Eight of the Best Part 1
Away back in 2004 the editor asked me to do an article on my choice of pigeons I had handled or wrote about over the years. I kept going over and over some of the top outstanding pigeons that I have been privileged to handle during my time in the sport and believe me it was a very difficult task. I asked myself a question; ‘If you were going to start up with pigeons again, Joe, how would you go about it? I would not make the same mistake as when I first started up by obtaining birds from every Tom, Dick or Harry. With the years of experience I have gained I started to permit my imagination to run wild If I had the money to purchase any pigeon wanted and of course if the owner wanted to part with the birds, that had either bred countless winners or that had proved they could win in the highest competition. I have been lucky enough in the past to handle De Smaragd 1 and De Smaragd 2. I also saw Solway King while visiting Louella Pigeon World. I handled ‘Natrix and other top-class winners at Jim Biss’s loft at Norfolk. ‘Game Lady 2 and ‘Flight Master’ at Les Davenport’s loft; Henry Beattie’s Irish national winning mealy hen; Bertie Fletcher’s top Wildermeersch birds and his Eddie Newcombe family when he moved to Malta. Then there was the team of Robert O Jones of Rosolven in Wales with children from his great winners like the ‘Thurso Cock’ Shetland Leader plus ‘Trottie’, then there was David Son & Cockcroft who had 5 x 2nd Welsh Grand National winners in their loft, I could go on and on’ Being Scottish I decided I would have to go for Scottish Pigeons that had competed in the SNFC which is the benchmark for Scottish pigeons and fanciers to test their skills. I select 7 birds as my Joe Murphy Seven of the Best article. I was also aware that no matter what my choice of pigeons selected were, they would be disputed. Regardless of this I made my choice and highlighted these birds racing performances and breeding. As we are now involved in the Coronavirus pandemic and there is no racing or anything else happing in the sport. I thought of doing an update on my present thoughts on my Joe Murphy 8 of the Best article 2019. I have selected these on SNFC winning performances and have picked 3 cocks and 5 hens. The cock’s being ‘Mr Consistent’ & ‘Donald’ raced by Sinclair Thomson & son Sinclair of Port Seton, and ‘Auld Reekie’ raced by Willie Kinnear & son Barry of Danderhall. The 5 hens are ‘Seton Queen’ also raced by Sinclair Thomson & son Sinclair of Port Seton. ‘Mary’ race by Jocky King of Kirkcaldy, ‘Kingdom Spirit’ raced by George Hunter & son Brian of Dunfermline, ‘Eskvalley Pat’ and ‘Eskvalley Jackie’ raced by Ralston Graham of Langholm.
‘Sinclair Thomson & son Sinclair of Port Seton’
I start with a pigeon who has created a UNIQUE part within the history of the Scottish National Flying Club as far as I’m concerned, as he has won 14 times (yes 14 times) in the SNFC during a 6 year period and it is little wonder Sinclair called him ‘Mr Consistent’. This wonderful cock is raced into a small back garden in Port Seton a little town near Cockenzie on the edge of the Firth of Forth. Mr Consistent has won in all types of winds and from various distances from 286 miles out to 507 miles with velocities ranging from 942 up to 1335ypm. Demonstrating he is something very very special and I’m sure once fanciers read this story, they will agree to why he is my first of my Seven of the Best. The Thomson partnership are quiet and unassuming fanciers and do not like to boast about their achievements however this is my story and about my choices of top pigeons. The Sinclair Thomson & Son (also named Sinclair) of Port Seton have been household names in the Scottish racing pigeon fraternity and won 1st open SNFC Clermont in 2013 with their blue bar cock ‘Rossi’ who beat 1500 birds home doing a velocity of 1090. The following year 2014 a little dark chequer cock was born (Mr Consistent) and won 138th open from the young bird national doing a velocity of 1149 from Buckingham flying a distance of 286 miles against 1552 birds entered by 212 members. Then as a yearling he went to Portsmouth a distance of 363 miles and won 132nd section B 219th open doing a velocity of 1134 participating against 4767 birds entered by 588 members. Then on the 5th of July he was then sent to Eastbourne a distance of 385 miles (this was instead of Ypres as the national could not get across the channel due to a ferry strike) the Thomson’s won 1st section B 1st open SNFC with a chequer hen named ‘Liberty Belle’ doing a velocity of 1414ypm against 2494 birds sent by 445 members. They timed the dark chequer yearling cock to win 48th section B 70th open doing a velocity of 1295ypm. The following year as a 2 year old the Sinclair’s entered the dark chequer cock into 4 Scottish national races with the first of these being flown on 4th June from Buckingham were 521 members took part sending 4328 birds and he won 52nd section B 164th open doing a velocity of 1303 for the 286 miles home. The Littlehampton race came next 14 days after the Buckingham race and he was flying a distance of 370 miles partaking against an entry of 4482 birds entered by 510 members and he recorded a velocity of 1084ypm and won 17th section B 43rd open. Two weeks later he was set up for the Ypres national with 2324 birds contested their skills against the best of Scotland’s 440 members and the dark cock was to the fore as he won 6th section B 7th open doing a velocity of 1146 ypm. Then 14 days later he competed from the last old national from Roye a distance of 494 miles to his home loft at Port Seton and was again up with the leaders as he won 17th section B 49th open doing a velocity of 942 against an entry of 1330 birds submitted by 258 members. In 2017 he only won one national diploma from Buckingham flying a distance of 286 miles against an entry of 4169 birds submitted by 495 members returning with his cover feathers all out yet he