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Reports by Joe Murphy

Dave Farr and Alasdair Muir

The birds are about through the moult now with only the odd late bred having one or two flights to renew and I could not be happier with my birds as they handle and are indeed a delight to look at. I cannot wait until pairing up time comes, however I’m going over my pairings in my head and on paper at the moment and no matter how many times you write these down it is not until you have each bird in your hand that you really know the mate for it. I normally have about 2 or 3 cocks for each hen as I know that I will change my mind a hundred times before they are put together in the nest box. I normally spend a few weeks putting individual birds in show pens in the kitchen and then adding various mates into the next pen until I’m nearly 100% certain that this is a pair. However I have to add that even after all this work and effort you can put a pair in the nest box and they don’t like each other and will not pair up. So it is up to the birds in the end but if you can help them along the way then we are adding our contribution.

I’m a great believer in the ‘pedigree’ of each bird and I study these at every opportunity I can and this is one of my main objectives when selecting my pairings. It is very interesting to follow a line or family that has achieved well over the years be this through ‘inbreeding’ or ‘line breeding’. This is not down to luck but the ‘skill’ of the individual fancier and some people are ‘gifted’ with this talent while others no matter how hard they try cannot breed a family of pigeons. I know that a ‘cross’ of two families can result in excellent ‘racing’ pigeons but it is what you do to continue creating winners this is the ‘skill’ of a good pigeon fancier.  

I met many good pigeon men at Epsom and this week and have included some photographs of our trip. The first picture is of a household name in the sport, Harold Hamplett of Stafford along with his grandson William and their friend Steve Stupka with me. The second picture is of Dave Farr in conversation with Alasdair Muir and the next photograph is of Kevin Murphy and John Tyerman holding a couple of lovely hens from Alasdair’s loft. You can also see Alasdair’s main old bird loft in the background and even on this November day it was 28 degrees in his loft. The last picture is of Alasdair’s hens and as you can see, they were in excellent condition.   

Alasdair Muir's hens

Kevin Murphy and John Tyerman

Harold Hamplett, Joe Murphy, Harold's grandson William and Steve Stupka.

Good SNFC Birds

This week I highlight 3 birds flown by Jock & Isabel Alston of Ravenstruther in Lanarkshire, starting with their good blue cock Renstrie Reward winner of the SHU DEWAR TROPHY for bird of the year in 2013 and he also won a SNFC SILVER AWARD at the recent national presentation. His achievements are as follows: in 2013 he won 81st section E from Newbury flying 313 miles then was then entered into the Gold Cup race from Alencon and won 4th section E 26th open flying 516 miles. He was then doubled back into the last national of the year from Clermont and he was right to the fore winning 1st section E 2nd open flying 508 miles. A worthy winner of the Bird of the Year award. This year he was sent to Alencon and won 7th section E and 37th open national, winning his silver award for 3 section prizes.   

Their second pigeon is a blue hen bred in 2010 and she won 8th section E 28th open Marlborough in 2011 a distance of 306 miles. She was then entered into the Ypres race and won 92nd section prize flying 432 miles. Last year 2013 she won 89th section E from the inland national from Newbury a distance of 313 miles. 

Their 3rd pigeon highlighted is a red hen again bred in 2010. She won 11th section E from Clermont 508 miles in 2012 then the following year she won 7th section E 30th open Alencon 526 miles before going back to Clermont a distance of 508 miles where she won 147th open but no section prize.

I think you will agree, 3 quality pigeons that deserve some recognition for their efforts. 

Midlothian Federation Show

News from Brian Massey who wrote: ‘The above federation held their new annual show on Saturday 8th November with a very good turnout of fanciers and friends the full result is as follows:
Class 1 flown Old Cock judged by G Ferguson 1st 3nd & 4th E & N Yule 3rd John McCord.
Class 2 flown Old Hen judged by T Davidson 1st & 4th Mackie & Knox 2nd Todhunter & Ismay, 3rd W Massey & Son.
Class 3 Old Cock Handling judged by E Galloway 1st & 2nd E & N Yule 3rd W Massey & Son 4th C & C Winter
Class 4 Old Hen Handling judged by J Hannah 1st 2nd & 4th E & N Yule 3rd W Massey & Son.

