Established 1979 Company Number: 11693988 VAT Registration Number: 284 0522 13 +44 (0)1606 836036 +44 (0)7871 701585

J M25414



Reports by Joe Murphy

Sorry for no articles these past few weeks but Margaret and I took the opportunity to have 2 weeks in the sun so flew to the Costa del Sol and had a relaxing time. The weather was excellent and the day we were flying home it was 29 degrees and, trust me, it was sad to leave this lovely weather to come back to cold Scotland. This was hit home when we arrived at Edinburgh airport as it was 4 degrees and the wind would have cut you with a knife. This is the first time ever that we have had a holiday in the early part of the year as the birds are paired up and breeding at this time and I would never go on holiday. However a retired pigeon man said he would look after the birds for me and he did an excellent job and the birds were in excellent condition when I returned home. Kevin had come down and met up with him and took the youngsters that were ready to leave the nest and he is very pleased with them. Kevin has started short training his old birds for the new season and by the time this goes to print the birds will be getting ready for their first old bird race of the season. I will be adding club and federation results to the column as normal but must emphasise I will not accept a name and velocity for club results. So if you are interested in having your club receive some publicity then send me the details of your first 3 pigeons, also the race, the amount of birds competing and members sending. The more information you send the better the read. I require this for a Wednesday after each race and you can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send it by post the address is at the foot of the column. I will also be adding my weekly Space Weather to News in Brief as a number of fanciers like to know the information from these charts. The final word on this subject is to wish everyone who reads the column all the very best for the 2014 season and I hope your dreams are achieved with your pigeons. Kevin and I will be trying to improve on our national results from last year however we will just have to wait and see what’s ahead for us.

Hawk Deterrents

I had a number of messages on my answer machine when I came home regarding the above and I have phoned the people back who left messages. The beacon lights seem to be working going by the feedback so has Wise Owls project and I also received an email from Ian Raper whom I sent an Eagle Owl CD to. He wrote: ‘Hello Joe, just a quick line to thank you for the owl cd. I have been using for about two weeks and I have not had a sparrow hawk in the garden since, no attacks, so I hope I haven’t tempted fate! I have also purchased a beacon but have not installed it yet as the cd seems to be working. I really appreciate your help and advice, many many thanks yours in sport Ian Raper’.  

Fauldhouse Homing Club

Received an email from Daniel who wrote: ‘Hi Joe, some members within the above mentioned club recently held a quiz night at the Bentswood Inn as a get together prior to new season starting. This ended up being a very enjoyable and entertaining evening and would like to thank our fellow fanciers from the North West, Almond Valley and East of Scotland federations for their support, also a big thank you to our guest speakers for the evening namely Dave Elliot and John Hood who gave us an insight into how they started keeping and racing pigeons up to the present day. A great night out and I wish everyone all the best for the new season this includes you and Kevin good luck for the 2014 season your Daniel’.  

2013 Top Award Fanciers

News from Phil McGarvey who forwarded an email as follows: ‘Hi Joe, a wee note and a photo attached of Derek McKinlay of Dalry HS with club secretary Dorothy Cairns for your articles. Dalry Homing Society, held its pre-season meeting where Derek McKinlay picked up the principal club prizes for the 2103 season. Derek had a fantastic year in both club and federation where he finally broke his duck winning the coveted William Anderson Memorial Trophy (affectionately known in Ayrshire as "The Shield"), this after being runner up the last 2 seasons. Derek has over the last few years has built up a fine reputation as a top fancier, not only at club and federation but also at Scottish National level as well where he regularly features in open and section F SNFC results. Well done Derek, from all at Dalry Homing Society yours Phil McGarvey President’.

Derek and Dorothy

Derek Hay

While on about 2013 winners, my good friend Derek Hay of Kirkintilloch near Glasgow had an outstanding season and I have at long last managed to get him to send me some details and photographs of trophies won within Lanarkshire Social Circle, the Scottish National Flying Club and the Scottish Homing Union as well as a couple of pictures of his winning pigeons. Firstly let me inform you the readers that Derek Hay does not fly in a pigeon club or federation (as they will not let him in) and he has not competed weekly racing in his area since 2008. So nowadays he has to travel to have his birds trained but is happy that he can fly as a member of the Lanarkshire Social Circle which can boast 60 members from the very best distance fliers in the west of Scotland.

