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Joe Murphy Column 12-04-18

The Joe Murphy Column

Received an email from Stephen Barbour from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire who wrote; Dear Joe, I'm mailing you regarding one of the greatest pigeon man I have ever met (in my opinion) his name is Ian Chalmers of Falkland in Fife. Ian has been going through a bit of a bad spell health wise lately but is gradually starting to feel a bit better. This gentleman of the sport has helped me over the years especially when I started back again after an 8 year break with the birds. Even though Ian never knew me he sent through to Ayrshire some of the best bird from his loft. This came about through my butcher father in law mentioning to the bone collector that his (son) was starting up in the pigeons; so after one conversation and another and Ian's brother in law and fancy pigeon fancier Ronnie Bissett. A training pannier of 15 birds was sent to me by Ian Chalmers; on losing one bird I obtained Ian's number off a name and address ring from another bird. This was when Ian realised he had sent birds through to a 30 year old man and not a ‘wee laddie’. That phone call has led to a long-time friendship between us and the advice and knowledge given to me during this time has been invaluable. I have taken trips through to Falkland with my young family and the hospitality we received has been second to none. Ian's wife Madge has been invaluable these past months caring for the birds as Ian has had a bit of bother tending to them; as has fellow Falkland fancier Roy (sorry don't have his surname). As you know Joe, Ian can fly a good bird especially from over the channel. However, the mark of this pigeon man to me is his generosity with both birds and knowledge which is much appreciated. I no longer have pigeons due to chronic pigeon fancier’s lung but always get my BHW and always enjoy reading your articles and feel I know the Fife fanciers in your column as Ian speaks very highly of these fanciers.  As you know Joe Ian is a quiet man who never boasts about past wins or triumphs... but no better a pigeon man have I ever come into contact with as he is a true ambassador of our sport. I know Ian doesn't like the limelight but if you could find a small space in one of your article I think it would be a great tonic and it would let him know how much I have appreciated his help over the years. I have enclosed a photograph of left to right Michael (Ian's cousin) Ian Chalmers, Bob Reeves snr and Alec Sharpe. Thanking you in anticipation of printing my request, keep up the good work in highlighting Scottish pigeons and fanciers in your column; yours Stephen Barbour’.

FCI Grand Prix - MIRA One Loft Race 2018 - Portugal

Every year the Portuguese Racing Pigeon Federation stage the International Racing Pigeon Championships - MIRA One Loft Race, this was first held in Portomar - Mira since 1997. They receive around 2000 youngsters from pigeon fanciers from all around the world to take part in the various international championships. Many pigeon fanciers participate year after year for more than 20 years. This year, MIRA One Loft Race 2018 will host also the European Championship. We are pleased to inform you that the final race will take place on 1st September 2018 and the date of the reception of the pigeons will be between 1st April and 15th May 2018. The rules of the FCI Grand Prix MIRA 2018 and further information can be found at or in (

If anyone needs help to send pigeons to MIRA 2018-Portugal, you can contact the Royal Pigeon Racing Association: commencing 16th April and by the morning of the 18th April you can deliver the pigeons to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.


The RPRA can only accommodate about 40 pigeons;

The RPRA will charge about £15 each for the vet check and transport for two pigeons; for more information contact Karen James Royal Pigeon Racing Association Redding’s House The Redding’s Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL51 6RL  Mobile phone:07803 420699 Direct 01452 858246 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Bo’ness Breeder Buyer Sale

Will take place at Bo'ness HS club house EH51 0JU on Saturday 14th April with viewing from 2pm and the sale starts at 3pm. This sale is open to any fancier throughout the UK and will be judged by independent panel on the birds performances over a full young bird race programme. If any fancier would like to enter a bird please contact me Martin on 07413405163. The prize money will be £500 for breeder and £500 for buyer; with opening bids starting at £25.

Good SNFC Birds

This week I start of at the loft of W Smart of Allenton in Lanarkshire whose blue bar cock SU15L 2558 scored twice in 2017 winning 81st section E from Buckingham a distance of 286 miles. He then went to the Bedhampton race a distance of 361 miles and he won 6th section E 84th open. Moving into the North West federation we come to the husband and wife partnership of Mary and Tom Paterson of Plean. Their chequer cock SU15NW 2446 won 26th section D 213th open from Littlehampton a distance of 389 miles in 2016. Then last year he was sent to Bedhampton a distance of 379 miles back to his loft and he won 85th section D but did not win an open certificate. We move onto the Kingdom of Fife to SNFC winner Jocky Scott of Kennoway whose yearling cock SU16F 1749 won twice in 2017. He won 11th section C 28th open from Bedhampton a distance of 380 miles he was then set up for the channel and competed from the Ypres race a distance of 444 miles back to his loft in Kennoway and he won 12th section C 30th open so two excellent triumphs to be in the top 30 in 2 national races in the same season. We now travel over the River Tay to the Angus loft of Mike MacPherson of Letham (which is north of Arbroath) who also has a yearling that won twice in 2017. This chequer pied hen SU16AF 2457 flew the same to race points as Jock’s bird mentioned above. Going to Bedhampton first flying 406 miles and she won 77th section C 292nd open; she then went to Ypres a distance of 462 miles and won 44th section C 159th open proving she also is a quality pigeon. I now move to the South section to the loft of Scott Irving junior of Annan whose black pied hen GB16V 13480 also won twice in 2017. She won 27th section A 134th open from Bedhampton flying 301 miles, she was then sent to the last old bird race from Falaise and won 8th section A 11th open being Scott’s 4th bird to his loft his first 3 birds actually won 1st 2nd & 3rd open flying 446 miles; a truly outstanding achievement.


This week’s Photos


I have received quite a few phone calls regarding the eyes of some of my birds and how I took these pictures. So, to Morris here is a special eye to let you see!!! As a matter of fact, her mother won at 721 miles. I have added 2 half-brother’s who have also bred 500 mile winners for us; thanks to the people who phoned it was nice to have a chat with you all. I will be covering the race results soon and my Space Weather feature on a weekly basis.

No. 1 Hen


Brother 1                                                                                           Brother 2


Joe’s Joke

A Shaggy Dog Story

As a butcher is shooing a dog from his shop, he sees £10 and a note in his mouth, reading, "8 lamb chops, please." Amazed, he takes the money, puts a bag of chops in the dog's mouth and quickly closes the shop. He follows the dog and watches him wait for a green light, look both ways and trot across the road to a bus-stop.

The dog checks the timetable and sits on the bench. When a bus arrives, he walks around to the front, looks at the number, and then boards the bus. The butcher follows, dumbstruck.  As the bus travels out into the suburbs, the dog takes in the scenery. After a while he stands on his back paws, pushes the "stop" bell and gets off. The butcher follows. The dog runs up to a house, drops his bag on the steps and barks repeatedly. No answer. He goes back down the path, takes a big run and throws himself against the door. He does this over and over. No answer.

So he jumps on a wall, walks around the garden, barks repeatedly at a window, jumps off, and waits at the front door. Eventually, a small guy opens it and starts cursing and shouting at the dog. The butcher runs up screaming at the guy: "What the hell are you doing?  Stop screaming at the dog.... he’s a genius!" The owner responds, "Genius, like hell.  It's the second time this week he's forgotten his key!"


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

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