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The Joe Murphy Column - 14-05-21

The Joe Murphy Column

Julie (Kevin’s partner) Margaret & I have agreed to present a trophy named as the Kevin J Murphy Memorial Trophy to both SNFC & SNRPC (as he was a member of both nationals) and they have both gratefully accepted this trophy. This will be awarded to the first pigeon flying north of the Firth of Tay from their Gold Cup race. (As this is the area that Kevin raced in.) It does not look like there will be racing from France in 2021 so they may have to be flown once we get back to racing from France. Kevin greatest wish was to win the Gold Cup race hence the reason for donating it to the clubs as to him this was the Prestige race. We have also donated a trophy to the Angus Federation (Kevin was a member of Angus Federation) and wished it to be awarded to the first pigeon from the longest federation old bird race.

New Season is upon us

Received a note along with a result from John Baillie whom I have known since we were boys; he writes, ‘Hi Joe, now the birds have started racing it must bring back memories of Kevin, however there will be loads of these happy memories for you and Margaret to reminisce with. Also on a sad note the Traprain Pigeon club room was burnt down on Sunday night Monday morning the weekend before the first race of the new season. All our baskets and equipment were destroyed in the fire. The club would like to thank Tom McLeod and John Bosworth for getting a race for us this week. We would also like to thank the fanciers that helped us out with baskets, some ETS equipment, offer of birds and the local farmer giving us facilities to basket. It’s a sorry state of affairs and I know many of their members and wish them all the best for the 2021 season. 


Angus Federation no federation race result as I go to sending this off on Thursday morning however Charlie has forwarded his Arbroath club result.

Arbroath Racing Pigeon Club

News from Charlie Cameron; regarding the Lauder race flown on Saturday 1st May 2021; with 5 members sending 101 birds. The federation convoy were liberated at 09:30 hours into a light north east wind. Taking the top spot are Chic and Anne Carrie with a yearling doing 1143 velocity. Charlie & Glen Cameron take the next 3 places with Les McKay winning 5th & 8th positions. Graham McKenzie is 6th with A & A Shepherd in 7th spot.

Almond Valley Federation

News from Secretary Lynne Stewart; who informs us that the federation race from Stobs Camp on the 1st of May had the 1202 birds liberated at 07-45 am. Taking the first 3 places in the federation with the only 3 birds doing a velocity over 1400’s are the East Calder loft of Burnside & Drysdale; with other birds winning 5th, 23rd & 31st open. John Hadfield of West Calder is 4th 13th & 36th open. His club mate J Burt is 6th 7th & 8th places. D McBeath also from West Calder is 9th 11th 12th with Mr & Mrs Fleming of East Calder winning 10th with West Calder S Russell winning 14th  33rd & 34th places; Freddie Jamieson & son of East Calder are 15th 16th 17th 22nd & 38th places; Vic Couper of Bonnybridge Club is 18th 19th & 37th. Mrs S Brandon of West Calder is 20th with Henderson & Connolly of Bonnybridge club is 21st with club mates Wells & Scott who won 24th open. Dougie Bald of Balerno wins 26th & 27th places. Geordie Harris of the Bonnybridge club is 27th 28th & 29th places with J Bird of West Calder winning 30th 32nd & 40th places. Jimmy Young of East Calder is 35th with C Ross of Balerno winning 39th place.

Balerno 158 birds; D Bald 1319.552, 1319.158, C Ross 1288.248, W Fairley 1272.084

Bonnybridge 298 birds; V Couper 1334.322, 1332.946, Henderson & Connolly 1325.927, Wells & Scott 1320.552

Carnwath 178 birds; Thomson Bros 1268.871, 1233.6, 1233.3, I Thomson 1204

East Calder 211 birds; Burnside & Drysdale 1411,643, 1406,428, 1405,629, 1388.281

