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The Joe Murphy Column 07-09-18

The Joe Murphy Column

The subjects with the majority of fanciers I speak to nowadays are the amount of losses with the young birds and believe me it is getting many people down. Especially after the losses during the old bird season and many fanciers are on the brink of giving up the sport. You will read in John Baillie’s race report some ideas that fanciers are thinking about and this is a step in the right direction from these forward thinking people. Another idea is to race the youngsters on a Wednesday evening (the majority of races are less than 150 miles to the fancier’s lofts the youngsters could be liberated so that they home after 5pm) plus they would have the sky to themselves and avoid clashing with North Road organisations at the weekend. Away back in the 1970’s Fife federation held young bird training from the federation transporter during the week (and at the weekend when the old bird national were at France, as the transporter was free that weekend). They started at Inverkeithing which is near the Forth Bridges and then increased the distance into Edinburgh and south to about 40 miles from the centre belt of Fife. The great thing about this was they collected the youngsters at night and they rested in the baskets in the transporter overnight. Then in the morning the driver would take them to the liberation site and after an hour rest they were released to fly home. We never had young bird sickness and we did not have the losses experienced today. I remember speaking to Matt McLauchlan about this young bird training and asked him ‘Why’ he sent his youngsters to the first training flight from Inverkeithing which was only a few miles from his loft. To get them used to spending the night in the transporter and baskets was his reply; Matt was a top fancier and became a household name with the sport of Scotland; who later on won 1st open SNFC Rennes in the centenary year of the club 1994. Kevin has decided to call it a day and let the youngsters go through the process of having a good moult. My old birds have fell to pieces and every day you could fill a bucket with the amount of feathers found in the corners of the loft. I never complain about this as it is the start of your bird’s new feathers for 2019 and I add more oily grain into their feed at this time and give them a bath if not once twice a week.

Good SNFC Birds

While studying the SNFC results I noticed some exceptional pigeons and some of them I have covered in the past however I intend to give as many of these top quality pigeons a ‘pat on the back’ for their efforts in my weekly column during the winter months. Today I start with a hen that has won 3 times in the top 10 in her section and been 3 times in the top 42 open positions in 3 channel races. She is raced G Dalgliesh & son of Ecclefechan in the Solway their blue bar hen SU14S4023 who has now won her SNFC Silver Award this year, in 2016 she won 7th section A 42nd open Roye flying 449 miles; then last year she won 9th section A 13th open from Alencon flying 479 miles and this year she won 6th section A 23rd open from Liege flying 478 miles. With a total entry of 3679 birds in the 3 races only 75 birds beat her which is quite an achievement, well done.

Another pigeon to win a SNFC Silver Award in 2018 is a blue white flight hen SU14F4593 flown by Austin Whittaker of Methil in Fife. As a 2 year old she won 13th section C 30th open from Ypres flying 442 miles, then this year she won 3 times in the national the first being from Buckingham a distance of 301 miles to Fife and she won 14th section C 170th open, she was then set up for the Gold Cup race from Liege a distance of 519 miles and she won 3rd section C 31st open then a few weeks later she was sent to Roye and won 15th section C 47th open flying 508 miles. You will notice that from the 3 channel races she was 3 times in the top 15 in her section and was within the top 47 places in the open in these 3 races competing against a total entry of 4142 birds.

Austin Whitaker and Jocky Scott of Fife see text

Another pigeon to win a SNFC Silver Award this year is a blue cock SU14AF2151 raced by MacAulay Ferguson & Curran of Forfar club in Angus federation.  In 2016 he won 33rd section C 108th open from Roye flying 534 miles, that same year he won 29th section C 82nd open from Littlehampton a distance of 415 miles back to his loft. Last year 2017 he again won twice being 91st section C 349th open from Bedhampton a distance of 408 miles: he then went to Falaise and won 14th section C 45th open flying 441 miles. This year he again went to Roye and won 24th section C (no open prize) thus gaining his 3rd section win from over the channel to win his Silver Award. I would like to congratulate the partnership especially Gavin Ferguson who has not been keeping well of late and I hope this little reminder of their success in the SNFC gives him a boost.

Jim Curran and Gavin Ferguson see text

Willie Kinnear and sons Brian and Barry of Gilmerton in Edinburgh have a blue chequer cock SU15P5055 that has won 5 times in the national He won 3rd section B 11th open flying 551 miles from Reims in 2018 and had previously won 40th section B 103rd open from Maidstone flying 359 miles. Last year he won 2nd section B 23rd open from Falaise flying 505 miles. He also won 208th open from Ypres but did not win a section prize (which he requires to win a Silver Award) however he did win 108th section B 413th open from Bedhampton inland national flying 360 miles, a good pigeon and very worthy of a mention in this feature.

