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The Joe Murphy Column 05-10-18

The Joe Murphy Column

Margaret and I are just back from a nice relaxing holiday in the Costa del Sol we also had Kevin & Julie out for 5 days so it was very nice. One day while out shopping in Torremolinos this man came up to me and said ‘Your Joe Murphy I read your column every week in the BHW’ and shook my hand. His name was Paul Durring (sorry if this is not the correct sure name) he did tell me he came from Bude in Cornwall. What a small world it is and this was a nice gesture by Paul and I hope he and his wife had a lovely holiday.

SNFC Young Bird National

I noticed on the national web site that Billy Bilsland of Ayton had a great race with 14 birds in the top 100 and 5 of these were in the top 10 as he won 1st 3rd 4th 5th & 8th truly outstanding. I will speak to Billy this week now that I’m home and obtain some information on his winners. John Barlow has sent me an email saying the following ‘Joe, I've gone through all the SNFC results since Billy moved to Ayton in 2012. Starting with the young bird national in 2012, he has won 8 × 1st opens, 6 × 2nd , 8 × 3rd , 5 × 4th , 7 × 5th , 6 × 6th , 5 × 7th , 2 × 8th , 3 x 9th and 3 x 10th . All open positions plus a plethora of other top positions this is a total of 53 places in the top 10 in little over 6 seasons, which is incredible yours John B’.


Ayrshire Federation

News from Archie McIntyre who writes: ‘Hi Joe, please find the final race report from Ayrshire Fed for 2018 season. I have also attached 3 phots of the 1st 3 federation winners. From the 5th and final young bird race of the season was from Ripon held on Sunday the 9th September a jump of 60 miles on the previous week’s race from Berwick. If we thought last week’s race from Berwick was bad, this race is possible one of the worst young bird races I can remember with only 10 pigeons from a convoy of 273 birds making it home on the day. In my own club at the 18-00 hours ring off the following day, we only had 25 pigeons home from a club entry of 98 birds which was slightly above the 25% mark for returns. I think personally the birds were finding it hard going facing into the westerly wind coming across into the west of Scotland and some of the showers around tea time pushing through from the west coast were nothing short of torrential. Jim O’Hare had the convoy of 273 pigeons at Ripon up and away at 11-10 into a south west wind for a race of between 149 miles up to 175 miles to the top end of the federation. Leading the way in to the federation this week taking 1st and 7th places on 798.2 and 597.6 is Robert Reid of Beith. Robert needs no introduction when it comes to racing pigeons, a man who top’s the fed from the shortest of races right through to the longest of races, in fair days and very difficult days, Robert’s birds are always there. His 1st fed winner is a chequer pied cock and is an early bred youngster and was sent driving an old hen. He had completed a body moult earlier in the year. He is bred from 2 retired racers, both are 2011 pigeons. His sire is SU11-2114 had a couple of fed positions but was not an outstanding racer. However, he is from Robert’s old 2004 chequer cock that is responsible for most of his winning pigeons. His dam was a 2007 hen which was a gift from Ken Buchannan. 2114 is a full brother to, amongst others, the hen which won 2nd section Ypres this year and narrowly missing out on 1st section in the Gold Cup race last year. The dam of the fed topper is SU11A5451 who has 2 first prizes racing as well as 3rd and 8th Federation. She was put to stock as a 2 year old following a peregrine strike and has bred 1st , 2nd & 6th section winners in the SNFC . 2nd fed this week is Gavin Urquhart of West Kilbride on 720.5: Gavin timed a March bred natural blue bar cock and now named “Blue Singe” The reason behind the name was Gavin singed the tip of one of its remaining flights so the pigeon would hold its flight and not throw it leading up to and while in the basket. This young cock was sent sitting on its 2nd set of eggs that were due to be chipping on the day of the race. Leading up to this race, the blue cock had 4 races out to 110 miles then into Ripon 172 a distance of miles. The sire is a blue bar stock cock that contains the best of Ian Cameron’s bloodlines from pigeons Gavin has received from Ian over the last 15 years and blended them together. The dam was bred by Dougie Spittal of Knightswood in Glasgow and is off Busschaerts bloodlines of Martin Hughes. 3rd fed is John Watters of Mauchline on 654.7 John timed a natural blue bar hen flying to the perch. This hen had previously scored 3rd club in the previous week from Berwick and has had every race apart from Kelso. Her sire and dam are down from Willie Wilson of Larkhall stock he obtained from Andy Lockhart. Other members who timed in on the night on what was a very difficult race and I think is worthy of a mention are the Boyd Brothers and S Boyd from the Whitletts & District club. Cowan & Findlay from Darvel HS, Willie Thomson of Kilmarnock Invitation and another 2 members from my own club Dalry HS. Jim Shepherd timed at 20:15 with his bird arriving in the dark and David Craddock who timed at 20:23 also arriving in the dark. There is a slight story behind David’s arrival as he had gone into the house for the night thinking nothing will come now as darkness had set in. David had just settled down for the night on the couch to watch the telly when his phone went with a text message, thinking to himself; ‘who is texting me at this time of night’. David looked at his phone and to his amazement it was one of his pigeons that had just arrived and lucky for David he had left the hatch open. David has the Unikon TXT system and this was his Unikon base texting him of his arrival.

