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The Joe Murphy Column - 26-07-21

The Joe Murphy Column

A few weeks ago I had in my column that Malcolm Simmons from Norfolk was coming up to visit his daughter in Canonbie. He liberated 3 Scottish pigeons he has collected from fancier within his area. I advised him to liberate them in the Scottish Borders. I received a phone call from Robbie Cook of Rosyth who read my column and one of the pigeons SU18F 4364 was his. Believe it or not he received a phone call from a non-fancier saying he had picked up the pigeon injured not far from Gorebridge which was south of were Malcolm had liberated them. Robbie would like to thank Malcolm the non-fancier & me assisting him to know what had happened to his pigeon. I never heard about the other 2 birds. Ronnie Dodd phoned to say he had a SU20 1410 pigeon come into him, it was in good condition and he would take it to the NFC marking station and hope someone from the Manchester area would take the bird with them and give it a helping hand home, let us hope it makes it.

The Worst Season Ever

I have spoken to a few fanciers lately and they are all saying the same thing, ‘this is the worst season ever, for losses’. People don’t mind getting beaten and congratulate the winners of every race and take their hats off to outstanding performances achieved by quality pigeons. We are all realistic to know that you cannot win ALL the races, but we do not send out entries away in the hope of getting them HOME. We send them to hopefully make the result!!!! Many hours and LSD are spent on petrol in training the birds for these classic events. It doesn’t matter one hoot about the pool money placed on the birds this is a gamble we all take. Same as picking a horse in the Grand National or the Oaks this is ‘fun money’. Pigeon Men are like the owners of the horses if one of theirs has a bad fall and has to get put down your heart goes out to the owners and trainers. Well believe me it is the same with pigeon men, you don’t send ‘duffers’ to the national you send your best as they are the ones who will be representing your loft. So to sit in your garden on race days and wait and wait and nothing transpires is heart-breaking, but there is always tomorrow and maybe they will arrive then. To get up and sit all day with not a feather is the worst feeling in the world. Every fancier in the WORLD will say the same thing ‘Good Luck and Well Done’ to the people who get birds and you take your hat off to them. But it doesn’t help the hurt you are going through as you wait on your entries to return home and this year has been the worst we have experienced.  

Guernsey National

The SNFC held their Channel race from Guernsey with the convoy of 1273 birds sent by 300 members liberated at 09-15am into a light south west wind and the report said ‘The convoy cleared the site immediately in a north west direction. Peter White of Hamilton timed in at 19-34 flying 440 miles to record a velocity of 1251 ypm. His 3 year old dark chequer cock was a late bred by club mate Jim Hannah. In 2017 Peter lost the majority of his young birds, and the following year he was only left with 6. ALL the members of the club rallied round and gave him some latebreds. Jim Hannah gave him 9 which the dark chequer cock was one of them, his sire was a Phil Smith of Blantyre who moved to Ayrshire. While the dam was bred by Jim from his own family of distance pigeons, the cock had 4 races in 2019. Then in 2020 he had 2 or 3 races and due to Covid the season was a ‘Washout’. This year Peter decided to push the birds on and after rearing a pair of babies the birds were raced on the roundabout system. He had the hens going to the race one week and the cocks the following week. This was carried out for the first 6 races of the season then he repaired his birds for the longer races. The hens were given the Kettering (1) race a distance of 272 miles and the cocks went to the same race point the following week. He was then sent to Guernsey feeding a 4 day old youngster day of basketing. Peter checked the SNFC web page and noticed there were birds in the south section. He then had his dinner and was making a cup of tea to take out the back garden with him to watch for race birds, when his dog started barking and he opened the back door to see what was wrong. When the dark chequer cock flew right past him onto the trap and was right into the stall trap, he was so keen to get home. Peter has named his SNFC Guernsey winner ‘Jim’s Lad’ as a token of admiration to Jim for breeding the bird for him. He would also like to ‘THANK’ all the fanciers who gave him babies when he had such bad luck. ‘Jim’s Lad’ wins 1st section E 1st West Region 1st open SNFC by a clear 8 yard velocity for the 440 miles a truly outstanding performance and a very good winner. Peter was 2nd open inland national from Buckingham 495 miles in 2017 when the Macaloney partnership won 1st open from an entry of 4170 birds. My congratulations go to Peter and my thanks also to Walter Boswell for getting Peter to contact me. Another dear old friend Craig Halbert of Eastriggs had impressive race timing in 4 birds to win 1st 3rd 10th & 13th section A 2nd 4th 14th & 18th open a tremendous result well done Craig.