Class 5 Old Cock Thru Wires judged by M Mathieson 1st Cunningham & Ness 2nd John McCord 3rd & 4th C & C Winter
Class 6 Old Hen Thru Wires judged by A Suckle 1st John McCord 2nd Todhunter and Ismay, 3rd J & A Bell 4th E & N Yule
Class 7 Midlothian federation Hens judged by J Hannah 1st & 3rd Mackie and Knox 2nd  D White 4th S Levett
Class 8 Flown Young Cock judged by E Galloway 1st E & N Yule 2nd & 4th Mackie & Knox 3rd Todhunter & Ismay
Class 9 Flown Young Hen judged by G Ferguson 1st John McCord 2nd & 4th E & N Yule 3rd W Massey & Son
Class 10 Young Cock Handling judged by M Mathieson 1st E & N Yule 2nd Todhunter & Ismay 3rd J Hughes 4th M Bennett
Class 11 Young Hen Handling judged by I Rowley 1st C & C Winter 2nd J & A Bell 3rd & 4th E & N Yule
Class 12 Young Cock Thru Wires judged by I Rowley 1st & 3rd C & C Winter 2nd  John McCord 4th Ian Bennett
Class 13 Young Hen Thru Wires 1st E & N Yule 2nd J & A Bell 3rd John McCord 4th B Massey
Class 14. Midlothian federation cocks 1st S Levett 2nd G Cairns & son 3rd C & C Winter 4th W Massey & Son
Best in show won by Mackie and Knox with the reserve Best in show and Champion young bird going to John McCord. Well done everyone who won prizes and I would like to thank everyone who turned up for the event and a special THANK YOU to our sponsors who donated from BIS £20 to young birds for winners, Joe please find photograph of best in show winner. - yours Brian Massey.’

Dundee Show

Douglas Racing Pigeon Club are holding a show in the Black Watch Club in Arthurstone Terrace Dundee on 6th December with judging starting at 11am prompt. Judges for the day are Dave Pirie of Aberdeen, Dave McDougall of Peterhead, Jim Doig of Cardenden and Matthew Boyle of Midlands Federation. There will be a breeder/buyer sale and unfortunately all pens are already booked up but it should be a good day for a day out.

Get Well Soon

Jake Brown informed me that Ann Murray the wife of Frank (who flies in the Douglas club and is on the SNFC management committee) has been taken back into hospital after her 2nd heart attack. I believe she has had stents put in and we wish Ann a speedy recovery. Talking from my own experience if she takes everything at a slower pace she will recover well. It is when you hurry or get harassed that you have problems.


Jock Wallace from Edinburgh a former Sighthill member passed away on Monday 11th of November after a long battle with cancer.  Jock, who hailed from California near Falkirk, moved to Edinburgh in the early 1970s and flew his pigeons all his life at various locations in the west of Edinburgh up until he retired and moved to Blackpool in 2000. He was a real character and a close family friend of Andy Millar the Pentland Hills press officer. We send our condolences to Liz and the kids and his extended family in the North West Federation area at their sad loss.

Joe’s Jokes

During one of her daily classes, a teacher trying to teach good manners asked her students the following question: 'Michael, if you were on a date having dinner with a nice young lady, how would you tell her you have to go to the bathroom?'

Michael said: 'Excuse me, I need to pee.' The teacher responded: 'That would be quite impolite. What about you Sherman, how would you say it?' Sherman said: 'I am sorry, but I really need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back.' 'That's better, but it's still not very nice to say the word bathroom at the dinner table. And you, little Johnny, can you use your brain for once and show us your good manners?' Johnny said: 'I would say "Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, whom I hope to introduce you to after dinner.' The teacher fainted.

and another... 

A woman arrived at the gates of Heaven and while she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the gates and saw a beautiful banquet table. Sitting all around were her parents and all the other people she had loved and who had died before her. They saw her and began calling greetings to her. "Hello - How are you! We've been waiting for you and it is so good to see you."

When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him, "This is such a wonderful place, how do I get in?" "You have to spell a word," Saint Peter told her. "Which word?" the woman asked. "Love" he said and the woman correctly spelled 'Love', and Saint Peter welcomed her into Heaven.
About a year later, Saint Peter came to the woman and asked her to watch the gates of Heaven for him that day. While the woman was guarding the gates of Heaven, her husband arrived. ‘I'm surprised to see you’ the woman said. "How have you been?" "Oh, I've been doing pretty well since you died," her husband told her. "I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill.  And then I won the Lottery and sold the little house you and I lived in and I bought a huge mansion and my new wife and I travelled all around the world. We were on vacation in Cancun and I went water skiing today and I fell and hit my head and here I am: what a bummer! How do I get in?" he asked. "You have to spell a word," the woman told him. "Which word?" her husband asked her, she replied "Czechoslovakia ..."

Moral of the story: Never make a woman angry or there will be Hell to pay later!

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 to my NEW EMAIL ADDRESS at; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE.