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The Joe Murphy Column 24-08-18

The Joe Murphy Column

Today Saturday the 11th August 2018 is the last time I will assist at liberations at Thornton I have notified the RPRA who thanked me for my assistance over the years. I never took any money for doing this task and asked the RPRA to donate any fees to St Patrick’s Mission a Scottish charity. My reason for giving up this task was some federations never even told me they had changed their liberation point. What they forget was I had to write and apply to Fife Council for application to use Thornton park then fill in the relevant paperwork and obtain Lability Insurance certificates to give to the Council

Update on items of interest

John Baillie the press officer for East of Scotland wrote ‘A comment on last week’s notes Joe; The NFC has a Scottish Section. I was offered basketting facilities with the Sportsman FC at Tow Law. The problem at present is there are insufficient RPRA members who would compete to have our clocks read to comply with the NFC rules. Joe Murphy writes ‘I also received a phone call informing me that the Scottish section of the NFC is section M. There is prize money allocated to this section and as John highlights if there was enough members then they could have their own clock station’. Thanks for this information from John and Ian. Another point raised is regarding young bird losses; Angus federation liberated on Saturday 11th August at Lauder with very heavy losses of youngsters (I personally do not know why the federation go to Lauder as it is a hunting ground for hawks, as it lies in a valley. The race birds can only go east or west to get out of this town so end up in the north east of England or west into Lanarkshire or Ayrshire. Fife fanciers stopped training their pigeon from this town ages ago. Maybe the federation should look at were Fife federation are racing from now in Alnwick as they are having better racing from this race point THIS IS MY OPINION Joe Murphy). The young bird losses are horrendous just now and I have been informed from fanciers from England that he has heard of fanciers sending 107 birds and having 13 home on the day, another fancier sent 101 and had 1 home on the day while another sent 64 young birds and had 8 home on the day. Kevin sent 30 youngsters and had 12 home while a new member of his club sent 12 and had 2 home; this could be his one and only race this year and we wonder why so many people are leaving the sport. One convoyer reported that at a race point on the east side of the country his transporter had one side facing out to the North Sea while the other looked over the land. When the birds were liberated this whole side of the transporter (viewing the North Sea) headed out over the water and never turned they kept going till he could see them no more. Now you cannot blame the convoyer for this happening but at the same time the lad is as sick as a pig.


Good SNFC Birds

I received a phone call from Sinclair Thomson of Port Seton thanking me for highlighting his dark chequer cock SU14P 5617 however I had stated he had won 5 times this year in the SNFC. Sinclair informed me that the dark chequer cock was not at the Ypres national and it was another pigeon with the last 2 digits of ‘17’ this pigeon was rung 7317 who won from the Belgian race point. I apologised for this mistake but also expressed that they had a wonderful pigeon in the dark chequer cock. A winner in the SNFC 12 times now win a SNFC Silver Award for 3 times section winner from the English Channel; and also a winner of a Meritorious Inland Bronze Award for winning 5 times from inland nationals. Sinclair was fine about it and we had a very good conversation regarding the sport in general and I took the opportunity to ask him some questions. I wondered if he race the dark cock on widowhood and his reply was ‘No’ he is a roundabout cock from the 1st race all the way throughout the season. He did at one point pair his birds up and put them to the last national on eggs but they did not race the same as throughout the season so now he just keeps them on roundabout. He does not train his pigeon they just exercise round the loft and he just lifts them right into the nationals. I asked if he had named this champion as yet but he will wait and see as he intends to nominate him for an award at the end of the season by a panel of judges. Two years ago the Thomson partnership won the SHU Dewar Trophy for the bird of the year with Seton Queen. Sinclair informed me that the dark chequer cock 5617 beat her 3 times that year. However as we know in pigeon racing you are only as Last year the dark chequer cock returned from the Buckingham race with all his cover feathers missing and he was obviously not raced again that year. This year 2018 he has won 4 times to achieve the magnificent acclaim of 12 times a SNFC winner; from the first national from Buckingham he won 31st section B 223rd open flying 286 miles against 3576 birds. He was then sent to the SNFC Maidstone race and won 23rd section B 62nd open flying 359 miles he then went to the Gold Cup race from Liege and he won 1st section B 1st east region 5th open flying 507 miles against 1072 birds. He was then timed from Roye to win 3rd section B 12th open flying 494 miles against 747 birds. I think you will agree that this dark chequer is an outstanding pigeon and our congratulations go to both Sinclair’s who obviously are very proud of their team of pigeons which have excelled in SNFC during 2018. Sinclair finished off our conversation by encouraging me to continue with all the hard work I do in promoting Scotland and their fanciers and pigeons which I very much appreciated. I received a phone call after my request for fanciers to help me out by telling me about their pigeons if they won a Gold Silver or Bronze award in the SNFC. Ann Nordon of Langholm informed me that her husband Derrick has a blue bar hen named ‘Hightower Wee Lizzie’ SU13S 191 who has won a Silver Award in 2018. Her performances are as follows; in 2016 she won 17th section A no open prize from Roye 448 miles, in 2017 she won 7th section A 12th open from Ancenis flying 544 miles and in 2018 she won 7th section A 40th open Reims flying 507 miles. Ann informed me that at the (present time 10th August) Derrick is in hospital having his gallbladder taken out. They are keeping him overnight and hopefully by the time this appears in the pigeon press he will be home being spoiled by Ann (which he has been all his days). When I was a long distance lorry driver I used to stop over at Langholm on a Monday night and spend the evening with both Ann & Derrick and sometimes Albert Tedham and we had some good laughs. They gave me a bed for the night instead of sleeping in the lorry this kindness is the mark of both Ann & Derrick and I have held them in high esteem ever since. A nicer couple you could not wish to meet and it gives me great pleasure in highlighting their good pigeon ‘Hightower Wee Lizzie’.

