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The Joe Murphy Column 19-07-18

The Joe Murphy Column

The Scottish national held their longest race in the race programme from Reims with 129 members sending 382 birds these were liberated in conjunction with the Up North Combine who had between 3500/4000 birds at the same race point. Both convoys were liberated at 06-00 hours in a very light north-west wind with excellent visibility. The convoy cleared the site immediately and it was expected the leading birds would be into Scotland by 20-00 hours. This was near enough as Billy Bilsland from Ayton in section B timed in at 20-19 hours to win 1st section B 2nd open with a velocity of 1077 this pigeon won 228th open from Ypres flying 403 miles. Then word that double Ancenis national winner Craig Halbert of Eastriggs timed his grizzle cock at 20-16 to win 1st section A 3rd open this cock won 25th section A 118th open Bedhampton in 2017. Another south section fancier John Hodgson of Annan timed at 20-30 to win 2nd section A 4th open with the same pigeon that won 24th section A 117th open Bedhampton last year. The word of an excellent bird to J Wiseman of Dundee timing at 20-45 hours flying 583 miles to win 1st section C 1st open doing a velocity of 1159.78 WHAT A PIGEON. Another outstanding pigeon was then recorded to Jock Alston of Ravenstruther who won the longest national race last year from Ancenis flying 585 miles. Jock timed his blue chequer hen at 22-53 hours flying 554 miles to win 1st section E 5th open; what a pigeon to keep going 17 hours on the wing and you can bet your life Jock was a very proud man as he timed her in. These were the only 5 day birds timed however 1st section D 6th open is J & C O’Hara of Fauldhouse who timed at 04-52 the following morning so this bird was not far from its home loft on the day. Big Derek Hay of Kirkintilloch wins his 3rd x 1st section F this year timing at 07-03 to win 12th open flying 577 miles. Winning their 2nd x 1st section H are Morris Brothers David and Robert of Johnstone who won 34th open flying 581 miles with the same chequer hen who won 1st section F 13th open from Falaise last year flying 519 miles. The only bird recorded in section G and winning 76th open was to J Cowie of Aberdeen flying 606 miles with his blue chequer hen who was timed on the 3rd morning. I must mention John D Robertson of Dunfermline this 85 year old fancier is a credit to our sport; he wins 2nd section C 7th open timed at 05-34 hours flying 569 miles with the same pigeon that won 39th section C 125th open from Bedhampton in 2017 flying 376 miles. John is also a top class gardener and has won many trophies for all his efforts, well done John. One thing you notice from this distance result is it is the same old names year after year proving what good consistent fanciers they are and how they can condition birds to excel in these long distance races well done to everyone who made the result. We stayed at Kevin’s till after lunch time and then headed home; had I known where Mr Wiseman lived I would have visited him to congratulate him on winning the national and the Mr & Mrs Murphy trophy for the best velocity in sections C & G. There were 76 birds timed by the end of the 2nd day with 3 the following morning. Kevin got his hen home on Monday 2 days too late I’m afraid, but I have heard that a lot of fanciers have still not had a bird home. I mentioned last week that the Fife marking station put 15 birds in the basket for Reims, while Bo’ness and East of Scotland put in 20, You can bet your last £1 the south section lads did not have 20 in the baskets and if you look at the result all their section prizes are won. The point I’m trying to make is the winner of the race and another 2 birds in the top 10 of the race were race marked at Fife which proves the point, less birds in each basket makes it easier for the birds to access the drinker. The officials and management committee of the national NEED to look at this situation because fanciers are getting disillusioned with what his happening within the club; last year we experienced the worst losses ever. Which has had a knock on effect with the entries this year and again we have experienced losses at Liege and Reims of good long distance birds and it is killing the sport.  On the same day as the as the Reims national the Scottish Racing National were racing from Troyes a distance of over 600 miles with the convoy of 47 birds liberated at 05-30 hours. There was no bird’s home on the day and the first bird time was to David Crees of Coldstream at 06-18 hours the 2nd morning, (I’m informed this bird was bred by his brother Colin) as a matter of interest David won the SRNPC national last year. There were 9 birds timed on the 2nd day and only 15 bird’s altogether.  By the time this column is printed we will have our last old bird race of the season from Roye, so may I wish everyone all the best and let us hope it is a good race.


My good friend Rob Glover of Earl Shilton phoned to inform me that a yearling chequer Deweerdt cock I sent down to him as a youngster has won 71st open from the Countrywide National from Portsmouth. There was 4,746 birds competing and Rob was 70th and 71st open as the 2 birds came together. It is nice when someone lets you know that they have done well with your birds. Rob has also done well over the years with ‘The Murphy Hen’ which I have highlighted before, well done once again Rob.


