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The Joe Murphy Column 09-08-18

The Joe Murphy Column

Have had a few phone calls since my article of the 27th of July regarding my highlighting Good SNFC Birds; the majority of people expressed admiration regarding the performances of Sinclair Thomson & son’s dark chequer cock who won 5 times this year in 5 SNFC races. They all agreed that he is a very special pigeon and a truly great ‘Champion’. The other point expressed was and the Thomson family have proven that you need middle distance pigeons nowadays to compete in the SNFC. As the SNFC only have one 550 miles into Central Scotland which is the Reims race. There are no 600 mile race like the olden days when we raced from Rennes and Nantes. Yes the north section lads and lasses have these types of races and have true long distance pigeons which have again excelled this year in the nationals. However the majority of fanciers DO NOT have these categories of pigeons nowadays. One fanciers phoned me to say that the history of the SNFC was built on long distance racing and nowadays the race programme is suited to sending YEARLINGS to ALL the nationals (he may have a point as there was even one timed on this year’s Reims result flying 554 miles). This fancier is of the opinion that if the SNFC are not going to offer LONG DISTANCE 600 mile racing then maybe fanciers will join the NFC and compete in the 2 x 600 mile races they have on their race programme. He is quite sure the NFC would make a Scottish section for these fanciers and birds that are prepared to compete at these distances and he may have a point. I also explained that the SNRPC have a 600 mile race and this year had 47 birds competing but he was resolute that he would not join this club. One the other side of the coin one fancier expressed that nowadays fanciers DO NOT want races that take 2 to 3 days to get a bird home. In the past the Nantes national was flown on a Saturday sometimes with no birds home on the day and then a few the next day. Sometimes fanciers had to take Monday off work to wait and see if they had a time in. These days are long gone nowadays people cannot afford to take Monday’s off work to wait (or hope) to get a pigeon to come home from a long distance race. Nowadays they want the race over on the day or at least finished by lunch time the following day. Pigeon racing has changed dramatically from the time my dad kept pigeons in the 1950’s and even since I first started racing on my own in 1969 it has transformed. At that time when one of your club members timed in from Rennes or Nantes every member of the club would go round to see the bird and to shake the fancier’s hand. Whereas nowadays fanciers want the race over on the day as they have other things to do in their lives. Yes I was one of the ‘old school’ but my son Kevin is of the latter thinking and he has proven it this year. For example I would only have had 4 or 5 birds that would have flown 500/600 miles in a season. Kevin has 27 birds that have flown the English Channel in 2018 and he does not keep a big team of the 54 birds he entered into ALL the SNFC races he has 40 left. For example he has 3 out of 6 from Liege flying 527 miles; 3 out of 3 from Reims 578 miles; 12 out of 15 from Ypres 454 miles and 9 out of 10 from Roye 523 miles. I have to admit that never in my racing career did I have that many pigeons in my loft that flew those distances in ONE YEAR, so maybe I’m wrong and times are changing. One thing is certain there are more excellent pigeons competing nowadays as can be seen from the results. Hence my feature on Good SNFC Birds which I obtain great pleasure in stressing and start this week with another exceptional pigeon. A chequer pied cock SU12R1382 raced by Paddy Doherty of Linwood in Renfrewshire which is in the far west of Scotland. Paddy’s bird has won 9 times in the SNFC; starting as a 2 year old the pied cock won 3rd section F from Maidstone flying 382 miles; then in 2015 he won 3 times in the national with the first from Billericay were he gained 6th section F flying 356 miles; he then went into the Portsmouth race a distance of 374 miles and he won 2nd section F he was then entered into the Eastbourne race and won 16th section F flying 404 miles so in this 3 race period he covered 1134 miles. In 2016 he had 2 inland nationals from Buckingham a distance of 301 miles he won 20th section F he then went to Littlehampton a distance of 385 miles but did not make the result. In 2017 he was entered into the Buckingham race but did not make the result however he was then entered into the Bedhampton race a distance of 374 miles and won 15th section F. In 2018 season the pied cock won 9th section H from Maidstone flying 382 miles he then went to Ypres and won 13th section H flying 461 miles. However his best performance so far in his racing career was his fantastic result from the 2018 SNFC Gold Cup race from Liege as he wins 2nd section H (sections have been changed in the far west of Scotland) 15th open flying 549 miles being timed after nearly 16 hours on the wing.  Well done to Paddy and his brilliant pigeon on achieving these magnificent results. We now come to a chequer hen SU14NE 6030 raced by Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead. In 2016 she won 4th section G (north section) from Littlehampton a distance of 466 miles, she then went to Roye a distance of 570 miles and won 7th section G. In 2017 she competed from Buckingham a distance of 382 miles winning pool money but did not win a section prize, she was then sent to Ypres a distance of 498 miles and won 3rd section G 82nd open. This year she was entered into the Liege race a distance of 558 miles and she won 1st section G 25th open and now wins her SNFC Silver Award in the national, well done Jim & Ann. I continue this theme with the successful partnership of Willie Kinnear and sons Brian and Barry of Gilmerton in Edinburgh. They have 3 cocks that have done well this year from the Reims national; Blue chequer cock SU15P 5055 won 3rd section B 11th open flying 551 miles; he had previously won 2nd section B 23rd open from Falaise last year flying 505 miles. He also won 208th open from Ypres but did not win a section prize (which he needed for a Silber Award) however he did win 108th section B 413th open from Bedhampton inland national flying 360 miles. The Kinnear’s 2nd bird to win from Reims is a blue cock SU15S 2355 who won 13th section B 43rd open this cock won 8th section B 47th open from Alencon last year flying 534 miles he also won 170th from Ypres flying 429 miles but did not win a section prize. He also competed from Bedhampton a distance of 360 miles winning 581st open again no section prize. The 3rd Kinnear pigeon to win from the Reims race was SU16P 2538 who won 74th open but no section prize he has previously won 34th section B 110th open from Bedhampton in 2017 flying 360 miles. Our congratulations to the Kinnear partnership and the others mentioned above on their winning performances:

