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The Joe Murphy Column 15-06-18

The Joe Murphy Column

The new Scottish National season started with their inland race from Buckingham. We have all heard the remarks this was the start of a ‘new area’ well we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot. I have been a race controller and even watching the weather charts on the TV it informed EVERYONE we would not get a race on the Saturday 2nd June due to thunder storms in the north east of England. So pray tell me why the national officials or race controllers to be precise allowed race marking to take place on Thursday thus keeping the birds in the race baskets an extra day. This was a disgrace and these people proved they had no thought of the BIRDS. Plus why do they pay for men to go down with the birds and then pay them an allowance for a holdover. It doesn’t make sense money wasted and more importantly the birds confined in baskets when they did not need to be. The other problem with racing from Buckingham and this has been proven in the past that you never get an early liberation as it is always low mist and takes time to clear. The weather forecasters told you for days the best day of the week was Tuesday 5th June for a race so why not basket on Sunday evening and let the birds travel down and be ready for a Tuesday race with perfect weather conditions. The NRCC were at Perth and they liberated on Tuesday, the LNRC were at Berwick and did the same (they are as bad as the SNFC with no consideration for the baskets of birds) so it will be interesting to see how their races turned out to be. The SNFC had 41 members sending 3576 birds to Buckingham - Section A 510 birds; Section B 443 birds; Section C 919 birds; Section D 382 birds; Section E 735 birds; Section F 73 birds; Section G 162 birds; Section H 352 birds; The birds were liberated at Buckingham at 10-00 hours in a very light east wind and the report says the birds cleared very well from the site. One thing is for certain the SNFC did not have a good race with many birds missing on the day and quite a lot returning on Tuesday and Wednesday. The winner was W F Van Nuil of Gretna who timed at 15-22pm flying 233 miles so congratulation to Billy who has continued were he left off last year when he had an outstanding season. The last south section prize of 51st A won 59th open timed at 16-08 so within 46 minutes the section was completed. 1st Section B winner was Billy Bilsland of Ayton won 26th open timed at 16-42 flying 270 miles the 45th section B prize winner was in 272nd open flying 278 miles. Young Martyn Brown of Bo’ness winning 1st section D and 44th open timed at 17-44 flying 297 miles the last place of 30th section D won 347th open flying 286 miles. 1st section C 54th open are Kenny Droog & son of Forfar at 18-43 flying 330 miles with the last place of 69th section C winning 357th open flying 321 miles. 1st section E 151st open to Torrance & Mann of Hamilton at 18-18 flying 287 miles last section prize of 36E won 358th open flying 287 miles. Derek Hay of Kirkintilloch is 1st section F 301st open timed at 19-22 flying 300 miles with the remainder of the section not making the open result. 1st section H (extreme west of Scotland) is won by A A Wilson of STRANRAER in 58th open position at 16-58 flying 262 miles the 9th H prize won 348th open flying 298 miles. There were NO DAY birds into section G (North section) with A A Williamson of Aberdeen timing in the first bird to win 1st section G at 05-24 on the 2nd day 360 miles.

Federation Results

Angus federation race from Leicester had 382 birds liberated at 10.00 hours into a light north to north west wind. Topping the federation is past national winner Davie Glen of Forfar with another bird in 17th open. Kevin J Murphy of Arbroath won 2nd 3rd 6th & 7th open. Charlie & Glen Cameron of the same Arbroath club are 4th 5th 8th 9th 10th & 11th with Ian Scott of Forfar winning 12th 13th & 14th open. David J Liddle of Forfar club is 15th & 18th with club mates Macaulay Ferguson & Curran in 16th & 20th open. M Wallace & son of Montrose club ae 19th open.

East section is again dominated by the 2 rising ‘Star’s’ of Arbroath Kevin J Murphy and Glen Cameron with Kevin in 1st 2nd 5th & 6th positions. Glen and his dad Charlie are 3rd 4th 7th 8th 9th & 10th.

Club winners are as follows; Forfar 231 birds won by Davie Glen. Montrose 37 birds won by M Wallace; Gourdon 29 birds won by Eddie Mann and Arbroath club sent 85 birds with the winner Kevin J Murphy.


