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Reports by Joe Murphy

Received word from my mate Guy Reed who informed me that on the British Barcelona Club Messac race report where 95 members sent 2360 birds, the Section H winner contained bloodlines bred by yours truly. The winner was Kevin Johnstone from Jersey who timed a dark chequer cock which was gifted to him by Nigel Legg of Guernsey. This cock had to be broken to its new loft and is bred out of a son of Jim and Ann Donaldson’s National winner ‘Doonan’ and a Kevin Murphy hen again from Jim Donaldson's bloodlines, this time ‘Rennes Lass’ blood. Kevin Johnstone has dedicated his section win to his good friend, the late Laurence Le Ruez to whose lofts he now flies to. Well done Kevin and good to see that our bloodlines are winning for other fanciers.

Auction Sales

Received an email from Trevor Jenkin of Penzance in Cornwall who wrote: ‘Hi Joe, I have just read your notes 15/5/14 on Elimar regarding young birds given to sales and I agree with you 100% the importance of a detailed pedigree being given with the bird. I have always ensured that any young bird I have presented to a sale has a pedigree; I think we owe it to the breeder of the family that the young bird originates from. It does annoy me when people who purchase these young birds don't bother to transfer them, and in some instances will even race them without transferring them, breaking all union rules. I also think that when given to a breeder/buyer sale the breeder should be sent a copy of the Hotspot races and the final race results! So here is something for the organisers of these events to think about? Thanks for your column Joe, it is brilliant and I always look forward to it. Good luck to you and Kevin in the Scottish Nationals this year and I hope you have a great season: all the best, yours Trevor Jenkin’. My thanks to Trevor for his email and to the other fanciers who contacted me regarding the above selling issues. This also proves that this is an ongoing concern amongst fanciers and maybe organisers need to take this on board.  

Hernicourt Visit

Received an email from John Tyerman who wrote: ‘Hi Joe, as you know, we went over to see John and Lou McGee in Hernicourt in France last weekend and we took Ian Crammond with us. On the Saturday afternoon we caught the PO ferry from Dover to Calais - and to say it was very rough would be an understatement! With a south west gale force 8 wind all ferries were delayed and it was certainly not channel pigeon flying weather in that horrendous wind. We stayed in the Abbey de Belval which is only a few minutes from John and Lou's home at Hernicourt - very nice rooms and the Abbey is set in some lovely grounds and you would like it and I am told there are still 3 Nuns living there. John was racing the Barcelona team from Blois around 200 miles, but due to the adverse weather and very high winds on the Sunday the birds were brought back to 70 miles. They came well and I am sending you some photos taken by Lou.

Ian Crammond, Linda Tyerman, Sophie Lou and John Tyerman.

John Tyerman holding his Barcelona winner

Photo 1 is my blue chequer hen that won the 2013 Barcelona Challenge flying 625 miles - she was also well placed in the International result from 25,382 pigeons. Her sire is my old 'Barcelona Cock', who won 7th then 4th BICC Barcelona International from 661 miles and he also won 15th BICC Perpignan. The dam of the winner is 'Brackbay Lady' who has achieved numerous positions including 35th BICC Perpignan, 114th open BICC Pau and 7th BICC St Vincent International in 2013. 

John Tyerman's cheq hen - see text

Photo 2 is of my red hen - a granddaughter of 'Rainbow Lady' and she has now flown Barcelona 4 times. She is also a sister to the red cock 'Brackbay Barcelona' that won the 2011 Barcelona Challenge - sadly he went down last year.

John Tyerman's red hen - see text

Photo 3 is Guy Reed's De Weerd hen and she has been coming well this year, a nice hen in the hand and I think she could do well this year at Barcelona. 

Guy Reed's dark chequer hen - see text

Photo 4 is of your blue cock that was 9th Narbonne 500 miles and won 15th bird to the loft and was 5.691 open Barcelona International from 25.382 birds last year. He is a nice handling pigeon and I would expect him to do well again this year. (This cock is a full brother to Little Rachel winner of 4th open SNFC Alencon in 2013 and is also related to our 19th open SNFC Clermont in 2013.

