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The Joe Murphy Column 06-07-18

The Joe Murphy Column

The Billericay race seemed to be a good enough race with fanciers reporting to me that they had ½ to ¾ of their team home on the day. The only complaint I heard about was due to the increase in birdage they put 25 birds into the race baskets as they has an entry of 1600 birds. On the other hand Pentland Hills and Almond Valley federations had a race from Maidstone the same day and both organisations reporting many birds missing. As I write this column the SNFC and SNRPC have races this Friday with the SNFC holding their Gold Cup race from Liege. The last time we flew from this race point was in 2001 when Kevin’s club mate Les McKay of Carnoustie won the race with a velocity of 1248 from an entry of 1564 birds. I noticed that 327 members have sent 1072 birds which is lowest entry since 1924 in a SNFC Gold Cup race. My remarks about the losses we experienced last year having a knock on effect are gazing us right in the face. If this trend continues we will NOT have long distance racing into Scotland; Many people said this when the national introduced inland nationals (as this was a way of making money for the club) well let me tell you sending a transporter to Liege with just over 1072 pigeons in it will make a loss. Plus the prize money for this race is £5000 with the winner getting £1000; and it does not take the brain of Britain to tell you this. This Liege race will be a hard one as the heat over the UK has to be in the high 20’s plus it has also to be a north east wind. I’ve heard that the transporter missed a row of baskets to help the air flow through the transporter. I’m informed the SNRPC have 1800 birds at their race from Reims and they reduced the birdage in each basket to 15 birds due to the forecast of very high temperatures. As far as I’m aware some of the SNFC marking stations put 20 birds in a basket while others put in 17 birds. Surely with a drop in birdage then it would makes more sense to have fewer birds in each basket? Ok it would mean more work for the Convoyer who is with the birds but that shouldn’t come into the equation as they are getting paid for attending to the birds. Many people have often remarked to me that when the national were convoyed by Catteralls transporters and we had Tom McEwen as our chief Convoyer with the birds. We had better racing then than what we experience today and yes they may have a point as Tom stood out as ‘one in a million a true pigeon man’ who dedicated himself in his task of looking after the SNFC birds. I just hope whoever goes with the birds nowadays puts in the same commitment as Tom did. This weekend will be the longest old bird race of the SNFC season from Reims and may I wish everyone who enters birds all the very best.


Angus Federation

Kenny Droog has forwarded the Ridsdale result with the members sending 820 birds the convoy were liberated at 08-00 hours into a light west wind. Topping the federation is Ian Scott of Forfar club with another 2 birds in 13th & 18th open. David J Liddle of the same club (Forfar took the 20 open positions) is 2nd 14th 15th 16th & 17th open with the Macaulay Ferguson & Curran partnership winning 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th & 10th open. Bob Baldie is 9th 12th & 20th with Kenny Droog & son in 11th spot (congratulations to Kenny on his 1st section C in the Buckingham national)

East Section has Kevin J Murphy of Arbroath club in 1st 2nd 5th & 7th section Charlie & Glen Cameron are 3rd 6th 8th 9th & 10th with Les McKay of the same club in 4th spot.

Club Winners are as follows Forfar 195 bird’s winner Ian Scott; Gourdon 7 bird’s winner D & D Hay; Arbroath 46 bird’s winner Kevin J Murphy.


Arbroath RPC

From the Ridsdale race flown on 23rd June the birds were liberated at 08-00 hours into a light west wind. Kevin J Murphy won 1st 2nd 5th & 7th club with the winner a Deweerdt crossed Daniel Aerens. The 2nd bird was inbred to Euro Diamond and the next 2 were Daniel Aerens bloodlines. Charlie & Glen Cameron was 3rd club with Les McKay in 4th spot.


