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The Joe Murphy Column 28-09-18

The Joe Murphy Column

I continue with Walter Boswell’s of Hamilton’s thoughts and accounts of his racing season were he won 2 SNFC Silver Awards with his pigeon in 2018. A pigeon must win 3 section prizes to qualify for this award. Walter is the first person in the history of the SNFC to win a Silver Award in the space of 3 weeks. He tells in his own word how he managed to achieve this goal Joe M.

Part 2

The first pigeon in Scottish National Flying Club History to win in 3 cross channel races in 21 days all on the day. Now that is a statement but it has been checked out and it’s true. A couple of good birds have scored in 4 weeks, and 5 weeks, but Lady Helen is the only bird that has done this in 21 days. What a pigeon how it was achieved will surprise some, and shock others! Have I got your attention lol? Well here we go, as I had said in my previous post. I could see there was something about this hen when getting her ready for the Gold Cup race. With Jenna she was the best conditioned pigeon I had ever seen. Her body supple, but tight, light as a feather. Her plumage bright and gleaming and she was keen. She was set to go 3 days overdue the same routine as Jenna. Her cock, a son of Jamie Boy, all 3 were super but she was just the best I have ever seen.

Louella Lady Helen

Louella Jamie Boy

As a 2 year old and her first time over the water as an unknown! All I had to go on was her breeding. Being a daughter of Jenna, when paired to her uncle, who had sired an 8th & 16th section winners from Clermont and a 14th section from Alencon and 3 birds to win prizes in the Maidstone inland national race? So with that bloodline and her fantastic condition I just had to gamble her. I filled out the pool sheet on Saturday night while flagging them. On the Sunday morning when letting them out for their last flagging in noticed her and her cock disappeared? Only wee Jenna was flying around, s**t I thought. The cocks clicked these eggs are not going to hatch, and he is trying to get her to pair up and desert the nest! I remembered that one of the stock pairs was sitting a 4 or 5 day young bird so I ran to the stock loft, got the youngster, and put it in her nest. When the pair came back the cock went into the loft and into a new box calling on the hen. I watched as she dropped in flew up to where the cock was then back down to the floor. As she was nesting behind a board she saw the youngster and went straight on it. Thank goodness I thought; or something like that laugh out loud. So that’s how she scored in the Gold Cup winning 3rd section E 10th open but it was when I picked up this hen to removed her rubber as a back-up incise my ETS failed. I could not believe it? It was as if she had just flown a training toss. There was nothing out of her at all. There and then I decided if I can keep you sitting you are going back to another race. By this time her youngster was 8 or 9 days old too big to sit on and would take too much out of her. So I switched it for another 4 or 5 day old youngster. When I opened the loft the next morning and she went out for a fly the switch was done. Again she went straight on to the baby and that will do me I thought. Plenty of peanuts, Gerry plus, and hempseed were left in the tray so she could take what she wanted. I’m a believer that they know better than us what they need to eat. The next night her cock that had been at the Gold Cup race with her turned up 3 out of 3. Good I thought he will feed the youngster to. However he was in a bad way, well down and did not go near the nest. It was not until the next morning, I was sitting watching the birds, with the lofts opened that I saw him fly up to the drinker and take a drink. The water poured out from a hole in his crop, poor thing. No wonder he is not interested in his hen or the youngster. When the hen went out each morning I would get the youngster chew up some peanuts and fill its crop I did this every day till basketting for Ypres. The hen just got better and better. I might never have a pigeon in this condition again I thought? She’s got to go! This pigeon is something else. I had ten birds going to Ypres as I started to basket them about 5 o’clock, leaving Helen to last. As I put my hand into lift her, my blood ran cold, there was an egg beside the youngster. Disaster I thought I can’t send her now? She will lay the second egg on Friday, on the way home. No no no I thought the sheet was made out. The pools paid into the bank what the hell was I going to do?? I had hens before that had come home from short races straight into the box and laid but this was a national, across the channel. I sat down with the hen still in my hand; she was outstanding, I let her go and she flew straight up to the loft paused and looked at me. She was shining, you’re going I said. Even if you don’t score with the condition you’re in you will get home. So