West Calder 357 birds; J Hadfield 1390.627, J Burt 1385.897, 1385.515, 1383.60

Ayrshire Federation

News from Archie MacIntyre who wrote; ‘Hi Joe, Hope you are doing well. Please find attached report and photos from Ayrshire Federation first race of 2021 from Lauder. I have also attached 2 photos of Ayrshire Transporter. I photo is at Dalry HS club just after loading the new style crates onto the lorry and the second picture is the fully kitted out lorry sitting at Lauder just before liberation on Sunday 2nd May. Thanks again Joe for you continual support to Ayrshire Federation adding the reports into you weekly write up's Archie McIntyre Ayrshire Fed. Before going onto the race report, I would like to mention that Ayrshire Federation has made a substantial investment this year, replacing our metal racking system with an Aluminium racking and replacing all our wooden crates with Geraldy style Aluminium crates. Special thanks must go to one of our members (Sandy McDougall) from the Cumnock & District Club who put in a lot of hard work and long hours working on putting the racking together and having it ready for the first race.

Ayrshire Fed Transporter sitting at Lauder    AF Transporter at Dalry HS

Once again in the hot seat (Race Controller) we have Jim O’Hare with Kenny Young as driver for the 2021 season. The federation season kicked off on Sunday 2nd May from Lauder with an entry of 2,120 birds for a distance of between 59 miles up to 80 miles in the north end of the fed. Jim O’Hare had the birds up and away at 08:45 into No Wind. Reports from the liberation site was that the birds cleared well and members also saying they had good returns as well. Long may this continue Joe as we both know the season has its ups and down.                                

Leading the way in the federation this week on 1320.4 is Alex Howie of Stevenston flying in Ardeer HS. Alex timed his 3 year old widowhood blue cock “Canal Boy”. He is a direct son of Alex’s “Argyle Boy” who won 1st club, 1st section Buckingham for Alex in 2017. The sire and dam are both from Andy Miller. “Canal Boy” only had 3 young bird races,  Alex moved home in 2020 where he has certainly settled in well.

Alex Howie 1st Fed Lauder1
Alex Howie 1st Fed Lauder 1

Picking up 2nd federation this week on 1303.5 is the partnership of Cowan & Findlay from Ardrossan flying in Darvel HS. The partnership timed a 2 year old blue hen that had 4 races as a young bird. Due to her breeding and the fact in 2019 Ayrshire Fed went no further than Dunbar the partnership stopped her at Ripon in 2020. She is flown with the main old bird team on the roundabout system. She had no road training, only flagged early morning and early evening. Sire is a blue white flight called “El Grande”.

Cowan Findlay 2nd Fed Lauder1
Cowan & Findlay 2nd Fed Lauder1

In 2018 he was 1st open WSCC Mullingar winning £1,000 first prize. The dam is a daughter of “Millie”. In 2018 she was 12th open SNFC Liege 551 miles for the partnership. The partnership would also like to pass on their thanks to Sandy McDougall for all his hard work he put into getting the transporter ready. The crates and racking are superb and just to see the birds drinking out the new crates while waiting for the transporter to arrive can only benefit the birds long term.  3rd federation on 1287.0 is the ever consistent partnership from Ardeer, Stirrat & McKenna. The sire & dam are Jim Cullen birds the partnership managed to obtain from Jim. This yearling blue bar hen was badly injured as a young bird and is currently flying spare. Thanks to Alex, Mark and Jim for the info on their pigeons and the photos.

David McKenna of Stirrat McKenna partnership 3rd Fed Lauder
David McKenna of Stirrat & McKenna partnership 3rd Fed Lauder

Winners from in and around the clubs:

North Section 874 birds;

1st Ardeer HS is Alex Howie 1320.4, 1st Dalry HS is A Barbour 1267.4. 1st Kilwinning HS is J McNeil 1239.8.

Central Section 532 birds;

1st Darvel HS are Cowan & Findlay 1303.5, 1st Kilmarnock Invitation are J & R Bryson 1214.5; 1st Irvine HS is R McFedries 1202.9, 1st Crosshouse HS is A Wilson 1105.9.