Ayrshire Federation

News from Archie McIntyre the federation race secretary who writes ‘Hi Joe please find attached race report from our Maidstone race. I have also attached 3 photos of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd federation winning pigeons. Once again many thanks for your support. From our next race in the calendar we once again had another joint convoying venture with the SNFC from Maidstone. After a 1 day holdover the convoy of 158 Ayrshire pigeons, part of the SNFC convoy of 3,001 pigeons were eventually liberated at 09:15am into a light south west wind. The forecast for the west side of the country was to be very poor weather wise and this turned out to be very much correct. As the visibility throughout the day and into the evening was down to a few yards at times, coupled with the constant drizzle/rain you were just wondering how any birds were going to make it into Ayrshire. But, 5 gallant birds did show great courage and determination to make it home before night fall and we must take our hats off to these pigeons as the weather was so bad you would not go out for a walk in it never mind ask pigeons to try and race/fly in it. Leading the way into Ayrshire this week from Maidstone is a man who knows all about setting up and conditioning pigeons for these distance race’s he is no other than Robert Reid of Beith. Robert timed his 3 year old natural hen “2663” at 19:56 from a distance of 380 miles on 1043.5 to take 1st Ayrshire Federation, 4th section H in the  SNFC. “2663” was bred down from 2 x 2014 late-breds both of which were lost racing in 2015. The sire of one of these late breds was bred down from 2 pigeons each of which had 2 national diplomas, the best being 2nd section SNRPC Alencon. The dam of one of the late breds sire was a red hen which had many club and federation positions before being retired to stock and the breeding on this side originates back to the McEwan pigeons Robert first introduced in 1998. The breeding of the dam contains the blood of the old Ko Nipius pigeons from late Bob McDonald of Fraserburgh. 2nd federation and 6th section H, SNFC is the family partnership of John Snr, John and Colin Nicol from Stevenston, flying in Ardeer HS. The partnership timed their 2 year old hen “8368” at 20:01 from a distance of 377 miles to record a velocity of 1026.7. “8368” was bred for the partnership by their “wee pal” Jimmy McMillan from Blantyre and is bred down from pigeons Jimmy obtained from Michael Currie of Moffat. As a youngster “8368” broke her foot and never raced, as a yearling, she went missing for a couple of weeks during racing and ended up eventually being reported down in Newcastle. She was singled tossed from around the Newcastle area and homed after about 5 hours from being released. After a period rest she was put back into a comeback race and continued training with the young birds for the remainder of the season. This year she was started off at Consett a distance of 126 miles and then on to Ripon 166 miles, she missed the following week’s race and then went to Retford 222 miles where she won 1st club, 1st 2 bird club; 2nd section and 2nd open federation in a very tough race. Colin on behalf of his family would like to congratulate Robert Reid on his 1st federation win and all the other fanciers in Sect H who timed. 3rd federation, 7th section H in the SNFC is Andy Barbour of West Kilbride.  Andy timed his good roundabout hen “6623” at 20:14 from a distance of 382 miles on 1023.7.  “6623” is no stranger to the winner’s enclosure. Just 2 weeks prior to this gruelling 11 hour flight, “6623” recorded 6th fed, 325th open SNFC, 7th section H, being 10 hours on the wing. In total “6623” has won 2nd fed Sedgefield, 5th fed Wetherby, 6th fed Kelso (Beaten on the trap by 5 loft mates) 16th fed Consett, 3rd fed Ripon and 6th fed Buckingham? The sire of “6623” is a Van Loon full of the best of the Planet Brother’s blood bred by Galaxy Lofts. The dam is a direct daughter of one Hardy Kruger top racers “Black Soul” a son of Hardy’s champion producer “Black Power”. I mentioned above 5 gallant pigeons that made it into Ayrshire on the night and I think all 5 are worth a mention. 4th federation pigeon goes to David Paterson of the Annbank & District club; David timed a yearling at 20:27 for a distance of 363mls to win the ‘Chris Catteralls Trophy;’ for the first yearling timed from of Maidstone. 5th federation and the last of the gallant pigeon to make it is the ever present partnership of Cree & Cuthbert of the Whitletts & District club who recorded the final pigeon of the night at 20:39 for a distance of 364 mils. This was obviously a well fancied pigeon for the partnership as they scooped a tidy sum of £245 of pools.

