The Joe Murphy Column
I received an email from Cameron McAulay who wrote ‘I stumbled upon an old article online which made mention of my grandfather's success in 1983 and the pigeon named Rulewater Commander. (SNFC News 4107). I wonder whether you have any info or photos relating to this race and/or my grandfather. Anything relating to this would be greatly appreciated. My grandfather passed away in 2001 and his son (my dad) passed in 2012.Pigeon racing was a big part of my dad's life growing up but we don't have much to look back on now. Regard’s Cameron McAulay.’ I wrote back thanking Cameron for his email, and told him I would get back to him, I remember your granddad winning the race and a lad who lived near me in Kirkcaldy visited him and bought a pigeon from Rulewater Commander. I will dig a bit more into this and get back to you. Cameron’s reply was ‘That's great. Much appreciated! I remember, as a very young boy in the 80s, going places with my grandfather, and we would end up in a back garden somewhere and he would be in a pigeon loft with someone he knew, chewing the fat and possibly buying or selling’. If anyone can help Cameron out then please drop me an email or telephone conversation and I will pass it on’.
Angus & Dundee Federation
News from Kenny Droog who informs us that the Angus federation had 668 birds for their 3rd race from Swallwell made up of, Arbroath102 birds, Forfar 473 birds, Gourdon 57 birds, Montrose 36 birds. The birds were original at Tow Law which is prone to mist lying in a hole and with an east wind this is what happened and the birds were moved to Swallwell an approximately distance of 120 to 135 miles for the contesting members. The wind was fresh south east and a fast race was anticipated, this would be quick and some fanciers were glad they had ETS system. One fancier was having a bowl of soup with his son who was down for a visit, asked ‘when are the birds due, should be fairly soon’ was the reply. When they went out to the loft some birds were circling, as he checked the loft he discovered he already had two birds home, these two birds were clear of everyone doing velocity 1795.2 and 1795.0. The fancier in question here is Willie MacKnight of Edsel ably assisted by his wife Moira; they live in a picturesque village of Edsel, which lies in the Angus countryside. When you arrive in the village you are met by a beautiful landmark the ‘Dalhousie Arch’, erected in 1887 to commemorate the deaths of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie and his wife who both died on the same day. Willie has to travel down to Forfar to race his pigeons, and needs the wind in his favour to compete with the big drag in Forfar; yet he still wins. The 2 winning hens are raced on roundabout, I should mention that Willie is an Octogenarian and has been a top fancier where ever he raced his pigeons. The 2nd bird timed is a yearling and is a cross of Forfar fanciers Rab Greig and David Liddle blood. Both pigeons have only been lightly raced in fact the first bird timed, has been a winner as a young bird taking 2nd club from Arniston. Then as a yearling she was lost for a month from the Leicester race last year she was rested for the season. Then put back on the road this year, so she has paid Willie for his patience. Her sire is a mixture of Les McKay x Gordon Bell, while her dam is again Gordon Bell x Davie Mac Naught, I enclose photograph of Willie’s 1st federation hen. This hen also has a very good eye as can be seen from photo enclosed. Down in Forfar Ian Scott was having a great race winning 3rd 4th 5th club and federation plus another four on the fed result, also taking 5th,7th,15th fastest from 1288 birds his first 4 doing velocities of 1783. Davie Glen also had a good race taking 5 birds together winning 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th fed, plus 17th to 20th fastest. Over in the east section Willie Dorward was having a good day with his widowhood cocks, winning 1st club, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th,7th and 9th east section but he could not stop Charlie and Glen Cameron winning Arbroath and topping the East section easily. They will also win 6th Angus Fed overall and 16th fastest from 1288 birds, this yearling is a Stultjens van Drongen pigeon, they are a very top middle distance family, Glen says ‘They only have a few’ a sister to their winner won 31st open SNFC Buckingham for them, while a brother has a 2nd and 5th Grampian Combine plus 61st SNFC Maidstone to his pedigree.