South Section 714 birds;

1st Cumnock & District are J & S Galloway 1216.3, 1st Whitletts & District is S McVey 1211.4; 1st Mauchline & District is E Stewart 1173.6; 1st Annbank & District is D Paterson 1158.6 & 1st Dalmellington PC is S Boyce 1105.8

Scottish Central Federation

News from Bernie Britton with the Broxburn & Uphall Pigeon Club result from Otterburn; flown on Saturday 1st May with 6 members sending 220 birds  Gordon MacKenzie took the first 3 places with then all taking the first 3 places in the federation. Gordon’s winners area as follows;  the winner is a blue hen flying roundabout ; she is a Van Loon from Booby Logan from Ayrshire, this hen also topped the federation in 2019. Gordon’s 2nd bird is a blue bar cock a Gabby Vandenabeele from Hawkins & Evens also on roundabout, Gordon’s 3rd club and fed is a blue bar Gabby cock from his good friend  Mark Evans this bird won the young bird open in 2019 and did not race in 2020 as he was not flying well at home. As a matter of interest Joe Gordon was also 4th & 6th federation. I would also like to congratulate Mark Doran from the Winchburgh club on winning 1st 2nd & 3rd club and 7th fed. You and Margaret take care and THANKS once again for adding our results to your column, yours Bernie’.  

East of Scotland Federation

News from Tom McEwen with the federation result; Tom starts off by saying ‘On behalf of the members of East of Scotland Federation, all our thoughts are with you, Margaret, and Kevin’s family during this difficult time. Kevin was an exceptional pigeon fancier as well as being a genuine and caring man. He will be remembered fondly by us all. (Our thanks to the members of the federation for their kind remarks) From the Otterburn race flown on Saturday the 1st May; for the 1st race of the new season taking 1st, 3rd & 4th open making it a great start for Keith Howie of Prestonpans. Davie Blair also of Prestonpans completes an outstanding double finishing 2nd and 5th open. Brian Lavery again from Prestonpans has a nice one on 6th open. Tom and Scott McEwen of Elphinstone finished well with a good double in 7th and 10th open. Completing the top ten we have Tommy Flockhart of Port Seton with a nice double in 8th and 9th places.

Prestonpans Homing Society

Winning 1st club is Keith Howie with a yearling chequer pied hen whose sire is a pure Vandenabeele from Graham Stewart of Whitecraigs. Her dam is a dark chequer hen, direct from ‘Blue Arrow’ his top cock. 2nd club is Davie Blair with a 2 years old blue cock; his sire and dam are pure Soontjens from Kevin Lawson. 3rd club is Keith Howie with a red chequer cock whose sire ‘Banjo’ is a full brother to ‘Blue Arrow’ 1st & 3rd federation Keith’s top cocks. The dam is a red chequer hen direct from ‘Spider’ Rowley from Jan Theelen bloodlines.

Fife Federation of Homing Pigeons Societies

News from Federation secretary Geordie Todd, informs us that the convoy of 1874 birds were liberated at Alnwick on the 1st May 2021 liberated at 08-20am in a light north east wind. The Federation Top Ten are as follows; SNFC winner Brian Chalmers of Kennoway is in good form as he also wins 3rd 6th & 7th open. Sean Diamond of Novar is 2nd & 5th with Brian’s father in law Tam Laing of Kennoway in 4th spot. Tam Cook also of Kennoway is 8th & 10th with Jock Hynd & son of Crossgates in 9th spot.

East Section Top 10

Kennoway 280 birds; Methilhaven 311 birds; St Andrews 145 birds: 1st 2nd 4th & 5th is Brian Chalmers; Tam Laing is 3rd & 8th with Tam Cook in 6th & 7th positions; Davie Hunter of Methilhaven club is 9th & 10th.

Centre Section top 10

Novar 121 birds; 1st 2nd 4th 6th & 7th Sean Diamond; Erskine & Son 3rd 5th 8th 9th & 10th.

West Section top 10

Perth club 84 birds; Dunfermline 287 birds; Crossgates 426 birds; Lochgelly 220 birds.

Hynd & son of Crossgates are 1st & 2nd with Frank Mitchell of Dunfermline winning 3rd 4th 5th & 6th R Cook of Crossgates is 7th & 9th with Davie Russell of Crossgates in 8th spot. O’Reilly & Park of the same club are 10th.