Arbroath RPC had 5 members sending 85 birds to Leicester these were liberated at 10-00 hours into a light north/north west wind. Taking the first 2 positions is Kevin J Murphy with the winner a blue hen her sire a son of Robbie’s Boy winner of 1st SNFC Falaise for Gilmour Brothers of Leven, her dam was bred by John McGee of the Barcelona One Loft in France from birds down from Shakelton (Pennine Heights winner) The 2nd club winner was bred from stock from Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone from their TMAC distance family (4 times SNFC prize winner) Third are Charlie & Glen Cameron with  a blue yearling that is from the Castres line of Leon Messiaen being  a grandson he has won 2 first sections in the federation this season. As a matter of interest Charlie & Glen timed in 4 day birds from the Buckingham national which was very good when you consider the conditions.


Ayrshire Federation’s


News from Archie McIntyre who informs us that from their 6th race of the season from Retford on the 27th May (a delay of 24 hours due to the poor weather forecast) for this race of between 197 miles to 232 miles across the membership of the federation. Jim O’Hare had the convoy of 550 birds (a drop of 436 birds on the previous week’s race) away at 10:00 hours. 15 minutes after the Caledonian Combine into a light north east wind. The drop in birds does not look good, but, a good percentage of the drop in birdage was due to members keeping birds back for the up and coming national from Buckingham the following week. Leading the way in to Ayrshire this week from Retford is John McNeil flying in the Kilwinning HS club; taking 1st federation for John on 1624.8 (a clear 84 yards in front of the 2nd fed bird) was a yearling cock flying on the roundabout system. This yearling chequer cock is bred down from John’s old family of ‘Corbett Busschaerts’. Both the sire and dam are Corbett birds and both have won for John. The dam herself has previously won the club from Retford and also taking 9th federation. The sire this year also recorded a win out of Kelso for John. 2nd fed this week we have Eddie Diamond on 1540.5. Eddie from Irvine HS timed a 2 year old widowhood cock to record 1st club, 1st section and 2nd federation. Both parents are from Ian Gill of Ballymena Co Antrim. 3rd fed on 1537.1 falls to another Irvine HS member Harvey Pollock who looks to have had a good race, timing 5 pigeons in 17 minutes for a distance of 219 miles unfortunately I do not have any details of Harvey’s pigeon.

Eddie Diamond's 2nd Fed Retford

North Section 228 birds; 1st John McNeil (Kilwinning HS) 1624.8 2nd and 3rd J & J & C Nicol (Ardeer HS) 1535.3 and 1476.2

John McNeil 1st Fed Retford

Central Section 158 birds; 1st E Diamond (Irvine HS) 1540.5 2nd and 3rd Harvey Pollock (Irvine HS) 1537.1 and 1533.8

South Section 164 birds; 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cree & Cuthbert (Whitletts & District) 1477.7, 1477.1 and 1474.2

Club Winners not mentioned are as follows: Darvel HS winner R Young Jnr 1480.9: Dalry HS winner S & E McCall 1469.4: Crosshouse HS winner W Julyan 1465.9: Mauchline HS winner Dunlop & Aitken 1459.1: Cumnock & District winner J MacKenzie 1385.9: Kilmarnock Invitation winner A Sharpe 1245.1: Annbank & District winner D Graham 1205.1 and Dalmellington PC winner M McLarty, 1061.4.


Almond Valley Federation


Balerno news from Colin Bain who writes, ‘This week we were at Newark for a Sunday race on the 3rd June with 7 members sending 94 birds. Liberated  at 09-30 hours the winner is yours truly Colin Bain with a 4 year old Staff Van Reet cock who has a lot of good positions and 2 x 1st in the federation he was doing a velocity of 823 and was sitting 8 days on eggs. 2nd 3rd & 4th is Colin Ross with his first bird a yearling blue hen doing a velocity of 810 this was the same bird that won 3rd last week. Colin’s next bird was a 2 year old chequer hen on 801 she is a Staff Van Reet with his 3rd bird a 2 year old blue cock doing 798 he contains Bobby Caruthers blood crossed John Ellis and has won 1st Wakefield for Colin, that’s it for now Joe best wishes to you and Kevin for the nationals yours Colin B’


East of Scotland Federation


News from John Baillie who writes, ‘Hi Joe, our result is later this week, due to the birds racing on the Sunday race controller Bobby Graham phoned round all the secretaries on Thursday to inform them that race basketting for Newark would be delayed 24 hours due to the poor weather forecast for Saturday 2nd June. There was no way a race could be held from Newark and the birds were brought back to Wakefield and liberated at 10-10 hours into a light variable wind. What developed was a very sticky race initially for the majority of fanciers. This week we have Tam Hunnam of Port Seton winning the federation for the 3rd time this year and he also takes 8th and 9th open. The consistent Jim McNeil of Tranent is in 2nd, 3rd & 7th positions, with Ronny MacIntyre of Pencaitland in 4th place. Richard and Jamie Combe of Elphinstone taking 5th & 10th open positions. Filling in the top 10 is Brian Laverty of Prestonpans club in 6th place.