Race Results

Angus Federation was at Lauder on 11th August and liberated 791 birds at 08-00 hours on 11th August. This week’s winner is SNFC Roye 2018 winner Ian Scott of Forfar who had 2 birds come together however it took 2 hours to fill the top 20 positions in the federation. With Ian also being 7th 14th 17th & 18th federation his club mate David Liddle was 3rd D Smith also from Forfar in 4th place R Page of the same club is 5th & 6th with Macaulay Ferguson & Curran in 8th 15th & 20th. Ypres SNFC winner Davie Glen is 9th & 11th with Willie MacKnight is 10th & 16th with W Nicol again from Forfar in 12th place. Chic & Ann Carrie of Arbroath club is 13th open with D & D Hay of Gourdon in 18th place with Eric Galloway of Forfar in 19th position.

The East Section is won by Chic & Ann Carrie of Arbroath club (see Arbroath club result for details on their winner) D & D Hay of Gourdon in 2nd & 4th positions; W Dorward of the same club is 3rd 5th 6th 7th 8th & 9th section with G Campbell also from Gourdon making up the top 10.

Club Winners

Forfar 428 birds winner Ian Scott; Arbroath 211 birds winner Chic & Ann Carrie; Gourdon 94 birds winner D & D Hay; Montrose 58 birds winner G Campbell.

Arbroath RPC

Members sent 211 birds with Chic & Ann Carrie winning 1st & 3rd place Ann wrote, ‘Our winner is a chequer hen her sire is a gift pigeon from Her Majesty the Queens loft which is a pure Eric and Pat Cannon bird. This bird came into club mate Graham McKenzie which he reported and sent back to the Queen's loft and during the closed season the pigeon arrived back at Graham in Arbroath.  As we have the Cannon pigeon the Queen's loft Manager said to keep the bird and mate it with one of our Cannon pigeon to hopefully keep the Cannon line going. This we did and 2102 is one of the offspring when mated to one of our stock Cannon hens. Our second pigeon also a chequer hen 2106 her sire is a grandson of our stock cock ‘Tarzan’ who is now 15 years old and has bred many winners for us 2106 dam is a direct daughter of Tarzan. 2nd & 5th club is Kevin J Murphy with his first bird a young blue cock who wins the JR nom his sire is 872 from Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone while his dam is Replay 411 a Leo Van Rijn bred by fellow scribe Adrian Duggins. Kevin’s 2nd bird is from a blue cock Leo Van Rijn bred down from Karen & Brian Hawes from Royal Sabrina line. This blue cock won 1st club 9th federation 27th section C 116th open SNFC Maidstone he also flew Ypres and Claremont that same year as a yearling. The following year he won 298th open from SNFC Newbury from an entry of 5000 birds. He also won from SNFC Alencon flying 573 miles and won 115th open he was then put to stock. Dam of the youngster was The 414 bred by 3 times SNFC winners Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone. 4th club is Charlie & Glen Cameron who win the 2nd JR nom.

