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The Joe Murphy Column

The Joe Murphy Column

Received an email from Andrew Kenmare who wrote; Morning Joe, hope you are keeping well. Please find attached a nice update from our visit to see Billy Bilsland, which you kindly arranged back in October/November last year. We have kept in regular contact with Billy since we went up to visit him and he is aware of the attached result which is as follows; “Scoring their 2nd win in the Cleator Moor club were Andrew and Tom Kenmare and there’s a nice tale to be told. Andrew and Tom had gone to visit the multiple Scottish National winning loft of Billy Bilsland last November. They had their pick of two later-bred young birds and one of those they purchased is the dam of the blue cock which won Cleator Moor on Saturday. Tom is pictured below with the winning bird while below right he is with Billy Bilsland on their visit to his loft in November 2019.”

Tom Kenmare   Tom and Billy Bilsland see text

Tom Kenmare                                                                    Tom and Billy Bilsland - see text

Many thanks Joe for the part you played in setting this up this visit kindest regards Andrew & Tom Kenmare’. See photo’s attached to the column.  

History Maker Top 49 in Federation

A couple of weeks ago while on the phone to my old friend Derek Hay of Kirkintilloch (we were both on the SNFC management committee in 2007 when I was the Press Officer in the national, so a long time ago) his wife Linda shouted ‘Derek, the birds’: so the conversation stopped. I’ve been in this situation before and when the birds come home everything else stops. I also remember this happened when my mother was on the phone and I just put it down, she phoned me back and told me ‘Don’t you ever do that to me again’, and like a wee boy I said ‘Ok Mum’. Anyway back to Derek his young birds were racing from Dunbar 63 miles with Glasgow federation. He phoned me back to say he had sent 63 birds to the race and had 53 come together and all dropped on to the landing board and ran through the traps over the ETS pads. On checking he found that he had timed 49 birds in the space of 22 seconds and 4 of them did not register so must have climbed onto the back of the birds going in. His first bird was doing a velocity of 1446 and his 49th was doing 1439. The following day Derek forwarded me his federation results (see attached) he won the first 49 in the federation which is ‘Truly Outstanding’ so these 49 could each be called a 1st prize winner Derek LOL. Then when you consider that ALL of these are distance bred young birds as Derek does not have a ‘sprinter’ in his loft; I have added an old photograph of Derek with trophies he won in one season; well done big man.

Derek Hay with trophies won

Derek Hay with trophies won

Derek Result 1   Derek Result 2

Derek - Result 1& 2

SHU Show Cancelled

The officials of the Scottish Homing Union have taken the safety and health of the fanciers and families as the main priority; in coming to the decision to cancel this year’s Open Show at Lawrie & Symington Market. This was not an easy decision as it has become very popular and a great chance for friends to meet up.


Angus federation were at Otterburn on the 15th of August with the convoy of 470 birds liberated at 13-20 pm into a light east to north east wind. Topping the federation with the first 2 place is Ian Scott of Forfar he is also 11th and the won 13th to 16th then 19th positions. Kenny Droog & son wins 3rd place with race controller David Glen winning 4th 6th 7th 9th 10th & 12th with J McCafferty also from Forfar winning 5th place. David J Liddle wins 8th place with Eric Galloway winning 17th 18th & 20th places.   

The East section had 192 birds entered and the winning is W Dorward of Gourdon with Kevin J Murphy of Arbroath winning 2nd 3rd & 7th section. Chic & Ann Carrie of the same club are 4th 8th & 9th section with Gordon Campbell of Montrose winning 5th place just ahead of club mates M Wallace & sons and the 10th place was won by D & D Hay of Gourdon club. 

Club Winners;

Forfar 278 birds the winner is Ian Scott; Arbroath 87 birds’ winner Kevin J Murphy; Gourdon 49 birds’ winner W Dorward; Montrose 56 birds’ winner Gordon Campbell.

Arbroath Racing Pigeon Club

This week 5 members sent 87 birds to Otterburn with the Angus federation; taking the first 2 places plus 4th 7th 8th & 9th is Kevin J Murphy. The winner is the same bred cock that won 1st club from Newtongrange 4 weeks ago; He was bred by my dad’s good friend Robbie Levingston of New Malden in Surrey. Down from Mick Moore birds from his Fed Cock (winner of 38 x 1st) crossed with his Wall Lunt & Green hen she was crossed to a Van Bruaene. Kevin’s 2nd bird is a

His 4th club was bred in the stock loft from a Colin Crees cock son of his famous ‘Banker’ who won a Gold Award in the SNFC. Dam of young bird is ‘Monica’ a daughter of ‘Angle’ the SHU Dewar Trophy winner for Gerald McPherson in 2017. 3rd club is won by Chic & Ann Carrie who are also 5th 6th 10th & 11th with Graham McKenzie winning 12th place.