that’s how she went to Ypres. My hens lay there 2nd egg around 7 at night. If the race is fast, she could do it? I told myself and there’s always a chance. They could be held over? This would let her lay in the basket and give her time to recover. The day of the race came and the birds were up at 06-45. Damn I thought an hour earlier would have helped her. It was done, if I lost her I had only myself to blame. Why did I even take the chance? If this hens alive she will get home. That’s why at 18-05 bang, a bird hits the loft, but it’s not her it’s her big sister. Then 18-55 another one, a mealy cock half-brother of Jenna; my pal Charlie Muir had come over to watch the birds come home with me. ‘Is that her he said? No says I but she will come. I would not have sent her Charlie said I then at 19-05 bang, she hit the loft. Thank *expletive removed* I said I’ll never do that again. I went into the loft and brought her outside. Her feet were covered in black mud she had stopped and laid her egg. However she still won 49th west section -What a bird, what guts? How long was she down I did not care. She was home and right back onto the youngster, and handled as if she had been liberated round the corner. I’ve got a racing machine here I thought? Pity the last national Roye is a week early. That was the Friday night; I timed her on Saturday morning 06-00 o’clock. I let my young birds out, and opened the old bird loft. The hen I had timed at 06-05 was looking fresh to and had just hatched out. So it had crossed MY mind to send her. I would handle her on Tuesday only four days away and make up my mind then. To my surprise Helen came out and flew for almost an hour with the young birds. You’re going too I said; I can’t believe this pigeon. This time I took the cock out the loft and put him in the stock loft. Left the hen with the big young bird, which I fed every day: On the Tuesday, basketting day, I handled both hens. They were still handling great, but would 7 days be enough time for them to recover? I did not know? I was sure if they did not score they would get home and He who Dares Wins as Dell Boy says. The birds were up on the Friday, and I’ve never been so confident of timing in my life. I’ll get this hen I said to Jim in fact I’ll be sick if I don’t get both. My guess was birds could get into the central belt of Scotland between 7 and 8pm; but I was out from 6pm watching just in case. I’ll get this hen I thought to myself, she’s a special pigeon I’ll get her, sitting waiting away in my own wee world; but I could get her big sister first? I thought my mind wandered, big sister? I had a big sister, but she died at 12 weeks old before I was born. How devastating that must have been for my mother and father to lose a child so young and their first child at that. Her name was Mary, which was my mother’s name, and my grandmothers. I’ll call her Mary if I get her. I had moved my seat to the bottom of the garden which gave me a small view south between my house and my neighbours. It was blue sky as I looked towards Hamilton county building 17 stories high I saw a speck in the blue sky. That’s a bird it was very high but was coming down fast that’s a pigeon I said to myself as it dropped even closer. Expletive removed* that’s a pigeon and its coming here!! I watched it all the way down; wings shut dropping like a stone. Which one is it? She came round the house and hit the board. I almost fell off my seat. It’s Helen for *expletive removed* sake it’s Helen she is a bloody champion I said to myself. What a pigeon!!!! I ran to the house and put her time on the SNFC lib line. I noticed my old pal John Leggate had timed his great hen before me. But I was delighted to get her never mind to be well in. Helen my wife came down stairs and said what’s wrong? I got her, I *expletive removed* got her. As you see gather I get a bit excited. I put out a cup of tea and went back outside to fill in my clock label, and phone an old friend to tell him I had timed in. When I looked at my ETS clock there was a different ring no on the clock? Jesus I said, Mary must have come when I was phoning the lib line? There were 11 minutes between them I could not believe it? Two sisters away, two home; to win 2nd & 3rd section and WIN a silver award with Helen was beyond belief; she had flown 1488 miles in 21 days to get her Silver Award. Mary had flown 988 miles in 7 days and remember the egg that Helen laid on Ypres basketting night? I had put the egg in jar and forgot about it for about 10 or 12 days I stuck it under a pair of yearlings that had just laid. It hatched 5 days ago it’s a true Scottish saying; ‘If it’s for ye It will not go by ye’. Can it get any better? I think maybe only winning the Gold Cup could top those three weeks for me. I hope you have enjoyed reading my recall of my 2018 season in the SNFC it has been a season I will never forget. Take care and good luck with your pigeons in 2019 yours Walter Boswell’.