Craig Halbert of Eastriggs
Craig Halbert

Another dear friend Billy Bilsland from Ayton is there once again to win 1st section B 7th open with Cree & Cuthbert of Ayr winning 1st section F 9th open (Archie will be doing a write up on them for the column) Robbie Cook of Rosyth in Fife wins 1st section C 34th open he has had a good season in 2021. Tom & Mary Paterson of Plean win 1st section D 44th open with my dear of friends Jock & Willie Strang of California in 2nd section D 45th open. Ryan Hay & Family of Banff win the 1st section G 1st North Region 63rd open flying 565 miles and John Thompson of Spay Bay flying a distance of 566 miles wins 2nd section and north region plus 68th open, 3rd section G are Duncan & Thomson of Keith with their only entry flying 557 miles. Well done to everyone who timed in and made the result and I hope returns have improved as I write this column.          

Littlehampton National

The Scottish National Racing Pigeon Club held their race from Littlehampton on Friday 9th July with 735 birds liberated at 06-00 hours with no wind at the race point.  David Crees of Coldstream timed in at 15-40 for the 342 miles and recorded a velocity of 1039 to win 1st section B 1st open so our congratulations go to David on this win. 1st section D 3rd open is Peter Keogh of Broxburn with Arbroath’s Charlie & Glen Cameron winning 1st section C 6th open.

Charlie Glen Cameron see text
Charlie & Glen Cameron

The winner of 1st section E and 1st west section & 25th open is the W Davidson & son David of Coalburn. Ian Ross of Kirkintilloch wins 1st section F 9th west section & 56th open. Pete Penman of the  Kingdom Racing Pigeon Association continues with the news of Fife’s report on the  Association open race in conjunction with the SNRPC from Littlehampton on Friday the 9th of July with the 162 birds sent by 23 members were liberated at 6am. This turned out to be a very difficult race as only 5 brave birds making it home on the day, with a further 22 being recorded the next day in race time. A few have turned up in the last few days, but many birds are still amiss. Leading the way is Dave Wilson of Leuchars with a yearling blue hen sitting 16 days on eggs. On return from the race she ran into the loft and chased her mate off the nest and sat tightly on them until Dave fed the birds the next morning. Her sire is a grandson of Tom Curries ‘JJ’ that was 1st open SNRPC Reims. The dam was a gift bird from Terry Turpie from his Black of Drumore bloodlines. This hen was 7th open 2nd section winning the Yearling national with the SNRPC which is a happy ending to Dave’s present loft location as the land it is on has been sold. Two new lofts have now been erected in his back garden. 2nd open is Dyke Armour of Coaltown of Balgonie club with a home bred Rod Sparke’s 2 year old hen on roundabout. This hen won 3rd section 11th open in the national he was also 18th & 26th federation. He is also 8th with a 2 year old homebred Frank Tasker blue, white flight cock that won 3rd open Kingdom, 5th section 13th open Billericay this year. 3rd & 12th federation is Matt Shields of St. Serfs who is having another excellent season: Matt timer was his 4 year blue hen sitting 14 day eggs. She is a Kirkpatrick crossed Janssen. This hen has previously won 12th section 47th open Arras 2019. In 2020 she was 35th section Billericay & 39th section Arras. 4th 18th & 26th federation is Dyke Armour with his first bird a 2 year old chequer hen that is a home bred Rod Sparks also on roundabout. 5th is John Proctor of St. Serfs club who timed his 3 year old grizzle cock that was 3rd section from the SNRPC Huntingdon 2 weeks ago, he was sent feeding a 2 day old youngster. Sire bred by Norman Renton with the dam being the last daughter of Lucky Jim, who was 1st open SNRPC Tours. 6th & 9th federation is Dunc Walker of Leuchars with his first bird a 2 year old blue hen sitting 12 day eggs she had 5 races prior to Littlehampton. Sire is a direct youngster from Tom Currie x with a direct youngster from Dave Burns. 7th & 15th fed is Coaltown's Chic Dinsdale who timer was a grizzle cock sitting 4 day eggs. He has previously won 10th Kingdom Billericay, 13th section 54th open Hasbrouck & 64th section Arras last year as a yearling. As you can see the class of all the above birds in their previous performances is second to none.  Other federation winners are as follows D Whyte of St Serfs is 10th 20th & 24th with Garry Hall of Coaltown in 11th spot. S Fleming of St Serfs is 13th with Jock Mackenzie of Leuchars club in 14th & 23rd positions. Chic Dinsdale of Coaltown is 15th with Eric Young of Leuchars club in 16th place, his brother Jock wins 17th 19th 25th & 27th positions. S Bowman of Rosyth club is 21st with Penman & Grubb in 22nd place. My thanks, once again go to Pete Penman federation president on supplying the information on the leading birds in the result.