Kingdom Racing Pigeon Association

Pete Penman of Thornton the president and race controller of the Association handed in the result of their first race for the 2021 season and he is going to supply me with this on a weekly basis. The convoy of 920 birds were released at Kelso in a light south west wind at 09-45am by convoyer Willie Aitken. Taking the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th places was Brian Kinnear of Tayport Homing Society. His birds were flying 52 miles for a velocity of 1205.1204,1198 and 1191. Brian’s winner was a yearling blue cock that returned two weeks late from Coldstream young bird race. He was sent spare to Kelso as his hen was lost from the top of the loft. The winner is a grandson of Brian’s famous ‘Stitchy’ his 2nd second bird was a 4 year old dark hen on roundabout. She is a daughter from his 4th Open 1st Section Ancenis in 2013; she also won 1st section 22nd open Ancenis in 2014. In 3rd place is Davie Jack of Tayport with a velocity of 1202, he timed a 3 year old blue cock off his Evans, Gibbon & Smith lines from Sunderland. Pete would like to mention J. D. Armour of Coaltown of Balgonie who takes the next 9 positions … great flying.

Coaltown of Balgonie

J. D. Armour 1st & 3rd birds are home bred Frank Tasker, his 2nd was a home bred Red Sparks and his 4th was a direct Red Sparke’s.
Leuchars & District winner E Young; Newburgh RPC winner A Wallace; Rosyth winner J & J Greenhorn; St Serfs winner D Whyte.


John Baillie forwarded the result of the above club with 642 birds were entered by 12 member's (2 member's not sending) to Otterburn. The birds were convoyed with the Central Federation and the convoy were liberated into a light north wind at 10.05 hours. Taking the first 3 positions is Jimmy Mark (Marky Stud)  with Jimmy confirming his pigeons details; ‘My winners came from my friends Carl, Kristian and John from Ashington, I don't have pedigrees for the sire and dam of winner; The second pigeon was 2nd open SNRPC young bird national in 2019, and the 3rd pigeon is from the same loft’. Thanks once again for adding our result to your column Joe and more power to your pen, yours John B’.

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who informs us 59 members sent 1348 birds to the first old bird race of the season from Brechin on 1st May with the convoy liberated into a light north-west wind. East Section had 28 members sending 665 birds with the West Section having 31 members sending 683 birds. The first 3 places are won by A W Buchan of Fraserburgh & District with his winner a 4 year old hen doing a velocity of 1327 beaten the other 2 birds on the trap. 4th 12th & 13th is Colin McRae of Fraserburgh &District with G Findlay of Peterhead & District in 5th 13th & 15th places; A Higgins of Fraserburgh West End takes the next 3 places 6th 7th & 8th with R H Whyte of Peterhead & District winning 9th 10th & 11th section and open. G Findlay of Peterhead & District is 14th & 15th with club mate S Glew in 16th spot. Gordon Willox of the same club is 17th with another Peterhead club mate in Stuart Maskame winning 18th 19th & 21st section and open. S Glew also from Peterhead club wins 20th open with D Ward of Fraserburgh West End winning 22nd section and open.

West section winners are Fulton & Ritchie loft 2 of Devern Valley who are also 2nd & 4th section 24th 25th & 29th open. D Ward of Fraserburgh West End is 23rd & 24th east section 25th & 24th open With P Sherman of Devern Valley winning 3rd west section 27th open and C & M Williams of Peterhead & District winning 25th east section 28th open and N Raymond of Devern Valley winning 5th west section 30th open. Other west section winners are as follows; P Sherman won 6th section 31st open; A Milne won 7th & 8th west section 32nd & 33rd open, with R Hay & Family winning 9th & 10th west section 34th & 35th open.

