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The Joe Murphy Column


This is my first article for 2019 and I wish ALL readers of my column all the very best for the New Year, and I hope your birds achieve some good performances for you. Kevin came down during the holiday period and we went over the stock pigeons and mated them up on paper and hopefully by the time this article is in print I have the stock birds mated up in the loft. It was good to discuss and express our opinions on each bird/pairing and hopefully we obtain the benefit of our task with our results this year. This has giving me back the motivation to get back into the birds and get the loft ready for pairing up. Within the past few days Kevin has been on a ‘high’ as he became a ‘Granddad’ on the 6th of January when his first granddaughter ‘Raegan’ was born to Caitlyn  and Kieran. We went up to visit the young couple and to see our 3rd great granddaughter which was a memory we will never forget. We wish the young couple and Raegan health and happiness for the future.

Raegan Murphy 

Catching Up


Received an email from my good mate Rob Glover of Nuneaton who wrote, ‘Hi Joe hope you and the family have a Happy Christmas and New Year, I've only just got back from a week in Spain this afternoon, and just looked at the homing worlds and noticed things are moving in the right direction for you, I hope this carries on for you. Some information on ‘The Murphy Hen’ she won 32nd section 257th open Tours MNFC & 10th Federation 7th section 38th open Bordeaux MNFC & 2nd Federation 6th section 17th open MNFC ace long distance awards in 2018 and also won a diploma of merit in 2018. What a pigeon she has been for me as she has won in 2016: 2nd section 6th open MNFC Ace long distance award, 2017 2nd section 6th open MNFC Ace long distance award, 2018 1st section 4th open & 4th section 17th open MNFC Ace long distance award. She has been a fantastic/consistent racing pigeon for me. I also won 1st section 37th open MNFC Middle Distance Ace awards 2018, (unfortunately I lost this cock at Bordeaux), he was a ½ brother to a pigeon you had 17 Z 17002 blue hen I think. I’m sure you had pigeons the same way bred as his sire who was a grandson of Farm Boy and George. This cock has always been a consistent pigeon, particularly over the channel, that was the 1st and last time he as ever made a mistake, he has never score under 100 miles in club and federation for me. Look after yourself yours Rob Glover’.  I replied to Rob saying his hen is something special. I also informed him that I was getting my bird back from the Barcelona One Loft this week he is the same lines as The Murphy Hen and he has flown Barcelona 7 times and Perpignan 6 times (so I've been told) plus he has been to other international races. All going well this breeding season I’m going to send Rob a couple of birds from him and hopefully a cock from this pair could go to The Murphy Hen, which Rob will appreciate.  (I’ve attached a copy of this cock’s eye for the column)

 SU10AF 363

Received another email from Ian Gerrard who wrote: ‘Hello Joe, just a wee message to wish you well in the New Year and better health and hope you have a good recovery:  I have only recently found your column on the internet, and really look forward to reading it every week. It’s a difficult task doing this week after week, but you do a wonderful job. I used to race pigeons many years ago in the Perth club it was a grand wee club, about 20 lofts flying each week, with some good pigeon men competing. I was secretary of the club for a time, just after Charlie Howie retired with Jim Blair as my president (Both sadly no longer with us). I was putting together a nice team of Kirkpatrick’s and was starting to get a few good federation positions. I bought the farm, moved the birds and intended to keep racing, but being surrounded by forestry, the hawks soon put that idea to a stop. I always liked the open bowl system, but I could easily loose two birds a day. I still have a loft of Kirkpatrick’s but I dare say they could not compete against all the new high priced strains and different systems used nowadays.  Anyway, keep up the great work Joe, it’s good to hear someone championing the birds welfare, too many in the basket, not enough ventilation in the transporter, and not enough water. They have a hard enough task getting home without being handicapped before they are liberated. Kindest regards yours Ian G’.


North of Scotland Federation


George Duthie who forwards his federation results to me sent a copy of a letter he received from Rick Richards who wrote. ‘As I explained at the federation AGM the entries for the Breeder/Buyer dropped from 96 in 2017 to 48 in 2018. Keeping to the same format for 2019 would most likely be a failure so I have revised it. Previously we had prizes for the first 3 birds in the federation and prizes for first 3 in each section. This meant that the prize money would be won by 6 birds and 12 members. This year the prizes will be won by the first 4 birds in each section (no federation prizes). This means that the prizes will be won by 8 birds and 16 members. All the other rules will remain the same and the entry price will be £20 and a bird to exchange. Working on a minimum entry of 50 the federation will receive £250 to subsidise the race costs the remaining £750 would be paid as follows: 1st section: £75 each for breeder and the buyer in both the East & West sections. 2nd section £52.50 3rd section £35; 4th section £25: The above figures are based on 50 entries. However, if this new format can stimulate some interest then the prize pot would be bigger. As usual I am looking for a coordinator at each club. Closing date for declaring an interest to take part is Sunday 3rd March and the draw will be made on the 10th March. The race is planned for Sedgefield on 7th September and best wishes to all Rick Richards. I have told George to inform Rick that I will donate a youngster for his breeder/buyer fund Joe M.