Ayrshire Federation

News from Archie McIntyre who writes; ‘After a one week delay due to poor weather Ayrshire Federation’s 2018 young bird season finally kicked off on the 4th August from Arniston. We were expecting a big convoy this week as the recent spell of good weather gave everybody a good opportunity to have their birds well trained for the start of the young bird racing and this was certainly the case with North Sect sending 1158 birds, Central 585 birds and the South 875 birds for a grand total convoy of 2618 birds. After a bit of a delay due to the poor weather moving through from the west, Jim O’Hare had the birds up and away at 12:15 into light west wind picking up slightly at the home end for their first race of between 50 miles up to 71 miles to the top end of the federation. Leading the way into the federation this week and picking up from where he finished off the old bird season at the top, is Robert Reid of Beith, taking 1st federation on 1115-8. Robert timed a beautiful blue bar hen and tells me on this occasion he thinks location might have been a contributing factor to this win. Her sire is a 2 year old pigeon Robert has kept for stock to preserve this particular bloodline. His number is 7320 and his sire won 1st Glasgow federation from Wetherby and is a full brother to Robert’s hen which topped Ayrshire federation from an earlier race this year. Dam of 7320 has a 1st and 4th section diploma with the SNFC. Dam of the winner is SU17 R 20 her sire is 1475 and her dam is 1425. 1425 is the hen which Robert took 1st section SNFC Roye a few weeks ago and 1475 was lost as a yearling but was bred from parents each of which has won national diplomas. Both grand dams of this week’s winner are also 1st section SNFC diploma winners. Taking 2nd, 3rd & 5th federation on 1115.5, 1110.3 and 1108.8 is the partnership of Jim Stirrat and David McKenna of Stevenston flying in the Ardeer HS. Jim and David have had fantastic old bird season and are now showing they are up for the challenge with the young birds as well. Jim was telling me the bird that was 2nd federation for the partnership was bred off the hen that won Kelso, Bubwith and Buckingham this year for them and the bird that was 3rd federation is a grandson of an Irish cock bred by J Gregory & sons when paired to one of their own hens.

Robert Reid 1st Fed Arniston YB

David McKenna of Stirrat & McKenna partnership 2nd, 3rd and 5th Fed Arniston


North Section sent 1158 birds; 1st Robert Reid Dalry HS 1115.8: 2nd & 3rd Stirrat & McKenna Ardeer HS 1115.6 & 1110.3

Central Section sent 585 birds; 1st & 2nd Ricky Young Jnr from Kilmarnock Invitation on 1090.1 & 1089.9: 3rd Alex Sharpe Kilmarnock Invitation 1086.2

South Section sent 875 birds; 1st & 2nd D Graham of Annbank & District on 910.9 & 909.3: 3rd Boyle Bros of Whitletts & District on 901.3

Other Club winners not mentioned above. Ian Noble (Crosshouse HS) 1063.7, H Pollock (Irvine HS) 1043-4, E Stewart (Mauchline & District) 819.9, G Mitchell (Dalmellington PC) 817.8; J Auld (Cumnock & District) 809.5, H Gray, (Carrick & District) 803.3

Almond Valley Federation

News from Lynne Stewart of the Otterburn 1 race flown on 10th August with the 1070 birds liberated at 11-15 hours. Jimmy Young of East Calder took the 1st x 4 places with Dougie Bald of Balerno in 5th 6th 8th 10th positions. S Fleming of Armadale club is 7th 15thg 16th 17th & 18th with G J Fairley of Balerno club in 9th spot. Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder are 11th with John Bird of West Calder in 12th then 19th to 21st open.  J Burnside of Armadale club is 13th 14th with club mate S Fleming in 15th to 18th positions.