Dundee Fed had 620 birds at the race and topping the federation is Bruce McKenzie, what a start to the season this loft is having. Bruce wins 1st fed and 3rd fastest overall from 1288 birds, his winning pigeon a 3 year old widowhood cock, he won twice in the Logie club as a yearling with fed tickets up to Leicester, he was injured as a two year old and is now back to his winning ways, his dam is a granddaughter of ‘Red Tornado’ Bruce national winner from SNFC Clermont. The sire of the cock is a super breeder being responsible for many many winners including 2nd 4th and 6th open SNFC with up to 6000 birds competing. Mark Young was also having a great race, with 2 birds dropping together, Mark is another fancier who races on the roundabout system and it is sometime the case of 2 birds landing together and the cock started chasing the hen from old bird loft to young bird, however he ended up 2nd and 3rd federation and 4th and 6th fastest, these Frans Zwols are very fast birds. John Wiseman had 5 drop together and wins 4th to 8th fed and 8th to 12th fastest of the 1288 birds. John McBride takes 9th fed and nice to see Danny Henderson on the result in 10th spot, Danny has moved house and has had to break the birds into a new location so well done.
Almond Valley Federation
Club winners are as follows;
Balerno 144 birds; C Ross 1530.341, C Bain & W Fairley 1475.756, W Fairley 1459.480, 1372.399
Bonnybridge 159 V Couper 1482.954, E Jones & Grandson 1458.574, 1457.731, 1454.050
Carnwath 112 birds; J & I Alston 1315.737, Thomson Bros 1164.907, McArdle & Thomson 1123.387, J Stokes 1120.368
East Calder 146 birds; F Jamieson & Son 1528.246, 1479.643, 1475.959, J M Young 1439.845
West Calder 258 birds; J Bird 1480.835, J Burt 1479.776, G Young 1416.226, J Bird 1415.073
The BILL BRESNEHAM FOR 3 LONGEST OLD BIRD RACES STARTS THIS WEEK
News from Archie McIntyre who informs us of their winning pigeons from their 4th race from Blaydon/Swallwell flown on the 22nd May, as well as the attached report Archie included pictures of first 3 pigeons in the Federation. With an entry of 2,019 birds for a distance of between 110 miles up to 137 miles to the north end of the fed. Blaydon/Swallwell is another new race point for Ayrshire Fed. Feedback from the members was some fared better than others with returns around the 70/80% mark. It was always going to be a hard test for them as this was their first race having to face a North Wind. Members were also reporting many birds injured due to hawk strikes. One member in particular reported having 3 injured one badly and another pigeon reported in Keswick early Sunday morning by a non-fancier. All that was left of the pigeon was the skeleton, it had been picked clean. Given where this bird was reported, looks like some of the birds have clearly headed due west then south to end up over in Keswick. Jim O’Hare had the birds up and away at 09-00 into North Wind. Reports from the liberation site was the majority of the birds cleared well in a homeward direction, leaving approximately 100 birds remaining circling the site before eventually heading off. Topping the federation this week on a velocity of 1197.1 is George Slaven of Tarbolton flying in the Mauchline & District club. George timed a Herman Ceuster Yearling chequer hen flying on the roundabout system. Sire is a son of ‘Man O Chester’ x ‘Dark Delilah’. Dam is Double Grand Daughter of ‘Gordano’.
2nd federation on 1182.1 was the newly formed partnership of Willie Hughes & John Donald of Ardrossan flying in the Ardeer HS. The partnership timed a natural yearling blue hen sitting overdue on dummy eggs. She is lovely well balanced small to medium sized hen.
Willie Hughes of Hughes & Donald 2nd Fed Blaydon
Last year when Willie was in a previous partnership, he purchased 12 Vandenabeele young bird’s to race from C & P Butler & Thomas of Petri Rhondda in Wales. All 12 were trained and raced hard and after the 2020 season only 2 remained. One which was injured early on and never got a race and the remaining pigeon was their 2nd fed Blaydon winner. As a young bird she was on the darkness system and was given every race out the final one from Ripon of which she returned on the Monday flown out. The partnership races their pigeons natural and with the help of their good friend Billy Steed who trains the birds 3 times a week from 20/25 miles weather permitting. Being there first season as a partnership John and Willie would like to pass on their regards to federation winner George Slaven on his fantastic result. 3rd federation on 1172.4 is Ricky Young of the Kilmarnock Invitation. Ricky timed a 3 year old chequer widowhood hen. All Ricky’s hens have had only one 10 mile toss this year and have all had the 4 races this year. Both parents are from the late Tam Blair’s bloodlines.
Ricky Young - 3rd Fed Blaydon
Ricky would like to pass on his congratulations to George on his 1st federation win. I would like to thank E Stewart for sending G Slaven info, Mark Findlay for going over to Hughes & Donald’s loft to take a picture and write up some details and to Ricky for his info.