Walter Boswell

Good SNFC Birds

This week I’m going to highlight 4 birds from the loft of E Hodgson & sons from Annan as many fanciers will know John Hodgson held the record for the most 1st open Scottish Nationals in the country with widowhood cocks. However I’m going to highlight 4 hens that have done exceptionally well these past few years.

John Hodgson

Starting with a chequer hen GB16X54213 who as a yearling in 2017 won 24th section A 117th open from Bedhampton flying 301 miles she recorded a velocity of 1199 competing against 634 lofts that sent 6065 birds. This year she won twice in the SNFC from the first national from Buckingham we had 441 members sending 2941 birds and she won 131st open but no section prize and she had a velocity of 1029 for the 226 mile trip. This set her up for Reims with 129 lofts sending 382 birds to the longest race of the Callander and she was timed to win 2nd south section 4th open flying 504 miles. We now come to another chequer hen SU14S6640 who has won 4 times in the national, in 2016 she won 18th section C 121st open from Littlehampton with a velocity of 1049 for the 311 miles journey; flying against 4482 birds entered by 510 members she then went to the longest race of the year from Ancenis with 100 members sending 294 birds and she won 9th section A 9th open with a velocity of 1042. This year she was entered into the 2 inland nationals and from the Buckingham race with 441 members sending 2941 birds she won 87th open but no section prize as they were all won within the first 50 birds in the open her velocity for the 226 mile race was 1081. She then went to Maidstone a distance of 305 miles were 444 members sent 3001 birds and she won 15th section A 100th open with a velocity of 1278. We now come to another chequer hen SU14S6505 who has won 3 times in the national in 2016 she was entered into the Ancenis race flying 535 miles with 100 members sending 294 birds and she won 18th section A 25th open with a velocity of 795. The following year she was entered into the Bedhampton race a distance of 301 miles and recorded a velocity of 1126 winning 297th open but no section prize with 634 members sending 6065 birds. This year 2018 she was entered into the Maidstone race which had 444 members sending 3001 birds and she won 42nd section A flying 305 miles and recording a velocity of 1170.  The last pigeon I highlight in John’s loft is a blue bar hen GB15A48747 she won twice as a yearling in 2016 the first time from Buckingham a distance of 226 miles from an entry of 4328 birds entered by 521 members she won 398th open again no section prize as they were all won and her velocity was 1251 ypm. She then went to the last old bird national of the season from Roye a distance of 444 miles were she won 5th section A 30th open from an entry of 1135 birds sent by 258 members. This year she was again sent to Buckingham and was up with the leaders winning 12th section A 12th open from an entry of 2941 birds entered by 441 members. You will see from the above that John has a very consistent team of hen’s which captivated me as he made his name in the Scottish national by winning so many of his 1st opens with widowhood cocks. I am not criticizing him only stating a fact that on checking the results he is winning with ‘hen’s’ which proves the quality of pigeon fancier he is, well done John.

Joe’s Joke

Teacher; How old is your father Thomas? Six was his reply. What how is this possible says the Teacher. Because he became a dad when I was born Miss.  (Logic; children are quick and always speak their minds)


A Scotsman walks into a bar and orders a drink. Then he notices there are pieces of meat nailed to the ceiling of the bar so he asks the barman what they are for. The barman replies, "If you can jump up and pull one of them down you get free beer all night. If you fail, you have to pay the bar £100. Do you want to have a go?"

The man thinks about it for a minute before saying, "Nah, the steaks are too high!"


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