Mark Gilbert

I noticed in today’s BHW that Mark has won the BICC from Barcelona this is his ‘race’ as he sets himself up all year for this race. I remember when Kevin and I went to visit him he spoke about this race as we in Scotland do about our Gold Cup race. This is the dream every year however Mark’s goal is higher as he want to do well in the international race and if possible WIN IT. He would need the right day, the right wind and of course the right pigeon but he knows that however it does not stop him trying, the same as we ALL do. I noticed on PIPA today Sunday 15th July that Mark has won his 5 x 1st BICC race this year from St Vincent (he has previously won Pau; Poitiers; Agen; Barcelona) Good luck for Perpignan as I know you will have some good birds going to this race as well. What a season Mark is having one we all dream about. I have heard the knockers going on about the amount of birds he keeps but it is all about having individual birds set up for the race in hand and obviously Mark Gilbert is a ‘Master’ at doing this. Well done once again on even for someone as good as he is he is having a Wonderful Season.


  Ayrshire Federation

The federation held a comeback race from Kelso on the 30th June, a distance of between 72 miles up to 98 miles to the top end of the federation. Once again Jim was not hanging about and the convoy of 539 birds were up and away at 07-30 with no wind at the race point. Once again, reports from most fanciers were another good race and returned birds with the velocities into the high 1600s. First federation this week is a man who is no stranger to the top of the leader board, fellow club member Tom Smith of West Kilbride who won with a velocity of 1663.3. Tom’s team of pigeons put up great performance winning 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th federation, timing his first 4 pigeons in 38 seconds. Tom was inside the loft when they arrived saying he heard the birds on the hut roof... (Some say he was in the loft having a nap, I tend to believe that knowing our Tom) His winning pigeon this week was a yearling hen sent on the drive. She is bred down from a mixture of all of Tom’s family of pigeons. 2nd federation this week is another fellow club member David Armstrong of West Kilbride on 1661.2. David timed a dark chequer pied yearling hen bred down from his old family of pigeons from years back. This yearling hen of David’s also won 6th fed the previous week from Arniston (2). David would like to pass on his congratulations to fellow club member and winner Tom Smith.

David Armstrong 2nd Fed Kelso 2

North Section 236 birds; 1st & 3rd T Smith (Dalry HS) 1663.3 and 1659.2 2nd D Armstrong (Dalry HS) 1661.2

Tom Smith 1st Fed Kelso 2

Central Section 137 birds; 1st A Connelly (Irvine HS) 1629.4 2nd & 3rd E Diamond (Irvine HS) 1626.7 and 1618.7


South Section 166 birds; 1st Cree & Cuthbert (Whitletts & Dist.) 1611.6 2nd M Brown (Whitletts & Dist.) 1591.8 3rd W Lawrence (Whitletts & Dist.) 1539.1


Other Club winners not mentioned above are as follows; J McNeil (Kilwinning HS) 1553.5, J MacKenzie (Cumnock & Dist.) 1532.9 B Lenachan (Annbank & Dist.) 1490.4, W Thomson (Kilmarnock Inv) 1476.9 J Stewart (Darvel HS) 1462.8, A Plenderleith (Mauchline & Dist.) 1389.6 M McLarty (Dalmellington PC) 1290.0 that’s it again for this week Joe yours Archie’.


Almond Valley Federation

News from Lynne Stewart who informs us that the federation were at Catterick on 18th June for their yearling race the convoy of 318 birds were liberated at 08:00 hours. First 3rd 6th & 17th open and 1st 2nd 3rd & 7th east section was I Jamieson of Balerno. 1st west section 2nd open is S Fleming of Armadale. J Hadfield of Armadale is 2nd 3rd & 5th section 4th 5th & 8th open.   J Bird of West Calder is 4th 6th 9th & 13th west section and 7th 10th 15th & 21st open; Dougie Bald of Balerno is 4th & 5th east section 9th & 11th open club mate Colin Bain is 6th east section 12th open with S Fleming of Armadale in 7th & 15th west section 13th & 24th open. T Gavin of Armadale is 8th west section 14tth open with  D McBeath of the same club in 10th & 11th west section 17th & 18th open Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder is 8th east section 19th open with J Burnside of Armadale winning 12th & 14th west section 20th & 22nd open. Colin Ross of Balerno is 9th east section 23rd open with Jimmy M Young of East Calder in 10th east section 25th open. From the Maidstone race flown on the 23rd June the convoy were liberated at 06:50 hours with 283 birds competing from the Almond Valley federation. First east section and 1st open is Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder they are also 5th & 8th east section 9th & 13th open. 2nd east section and open is Jimmy M Young of East Calder with the 1st west section winning 3rd open for D McBeath of Armadale club he is also 3rd & 8th west section 6th & 17th open. 2nd west section 4th open is J Hadfield of Armadale club with Dougie Bald of Balerno winning 3rd & 9th east section 5th & 14th open his club mate Colin Bain is 4th east section 7th open with Armadale S Fleming winning 4th & 5th west section 8th & 12th open.  Colin Ross of Balerno is 6th east section 10th open with Robert Anderson of East Calder one place behind Colin in 11th open and 7th section.  West Calder A Robb is 6th west section 15th open with T Gavin of Armadale in 7th west section 16th open he is followed by club mates J Barron’s in 9th west section 18th open and J Burnside makes up the 10th west section place and is also 19th open. The final place in the top 20 is won by R Robertson who is 10th east section, my thanks to Lynne for her weekly result.


