the 2 Bird Challenge winners, Jim Howie & Son. As I mentioned earlier, Dalry HS members agreed they would donate all profits excluding expenses from this year’s 2 Bird Challenge towards Ayrshire Federations Transport Fund. I am pleased to say a cheque for £600 was presented to Ayrshire Federation secretary Ian Noble. I would like to thank everybody who took part this year, as all who did, have contributed towards the £600 cheque towards the Transport Fund. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our fellow fanciers from Ayrshire and out with Ayrshire who continue to support the 2 bird challenge and I would also like to say a special thanks to our sponsors this year, David & Susan Craddock of the “Tea in the Square” café and Largs Post Office, Andy Barbour of A J McAlpine Construction and Tom Smith of Dalry Homing Society. Many Thanks once again from the members of DHS and hope to see you all competing again next year; yours Archie McIntyre race secretary Dalry Homing Society.


Jim Howie and Son Winner of Dalry 2 Bird Challenge     -     Tom Smith 2nd Dalry 2 Bird Challenge


Jim and Margaret McCann 3rd Dalry 2 Bird Challenge     -     John Simpson Prize Draw Winner


Ian Noble collect Cheque for Ayrshire Fed Transport Fund          -          Members and Guest enjoying the Buffet



The annual general meeting of the Scottish Homing Union will be held in the Hilcroft Hotel, East Main Street, Whitburn this Sunday 9th December 2018 at 1.30pm. The Agenda is a follows; 1. Minute for confirmation; 2 General Accounts and Balance Sheet; 3 Election of Auditor; 4. Election of PRO; 5. Membership £15.00 (Inc. VAT) + 50p Medical Research; 6. Minimum Recommended; Prices:- Metal Rings £340.00 per 1000 incl. VAT (To Federations) (Stat Quo); Plain Rings 47p plus postage (Stat Quo); RUBBER RINGS £45 per 1000 + VAT DOUBLE RUBBERS (Stat Quo at cost if available); SEALS £28 per 1000 + VAT STRAYS £3 + VAT (Stat Quo) Return of reported Strays (As per cost) Transfers - £1.50 + Post (Stat Quo) Loft Transfers - £3.50 (Stat Quo) Verifications 10p per ring (Stat Quo) Locations Free plus postage if required Distances Free plus postage if required Ring Print-out - £1.50 + SAE (Stat Quo) 7. Correspondence Motions from members - None 8. Recommendations by Council: - 1. Members of all SHU clubs must wing stamp all their young birds with either: A) A personal Tel no or address B) Their Club address or name. That any member not complying should not be allowed to race their Y/B’s Alter to read: “Members of all SHU clubs must have personal, Club or Federation contact telephone details on all their young birds in the form of an ID ring or wing stamp. Members failing to comply may not be allowed to race their Y/B’s”. President (Sgd.) Mr I Noble Secretary Mrs L Brooks


John Tyerman wrote to me informing me that he was at the Region Show in High Wycombe yesterday and again Mr. & Mrs. John Bell from Katrine had a field day. They left home at midnight for the 400 plus mile drive to High Wycombe, and then drove back again after the show!  I had a good blether with him and his good lady - totally dedicated they are. My mate Dave and I ended up judging a class of old show cocks and we gave John the red card. I also took a few birds up with me and won 3 cards, including the young hen 100 miles class - the winner was bred for me by Darren, Josh and John May.  She won several positions during the racing season too. Hope all is well at your end yours John.

Good Wishes

John also sent me another email saying he had been trying to contact Joan Jackson (Jed's widow) and have now been informed from Roy Oliver a Worthing fancier that she is now in a care home in Worthing.   She is now 96 years of age and was living on her own but family were a bit concerned so she is now residing at, The Shelley Care Home; 54 Shelley Road, Worthing, West Sussex. The telephone number is 01903 237000. She is currently fit and well and I am sure would be delighted to receive letters from any old pigeon friends. Maybe you could mention this in your notes Joe as I know you had a close relationship with her and Jed. 

Entire Clearance

SaleOf the lofts of John & Lou McGee will be held on and will commence on Thursday 6th December and will run for several weeks. If you’re looking for distance pigeons then these are the birds for you. Yearlings have at least 1 race at 500 miles; 2 year olds will have 2 x 500 mile races; 3 year olds and above ALL fly the Barcelona and Perpignan Internationals. The International race distances are as follows; Barcelona 624 miles; Perpignan 527 miles; Marseille 510 miles; Pau 505 miles; Narbonne 503 miles; St Vincent 495 miles; Souston 491 miles and Agen 438 miles. Have a look at the site there are some ‘cracking’ looking pigeons on offer, as sale not to be missed.