North Section 87 birds; 1st Robert Reid (Dalry H S) 1043.5 2nd J & J & C Nicol (Ardeer HS) 1026.7 3rd Andy Barbour (Dalry HS) 1023.7

Central Section 45 birds; 1st Harvey Pollock (Irvine HS) 712.9 2nd Tam Blakely (Irvine HS) 695.7 3rd Willie Julyan (Crosshouse HS) 664.7

South Section 26 birds 1st Davie Paterson (Annbank & District) 951.4 2nd & 3rd Cree & Cuthbert (Whitletts & District) 936.3, 654.7.

Robert Reid 1st Fed Maidstone

Andy Barbour 3rd Fed Maidstone

J & J & C Nicol 2nd Fed Maidstone


Almond Valley Federation


Balerno HS news from Colin Bain who has had some problems with his computer of late; From the Catterick race point on the 17th June 7 members sent 205 birds. Taking the first 4 positions is Dougie Bald with his winner a blue cock that topped the federation from Weatherly and was also 7th fed from Wakefield. His 2nd pigeon was a dark chequer cock who also has won several federation positions. The 3rd pigeon was a blue hen who has previously won 21st federation from Weatherly. The 4th prize winner is a blue cock that has won 2nd & 4th federation Wakefield plus 10th fed Weatherby. My thanks to Colin for the news and hope he has his fixed the problems with the computer. Same old story Colin they are fine as long as they are going well it is when they break down the complications start.


East of Scotland Federation

For the Result for the last old race of the season with the federation from Maidstone the convoy were transported in the Almond Valleys transporter. This was the federations 2nd open race and winning this week is John Bird of Prestonpans. John timed a yearling that he bred from a pair of Herman Ceusters from Premier Lofts. He also takes 10th place. In 2nd open is Jim McNeil of Tranent with Brian Laverty of Prestonpans taking 3rd, 5th & 7th positions. Richard & Jamie Combe of Elphinstone are 4th open, with Graham Wardhaugh of Dirleton taking 6th & 8th open positions with George Veitch of East Saltoun filling in at 9th open.

Prestonpans HC.: winning this week is John Bird with a yearling Herman Ceusters from Premier Lofts this bird was previously 4th open Newark. Brian Laverty takes the number 2nd spot with Richard & Jamie Combe in 3rd place. Thank you once again for highlighting our federation and club results in your column Joe many thanks John Ballie’.

Pentland Hills Federation and the New Lothian RPC

News from Andy Miller who informs us that the 79 members had their 10th and final old bird race for the 2018 season from the Maidstone Open with 882 birds competing from a distance of 353-365 miles for the members. Liberated at 06-50 am with no wind at the race point the winner of 1st federation and 1st open is Willie Kinnear & Sons Barry & Brian who timed their yearling pied cock on a velocity of 1201 winning £518 for his efforts. This was a gift pigeon from Rod Pringle from Gorebridge and contains the lines of “Pennine Heights” and Dale Newcombe’s ‘Kardale Style’. It should be noted that this yearling flew the SNFC Maidstone race 7 days prior to this event, and was timed to win a creditable 105th open. The Kinnear partnership won 4th & 7th open winning another £605. Ronnie Bremner of Sighthill club is 1nd with F Robertson of Danderhall in 3rd & 11th open places with  S Lapinski of Woodburn club is 5th with M Bennett of Danderhall in 6th spot Andy Miller of Sighthill club is 8th 9th & 10th open