Prestonpans Homing Club This week’s winner is again Tam Hunnam with a 2 year old Braspenning hen. In 2nd place are Richard & Jamie Combe with a 2 year old hen this hen won 25th open Ypres SNFC as a yearling and is bred from their distance family. Her sire won a Silver Award with the SNFC including being 1st section B 6th open from Ancenis and 21st open Gold Cup race from Alencon. The dam is a full sister to 1st section 4th open Ancenis and herself a daughter of 1st section 5th open Tours. Taking 3rd place is Brian Laverty with another 2 year old hen her dam is bred through Brian's good red hen when she was paired to a cock of the Markie Stud of Tranent. When doing the baskets on Tuesday afternoon there was still birds missing from this race. Well that's the first SNFC national over, hopefully things improve or we will not have birds fit enough to finish the season. With not sending to the club race and hearing the horrific returns initially, it did not look good for the national birds with the mist and fog closing in around us.  This was to be exactly what happened with as usual mixed returns and birds well split up and with Monday morning forecast to be the same it did not look good for the birds that did not make it on the day. Luckily enough birds worked through on the Monday giving some fanciers reasonable returns. Thanks once again Joe yours John B’.


Fife Federation


News from Geordie Todd with the result of the Buckingham race flown in conjunction with the Scottish national, and the top 10 in the open are as follows; 1st & 3rd open is Davie Brown of Leven club with Kennoway’s Jocky Scott in 2nd & 4th positions. The Leven partnership of Clark Clark and Page are 5th with George Anderson of Perth in 6th & 8th positions, Brian Kinnear of Glenrothes club is 7th with A Whittaker of Methilhaven club in 9th spot and making up the top 10 is A McLeod of Novar club.

East section had Leven sending 54 birds; Tayport 23 birds with the top ten as follows; 1st & 3rd open is Davie Brown of Leven club with Kennoway’s Jocky Scott in 2nd & 4th positions. The Leven partnership of Clark Clark and Page are 5th 7th 9th & 10th A Whittaker of Methilhaven is 6th with Brian Chalmers of Kennoway in 8th spot. Centre section had Glenrothes & Leslie sending 88 birds with Kirkcaldy Novar sending 33 the top 10 are as follows; Brian Kinnear of Glenrothes is 1st & 8th with Novar’s Jocky King in 2nd 9th & 10th. Dean Bridges of Glenrothes is 3rd 4th 5th & 6th with club mate John Dinsdale in 7th spot.

The West section had Crossgates club sending 72 birds their top ten are as follows; George Anderson of Perth is 1st 2nd & 9th with A McLeod of Novar in 3rd place. J Robertson of Dunfermline is 4th & 6th with K Cochrane of Crossgates in 5th position. J Hynd & son of the same club are 7th with J King of Novar 8th and the final place goes to S Donaldson of Perth club.


Pentland Hills Yearling Open


This race was flown on Wednesday 23rd May with 38 lofts prepaying 135 birds with 38 actual lofts sending 112 birds flying for £2330 in prize money paid out in 18 prizes. The birds were liberated at 10-50 am into a north east wind. First place goes to A Young of Danderhall club who wins £1695.00 for his efforts, 2nd place goes to J McIvor also of Danderhall club who wins £1430.00 with club mate F Robertson in 3rd place winning £1040.00. 4th place is won by Sinclair Thomson & son of Traprain club who win £580.00 they are followed by Willie Pryde & son John from Arniston club who win £304.00 with their 2 birds that win 5th & 10th positions. 6th is John Bosworth of Traprain winning £95.00 John Bird of East of Scotland federation is next with £280.00 with A Anderson of Loanhead club 9th winning £110.00 and making up the top ten. The total pay-out was £6.207.50 a great lift before the Scottish national racing begins.