Ayrshire Federation

No report from Ayrshire this week; as the birds at Ridsdale on the 15th August were returned home due to poor weather conditions.

Almond Valley Federation

News from Lynne who informs us that the federation were at Ridsdale on the 15th August and were liberated at 14-00 hours with 842 club birds entered into the race. Taking 1st 13th 18th 33rd & 37th open is George Harris of Bonnybridge club; Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder are 2nd & 17th with Vic Couper of Bonnybridge winning 3rd 6th & 19th with club mates Law & Brady winning 4th & 7th places. Staying in the same club we have T Henderson wins 5th with John Bird of West Calder winning 8th to 12th plus 21st & 40th. Burnside & Drysdale of East Calder win 14th 15th & 26th , J & R Fairley of Balerno are 16th 27th & 35th with I Thomson of Carnwath winning 20th place. J M Young of East Calder is 22n d 28th 30th & 39th with  Mr & Mrs Fleming of East Calder are 23rd with Dr J Salmond of Bonnybridge winning 24th place he is followed by Colin Bain and Willie Fairley of Balerno with J Urquhart of Bonnybridge club in 29th place his club mate J Leadbetter is 31st with Robert Anderson of East Calder winning 32nd & 36th places. Stewart & Berry of Bonnybridge win 34th & 38th places.

Club Winners;

Balerno entered 156 birds; J & R Fairley 946. C Bain & W Fairley 875,  J & R Fairley 866 & 853.

Bonnybridge entered 201 birds; G Harris 1150. V Couper 1081, Law & Brady 1043 & T Henderson 1041;

Carnwath entered 147 birds; I Thomson 905. Dr J Salmond 880. McArdle & Thomson 728 & 687;  

East Calder entered 233 birds; F Jamieson & Son 1094. Burnside & Drysdale 951.& 947. F Jamieson & Son 935;

West Calder entered 105 birds; J Bird 989. 988.739, 988.382, 988.382

Central Federation

Broxburn & Uphall news from Bernie Britton who writes, ‘Hi Joe, please find the result of the Appleby race with 4 members sending 199 birds, liberated at 10-45 hours into a south wind. First 3 in the club is Gordon MacKenzie who is also 7th 8th & 9th federation. His winner is a Gabby cock bred from 2 yearlings in the race team. His 2nd bird is a blue bar hen bred by Bobby Logan from New Cumnock. Gordon’s 3rd bird is a blue bar cock sire is a G W P Macaloney crossed with a Gabby hen from the stock loft. Gordon was also 10th & 12th federation. John McNeill was 11th then 13th to 20th federation. Well done to Angus Orr & son on winning the federation; yours Bernie. 

East of Scotland Federation

Tom McEwen with the above federation race news from the Ridsdale race flown on the 15th August with the convoy liberated 14-25 hours into an east to south east wind. Topping the federation and also taking 2nd place making it a great race for Keith Howie of Prestonpans club. The bloodline of the federation winner is as follows; sire is from Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone from their Paul Stobbs bloodlines, the dam if from Frank Sheader family of birds. 3rd open being their first young bird season and achieving a great result are Davidson & Partners of Gladsmuir Club. Taking the next 6 positions wining from 4th to 9th making it an outstanding result for John Bird of Prestonpans and completing the top 10 is Rab Waddle also from Prestonpans club.

Prestonpans HS

1st & 2nd club is Keith Howie with the winner a dark chequer white flight cock see federation result above for details. Keith’s 2nd club winner is a blue cock; his sire is a Vandenabeele from Spider Rowley, with the dam of the 2nd club winner from a full sister to Keith’s great Vanenabeele cock ‘Blue Arrow’. 3rd club is John Bird with a pure Vandenabeele bred by Woodside Lofts.  

Pentlandhills Federation & New Lothian RPC

News from Andy Miller with the results of the New Lothian RPC and Pentland Hills Federation with their race from Ridsdale (3) on Saturday 15th August with the convoy of 2823 birds entered by 12 clubs liberated at 14-30 hours into an east to south east wind. The New Lothian RPC with the Pentland Hills Fed had their third young bird race of the season on Saturday 15th August, again from Ridsdale which should’ve been Sedgefield but weather circumstances dictated otherwise. Liberated in a E/S/E wind this week’s winner for the 5th time this season is the federations top loft of the season from inland race points, Stuart Gilchrist from Granton, aka Tappendale Lofts. He timed a Willie Jacobs x Herman Ceusters hen flown on the darkness. The sire is from a double fed winner known as ‘The Plasterer’ tapped from the national winning loft of Brian Chalmers from Kennoway, and the dam purchased from Davie Wilson from Egremont is a previous winner of 1st, 2nd & 3rd club. Returns from the race are only about 70%, which will have a serious impact on entries for the remaining races as fanciers will hold their young birds back for next year. In hindsight I’m sure most would agree the birds should’ve been brought home, however race controllers and convoyer’s are put under pressure and are on a ‘No Win’ situation from fanciers who know it all! 