Margaret Murphy and Tony Coyne

Fife Federation Trophy

Geordie Todd has forwarded the old bird 2018 average winners to me, starting with the best average from Leicester Maidstone and Roye the winner is Davie Jack of Tayport with a velocity of 1180.82, 2nd is Jim Doig of Lochgelly club on 1177.58 with Stewart Donaldson of Perth on 1176.92. The Combine average from Leicester Maidstone Roye and Wakefield old bird is a follows; 1st Stewart Donaldson on 1382.95, 2nd Davie Jack on 1380.73 and 3rd Jim Doig on 1369.10.

North of Scotland Federation


News from George Duthie with the 1st young bird race from Dunfermline in Fife with 30 members sending 620 birds these were liberated into a light south wind. The East section had 14 members sending 336 birds they took the first 20 places in the federation open result. With H McAllister of Peterhead club in 1st section and open doing 1613 velocity he is also 12th & 13th. Ian Gibb of Fraserburgh & District is 2nd 3rd & 16th with Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District in 4th 5th & 6th positions. R H Whyte of the same club is 7th 14th & 20th with club mate Gordon Willox in 8th 9th & 15th places he is followed by another club mate in George Taylor in 10th & 11th A W Buchan of Fraserburgh & District is 17th & 18th with club mate Walter Masson in 19th place. The West section had 16 members sending 284 birds D Smith of Devern Valley club is 1st 2nd & 6th west section 28th 29th & 33rd open. A Cruickshank of Keith club is 3rd 9th & 10th section 30th 36th & 38th open with Fulton & Ritchie of Devern Valley club in 4th 5th & 8th west section 31st 32nd & 35th open. A Milne of the same club is 7th section 34th open.

George Taylor

Clubs First Bird

Peterhead & District winner H McAllister; Fraserburgh & District winner J (Ian) Gibb; Devern Valley winner D Smith; Keith winner A Cruickshank; Inverurie winner A Robb; Elgin & District winner G Geddes. Well done to H McAllister on topping the federation and to D Smith on winning the west section, that’s it for another week Joe, yours George’.

Morris Brothers of Johnstone

Joe’s Joke

An old nun who was living in a convent next to a construction site noticed the coarse language of the workers and decided to spend some time with them to correct their ways. She decided she would take her lunch and sit with them, so she put her sandwich in a brown bag and walked over to the spot where the men were eating. Sporting a big smile, she walked up to the group and asked:  "Any of you men know Jesus Christ?" They shook their heads and looked at each other, very confused. Then one of the workers looked up into the steelworks and yelled out, "Anybody up there knows Jesus Christ?" One of the steelworkers yelled back down, "Why?" The worker yelled back, ‘Because his mum's here with his lunch."


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