Club Winners are as follows;

Armadale 275 birds; S Fleming 1098.239, J Burnside 1079.272, 1079.272, S Fleming 1078.558

Balerno 118 birds; D Bald 1105.721, 1105.546, 1097.028, G J Fairley 1095.679

Carnwath 117 birds; J Dornan 833.798, 800.340, R Robertson 764.312, 749.454

East Calder 172 birds; J M Young 1113.985, 1113.476, 1112.458, 1111.781

Forth & Clyde 232 birds; Vic Couper 1069.184, 1064.602, 1063.617, 1061.284

West Calder 156 birds; J Bird 1085.144, 1075.755, 1075.755, 1075.755

Central Federation

News from Bernie Britton with the Broxburn & Uphall Pigeon Club & Central fed. From the Tow Law race the 311 birds were liberated at 08-00 hours into a south west wind. Winning 1st club & 1st federation is Gordon Mackenzie flying a Gabby blue bar hen; her sire topped the fed this year for Gordon and her dam is also a Gabby from the racing loft. 2nd club & 11th fed is John McNeill flying a Gabby hen her sire and dam are from the stock loft and are from his good friend’s D & J Hawkins & Evan’s. 3rd club &12th fed are Sid Steven & Davie Gullane flying a mealie pied hen her sire was a gift from D Ball & sons from Greenside while her dam was also a gift bird a Sablon from his big mate Bobby Logan from New Cumnock. As a matter of interest Joe Davie is the man who look’s after the SHU stray centre so well done Davie. Other federation positions are John McNeill 13th & 14th with Hamish Ferguson in 18th open. Thanks once again for adding us to your weekly column yours Bernie’.

East of Scotland

News from John Baillie who writes ‘Hi Joe this week the youngsters were back to Ridsdale. Race controller Bobby Graham decided with the forecast of heavy rain for Saturday and Sunday to bring the race forward to Friday. The birds were liberated at 10-40 hours into a west wind. Taking pole position this week again is Jim McNeil of Tranent. This young hen was bred from a pair Jim was given by Jimmy Mark of Tranent known as ‘The Marky Stud’, Jim also takes 5th open. John Bird of Prestonpans takes 2nd, 3rd & 4th positions with yours truly John Baillie of Tranent in 6th open position. Mr & Mrs Burgess of Ormiston take 7th & 8th positions, with Spider Rowley of Prestonpans in 9th place and Mr   & Mrs March of Prestonpans take the 10th spot.

Prestonpans HC- taking the first 3 again this week is John Bird with the 1st & 2nd youngsters nest mates from John's No 1 pair of stock Vandenabeele’s from D & J Hawkins being from the Shadow lines. In 3rd place is a chequer cock that was 9th federation from Ridsdale 1 and a full brother to the winner that week. As I was waiting for the birds I stood and watched the young Peregrines playing with each other with 1 of their parents watching over them, this went on for about 20 minutes before moving on. With hearing some horror stories of losses from some federations throughout the UK, I think we must try and change when we race our youngsters. The time we are racing and training the youngsters is when the Peregrine parents are finishing off rearing their youngsters and then the young Peregrines are learning to kill for themselves. Our liberation had only a few birds missing within hours of the first bird’s home; that's it for this week yours John B’.

Fife Federation

News from Geordie Todd with the Alnwick young bird race flown on Friday 10th August with the 1851 birds liberated at 10-30 into a west to south west wind. The federation top 10 is as follows Stewart Donaldson of Perth club takes the first 4 places with velocities in 1127. Willie Pratt of Crossgates is in 5th place. Brain Chalmers of Kennoway is 6th with Dougie Cunningham of Methilhaven in 7th & 9th open Tam Cook of Kennoway is 8th with Alastair McCudden of Crossgates in 10th spot and all birds were doing 1100 velocities.

West Section had Perth sending 130 birds; Dunfermline 278 birds; Lochgelly 156 birds and Crossgates 288 birds.  Stewart Donaldson of Perth club takes the first 4 places plus 7th 9th & 10th section with Willie Pratt of Crossgates in 5th sport  Alastair McCudden of the same club is 6th & 8th making up the top 10.