Federation top 10, as follows Stuart Gilchrist of Edinburgh Premier club with a velocity of 1190, his club mates G Bennett & son is 2nd with Sighthill A Barclay in 3rd spot. R Farquhar of Danderhall club is 4th with club mates Mr & Mrs Lindsay one yard behind him. Edinburgh West club member J Lamb is 6th with J & S Black of Edinburgh Premier in 7th spot. Freddie Robertson of Danderhall is 8th with his club mates Willie & Barbara Dunsmore in 9th place they are followed by another Danderhall loft of J Haig.

Club Results

Edinburgh Premier; 227 birds; 1st Gilchrist 1190, 2nd Bennett 1185, 3rd Black 1176

Sighthill; 120 birds; 1st Barclay 1182; 2nd Ure 1071, 3rd Summers 1039:

Danderhall; 1274 birds; 1st Farquhar 1181; 2nd Lindsay 1180; 3rd F Robertson 1175;

Edinburgh West; 99 birds; 1st Lamb 1179; 2nd & 3rd Bennett 1062 & 1012

Woodburn; 171 birds; 1st Brown & Black 1165, 2nd Allen 1111, :

Castlebrae; 110 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd L Mitchell 1157, 1131.5 & 1131.0  

Easthouses; 89 birds; 1st Mercer 1154, 2nd Ferguson 945, 3rd Sanderson 921

Bonnyrigg; 276 birds; 1st & 2nd Massey 1065 & 1065; 3rd MacGregor &Lawrie 988

Rosewell; 44 birds; 1st & 3rd W Tytler 1055 & 797 2nd Cunningham & Ness 857;

Arniston; 306 birds; 1st J Pryde 1050, 2nd & 3rd A Dewar

Loanhead; 49 birds; 1st & 3rd Murray 917 & 874, 2nd McCann 897;

New Lothian; 15 birds:

Others; 50 birds;  

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who informs us that 42 members sent 866 birds to the 2nd Dunfermline race flown on 15th of August with the convoy liberated into a light east wind. The east section had 18 members sending 512 birds; while the west section had 24 members sending 354 birds. The east section took the first 21 open positions with R H Whyte of Peterhead who won last week taking the 1st & 2nd places with another in 6th place. C & M Williams of the same club wins the nest 3 places with A W Buchan of Fraserburgh & District winning 7th 12th & 13th club mate Colin McRae wins 8th 14th & 15th open. My old mate Stuart Maskame of Peterhead club is to the fore winning 9th to 11th open. G Findlay of the same club is 16th 18th & 19th with M Whittleton of Fraserburgh & District winning 17th & 21st places. R McKenzie of Inverurie club wins 20th & 23rd east section 20th & 24th open. A Wilson of Devern Valley club wins 1st & 2nd west section 22nd & 25th open. Another old mate of mine George P Taylor of Peterhead is 22nd east section 23rd open with club mate G Ritchie winning 24th east section 26th open and their club mate S Glew wins 25th to 27th east section 27th to 29th open making up the top 30th position is N Raymond of Devern Valley club who also wins 3rd west section.  G Wilson of the same club is 4th west section 31st open with A Cruickshank of Keith club winning 5th west section 34th open. Duncan & Thomson of the same Keith club are 6th 9th & 10th west section 35th 38th & 39th open. Fulton & Ritchie loft 2 from Devern Valley win 7th & 8th west section 36th & 37th open.  

Clubs First Bird

Peterhead & District winner is R H Whyte velocity 1039.001

Fr. & District winner is A W Buchan velocity 1213.467

Inverurie winner is R McKenzie velocity 1111.042

Devern Valley winner is A Wilson velocity 1107.460

Fr. West End winner is A Higgins velocity 1085.234

Keith winner is A Cruickshank velocity 1065.093

Elgin & District winner is J Thomson velocity 992.590

Buckie & District winner is N Christie velocity 886.522

Well done to R Whyte on Topping the federation and also well done to A Wilson on winning the West Section; George Duthie.

Joe’s Joke

Take the Older than the Hills Quiz

Do you remember;

1 Fish and chips wrapped in a newspaper

2 Glass bottles with a refundable deposit

3 78 RPM records

4 Party Telephone lines

5 Milk delivered in glass bottles

6 Television in black and white ONLY

7 Beet Bobbies both day and night

8 The coalman delivering

9 Shilling in the slot utility meters

10 Your GP making house calls

11 Television rental services

12 Scouts and Guides bob a job week

13 Two films shown per sitting in the cinema

14 Conductors on the buses

15 Usherettes in the cinemas

If you remember up to 5 you are a whippersnapper; if you remember up to 10 you’re getting there; if you remember ALL 15 your older than the Hills 


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 you can also view online editions on: - - Pigeon Racing the Basics! - or


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© Compiled by Joe Murphy