Joe Murphy's blue cock - see text

The McGee French young bird Derby one-loft-race has been well supported this year and they have around 475 entries from the UK, Ireland, Trinidad, France and Belgium. John has them all going out at different times and as usual the lofts were spotlessly clean with the young birds in superb condition.  It is such a lovely loft location with stunning views over the Ternoise Valley. There is some very good prize money on offer this year and I hope all goes well with the training and racing and the build-up to the main event. They will be raced in John's local club who fly with the Nord Pas de Calais Federation. Ian Crammond has quite a few youngsters in the French YB Derby team and 2 years ago he lifted over £12k in prize money. Also like you, we both still have a number of experienced birds in the Barcelona International race team so hope they do well this year. John has the main Barcelona team in fine order and he is thinking of sending some of the hens to the international race on 4 day old babies.

We had nice meal with John and Lou on the Sunday and a good chat about pigeons and their life in France - they have been there 7 years now. Sophie their daughter is now 6 and doing very well at school - she speaks French like the locals so John has her translating for him on pigeon matters! We left Hernicourt on the Monday to stay in a little Auberge near Montreul sur Mer and on Tuesday we spent time at a local French market followed by lunch at Le Touquet before getting a late ferry home. Now back to scraping out and training race birds. This weekend the BICC National were at Alencon with a record entry of 6590 birds. We got them away  at 7am and overall it seems to have been a very good race, with birds timed all over the country and our longest flyer John Rumney at HoughtonLe-Spring flying 449 miles and clocking just after 5 pm on the day. (I noticed he was 54th open in the result and this outstanding performance as the wind was against this pigeon so well done Mr Rumney -Joe M)  I had two of yours in the race and one has come home with wing feathers missing so I suspect a peregrine strike  - got 19 out of 20 of my entries home on the day so well pleased. Hope you are both well and speak to you soon yours John’.


Margaret and I travelled up to Kevin’s for the Ripon race where the convoy were released at 07.00am. We arrived at 10.00 with no birds home at this time. It was a cold ‘dreich’ day and we all had coats on while watching the sky. I nicked into the kitchen for a minute and heard Margaret shout ‘Joe. here’s a bird’. I ran out just in time to see a red chequer go through the traps. The birds were well spread out and came from the north and north east and it was a funny sort of day. We had 3 birds circling the loft and they would not come down (which is unusual for Kevin’s pigeons) then another joined them and the 4 of them landed on the house roof next door and would you believe it NONE of them were Kevin’s pigeons. They sat for a while and I remarked to Kevin and Margaret, ‘These birds are dehydrated/disoriented or your convoy has clashed as these birds don’t have a clue where they are’. We left at 2pm to come home as I had something on in the afternoon and Kevin only had ½ of his entries home. He was still 8 missing when I phoned him at night and one of these was his 19th open SNFC Clermont winner at 540 miles. Thankfully she turned up the next morning but he was 2 missing from this race. I have spoken to a number of fanciers over the past week and some people had a similar type of race. In fact on the Sunday I received a phone call from a lad in Ireland reporting a Scottish pigeon that had been racing the day before. I have also heard that Lanarkshire had a bad race with many pigeons missing.   

Angus Federation held their 4th old bird race from Ripon on 17th May with 40 members sending 868 birds to the race liberated at 07.00 hours into a south west wind. Topping the federation and east section is Carlie Cameron of Arbroath with a velocity of 1472. Second and 3rd federation 1st 2nd & 9th west section is David Liddle of Forfar with Carlie Cameron with another 3 birds in 4th 5th & 10th federation and he wins the first 4 positions in the east section as well as 7th place well done Charlie. Davie Glen of Forfar is 6th federation and 3rd west section with club mate Bob Baldie taking the next 2 places as well as 10th west section and he is 7th & 8th federation. Macaulay & Ferguson & Curran of Forfar club are 6th west section and 9th federation. Ian Scott of Forfar is 7th & 8th west section. Kevin J Murphy of Arbroath is 5th east section with M Wallace & son of Montrose in 6th place. Bill Dorward of Arbroath is 8th east section with G McKenzie of Inchcape in 9th section place followed by W MacKnight of Montrose in 10th position.  

Club winners:

Charlie Cameron wins Arbroath: D J Liddle wins Forfar: D & D Hay wins Gourdon:  D Anderson & son win Letham: M Wallace & son win Montrose and G McKenzie wins Inchcape. Points League: D J Liddle 71 points and D Glen 65 points.  