Barry Kinnear see text

My next pigeon this week is from the west of Scotland to the loft of J Tallis & T McDonagh of Glassford their blue pied cock GB14N43083 is a 4 times national winner and also requires one more section prize from over the channel to gain a SNFC Silver Award. He won twice in 2017 being 19th section E 50th open from Buckingham flying 290 miles he then went to Ypres and won 6th section E 71st open flying 446 miles. This year he won again from Buckingham being 19th section E 294th open he was then sent to Liege Gold Cup race and won 16th section E 64th open flying 533 miles. We wish the partnership every success in 2019 and hope their pied cock can win his Silver Award.


Angus Federation

Birds were at Tow Law on 25th August with the convoy of 536 liberated at 08-00 hours into a light North West wind; this turned out to be another hard race for the youngsters with many reported missing over the weekend. The same thing happened to Pentland Hills and East of Scotland federations last week and I have spoken to a few fanciers who are saying Scottish federations should NOT race from this sight. One fancier told me that Oliver Thomson who used to be the auctioneer at Edinburgh Charity Show lived in Tow Law and he advised Scottish fanciers not to send their pigeons to this area. The birds always go east and end up in the UNC area (which has happened to Kevin from this week’s race. The fancier has told Kevin that his bird was badly injured and in all the time he has kept pigeons he has never seen an identification ring so damaged on a bird’s leg. The youngster was suffering and the fancier said the human thing to do was put the poor bird out of its suffering. Kevin thanked the lad for his help and assistance. Now getting back to the federation result David J Liddle of Forfar took the first 3 places plus 18th & 19th open. Club mates Macaulay Ferguson & Curran in 4th 5th 8th 14th 15th 16th & 17th with SNFC Roye national winner Ian Scott in 6th 7th & 11th positions. Eric Galloway again from Forfar is 10th with Kenny Droog & son in 12th spot. Willie MacKnight makes up the top 20. East Section is won by W Dorward of Gourdon he is also 3rd &5th Arbroath’s Les McKay is 2nd 4th 6th 9th & 10th with Chic & Glen Cameron of the same club in 7th spot. G Campbell of Montrose is 8th section. Club Winners are as follows; Forfar 321 birds winner David J Liddle; Montrose 40 birds winner G Campbell; Gourdon 53 birds winner W Dorward; Arbroath 122 birds winner Les McKay.

David Liddle and Tam Henderson

Arbroath RPC

News from Charlie Cameron informing me that 5 members sent 122 birds to Tow Law on 25th August with the convoy liberated at 08-00 hours into a light North West wind. Taking the 9 out of the 10 places is Les McKay with his winner his pick of the youngsters. Fourth place is won by Charlie & Glen Cameron

Almond Valley Federation

News from Lynne Stewart with the Catterick result flown on 25th August the convoy of 668 birds where liberated at 08-15 hours. T Gavin of Armadale club wins 1st place with a chequer GB rung cock doing a velocity of 1019; he is also 12th & 15th federation. Freddie Jamieson & son from East Calder are 2nd 3rd & 7th with club mate Jimmy M Young in 4th 5th 16th & 20th places. President John Bird from East Calder club is 6th 10th & 11th. H Hadfield from Armadale is 8th with R & L MacDuff of Forth & Clyde club are 9th. Robert Anderson of East Calder is 13th with J Burnside of Armadale wins 14th & 17th federation with S Fleming of Armadale is 18th & 19th open.

SHU Judge and Top Fancier Freddy Jamieson of East Calder

Clubs Winners

Armadale 171 birds; T Gavin 1019.387, J Hadfield 992.550, T Gavin 985.076, J Burnside 956.383

Balerno 46 birds; G J Fairley 895.393, C Bain 874.388, 812.820

Carnwath 110 birds; J Stokes 788.295, J Warwick & Son 783.277, 698.703, R Robertson 529.280

East Calder 91birds; F Jamieson & Son 1016.596, 1016.364, J M Young 1005.696, 1005.393

Forth & Clyde 153 birds; R & L MacDuff 990.952, G Harris 920.080, R & L MacDuff 913.025, V Couper 908.287

West Calder 97 birds; J Bird 997.082, 989.436, 989.293, 919.579

Central Federation

News from Bernie Britton who informs us that the Broxburn & Uphall club race from Ripon had 4 members sending 93 birds with Central federation. The convoy were released at 07-45 hours. Taking 1st x 3 in the club and federation is Gordon Mackenzie with his winner a chequer hen bred in the stock loft from a son of his top Gabby hen and a mealy cock from Davie Blain at Coxydene. Gordon’s 2nd placed winner is from his original M & D Evans. The 3rd bird is also a Gabby from the race team the dam topped the federation 3 times as a row. Gordon was also 9th & 10th federation. Other members to make the federation result are John McNeill in 8th & 12th places; Hamish Ferguson is 20th federation; well that’s if for another week Joe coming to the end of another season Oh how time flies when you are enjoying yourselves ha.

East of Scotland Federation

News from John Baillie who informs us that the federation raced from Ripon, the youngsters were meant to be racing on Friday but it was put back to the Saturday. The birds were liberated at 07-45 along with the Central federation. Another strange erratic race developed with some fanciers having good returns while others lost half their teams. Joe something must be tried to make changes for young bird racing as every year things are becoming worse. My thoughts and many others are now thinking it should be in June and July, before the Peregrines finish off rearing their youngsters and before their youngsters are learning to kill for themselves. Some will laugh at this suggestion but unless we make changes more and more fanciers will become disillusioned and give the birds up. Now on with the result and we have John Bird of Prestonpans taking pole position with Jim McNeil of Tranent having a fantastic race taking 2nd ,5th ,6th ,7th ,9th & 10th  open positions. John Baillie of Tranent is in 3rd & 4th positions with Spider Rowley of Prestonpans in 8th place.

Prestonpans HC: winning this week is John Bird with the same bird that was 2nd club, 5th federation the previous week. Sire is bred from Premier Lofts Herman Ceusters and its dam is a Vandenabeele from Woodside Lofts. In 2nd & 3rd place is yours truly John Baillie, my bird in 2nd place is bred from a direct son off ‘Padfield Invincible’ from the House Of Aarden and the chequer cock taking 3rd place was bred by JPS Racing loft. I cannot see many birds for the young bird national this year Joe after the losses I’ve heard and read about throughout Scottish federations. That is it for this week Joe many thanks once again yours John B’.

Fife Federation

News from Geordie Todd with the result of the Sedgefield Race flown on the 25th August with 1263 birds liberated at 07-50 into a light variable wind. The top 10 in the federation are as follows; 1st x 4 places to D Baldie of St Andrews with Brian Chalmers of Kennoway in 5th & 6th places his father in law Tam Laing is 7th with S Donaldson of Perth in the west section in 8th 9th & 10th places.

East Section had Kennoway sending 193 birds; St Andrews 110 birds; Methilhaven 110 birds; Tayport 11 birds and Leven club sending 66 birds. D Baldie of St Andrews takes the first 4 places with Brian Chalmers of Kennoway in 5th 6th 8th section. Tam Laing of Kennoway is 7th with Clark & Page of Leven club in 9th spot followed by Dougie Cunningham of Methilhaven club in 10th spot.

West Section had Lochgelly club sending 127 birds; Dunfermline had 174 birds; Crossgates 242 birds and Perth with 79 birds. S Donaldson of Perth takes the 1st to 8th and is also 10th section he is slit by J Hynd & son of Crossgates club.

Centre Section had Glenrothes & Leslie club sending 69 birds; Novar 103 birds; Sean Diamond of Kennoway club is 1st 2nd 3rd 5th 6th 8th 9th & 10th section with Brian Kinnear of Glenrothes & Leslie club in 4th & 7th spots.

Glenrothes & Leslie

News from Rosie Armit who writes ‘Hi Joe, we had 5 members sending 75 birds to Sedgefield but because of adverse weather conditions the race was brought back to Berwick. 1st to the club was Turpie & McCord with a velocity of 1087 with a chequer white flight cock. His sire is a Vandenabeele x Busschaert and his dam a stock hen bred by Jock Scott and he was sent looking at an old hen, he is not on darkness.

2nd is Brian Kinnear with a velocity of 1050 with a dark chequer hen; her sire and dam are both grandchildren of Brian’s dark hen 1st section 4th open Ancenis in 2013, and 1st section 22nd open SNFC Ancenis 2014. 3rd was Brian Kinnear with a blue hen doing a velocity of 1049, her sire won 9th section 67th open Buckingham YB National 2017, 12th section 158th open Buckingham SNFC 2018, 23rd section 56th open Maidstone SNFC 2018.

For the 4th young bird race of the season was from Sedgefield, with 5 members sending 69 birds and Brian Kinnear had the first 5 in the club. His first bird doing a velocity of 986 was a clue hen a double great granddaughter of  ‘Stitchy’; his 2nd bird velocity of  973 was a blue pied hen bred from a pair of late breds from Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone. Brian’s 3rd bird on a velocity of 953 was a chequer hen whose sire is a 10 year old stock cock from Ronnie Evans & Partners from Sunderland being a son of Champion ‘Blue Flash’.