Angus Federation

News from Kenny Droog with the Ridsdale result flown on the same day as the Reims national race; the convoy of 281 birds were liberated at 08-00 hours into a west wind. Topping the federation is the Forfar partnership of Macaulay Ferguson & Curran they are also 7th 8th & 17th open. Bob Baldie of the same club is 2nd 11th 12th 15th 16th 18th 19th & 20th with Davie Glen in 3rd & 14th positions. Ian Scott of the same Forfar club is 4th 9th 10th & 13th open with David J Liddle in 5th & 6th places. The East section of the federation was dominated by Chic and Glen Cameron of Arbroath club as they took the 1st x 6 places plus 8th & 9th with Kevin J Murphy splitting them up to win 7th section. The final top 10th place is won by D & D Hay of Gourdon club. Club winners are as follows; Forfar sent 195 birds winner Macaulay Ferguson & Curran; Montrose 25 birds winner M Wallace & son; Gourdon 14 birds winner D & D Hay; Arbroath 47 birds winner C & G Cameron.


Arbroath RPC had 5 members sending 47 birds; taking the 1st x 6 places are Charlie & Glen Cameron but up to now I have not obtained any details of their winners.

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie informing us that 44 members sent 244 birds to Battle race point with the east section having 25 members sending 123 birds with the west section having 19 members sending 121 birds; the convoy were liberated into a light wind with blue sky. Topping the federation and west section are Fulton & Ritchie of Devern Valley club these are also 10th west section 27th open. Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District club keep up their good form after their excellent result in the Scottish national by winning 1st east section 2nd open. 2nd 5th 6th & 9th west section 3rd 14th 15th & 22nd open is A Wilson of Devern Valley club. A Higgins of Fraserburgh West End club is 4th open 2nd east section with W Ritchie of Elgin & District club in 3rd west section 5th open his club mate R Richards is 4th & 7th west section 6th & 19th open with R Adamson of Inverurie club in 3rd east section 7th open he is followed by Eric & Nicky Yule in 4th & 10th east section 8th & 16th open. Robbie Higgins of Fraserburgh West End club is 5th 8th 9th & 13th east section 9th 12th 13th & 21st open. Gordon Willox of Peterhead & District club who won 1st north section 6th open from Maidstone in the SNFC this year is 6th east section 10th open from Battle. Another SNFC winner from the Peterhead club is Stuart Maskame who is 7th section 11th open with another SNFC winner Walter Masson of Fraserburgh & District club in 11th & 15th east section 17th & 24th open. A B Geddes of the same club is 12th east section 18th open. G Russell of Buckie & District club is 8th west section 20th open.


Clubs First Birds; Devern Valley winner Fulton & Ritchie; Peterhead & District winner Jim & Ann Donaldson; Fraserburgh West End winner A Higgins; Elgin & District winner W Ritchie; Inverurie winner R Adamson; Fraserburgh & District winner W Masson; Keith winner R Wilson; Buckie & District winner G Russell;


Well done to Fulton & Ritchie of topping the federation and to Jim & Ann Donaldson on winning the east section yours George Duthie.

Buckie RPC

New from Gavin Russell who writes ‘For the last old bird club race of the season from Battle which is approximately 488 miles to Buckie the convoy were liberated on 7th Juley are 08-00 hours into a light north west wind. Winning 1st club 8th west section 20th open federation is yours truly Gavin Russell with a 2 year old dark 
chequer cock doing a velocity of 972 he is a Gyselbrechts crossed Busschaert. This was the only bird in the club on the day in the club and he was 14 hours 50 minutes on the wing and it was into darkness when he arrived. 2nd club is Dougie Stevens with a 2 year old blue bar cock doing 740 he is a Jan Aarden crossed Paul Woolliss. 3rd club is Dougie Stevens with a 2 year old red chequer cock doing a velocity of 695 he is a Jan Aarden crossed Brain Shepherd. This was a very hard race for everyone in the federation with a few empty perches still. Let us hope we can all have a better young bird season which starts in a few weeks’ time; cheers Joe many thanks Gavin Russell’.

Joe’s Joke

Two blokes talking at the airport both have lost their wives in the crowds. Shall we look for them together one suggested? Yes ok says the other, what does your wife look like. She is six foot tall long blonde hair, buxom, short skirt and a boob tube. What does your wife look like? Oh never mind her let’s go and look for yours.


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© Compiled by Joe Murphy