Arbroath RPC news from Kevin who informs me that 5 members send 128 birds to Ripon and taking the first 3 places is Charlie Cameron with his winning bird a blue cock. Sire bred by Jos Claes and is a full brother of Jos his good racing cock the dam is a black Rik Cools stock bird. The 2nd bird is a blue cock whose sire is Jos winner of 1st and 2nd section C with the SNFC, his dam is a hen on loan from Charlie’s son Glen who lives in Aberdeen. The 3rd bird is a dark chequer hen bred from a pair of Ferdinand Malfait stock birds.

Forfar RPC news from Gavin Ferguson who wrote: ‘Hi Joe, result for Ripon race we had 13 members sending 366 birds. Taking the 1st and 2nd places is David J Liddle with the winner on 1459.7 this was a yearling widow-hood cock bred from the Old Liddle bloodlines crossed Starview Busschaerts. The 2nd bird on 1458.9 was another yearling widow-hood cock, bred from the Old Liddle bloodlines crossed Ian Gilmour from Leven, this cock was 9th federation last week. 3rd place is Dave Glen on 1456.9 with his Ypres National cock Dave’s Dream who is flown on widow-hood and who was well fancied to pick up the lion’s share of the 2 bird nomination money. Returns ended up really good overall as the birds were piling in for the first 30 minutes then they seemed to dry up, with birds still returning home after 18.00 hours in the evening, thanks again yours Gavin’.


News from Mark Finlay who writes: Hi Joe, on the weekend of 10th/11th May 2014 due to the poor weather conditions over the whole weekend there was no racing into Ayrshire. On Saturday 17th May 2014 Ayrshire Federation liberated 1953 birds at 07.30am into a light south west wind from Appleby. With only 3 races in and topping the Federation for the second time this season is Andy Barbour he timed a yearling blue bar cock on a velocity of 1428. This Rietvink/Janssen x Koopman cock bred by Andy both his sire and dam are from Galaxy Lofts. He was sent to 3 races as a young bird and is now flown on the roundabout system. This yearling was 10th club at our first race Dumfries then sent to Carlisle but never returned till the Monday. With no racing last week this cock was trained prior to going to Appleby, congratulations to Andy Barbour of Dalry HS for another fantastic performance. 2nd federation goes to the present Ayrshire Federation Champion Derek McKinlay also of Dalry HS. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Derek at his lofts and it comes as no surprise to me why he has started the season so well, timing his good 2 year old for a velocity of 1426. In 3rd fed on 1422 with a 2 year old is Grant Blair of New Cumnock HS. It is good to see both North and South federation clubs in the top 3 positions. Most of the information received to compile this result is taken from the Ayrshire Federation Website. On the site the full result can be seen and all club results too. Thanks to our ever efficient secretary Jim Savage who designed and built the site we have one of the most comprehensive and informative pigeon websites in the UK keeping members up to speed with all Ayrshire news and events. With an online auction for our annual late-bred sale and our very own members forum that keeps the banter flowing. You can visit the site on

Cunningham 3 bird Championship Club had 16 members sent to Appleby on Saturday 17th May with a 07.30 am liberation into a light south west wind. Congratulations goes to Jim & Sandra O’Hare from Ardeer HS who timed a 2 year old Staff Van Reet, please find attached a picture of this week’s winner Sandra's Boy. Jim informs me that this blue pied cock has always been a favourite of Sandra's, so looks like all the extra ‘tender loving care’ he gets is paying off. This good cock scoops the accumulator pool so well done guys. In 2nd place are Jim Howie and Son of Clyde Coast HS with the same good blue cock that was 2nd from Carlisle. Third place goes to Ardeer club’s Jim Stirrat with a 2 year old Grizzle cock that’s it for another week many thanks and all the best Mark’.

Almond Valley Federation

Balerno HS news from Colin Bain who has had problems with the internet so wrote a letter saying ‘Hi Joe we had 7 members sending to Thirsk with an 08-00 liberation into a south east wind. 1st 2nd & 3rd going to Colin Bain the winner is a 2 year chequer pied cock feeding a 7 day old young bird he is from Robert Cormack bloodlines he was doing 1420 velocity.  His 2nd club was a 2 year old grizzle cock sent on the drive he also is a Robert Cormack blood (it gives me great pleasure when I get these birds home Joe) The 3rd bird was a blue pied yearling Staff Van Reet cock sitting 10 days on eggs.  