Pentland Hills Federation

News from Andy Miller who writes ‘We had their 5th young bird race of the 2018 season from Ripon, a distance of 135-147 miles for the members. Race controller Bobby Graham gave the go ahead to liberate at 07-45 into a North West wind. Winning 1st & 2nd New Lothian and Federation for the second week running is the inform loft of Brown & Black and loft laddie Peter from Woodburn club timed in their darkness youngster of Vandenabeele origin. This family they have had for many years and have been raced hard sorting out the “wheat from the chaff.” The originals originated from Mark & Dickie Evans stock. Joe the 1st x 10 in the federation are the same as the New Lothian.

Club Winners as follows;

Woodburn 115 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Brown & Black

Danderhall 523 birds; 1st & 2nd Aitken 3rd Brown

Edinburgh Premier 87 birds; 1st & 3rd Dick 3rd Gilchrist

Sighthill 50 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Miller

Castlebrae 75 birds; 1st McCormack & Fraser 2nd Willis 3rd L Mitchell

Arniston 164 birds; 1st & 3rd W Pryde & son 2nd J Pryde

Bonnyrigg 69 birds; 1st Neill, 2nd Watson 3rd A Dewar

Easthouses 37 birds; 1st Sanderson 2nd Thomas

Edinburgh West 30 birds; 1st Cassidy 2nd & 3rd Lamb

Loanhead 68 birds;

Rosewell - birds;

Pebbles - birds;

New Lothian 12 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Brown & Black

Traprain 229 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Thomson & son

Others 30 birds;

First prize in the federation breeder/buyer prize with a velocity of 1082 is SU18P6231 bred and raced by A Young and will receive the sum of £443.00. The second prize with a velocity of 1055 was SU18P4025 bred by J Moyes and raced by F Robertson they will each receive the sum of £221.50 each.

New Lothian RPC had 46 lofts sending 1010 birds with the Woodburn loft of Brown & Black recording velocities of 1144 & 1143 for 1st & 2nd they are also 7th on 1140. Helen Aitken & sons of Danderhall club are 3rd & 4th with club mate D Brown in 5th 6th & 8th places. 9th spot goes to K Dick of Edinburgh Premier with S Gilchrist of the same club in 10th position.

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who writes ‘We had 54 members sending 1174 birds to Arniston these were liberated into a light north west wind strengthen on the way home. The East section had 23 members sent 572 birds and they took the 1st x 20 places in the federation. Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District won 1st 4th & 5th open. C & M Williams from the same club are 2nd 3rd & 9th open, club mate Stewart Maskame is 6th 7th & 8th open with J (Ian) Gibb of Fraserburgh & District won 10th 11th & 21st places. G Findlay of Peterhead club is 12th & 13th with A W Buchan of  Fraserburgh & District winning 14th 15th & 16th with H McAllister of Peterhead in 17th open G Findlay of the same club takes the next 2 places with Colin McRae of Fraserburgh & District is 20th open.

West section had 31 members sending 602 birds with J Abel of Devern Valley in 1st 2nd & 7th section place he is also 22nd 23rd & 33rd federation. Fulton & Ritchie of the same club are 3rd 5th & 6th section 31st & 32nd open. A Wilson of the same club is 4th & 8th section 29th & 36th open. G R Duncan of Keith is 9th section 35th open.  R Wilson also from Keith club is 10th section 36th open.

Club First Birds; Peterhead & District winners Jim & Ann Donaldson; Fraserburgh & District winner J (Ian) Gibb; Fraserburgh West End winner A Higgins; Inverurie winner R McKenzie; Devern Valley winner J Abel; Keith winner G R Duncan; Buckie & District winner R Bain; Elgin & District winners Jack & Reid.

Well done to Jim & Ann Donaldson on topping the federation and to J Abel on topping the west section. Cheers once again Joe yours George’.

Joe’s Joke

A boy is selling fish on a corner. To get his customers' attention, he is yelling, "Dam fish for sale! Get your dam fish here!" A pastor hears this and asks, "Why are you calling them 'dam fish.'" The boy responds, "Because I caught these fish at the local dam." The pastor buys a couple fish, takes them home to his wife, and asks her to cook the dam fish for T. The wife responds surprised, "I didn't know it was acceptable for a preacher to speak that way." He explains to her why they are called dam fish. Later at the dinner table, he asks his son to pass the dam fish. He responds, ‘That's the spirit, Dad! Now pass the bloody potatoes!"


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