Gavin Urquhart 2nd Fed Ripon YB


North Section 168 birds; winners 1st Robert Reid of Dalry HS on velocity of 798.2: 2nd place is Gavin Urquhart, Dalry HS 720.5: 3rd David Craddock, Dalry HS 597.7

Robert Reid 1st Fed Ripon YB

Central Section 41 birds; 1st Willie Thomson of Kilmarnock Invitation 612.0 2nd was Harvey Pollock, Irvine HS 472.0. 3rd McKenna & Diamond of Irvine HS 415.4


South Section 64 birds; 1st is John Watters, Mauchline & District on 654.7. 2nd Boyd Brothers of Whitletts & District on 646.9 3rd S Boyd of Whitletts & District on 558.4

John Watters 3rd Fed Ripon YB


Other Club winners not mentioned above; Cowan & Findlay (Darvel HS) 577.8, Grant & McGovern (Ardeer HS) 506.8


Now the racing season is over Joe, I am hoping to send you reports of the Dalry HS 2 Bird Challenge presentation night and also Ayrshire Federation presentation night. Once again Joe, I thanks you for your support with publishing our federations reports, yours Archie McIntyre race secretary of Ayrshire federation’.

Almond Valley Federation

News from Lynne Stewart who forwarded the Wakefield open race result with the members sending 163 birds, these were liberated at 09-00 hours with Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder in 1st 2nd 10th 12th & 21st open. J Burnside of Armadale club was 3rd to 9th plus 19th open with Jimmy M Young of East Calder in 11th & 13th open with John Bird of West Calder in 14th 15th & 16th open and R Armstrong of East Calder in 17th & 18th places. T Gavin of Armadale is 20th open. Thanks Joe for including our federation and clubs into your weekly column the feedback from the members is very positive yours Lynne’. My thanks to Lynne for sending her federation results on a weekly basis once again it is much appreciated.

Fife Federation

Glenrothes & Leslie result from Rosie Armit with the Wakefield result she wrote ‘Hi Joe, can't believe it's the last race already we had 3 members sending 30 birds to the federation open race from Wakefield. 1st club, 2nd open was Brian Kinnear with a blue hen doing a velocity of 1331; she had started to show interest for the first time in a young cock, her sire and dam are both yearlings. The sire a late bred from a son of "Stitchy" when he was paired to a daughter of Austin Whittaker's ‘Betty’. 2nd club 4th open with a blue hen doing 1330, she won 1st club from Sedgefield and 4th club Ripon. She is one of 3 hens sitting together in a nest bowl on the floor; her sire is a yearling from birds bought from Ronnie Evans & Partners from Sunderland. 3rd club 29th open are Turpie & McCord with a blue chequer cock doing 1282 he was sent feeding a big young bird and his hen just lay again. His parents were gift birds from Tom & Mary Paterson of Plean and are from the best of John Ellis of Wellbank. This young cock has been in the first 2 to the loft every race. That’s it for another year Joe, thank you for including our club in your weekly column and give my kindest regards to Margaret yours Rosie’.