Central Federation

Broxburn & Uphall Pigeon Club result from Bernie Britton who writes ‘Hi Joe, here is this week’s result from Ripon 2 we had 7 members sending 341 birds liberated at 06-35 into a south west wind. John McNeill takes the first 3 in the club and all 3 birds are yearling cocks bred from the stock loft and were flying on roundabout. The winner is a blue bar whose sire is a grandson of Sanny’s Memory and his dam is a daughter of J Kings Gold Award winner Maggie. The 2nd bird is also a blue bar his sire is a grandson of Sanny’s Memory while the dam is a daughter of Sanny’s Memory. The 3rd bird is a blue chequer cock sire a son of Sanny’s Memory who is sire of 2nd open SNFC Reims; his dam bred the 2nd open SNFC Messac winner. Keep up the good work mate yours Bernie’.

East of Scotland

News from Tom McEwen who tells me that they were at Wakefield on 17th May liberated at 06-30 am into a light south west wind. Topping the federation with an outstanding performance is George Veitch of East Saltoun with a yearling mealy cock from Wilf Flockhart bloodlines he was doing 1485. Another good result for Davidson partners of Gladsmuir finishing in 2nd place with Tom Waddell of Prestonpans there again with a nice double in 3rd & 7th federation positions. Brian Lavery of Prestonpans is their again finishing in 4th & 9th spots. ‘Spider’ Rowley of Gladsmuir is well to the fore in 5th federation with Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone coming in at 8th fed and Ian Imrie of Humbie completing the top ten positions.

Prestonpans club is won by Tom Waddell with a yearling chequer cock on 1479 he is bred by James Mark of Tranent. Brain Lavery is 2nd with a yearling chequer hen bred by club mate Tom McEwen of Elphinstone. Third is Bobby Dickson with a yearling chequer hen also from Tom McEwen bloodlines. That’s it for another week Joe the nationals will soon be with us cheers for now Tom’. 

Fife Federation

No federation result so far this week. 

Dunfermline RPC news from Walker Kennedy who writes, ‘The fed decided to go back to Sedgefield for the bird’s sake with the race being cancelled last week due to bad weather. We had 10 members sending 171 birds and 1st place again this week is Alistair McInnes the (flying Sparkie) who has been flying well on a velocity of 1255. The winner was sitting eggs and this yearling cock is a Pouw  Janssen. In second place is John D Robertson with a velocity of 1184 it was bred by club mate Dan McNeely this same pigeon top the federation from Kelso this year well done John. In third place Dan McNeely himself with a velocity of 1178 Dan’s bird is bred from club mate Frank Mitchell bloodlines and it was a 3 year old hen.

Pentland Hills Federation

News from Andy Millar who informs me that the federation were at Wakefield for their old bird race flown on Saturday 17th May with 16 clubs sending 3121 birds these were liberated at 06-30 am into a light south west wind. This is a distance of between 163 to 175 miles to lofts within the area. Winning 1st New Lothian and 1st Federation is Steven Girdwood from Sighthill H.S. with his winning pigeon is a 3 year old cock raced on widowhood; he is a previous prize winner on a few occasions. Also 2 full brothers have won the federation for other fanciers. His sire and dam are Soontjens bred by Mick Betts from Scawsby near Doncaster. Club mate Andy Miller taking the next 4 places. W Andress & son of New Lothian are 6th with another Sighthill member Ronnie Bremner in 7th spot. A Lawson of Newtongrange is 8th with J & T Young of Danderhall in 9th place and A Young of the same club is 10th place. Returns overall were good with most fanciers reporting only the odd bird missing.