British International Championship Club


My dear friend John Tyerman the president of the British International Championship Club forwarded me some information on their AGM on Sunday the 5th January at 12pm prompt which followed a General Meeting beginning at 10:30. The minutes of the previous general meeting were passed as correct and Chairman Albi Deacon moved on to the correspondence received.

A letter requesting a marking station in Cambridge was discussed by the management committee and after a lengthy discussion it was proposed and passed that it would not be practicable for this coming season transport arrangements. The Masters One Loft Race wrote in requesting to be allowed to send their one loft pigeons with the BICC young bird race. It was decided that they could be raced with the BICC but the one loft was not to be associated with the BICC. It was also decided to convoy the British Barcelona Club for the Barcelona race. The treasurer Russell Bradford read the following statement to the meeting; everyone has had a copy of the Audited Accounts, so there really isn’t much more to say about 2018, other than hopefully we won’t be spending some £19000 on Lorries again in 2019. To date I haven’t received a single comment or question which is good as far as I’m concerned. I tend to think that having a meeting in early October, so the 2019 subscription level can be determined ahead of Epson Show, but before the 2018 accounts are even ready to be finalised and discussed, is all a bit premature, but obviously and unfortunately necessary as we take around £7000 to £8000 in renewals at Epsom. I think Tom should get a vote of thanks for supplying the stand at Epsom yet again. I feel a late November meeting might have been beneficial, to discuss prize money for 2019 which is not a five-minute quick discussion, and also agree the ring prize money, which from my recommendation of increasing it from £25 per section to £50 a section, suddenly finished up with a vote to make it £100 a section. It seems to me the BICC with a membership count around the sixteen hundred mark, and a turnover close to £200,000 is trying to cram business issues that are important, into a couple of hours in October and an hour before an AGM in January and I just hope it is long enough to make proper decisions. Carol sent out an Agenda before Christmas asking for anything to be added, and I added several items pertaining to finance, namely the 2019 prize money and the late payment fee which was queried by Southern Region and agreed by the RPRA as legal. We are keeping the annual subscription at £25 and I don’t see why the people who don’t pay until April, May, June or even later, should not pay a £10 penalty. An agreement as to the cost of crate cleaning is required and an agreement as to the storage cost for the Lorries. The club needs a new Auditor and that somebody in my opinion absolutely needs to be properly qualified, given they will be the only person checking my work. If I am asked to be Treasurer again it will be my seventh year, and I haven’t run off yet with the money that as of Friday in the two deposit accounts totals to just over £106,000. Depending on who does the Audit I think it a good opportunity to alter the format of the accounts and drop Depreciation which is meaningless in my opinion. It says Treasurer’s Report on the Agenda, so perhaps leave it there on the financials, but there are other areas I seem to cover; GDPR came in as a new law this year, whether you like it or not and I think we are the only big club to address it properly with a Privacy Statement. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, which costs £35.00 a year, but I can assure you if we have a Data Breach or somebody reports us in a fit of pique, the potential fines they dish out if we have broken the law are simply massive. Designing and compiling the member’s handbook seems to become a bigger job every year, as Carol will also vouch for. It takes me around 3 to 4 weeks to get all the information and articles together, and in the past I’ve normally sold anything between £400 to £750’s worth of advertising each year. John and I walked around Epsom last October and talked to a few stand-holders, and I popped into House of Aarden when I was in Cornwall, plus I’ve got a few dedicated repeat advertisers now such as Gem, Belgica and PIPA, so for 2019 I have over £1,150’s worth of revenue committed if everyone takes up. That is approximately 45% of the cost of printing last year’s book, but as a stand-alone figure doesn’t cover the postage. Agreeing the Marking Station info that goes in the book with I/C’s is never straightforward, and I am hoping Albi will agree the new routes for the Lorries in the next few weeks, as we’ve lost Spalding and Norwich and seemingly agreed three others. A big thank you to Mark Gilbert and all the donors of pigeons to the Auction as it brought in £11,751 after the various costs. The MPA site fees were £1,372 and the adverts £584, so the Transport fund is £10,000 richer and the remainder will hopefully fund some of the increase to 2019 prize money that I am recommending. Also, thanks to the 52 members who so far this year, have paid their fees direct to the bank a/c and saved us 52 x 65 pence on stamps.  Doesn’t sound much, but if everyone did it we could save a lot of bank charges. All in all we start 2019 in a pretty healthy financial position. The first race will be on the 27th April 2019 and the program the same as 2018 with the exception of Cholet being changed to Tours. It was also proposed by Russell Bradford to restructure the prize money but it was decided that the prize monies will remain the same for 2019 to be reviewed again next year. A new website is to be arranged with Sandy at My Soft and suggestions from the meeting was to keep it as simple as possible to help with navigation of the site to continue providing all the benefits of information flow to members. The presentation in Bournemouth is completely sold out as 186 will be in attendance. Ian Evans, the CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association will be guest of honour and will no doubt give an update of the Council endeavours to grow the membership of the sport. A suggestion to buy a temperature and humidity recorder for one of the transporters was accepted to be a good idea to keep a record of the conditions within the transporter to see if any improvements are required when transporting our pigeons to the race point. A closing date for claims of Awards of Merit was set at Sept 30th each season, the Z pool charity nomination will continue to support the charity “Quest” which provides riding for the disabled and Jill Rogers has confirmed that Countrywide Pigeon Feeds will continue to support the club for 2019. Ring sales are now at 7400 and members are encouraged that the B ring competition will pay out £1200 over the two young bird races giving £50 for 1st £30 for 2nd and £20 for third in each section to young bird carrying the clubs ring. All offices were declared vacant at the beginning of the AGM and after the minutes of the previous AGM were passed as a true record the Balance Sheet was also passed. There were five defaulters from 2018 which were sent through to the RPRA for suspensions until fully paid and permission was given to dispose of unwanted documents prior to 2016. A proposition came forward to elect all officers as 2018 with the exception of the Auditors who have decided to stand down. Jill Rogers accepted the position for 2019. One final proposition was to make Mark Gilbert a vice president for 2019 which was carried unanimous. Three more Awards of Merit came in after my last article which deserves a mention as the award is claimed by those whose pigeon has scored in the top 15 of the club flown from the International race points. Bill Aherne began in the sport in 1980 and joined the BICC in 1985.