BirdsI noticed from the SNFC presentation the names of fanciers who had won a Silver Award and on checking my file on Good SNFC Birds that I keep I noticed that some of these birds I have not given them some publicity so I intend to do so in the near future starting with Davy Donaldson of Glassford. His chequer cock GB14S59761 won 16th section E from Roye in 2016 flying a distance of 502 miles then in 2017 he won from Ypres being 18th section E 114th open flying 441 miles and this year from the Gold Cup race from Liege a distance of 527 miles he won 1st section E 7th open to gain his national award. The next pigeon I’m going to highlight is a blue chequer hen SU13E634 raced by Richard and Jamie Combe of Elphinstone in East Lothian. As a 2 year old she won 58th section B 110th open from Billericay a distance of 330 miles and she recorded a velocity of 1100 ypm that same year she won twice across the English channel winning 24th section B 69th open from the Gold Cup race from Alencon a distance of 533 miles and she recorded a velocity of 796 she then went to Clermont a distance of 506 miles and she won 125th open (no section prize) doing a velocity of 1075. Then in 2016 she was sent to the longest race in the national Callander Ancenis a distance of 596 miles to her loft in Scotland and she won 1st section B 15th open recording a velocity of 951 ypm. This year she was again sent the longest race and she won 7th section B 21st open from Reims a distance of 548 miles and recorded a velocity of 715; this then gave her the 3rd section prize to gain her SNFC Silver Award.  I’m not sure if I have covered this pigeon in this feature it is a blue bar cock raced by the partnership of Macaulay Ferguson & Curran from Forfar in Angus as a 2 year old in 2016 SU14AF2151 won 29th section C 82nd open from Littlehampton a distance of 415 miles to his loft and recorded a velocity of 1062 that same year he was sent to Roye a distance of 534 miles and he won 33rd section C 108th open with a velocity of 834. In 2017 he was entered into the Bedhampton race and he won 91st section C 349th open flying 408 miles with a velocity of 1109 he was then entered into the last old bird race from Falaise and he won 14th section C 45th open with a velocity of 574. This year he was entered into the Roye race a distance of 534 miles and he won 24th section C (no open position) with a velocity of 875 ypm to win him his Silver Award. The next pigeon I have missed out on belongs to A Nicholson of Annan his chequer cock SU12S3373 has been 3 times in the top 13 in 3 distance races. In 2015 he was entered into the Ancenis race a distance of 534 miles to his loft and he won 8th section A 13th open recoding a velocity of 995 ypm. The following year he was back at Ancenis and this time he was 5th section A and 5th open recording a velocity of 1153. This year he was entered into the Gold Cup race from Liege a distance of 474 miles to his home loft and he won 4th section and open with a velocity of 1145 to gain his SNFC Silver Award. The last pigeon I was going to highlight was to the Lanarkshire partnership of Eadie & Kelly of Wishaw. I have written to Andrew Eadie regarding his blue hen’s performances as I require conformation on one of her section prizes, but up to now have not heard from him, however I will give this pigeon the publicity it deserves when I have all the relevant information. My congratulations to the above fanciers and I apologise for missing them out during the racing season but better to be late than never as each and every one of them deserve some publicity for their fantastic efforts.

SNFC Silver Awards Winners

D Baldie St Andrews; Walter Boswell of Hamilton (2 awards); Jim & Ann Donaldson Peterhead; J & J Hunt of Dundee; A Whittaker Methil; G Veitch Pencaitland; G Dalgleish & son Ecclefechan; D Donaldson Glassford; Richard & Jamie Combe of Elphinstone; Derek Nordon of Langholm; Macaulay Ferguson & Curran of Forfar; Ian Scott of Forfar; Eadie & Kelly of Wishaw; A Nicholson Annan; A S Thomson & son Port Seton (3 Silver Awards) J F Bosworth Elphinstone.

Bronze Award Winners

P Keogh from Broxburn; A S Thomson & son from Port Seton.

Joe’s Joke

A husband keeps flicking the TV remote controller from the golf to porn, golf to porn; golf to porn. His wife says, ‘Leave it on the porn you know how to play golf’.

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© Compiled by Joe Murphy