Club Winners:

Woodburn 250 birds; 1st Brown & Black 1489 Lapinski 1467 W. Pryde & Son 1454

Danderhall 416 birds; 1st J & T Young 1498 A. Young 1497.9 A. Young 1497.7

Gilmerton 262 birds; 1st Bennett 1484.5 Linton 1484 Linton 1406

Sighthill 256 birds; 1st Girdwood 1565 Miller 1563 Miller 1562

Newtongrange 73 birds; 1st Lawson 1499 Lawson 1476 Lawson 1379

Castlebrae 135 birds; 1st A. Mitchell 1486 Willis 1473 Willis 1470

Whitecraigs 153 birds; 1st Aitken 1459 Stewart 1429 Aitken 1428

Bonnyrigg 177 birds; 1st J. Dewar 1469 Murphy 1399 Gray 1393

Edinburgh Premier 244 birds; 1st Gilchrist 1460 Gilchrist 1457 Gilchrist 1420

Loanhead 240 birds; 1st Anderson 1445 Morrison 1426 Anderson 1423

Edinburgh West 161 birds; 1st I. Bennett 1466 I. Bennett 1461 I. Bennett 1458

Penicuik 142 birds; 1st Watt 1357 Watt 1322 Stark 1261

Peebles 84 birds; 1st Hannah 1226 Hannah 1225 Hannah 1184

Edinburgh Central 35

New Lothian 73

Traprain 446 birds: 1st Johnstone 1511 Bosworth 1463 Mack 1460 (No result from this club this week JM)

New Lothian RPC had 70 lofts sending 1981 birds the convoy were liberated at 06-30am into a south west wind. The winner was Steve Girdwood of Sighthill with club mate Andy Miller taking the next 4 places. W Andress & son of New Lothian are 6th with another Sighthill member Ronnie Bremner in 7th spot. A Lawson of Newtongrange is 8th with J & T Young of Danderhall in 9th place and A Young of the same club is 10th & 11th.

West Lothian

Fauldhouse news from Daniel who writes ‘Hi Joe, for our 4th race of the season we were at Charnock Richards where 22 members sent 349 birds on Saturday 10th May. After a delay owing to bad weather at the home end then word came through that the convoy had been liberated at 11-30 into a south west wind with estimated time of arrival of around 3½ hours for the 160 miles what was to follow was nothing short of horrendous racing for the 22 members and their birds The leading birds were bang on time covering the journey just under the estimated time, as we approached the four hour mark they just stopped and I mean stopped coming with no returns. Saturday evening and all day Sunday was the same story with members waiting but no birds homing? Monday was no better just the odd bird making it home , it is now over a week since the race and out of the 349 birds entered 2/3rd are still missing. The only birds that are coming home are in a box via courier from the Bristol and Cheshire areas my own loft still awaits 20 and 3 of these birds won a 1st 2nd & 3rd in last year’s races. However there are always winners and the Stoneyburn loft Ronnie Smillie took 1st & 2nd on1350 and1349 his winner was a yearling roundabout cock bred via John McNeil of Broxburn stock. His 2nd bird was another roundabout 3 year old from J Gillion of New Stevenson. The 3rd club winner goes to J McLaughlan with a velocity of 1343 with a yearling cock flying to a 5 day youngster he is a Van Ness given to John from Jim Barron’s of Seafield. Nobody else wanted to talk pigeons Joe so that is it for this week, cheers and thanks for the coverage yours Daniel’.

Dalzell FC

No news from Joe Boyle this week.

Joe’s Joke

While walking down the street one day a Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. 'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.' 'No problem, just let me in,' says the man. 'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.' 'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP. 'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.' And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.  Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.... The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. 'Now it's time to visit heaven.'  So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. 'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.' The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ‘I don't understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?’ The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'yesterday we were campaigning'... "Today you voted".


Jack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. So they loaded up Jack's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. So they pulled into a nearby farm with a very lavish home and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night. 'I realize it’s terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed,' she explained. 'I'm afraid the neighbours will talk if I let you stay in my house.' 'Don't worry,' Jack said. 'We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light.' The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of skiing. But about nine months later, Jack got an unexpected letter from an attorney. It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the ski weekend... He dropped in on his friend Bob and asked, "Bob, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north about 9 months ago?" "Yes, I do." said Bob "Did you, err, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit?" "Well, um, yes!" Bob said, a little embarrassed about being found out, I have to admit that I did." "And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name?" Bob's face turned beet red and he said, "Yeah, look, I'm sorry, buddy... I'm afraid I did.' 'Why do you ask?" "She just died and left me everything."

(And you thought the ending would be different, didn't you? You know you keep that smile for the rest of the day)

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.

© Compiled by Joe Murphy