He has had many top 100 Open BICC positions but he is 83 years old and said that due to his old age these previous best positions are all he can remember. Barcelona Open Positions: 1st 2nd 5th 8th 10th 15th 17th 20th 29th Perpignan Open Positions: 9th 12th Pau Open Positions: 10th 15th 25th 35th From Dax he has scored 3rd open. NFC Pau Grand National 2nd 7th 31st open and 8th open BBC Palamos. Apart from winning 1st Open BICC Barcelona one of his most memorable days in pigeon racing was when on the same day he was 8th Open BBC Palamos 686 Miles and within half hour he clocked to be 5th Open BICC Barcelona 711 Miles. At the ripe old age of 83 Bill with his one loft race Partner Miguel Villarino has decided to compete in one loft races. The Grand Canaria One Loft race was their first in 2018 flying 460km in the final over the Atlantic Ocean, when they were 19thOpen 19th Ace pigeon. Bill races to a tidy 22 x 8 loft he keeps 17 pair of races all natural and breeds 40 young birds per season with 8 stock pairs. Bill Knox and John Chipperfield claimed the remaining two awards to make a total of ten fantastic pigeons all receiving awards for outstanding performances in 2018. My thanks to John for the above information as I like (as do many other fanciers do to) wish to know what is going on within the BICC.




The Eddie Newcombe Trophy to Billy Bilsland (R)          -           Andrew Lees Runner Up The Eddie Newcome Trophy


This week’s photographs from Jim Hannah are of the presentation of The Edwin Newcombe Memorial Award for the first bird from the Buckingham Young Bird National this was won by Billy Bilsland of Ayton who won 1st open. The runner up was Andrew Lees of Eyemouth who won 6th open they were presented with their awards by Davie Elliot. The pigeon’s photographs are from the ‘Gagie Loft’ of Billy McEwan of Dundee who won 2nd open SNFC Ypres with ‘Gagie Star’: 7th open SNRPC Arras with ‘Gagie Charlie’; 12th open SNFC Maidstone with ‘Gagie Prince’ and 13th open SNFC Maidstone with ‘Gagie Kid’ and you will see from the montage picture that Billy is handling his mealy cock that won 7th open SNFC Clermont for him.


Joe’s Joke


For all of you men who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren't married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine! Wayne was driving home from one of his business trips in Northern Queensland when he saw an elderly Aboriginal man walking on the side of the road. As the trip was a long and quiet one, he stopped the car and asked the Aboriginal man if he would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the old man got into the car. Resuming the journey, the old man just sat silently, looking intently at everything he saw, studying every little detail, until he noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Wayne. 'What's in the bag?' asked the old man. Wayne, looked down at the brown bag and said,’it’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my wife.' The Aboriginal man was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, he said: 'Good trade...'


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