East Section top 10; Methilhaven club sent 202 birds; Kennoway 246 birds; Leven 131 birds; St Andrews 116 birds; and Tayport 27 birds. Topping the section is Brian Chalmers of Kennoway with Dougie Cunningham of Methilhaven club in 2nd & 4th section. Tam Cook of Kennoway is 3rd 5th & 6th with Tam Laing of the same club in 7th & 8th. R Anderson of St Andrews is 9th with Clark Clark & Page of Leven club in 10th spot.

Centre Section top 10; Glenrothes club sent 177 birds; Novar sent 100 birds. 1st & 2nd section is Mick McMurchie of Glenrothes & Leslie club with Dean Bridges of the same club in 3rd 4th & 5th places, Sean Diamond of Kennoway is 6th & 7th with Jock Dinsdale of Glenrothes & Leslie club in 8th place and making up the last 2 places are Turpie & McCord of Glenrothes & Leslie club.

Glenrothes & Leslie PC

News from Rosie Armit who writes ‘The first young bird race from Berwick-upon -Tweed had Turpie & McCord winning with a blue cock flown natural. His sire is a son of 2nd open SNFC Clermont while his dam is a Luce Van Hauch gift bird from John Smith (Duz Wurk). 2nd club is Brian Kinnear with a blue hen whose sire is a grandson of ‘Stitchy’ winner of 1st section 3rd open SNFC Newbury, 2nd section 8th open Falaise, 2nd section 6th open Alencon. Her dam is a 3 year old hen who won 2 section prizes in inland nationals and she is a granddaughter of ‘Stitchy’. Brian is 3rd club with a chequer white flight Jan Aarden hen bred from a pair of late breds received from Ron Gammage.

Pentland Hills Federation

News from Andy Miller who informs us that the New Lothian RPC along with the Pentland Hills Federation held their 2nd young bird race of the 2018 season, again from Ridsdale, a distance of 60-72 miles for the members.  Racing on Friday 11th August due to the poor weather forecast for the weekend the federation had 13 club sending 3964 birds these were liberated at 10-40 hours into a west wind. Winning 1st New Lothian and federation is Tony Young from Danderhall timing 3 together. The winner a cock bird flown darkness to the perch bloodlines are from a friend in the North East of England which originate from Taylor Bros of Newbigging, Herman Ceusters. Joe the first 10 in New Lothian are the same first 10 in the federation.  Danderhall club took the top 10 places with Tony Young winning 1st 2nd & 3rd with velocities of 1304 for the first 2 birds. J McIvor is 4th with D Noble in 5th 8th & 10th positions. Robertson & Walker are 6th & 7th with Mr & Mrs Lindsay in 9th spot.

Club Winners

Danderhall 1203 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd T Young

Arniston 422 birds; 1st & 2nd W Pryde & son 3rd J Pryde

Castlebrae 172 birds; 1st & 2nd Willis 3td McCormack & Fraser

Edinburgh Premier 286 birds; 1st Gilchrist 2nd & 3rd Black

Woodburn 226 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Allen

Easthouses 181 birds 1st 2nd & 3rd G Thomas

Edinburgh West 155 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd C Bennett

Bonnyrigg 282 birds; 1st Watson 2nd & 3rd J Dewar

Loanhead 90 birds; 1st Murray 2nd & 3rd Simpson

Rosewell 132 birds; 1st & 2nd Gibson 3rd Mackie

New Lothian 84 birds;  1st 2nd & 3rd

Traprain 420 birds; 1st & 2nd Newcombe & Black 3rd Thomson & son

Others 63 birds

New Lothian RPC

Had 63 members sending 2478 birds; Tony Young from Danderhall timing 3 together took the top 3 places; Danderhall club members took the rest of the top 10 places with J McIvor in 4th place. Then D Noble won 5th 8th & 10th positions. Robertson & Walker are 6th & 7th with Mr & Mrs Lindsay in 9th spot.