North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who informs us the federation old bird race from Maidstone flown on 11th July had 37 members sending 229 birds liberated in a light south east wind. Topping the east section and open is A Higgins of Fraserburgh West End club he is also 5th east section 7th open his federation winner was doing a velocity of 1470.  2nd open & east section is G Findlay of Peterhead & District club. Ryan Hay & Family of Devern Valley club are having a good season and in this race won 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th west section 3rd 4th 9th & 10th open great flying well done Ryan. R Barclay of Fraserburgh West End is 3rd & 12th east section 5th & 22nd open with R Adamson of Inverurie club winning 4th east section 6th open. Club mate A Robb wins 6th & 10th east section 8th & 20th open. Colin McRae of Fraserburgh & District wins 7th & 14th east section 11th & 27th open. S Glew of Peterhead & District is 8th east section 12th open with J Cumming of Buckie & District winning 5th west section 13th open. The Fulton & Ritchie Loft 2 partnership from Devern Valley win 6th west section 14th open their club mate A Wilson wins 7th & 8th west section 15th & 16th open.  Another Devern Valley member N Raymond wins 9th & 10th west section 17th & 19th open.  C & M Williams of Peterhead & District are 9th east section 18th open with Eric & Nicky Yule of Inverurie club 11th east section 21st open.  John Thomson of Elgin & District club is 11th 13th & 13th west section 22nd 26th & 29th open.  Stuart Maskame of Peterhead & district club is 13th east section 24th open. A J Reid of Keith club is 12th west section 25th open A W Buchan of Fraserburgh & District club wins 15th east section 28th open with G Wilson of Devern Valley wins 15th west section 30th open.

Clubs First Birds as follows;

Fraserburgh West End winner A HIGGINS veloicty1470.368

Peterhead & District winner G FINDLAY velocity 1448.267

Devern Valley winner R HAY & FAMI velocity LY 1425.671

Inverurie winner R ADAMSON velocity 1410.596

Fraserburgh & District winner C MCRAE velocity 1390.932

Buckie & District winner J CUMMING velocity 1350.512

Elgin & District winner J THOMSON velocity 1085.827

Keith winner A J REID 1 velocity 070.681

WELL DONE; to a A HIGGINS ON TOPPING the Federation and also a well done to R Hay & Family on winning the west section.

Joe’s Joke 

I’m just back from Tesco’s and I have to tell you this, I was behind a grandfather and his badly-behaved grandson. He has his hands full with the child screaming for sweets, biscuits, all sorts of things. The granddad is saying in a controlled voice: “Easy, William, we won’t be long . . . easy boy.”

Another outburst and I heard the granddad calmly say: “It’s okay William. Just a couple more minutes and we’ll be out of here. Hang in there, boy.”

At the checkout the little horror is throwing items out of the trolley. Granddad says again in a controlled voice: “William, William, relax buddy, don’t get upset. We’ll be home in five minutes, stay cool William.”

Well, I was really impressed, so I went outside to where the grandfather is loading his groceries and the boy into the car. I said to the Grandad ‘It’s none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don’t know how you did it. That whole time you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying things would be okay. William is very lucky to have you as his granddad’.  ‘Thanks,’ said the Granddad. ‘But I am William. The little bugger’s name is Kevin’.

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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