In 2013 Derek was top prize winner in this very prestigious club winning the William Young Cup, the  Morgan Memorial Cup, Friendship Cup,  News of The World Cup,  Archie Millar Cup, Young Bird Cup, Telfer Cup, Tennent Trophy, Andrew Deans Trophy and the Deans Family Memorial Trophy. He was also the only fancier from the 60 membership able to compete for the coveted Gold Cup after 4 gruelling SNFC races but sadly he failed to clock in the last old bird race. Derek’s SNFC year was exceptional winning 1st section E, 1st west Region on two occasions (in the west region it is very rare for any fancier to win 2 Regions in one year but more so especially with Derek’s geographical location, being one of the furthest flying members and lying in the north west of his section). These 1st region wins were from the longest old bird race and the young bird national, which shows a unquestionable skill in both old bird and young bird racing.

Derek Hay with trophies won in 2013

Derek also won a Scottish Homing Union trophy for his outstanding performance from Ancenis which is a distance of 605 miles to his loft. I may add, this pigeon won the region returning hawked with half her tail out and several primaries missing plus the fact she sat on a house roof half way down the street for a long time (he did not even know it was his hen) before she had the energy to eventually trap. Only 3 birds made it in race time into the west region which speaks volumes for this gallant hen as it does the other two. Derek has called his hen the WIMBLEDON HEN, as he was watching Andy Murray win Wimbledon on TV the day she homed from the race. The Wimbledon hen was bred by Derek’s good friend Eddie Harrison of Glasgow from pigeons gifted from Derek. The sire of Wimbledon is a brother to Derek’s SNFC Silver Award winner ‘SPIDER’ when mated with his aunt. Unfortunately ‘Spider’ was lost from a training race from Wetherby in 2013 in preparation for his attempt for a Gold Award (he had previously won 4 times in the SNFC).


Derek’s other west region winner is called MALKIE after Derek’s good friend Malcolm Taylor of Newbiggin by the Sea as he bred the sire of him. The dam was bred by another friend Bill Southward of Cumbria, and she was a terrific racer scoring twice in the SNFC for Derek. Malkie was again an outstanding winner as he was the furthest flying north west bird in the area and he was also flying into a north west wind and he won the region by over 30 yards per minute, a marvellous achievement. This young bird race is always difficult for the west section fanciers as it is generally dominated by the east and south section fanciers of Scotland but Derek managed to score with 5 of his entries which was exceptional. This takes Derek’s West Region wins to a total of 5 which includes 2 x 1st and 2 x 2nd in the two most prestigious races of the SNFC calendar, the Gold Cup and the longest old bird race. I have included photographs of Derek with the trophies won and one each of Wimbledon and Malkie. May I wish Derek all the very best for the new season and hope he adds to his impressive record in the SNFC.


Tony Rigby has lost a white cock Belge06 6012787. This was his granddaughter’s pigeon and she misses it, so if anyone gets him in can they give Tony a phone on 01429-261741.


Allan Bridges of West Lothian. I could not believe it when I opened my pigeon paper on return from holiday to see the passing of Allan. I met him a few times and remember him attending my Sporting Challenge presentation when Sid Collins was my main guest. Allan met Sid at the airport and looked after him all weekend and arranged for some loft visits while he was over in Scotland. Allan was true gentleman and to his wife and family I send my heartfelt condolences at their loss.

Janette Higgins of Edinburgh died 2 weeks ago. She had spent the last 8 years of her life in a care home within the Capital. Janette was the wife of past SNFC president Hugh to whom we send our condolences.

Joe’s Joke

Two jokes this week to make up for the times the column has been missing. 

Hospital Bill. Here’s a joke you don't have to be Catholic to appreciate!

A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store and the store clerks called an ambulance when they saw him collapse to the floor. The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic Hospital. A nun was seated next to his bed holding a clipboard loaded with several forms, and a pen. She asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment. "Do you have health insurance?" she asked. He replied in a raspy voice, "No health insurance." The nun asked, "Do you have money in the bank?" He replied, "No money in the bank." Do you have a relative who could help you with the payments?" asked the irritated nun. He said, "I only have a spinster sister, and she is a nun." The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God." The patient replied, "Perfect then send the bill to my brother-in-law."


Young Paddy bought a donkey from a farmer for £100 and the farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. However the next day he drove up and said, 'Sorry son, but I have some bad news, ‘The donkeys died.' Paddy replied, 'Well then just give me my money back.' The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I've already spent it.' Paddy said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.' The farmer asked, 'What are you going to do with him?'
Paddy said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.' The farmer said, 'You can't raffle a dead donkey!' Paddy said, 'Sure I can, just watch me, I just won't tell anybody he's dead.' A month later, the farmer met up with Paddy and asked, ' What happened with that dead donkey?' Paddy said, 'I raffled him off... I sold 500 tickets at £2 each and made a profit of £998'. The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?' Paddy said, 'Just the guy who won, so I gave him his £2 back.' - Paddy now works for the Royal Bank of Scotland!!!!  

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