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who writes ‘Hi Joe, for our 2nd young bird race from Dunfermline we had 56 members sending 1523 birds, liberated into a light west wind with high cloud. East Section had 23 members sending 651 birds and they took the first 20 open positions in the federation. First place goes to J (Ian) Gibb of Fraserburgh & District with a youngster doing a velocity of 1323. 2nd 14th & 15th places goes to Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District with club mate Stewart Maskame in 3rd 4th & 5th places. Colin McRae of Fraserburgh & District is 6th 9th & 10th with R McKenzie of Inverurie in 7th & 17th places. G Findlay of Peterhead & District is 8th Fraserburgh & District A W Buchan is 11th & 20th with H McAllister of Peterhead & District in 12th 16th & 21st C & M Williams of the same club is 13th with R McKenzie of Inverurie in 17th place. Walter Masson of Fraserburgh & District is 18th with Gordon Willox from Peterhead in 19th open place.

The West section had 33 members sending 872 birds. A Milne of Devern Valley club is 1st 4th & 8th section 36th 40th & 44th open club mate D Smith is 2nd 5th & 7th section 38th 41st & 43rd open with G Wilson of the same club in 3rd & 9th section 39th & 45th open. Fulton & Ritchie again from Devern Valley club are 6th section 42nd open federation with J Abel of the same club in 10th section 46th open.

Clubs First Bird

J ( Ian ) Gibb winner of Fraserburgh & District; Jim & Ann Donaldson of  Peterhead & District; R McKenzie of Inverurie;  A Higgins of Fraserburgh West End; A Milne of Devern Valley ; G R Duncan of Keith; Jack & Reid of Elgin & District; D Barrie of Buckie & District. Well done to Ian Gibb on topping the federation and to Abby Milne on winning the west section.

Buckie RPC

News from Gavin Russell who writes, ‘The first two young bird races were from Brechin (1) flown on 22nd July and Dunfermline (1) on 30th of July. Only 1 club member sent birds with no times recorded. From Brechin (2) on the 4th August the convoy were liberated at 09-00 hours into a light North West wind. Taking the 1st x 3 positions is Roddy Bain with his winner a blue bar hen doing a velocity of 1043. 
His 2nd bird was a mealy cock on 937 and his 3rd bird was a chequer hen on 892. No other information available on these birds. From Dunfermline (2) flown on the 10th August the convoy were liberated at 09-45 hours into a light North West wind. Taking the red card is Davy Barrie with a dark chequer hen on a velocity of 909 
this was of the Cooreman strain. 2nd club is yours truly Gavin Russell with pied hen on 883 she is a Gyselbrechts crossed Busschaert. 3rd club is Neil Christie with a  blue bar hen doing a velocity of 861 she is a Jan Aarden crossed Busschaert. Overall most young bird races have been difficult with quite a few losses not just in Buckie club but for the whole federation cheers Joe yours Gavin Russell’.

This week’s Photo’s

The first is of my grandson Blaine and his new wife Shelby who were married in Kirkcaldy 2 weeks ago, this was a lovely day and it was great to spend it will all my family who mean the world to me. The other picture is of Stuart Maskame Jim Donaldson & Dave Pirie who has not been well of late and we wish Dave a speedy recovery.

My Grandson Blaine with his new wife Shelby

3 North Section SNFC Winners Stuart Maskame Jim Donaldson and Dave Pirie

Joe’s Joke

A man was looking for a place to sit in a crowded university library. He asked
a girl, "Do you mind if I sit beside you?" The girl replied, in a loud voice, "NO, I DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOU!" All the people in the library started staring at the man, who was deeply embarrassed and moved to another table. After a couple of minutes, the girl walked quietly to the man's table and said with a laugh, "I study psychology and I know what a man is thinking. I bet you felt embarrassed, right?". The man responded in a loud voice: "£500 FOR ONE NIGHT? ..... I`M NOT PAYING YOU THAT MUCH!" All the people in the library looked at the girl in shock. The man whispered to her, "I study law and I know how to mislead people!!!!!"


In a Catholic school cafeteria, a nun places a note in front of a pile of apples, “Only take one. God is watching.”  Further down the line is a pile of cookies. A little boy makes his own note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.”

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 log onto and - Pigeon Racing the Basics! Who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland

© Compiled by Joe Murphy