Winners from in and around the Clubs
North Section 704 birds;
1st Ardeer HS, Hughes & Donald 1182.1; 1st Dalry HS, John Shepherd 1155.8;
1st Kilwinning HS, J & T Davidson 1122.0;
Central Section 554 birds;
1st Kilmarnock Inv, R Young 1172.4; 1st Darvel HS, Welsh & Holland 1162.5; 1st Irvine HS, H Pollock 1118.7; 1st Crosshouse HS, I Noble 1096.2
South Section 761 birds;
1st Mauchline & Dist, G Slaven 1197.1; 1st Whitletts & Dist, W Lawrence 1139.0; 1st Cumnock & Dist, J & A McDougall 1137.9; 1st Carrick & Dist, Jamieson & Cameron 1130.6; 1st Annbank & Dist, D Paterson 1126.5; 1st Dalmellington PC, S Boyce 1041.2.
East of Scotland Federation
News from Bernie who writes, ‘Hi Joe, can I give you the Broxburn & Uphall
Results from Ripon were 7 members sending 276 birds these were liberated with the federation convoy at 09-45 hours into a light north east wind. Taking 1st club 1st federation is Gordon Mackenzie with a blue bar hen on the roundabout system, she is a Hermans Ceuster bred by his mate Bobby Logan from his Ron Hillcoat stock. In 2nd place is Hamish Ferguson with a yearling blue hen this was her 3rd race as she was not raced as a young bird. Her breeding is from Mike Page ‘Gabby’ stock and C.W & L stock from G.W & P Macaloney. Hamish is 3rd club 3rd fed with a blue bar C A yearling again not raced as a young bird and flown on the roundabout system and contains the same stock lines as the 2nd bird. Gordon Mackenzie was also 5th federation.
Winchburgh & District Club
From the Ripon race 10 members sent 264 birds, With 1st club 8th federation is Mark Doran; with a blue hen on roundabout. Her sire is from his good friend John Duthie while the dam is from his mate who lives down south she is a Herman Ceuster crossed Duthie. 2nd Club is Ally Hogg (no info) 3rd club 15th federation is Peter Keogh with a chequer pied hen. Her breeding is a blend of most of Peter’ bloodlines he has brought into his loft in the past 10 years. As matter of interest she took 7th section 67th open from the SNRPC Billericay race last year. She is out of his national winner and she had 4 national winning diploma wins before being taken by the hawk. A ½ sister to 727 also has 4 national diplomas while her sire has 6 national diplomas. Well done to Gordon Mackenzie on winning the federation, thanks once again Joe for adding our results to your weekly column, you take care Joe yours Bernie’.
Fife Federation of Homing Pigeon Societies
President and race controller Pete Penman has forwarded the Kingdom RPA race results. ‘Hi Joe we held our 4th race from Wakefield with the convoy of 695 birds liberated at 07-45 into a north west wind. This turned out to be a very difficult race with many empty perches by the end of the day. Leading the way in the federation is Stevie Fleming of St. Serfs with a yearling chequer cock bred by Andy Barber from his Van Buick lines from French Brothers from England. This yearling was 11th section 64th open SNRPC Peterborough young bird national. She then went onto fly the SNFC young bird national the following week. In 2nd & 3rd places is John Dinsdale of Coaltown of Balgonie club. His winner is a yearling chequer hen flying spare. She won 6th section 56th open, 1st Kingdom RPA from the SNRPC young bird national. Her sire is a John Mackenzie cock crossed with a granddaughter of Jock King’s famous ‘Mary’. John’s next bird is a yearling cock, a ½ brother to his timer also flying semi-widowhood. His sire is a House of Arden Jan Arden when paired to the fore mentioned hen. In 4th spot is Eric Young of Leuchars with a yearling cock sitting 19 day on eggs, he is a son of Eric’s Bronze Award winner named ‘Triple Blue’. Who won an ACE Pigeon Reims award with the SNRPC, the dam of Eric’ winner is a gift bird from Mike Samuels of Leuchars.
Tayport Winner is Dave Jack with 2nd place going to J Lumsden with 3rd spot won by Brian Kinnear.
Rosyth club is won by Stewart Bowman with 2nd & 3rd places going to J & J Greenhorn
Coaltown of Balgonie club result; 1st & 2nd John Dinsdale with 3rd spot won by J.D Armour with a four-year-old hen on roundabout. Sire bred by J Nichol of Ladybank, dam is a direct Frank Tasker. 4th Chic Dinsdale with a yearling spare hen whose bloodlines contain his good chequer white flight cock that won many times from the channel including 1st section 4th open SNRPC Arras.