The New Lothian RPC with the Pentland Hills Federation


News from Andy Miller who writes ‘We had our 7th race of the 2018 season which was again to be from Newark and basketting was delayed 24 hours due to the weather forecast. Sunday morning dawned and race controller Bobby Graham didn’t like what he saw at Newark due to inclement weather and decided the birds would be brought back to Wakefield which is a distance of 170 miles to most lofts. 13 clubs entered 1650 birds

Winning 1st New Lothian and 1st Federation is Dave Brown & Black; assisted by loft laddie Peter Forbes timed 2 together. The first through the trap was a yearling widower carding for the first time, of Geerinckx origin (Gladiator lines) from stock obtained from Foxwood Lofts when crossed with stock obtained from Premier Stud, again Geerinckx origin from the same lines. 3rd 4th & 10th is Andy Miller of Sighthill with D & J Allen of Woodburn in 5th spot. A Lawson of Arniston is next with S Gilchrist of Edinburgh Premier in 7th & 8th place Ronnie Bremner of Sighthill is 9th.  This was the toughest race so far this season with many lofts failing to time, however returns were reasonable to acceptable by the end of the day. I’m sure this situation and the reasons will be well debated amongst the fancy before this reaches print. However the K-index was high over the weekend as was stated and warned to us by you Joe in the press the previous week.


Club Winners are as follows;

Woodburn 155 birds; 1st & 2nd Brown & Black 3rd Allen

Sighthill 101 birds; 1st & 2nd Miller 3rd Bremner

Arniston 160 birds; 1st Lawson 2nd & 3rd W Pryde & son

Edinburgh Premier 103 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Gilchrist

Danderhall 450 birds; 1st Dowling 2nd F Robertson 3rd Young

Bonnyrigg 111 birds; 1st Curran 2nd A Dewar 3rd Smith

Castlebrae 54birds; 1st & 2nd Willis 3rd L Mitchell

Edinburgh West 81 birds; 1st C Bennett 2nd & 3rd Lamb

Loanhead 108 birds; 1st Cherrie 2nd Anderson 3rd Murray

Rosewell 40 birds; 1st Mackie 2nd & 3rd G Tytler

Peebles 23 birds;

Traprain 236 birds; 1st Bosworth 2nd & 3nd Newcombe & Black

New Lothian 38 birds;



From the Wakefield old bird flown on Sunday 3rd June 52 lofts entered 1139 birds. The first 2 places go to the Woodburn partnership of Brown & Black with press officer Andy Miller of Sighthill in 3rd 4th 10th & 11th with his 2nd pigeon winning a pound short of £370. D & J Allen of the same Woodburn club are 5th with A Lawson of Arniston in 6th place. S Gilchrist of Edinburgh Premier takes the next 2 places with Ronnie S Bremner of Sighthill in 9th spot.


Good SNFC Birds

George Briggs of Dundee has a blue cock SU14DF 3360 who has won 4 times in the national; as a yearling he won 244th open from Eastbourne flying a distance of 419 miles but no section diploma. The following year 2016 he won from Ypres being 155th open again no section prize. In 2017 he won twice being 28th section C 85th open Buckingham a distance of 320 miles then he was entered into the Ypres race a distance of 459 miles and he won 32nd section C 119th open.

While looking for birds to highlight in this feature I noticed E Warwick of Brydekirk who has a chequer pied hen SU13 2087 that has won 4 times in the national in 2016 she won 356th open from Littlehampton a distance of 313 miles that same year she was sent to Roye a distance of 447 miles and she won 3rd section A 25th open. Then in 2017 she was entered into the Buckingham race a distance of 303 miles and she won 29th section 136th open she was then entered into the last old bird race from Falaise a distance of 449 miles and she won 61st open but no section prize. While studding the2018 Buckingham race last weekend I noticed that 2087 again made the open result winning 262nd open and now gains her 5 diploma.

Staying in the south section we come to the loft of Jim Ferguson of Eastriggs who has a blue cock SU13S 5965 that won twice in the past 2 years. In 2016 he won 144th open from Buckingham a distance of 224 miles, and then he went to Littlehampton a distance of 309 miles and won 13th section A 76th open.  In 2017 he was again sent to Buckingham and won 6th section A 93rd open and a few weeks later was sent to Bedhampton a distance of 299 miles and won 16th section A 64th open I’ve had a quick look to see if he was on the 2018 Buckingham result but did not see him.

We now move to the North section to the loft of Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead who have a chequer hen SU14NE 6030 that has won 3 times these past couple of years. In 2016 she was 4th section G from Littlehampton a distance of 466 miles she then went to Roye national and won 7th section G flying 570 miles. Then in 2017 she won 3rd section G 82nd open from Ypres a distance of 498 miles, so won to watch out for during the season.

Joe’s Joke

Glasgow man is in court, and after an 8 hour trial he pleads guilty. The Judge said, why didn't you plead guilty in the first place and save the court all this time. Then he replies, well I thought I was innocent until I heard all the evidence.


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