Good SNFC Birds

I continue with another south section loft of B A Brown from Dumfries who has a chequer hen SU12S1940; In 2014 she won 6th section a from the Maidstone national race a distance of 321 miles to her home loft from an entry of 4484 birds. In 2017 she won 426 open from Bedhampton a distance of 312 miles and recorded a velocity of 1074 but did not win a section prize from an entry of 6065 birds entered by 634 members. She then went to the last old bird national from Falaise in France and won 37th open with a velocity of 641 but again did not win a section prize from the 802 bird open entry sent by 199 members. This year she competed from Buckingham a distance of 238 miles and  won 47th section A 52nd open recording a velocity of 1115 ypm competing in an entry of 2941 birds sent by 441 members. She again went to the last old bird race of the season from Roye a distance of 459 miles and she won 7th section A 31st open with a velocity of 1120 ypm from an entry  of 747 birds entered by 186 members.  We now move to the loft of John R Bird of Prestonpans in East Lothian whose famous pigeon ‘Peg’ a chequer hen SU13E565 was a 5 times national winner; in 2016 she won 3 times with her first race being from Buckingham a distance of 285 miles and she won 14th section B 63rd open with a velocity of 1336 from an entry of 4328 birds entered by 521 members. She then went to Littlehampton a distance of 370 miles and she won 15th section B 41st open with a velocity of 1084 from an entry of 4482 birds sent by 510 members. She then went to the Ypres national were 258 members sent 1135 birds and she just about won the national by being 2nd section B 2nd open with a velocity of 1152 for the 428 mile trip home. This year she was entered into the Buckingham race from an entry of 2941 birds sent by 441 members and she won 25th section B 175th open recording a velocity of 1001 for the 285 miles. Unfortunately she was lost during the season but this does not stop her or John from being entitled to a little praise for their efforts in the SNFC.  We now come to a household name in the Scottish pigeon sport Duncan H Ogilvie of Stirling who has 2 pigeons bred in 2016 that have won 3 times in the SNFC. The first is a black cock SU16NW1605 as a yearling he won 52nd section D 459th open from Bedhampton flying 381 miles and recorded a velocity of 1057 ypm competing against 6065 birds entered by 634 members. He then went on to the Ypres race with 409 members sending 2320 birds and he won 13th section D 92nd open with a velocity of 963. This year he was again sent to Ypres and did extremely well; winning 2nd section D 37th open doing a velocity of 1261 for the 458 miles with an entry of 2541 birds sent by 433 members. He now requires one more section prize from over the channel to gain his SNFC Silver Award and we wish him well.  We now come to Duncan’s 2nd pigeon a chequer hen SU16NW1584 who has won 3 time from inland nationals with the first from Bedhampton in 2017 flying 381 miles she won 16th section D 160th open recording a velocity of 1176 ypm flying against 6065 birds entered by 634 members. This year she was entered into the Buckingham race a distance of 306 miles and recorded a velocity of 1081 flying against 2941 birds sent by 441 members to win 3rd section D 85th open. She then went to the Maidstone race a distance of 384 miles and again she won 3rd section D 68th open with a velocity of 1298 against 3001 birds entered by 444 members. She now requires 2 more section positions to gain a Bronze Award and we wish her luck.

Joe’s Joke

Three old guys are out walking the first one says; 'Windy, isn't it?’ the second one says, 'No, it's Thursday!’ and the third one says, 'so am I. let's go get a beer... .’ A man was telling his neighbour, 'I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand pounds, but its state of the art. It's perfect.’ 'Really,' answered the neighbour. 'What kind is it?’ 'Twenty past two ... .’ was his reply.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE or you can also view online editions on: - - Pigeon Racing the Basics! - or

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