Leuchars & District. 1st & 2nd Eric Young the second bird is paired to his winner and is a Frans Zwols. 3rd place goes to D Wilson with a Jan Arden cock sitting 8-days on eggs bred by club mate Dunc Walker. 4th club is Tom Berwick with a 2-year-old pied hen sitting her first eggs of the year. She was bought from Bob Colven of the NEHU as a young bird at a ‘drunken night out’ at the show of the year at Blackpool
Rosyth Club is won by Stuart Bowman with J & J Greenhorn in 2nd & 3rd places.
St Serfs Club first bird is to 1st Stevie Fleming. 2nd &3rd positions going to Stevie Ritchie. First is a home bred hen whose sire is a direct Peter Virtue. Dam was bred by Dave Jamieson. Stevie then timed a yearling blue cock bred by his good friend Callum Walker from Carluke.
Tayport Club winner is Dave Jack who is also 6th place, J Lumsden is 2nd with Brian Kinnear is 3rd 4th & 5th.
John Baillie sent in the of the Ripon race with 637 birds from 11 members liberated at 09-45 into light north east wind. Having another great race is Newcombe & Black taking the first 5 positions. A note from Ian is this week’s winner 2464 is bred from race team which contains the Brian Cunningham crossed Dale Newcombe lines. The 2nd bird is also from race team bred from one of Karen Newcombe’s best racers and 3rd bird is a Herman x Geerinckx. It was a strange race Joe with quite a few birds missing when doing the clocks. Some did work in later on in the evening and the following morning. Thanks once again for adding us to your column, yours John B’.
Pentland Hills Federation
News from Andy Miller with the 4th old bird race of the season is from Newark race point the race was held on Sunday 23rd May liberated 07.00 light south west wind 10 clubs sent 1645 birds. This was because of a poor weather forecast; the basketting was delayed for a day to avoid a holdover. The distance was between 210-222 miles for the members. This week’s champ & winning 1st New Lothian and Federation is the consistent and in-form loft of Freddie “Niddrie” Robertson who timed a yearling widowhood cock of Herman Ceusters origin via stock obtained from Premier Stud. The winning lines on the sire side are from “Wild Wind’ & ‘Gold Rush” and on the dam side are “Dark Destroyer’ & ‘Little Lady”. This cock has already won 2nd club & federation Ridsdale & 9th federation Wakefield last season as a youngster. His cash winnings so far in his short racing career are in the region of £2300. Returns from the race Joe were excellent.
1st is F Robertson Danderhall flying 218 miles; 2nd & 3rd are H Aitken & 4th is Stuart Gilchrist of Edinburgh Premier; 5th & 6th & 7th spots go to press man Andy Miller of Sighthill with 8th place going to Steve Girdwood also of Sighthill Freddie Robertson of Danderhall takes the last 2 places.
Danderhall 610 birds; F. Robertson 1721 Aitken 1718.7 Aitken 1718.3
Edinburgh Premier 134 birds; Gilchrist 1710 P. & J. Hutton 1659 Gilchrist 1653
Sighthill 121 birds; Miller 1699 Miller 1698.8 Miller 1698.1
Woodburn 91 birds; Brown & Black 1659 Brown & Black 1650.2 Brown & Black 1650.2
Edinburgh West 67 birds; Bennett 1656 Verth 1573 Bennett 1558
Bonnyrigg 126 birds; Watson & Daughter 1654 Benson & Moran 1622 MacGregor & Lawrie 1581
Easthouses 154 birds; Simpson 1626 Perrin & Cameron 1587 Laing 1525
Arniston 209 birds; W. Pryde & Son 1612 J. Pryde 1611 W. Pryde & Son 1601
Loanhead 18 birds; Anderson 1509 Anderson 1468 Anderson 1455
New Lothian 30 birds;
Others 8 birds;
New Lothian RPC
North of Scotland Federation
Club First Bird
Peterhead & District R H Whyte
Fraserburgh & District A W Buchan
Fr. West End R Barclay
Inverurie W & A Ross
Devern Valley G Wilson
Keith R Wilson
Buckie & District J Cunning
Elgin & District J Thomson
Well done to Robert Whyte on topping the federation and also well done to Gordon Wilson on winning the West Section.