Clubs First Birds as follows;

Fraserburgh & District A W Buchan

Peterhead & District G Findlay

Fr. West End A Higgins

Devern Valley Fulton & Ritchie Loft 2

Inverurie R McKenzie

Keith Duncan & Thomson

Buckie & District J Cunning

Elgin & District A MacGillivray  

Well done to A W Buchan on topping the federation and also well done to Fulton & Ritchie Loft 2 on winning the West Section

Pentlandhills Federation

News from my old pal Andy Miller who writes; Joe I hope you and Margaret are well. See attached the details of the first old bird race. I will do my best to report on the winner each week but my busy work bank will unfortunately determine if this can be carried out. The federation were at Otterburn old bird race flown on Saturday 1st May 2021 with the convoy of 2543 birds sent by 11 clubs liberated at 09-30 into a light east wind. This week’s champ & winning 1st N/L and Federation is the Danderhall loft of Mark Robertson who timed a yearling late bred cock bred by Owenson Bros from Gorebridge. The pigeon was trained hard for the Danderhall Xmas race but obviously this didn’t materialise due to the Covid restrictions. The sire is from pigeons purchased from Paul Voeten of Belgium and the dam from Gert Heylen also a Belgian import. This is the second federation winner this pair have produced. Well done to all.

Club Winners;

Danderhall 696 birds; 1st M. Robertson 1456; 2nd and 3rd F. Robertson on 1453.8; & 1453.2:

New Lothian 62 birds; 1st W. Andress 1454

Arniston 433 birds; 1st, 2nd & 3rd W. Pryde & son 1435; 1434, 1431

Sighthill 206 birds; 1st& 2nd A Miller 1427, 1426.9 3rd Girdwood 1426.1

Castlebrae 62 birds; 1st A Mitchell 1426, 2nd L. Mitchell 1388, 3rd McCormack & Fraser 137

Edinburgh Premier 375 birds; 1st & 2nd Bennett 1420, 1410 3rd Gilchrist 1407

Easthouses 193 birds; 1st Laing 1414, 2nd & 3rd Simpson 1396.6, 1396.3

Bonnyrigg 206 birds; 1st Brown 1375, 2nd Simpson 1355, & Watson & Daughter 1352

Edinburgh West 127 birds 1st 7 2nd Verth 1340 & 1336, Bennett 1306

Woodburn 146 birds; 1st & 2nd B. Thomas & son 1339 & 1327 3rd Brown & Black 1310

Peebles 37 birds;

New Lothian RPC


From the Otterburn old bird race flown on Saturday 1st May the convoy were liberated at 09-30 hours into a light variable wind with 63 members sending 2007 birds.  Taking 1st place is M Robertson of Danderhall club with a velocity of 1456; W Andress of New Lothian is 2nd with Freddie Robertson of Danderhall club in 3rd 4th & 6th places. D Brown of the same club is 5th with W Pryde & son of Arniston in 7th 8th & 9th places. J Milne of Arniston is 10th.


Bob Taylor of Kirkcaldy; Margaret informed me that she was told that Bob passed away in December and we never knew. (Due to both us being confined to the house i.e. because of Covid). Bob and his uncle Dick were great Delbar men, as Dickie was a personal friend of the great Maurice Delbar of Ronse the French speaking part of Belgium. Maurice succeeded his famous father Oscar in the sport, who even before the carnage of the First World War the name of Oscar Delbar was noted amongst the top European pigeon racing fraternity. His results at the long distance races were equal to those of Bricoux and Duray between the years of 1935 to 1940. Taylor Brothers of Kirkcaldy were a household name in the sport throughout Scotland. When I raced in the town as it came to the nationals Bob, Jock King, Dave Burns and I all trained together and we achieved some very good results over the years. I don’t know if Bob’s wife Pearl is still alive however if she is we send out heartfelt condolences to her and their family at the passing of Bob, a true gentleman of the pigeon sport.

Joe’s Joke

A husband, who has six children, begins to call his wife “mother of six” rather than by her first name. The wife, amused at first, chuckles. A few years down the road, the wife has grown tired of this. "Mother of six," he would say, "what’s for dinner tonight? Get me a beer!" She gets very frustrated. Finally, while attending a party with her husband, he jokingly yells out, "Mother of six, I think it's time to go!" The wife immediately shouts back, "I'll be right with you, father of four!"

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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