North of Scotland Federation


News from George Duthie telling us the 50 members sent 354 birds to Peterbourgh these were liberated with no wind at the race point with a clear blue sky. The east section had 27 members sending 232 birds with the west section having 23 members sending 122 birds. Topping the east section and open is Robbie Higgins of Fraserburgh West End club who had a great race winning the following positions 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 11th 15th 16th section and open Great flying Robbie well done. Eric & Nicky Yule of Inverurie club are 2nd 3rd & 9th east section and open. Stuart Maskame of Peterhead club is 10th east section and open with A Wilson of Devern Valley club in 1st 7th & 10th west section 12th 32nd & 35th open. Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead club are 12th east section 13th open with club mate G Findlay in 13th section 14th open Colin McRae of Fraserburgh & District is 16th & 17th east section 17th & 19th open  with P Sherman of Devern Valley club winning 2nd west section 18th open. A J Reid of Keith club is 3rd west section 20th open with Elgin & District member A MacGillivray in 4th west section 21st open R Wilson of Keith club is 5th & 6th west section 22nd & 31st open with N Raymond of Devern Valley club is 9th west section 34th open.

Clubs First Birds; Fraserburgh West End winner Robbie Higgins; Inverurie winner Eric & Nicky Yule; Peterhead & District winner Stuart Maskame; Devern Valley winner A Wilson; Fraserburgh & District winner Colin McRae; Keith winner A J Reid; Elgin & District winner A MacGillivray; Buckie & District winner D Stevens.

Well done to R Higgins of topping the federation and to A Wilson on winning the west section George Duthie.

Buckie HS

News from Gavin Russell (which arrived too late for last week’s column) from the Worksop race flown on the 17th June the birds were liberated at 06-00 hours into a light south west wind. This race is approximately 310 miles to most lofts in the club. Taking 1st club 12th federation is Dougie Stevens with a 2 year old blue bar cock doing a velocity of 1335 he is a Jan Aarden crossed Paul Woolliss and was flying roundabout. 2nd club is Dougie Stevens with a 2 year old red cock on a velocity of 1259 he is a Jan Aarden crossed Brain Shepherd and was also flying roundabout. 3rd club is John Cumming with a yearling blue chequer cock doing a velocity of 1220 he is a Stuart Maskame from Peterhead crossed Ronnie Wilson from Keith club and was also flying roundabout. A good steady race and returns were good. From the Peterbourgh race flown on the 24th June this was approximately 370 miles for the birds to fly, liberated at 05-30 am the winner of

1st club is Dougie Stevens with a 2 year old red chequer cock doing a velocity of 1184 he is a Jan Aarden crossed Brain Sheppard and was flying roundabout. 2nd club is John Cumming with a 2 year old blue chequer cock doing 1004 he is a Stuart Maskame crossed Ronnie Wilson. This bird has won a few times in the club flying on roundabout. This turned out to be a hard race with only these

2 birds in race time many thanks once again Joe yours Gavin Russell’.


Good SNFC Birds

This week I start with R Donegan of Newmilns in Ayrshire with his blue bar cock SU15A 8543 in 2016 he won 3rd section F 434th open from Littlehampton flying a distance of 367 miles. Then in 2017 he won twice from inland nationals being 20th section F no open prize from Buckingham flying 283 miles he then went to the Bedhampton race a distance of 356 miles and he won 6th section F 499th open.

We now come to Andrew Agnew & son of Kelso who have a grizzle hen SU15SB 1172 who has also won 3 times in the national in 2016 she was 154th section B 389th open from Littlehampton flying a distance of 337 miles. Then in 2017 she also went to Buckingham a distance of 252 miles but did not win a section prize however she won 266th open then into the Bedhampton race and she was 71st section B 254th open flying 330 miles. Our next pigeon is raced by the J & C Smith partnership of Polmont with their chequer cock SU16CA 497 who won 3 times during the 2017 season from Buckingham he won 2nd section D 4th open flying 297 miles, he was then entered into the Bedhampton race and won 13th section D 138th open flying 372 miles he then went to Ypres a distance of 447 miles and won 1st section D 21st open showing his outstanding ability.


Joe’s Joke


Family sat down for their evening meal when the wee boy started talking about ‘bugs’. His mother told him to be quiet and eat up. When they were clearing the table the mother then asked the wee boy ‘What was your question about bugs’. ‘Oh its ok there was one in your soup but it’s not there now’.


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© Compiled by Joe Murphy