still recorded a velocity of 1304 to win 179th open but did not win a section prize. Needless to say he was not raced again that season however the rest must have done him the power of good as he excelled in the 2018 season. Named as ‘Mr Consistent’ he once again competed from 4 Scottish national races starting with the Buckingham race were he won 31st section B 223rd open doing a velocity of 957 for the 286 mile journey back to his loft from an entry of 2941 birds taken part despatched by 441 members. Again 2 weeks later he was entered into the Maidstone race a distance of 359 miles which had 444 members submitting a convoy of 3001 birds and the Thomson father and son partnership won 1st section B 1st open with a blue pied cock named ‘Alfie’ who recorded a velocity of 1444ypm winning the national by 35 ypm. He is bred from the Sinclair’s family of birds direct from the famous Taylor Brothers of Newbiggin, his breeding being ‘Geerinckx’ crossed ‘Van Drop’ bloodlines. ‘Mr Consistent’ was the Thomson’s 7th bird home to the loft from this race however he did win 23rd section B 61st open doing a velocity of 1300 ypm. Two weeks later he was back in the race basket to the Liege race a distance of 507 miles and recorded a velocity of 1144 as he did not wish to be outdone by ‘Alfie’ he kept the Thomson partnership name to the fore by winning 1st section B 5th open from an entry of 1072 birds entered by 327 members. Three weeks later he competed from the last old bird national race of the 2018 season from Roye a distance of 494 miles and he was again to the forefront winning 3rd section B 12th open recording a velocity of 1194 ypm from an account of 747 birds presented by 186 members. In 2019 he was entered into the Maidstone race and was again displayed his ‘class’ by winning 2nd section B 5th open recording a velocity of 1713ypm from a convoy of 2957 birds sent by 421 members contesting in the race. Two weeks later he was set up for the Gold Cup race from Burdinne a distance of 498 miles and he won 11th section B 51st open doing a velocity of 1335ypm against an entry of 1251 birds submitted by the 358 members. This last section B prize from over the channel won the Sinclair Thomson and Son ‘Mr Consistent’ his SNFC Gold Award in 2019 which is a quite unique as he has previously won a SNFC Silver Award for being a 3 times a prize winner from France in 2018 and a SNFC Meritorious Inland Bronze Award for 5 times a winner from inland national races in 2017 ALL the above in the Scottish National. In the 14 races that ‘Mr Consistent’ has raced only 1226 birds have conquer him and he has outclassed 36,189 birds to achieving his SNFC Gold, Silver and Bronze awards which must also rank as magnificent triumph. Parents of ‘Mr Consistent’ are direct from Taylor Brothers of Newbiggin with his sire is a dark chequer Marcel Aelbrecht who was a son of the ‘Pencil Cock’ who was down from the ‘super breeder’ 548. Dam of the dark cock was a daughter of the ‘Falcon’ and the ‘Fed Hen’ The dam of ‘Mr Consistent’ is ‘3499’a double granddaughter of the 035 hen. Her sire was a red cock being a double grandson of ‘Marcel Star’, when paired to the Red Rising Sun hen 035. The dam of ‘3499’ was a dark chequer hen ‘999’ whose sire won 2nd UNC Clermont flying 436 miles: he was bred from a daughter of the Red Rising Sun hen 035. The dam of 999 was the Red Rising Sun hen 035. Malcom told me that the Red Rising Sun hen was one of the best pigeons they have ever owned.
Mr Consistent 1
This father and son partnership also have a blue cock named ‘Donald’ SU14P 5640 who has believe it or not won 10 times in SNFC races, and I will highlight his performances; As a yearling he won 3 times; from Billericay he won 45th section B 71st open from an entry of 3406 birds. Then from Portsmouth race he won 9th section B 9th open flying against 4767 birds and from the Eastbourne race he won 33rd section B 44th open competing against 2494 birds. Then in 2016 he participated from the Ypres race and won 8th section B 9th open flying against 2323 birds and in 2017 he won twice winning 10th section B 33rd open from the Buckingham race with an entry of 4170 birds and then he won 10th section B 16th open from Ypres with 2320 birds participating. In the 2018 season he won 16th section B 31st open from Maidstone competing against 3001 birds and then from Liege against an entry of 1072 birds he won 11th section B 51st open. This win achieved his SNFC Silver Award for being a 3 times a prize winner from France and in 2018 he won the Meritorious Inland Bronze Award for 5 times a winner from inland national races with the SNFC. Then in season 2019 he again won from Maidstone being 153rd open but no section prize from an entry of 2957 birds and from Ypres he won 213th open again no section prize with 2483 birds competing. Only 630 birds beat him during this period and he beat 26,212 birds to achieve these aspirations. He is again from the Van Dorp crossed Marcel Aelbrecht bloodlines much the same way as ‘Mr Consistent’. The Thomson partnership furthermore have a marvellous chequer hen SU14P 5619 named ‘Seton Queen’ who has won 8 times in the national as a 2 year old she won 4 times in 4 Scottish nationals in the same year being 286th open (no section prize) from Buckingham 4328 birds flying a distance of 286 miles; she then went to the Littlehampton race with 4482 birds entered and won 18th section B 45th open. She was then entered into the Ypres race with 2324 birds competing and won 25th section B 45th open and to crown it all off in a season to remember from the last old bird national race from Roye won 1st section B 2nd open against 1135 birds and triumphantly won the Scottish Homing Union ‘Dewar Trophy’ and hailed ‘Scotland’s Bird of the Year’ in 2016’. In 2017 she was sent to Bedhampton race and participated against 6065 birds and won 94th section B 350th open and her next race was Ypres and she won 2nd section B 6th open from an entry of 2320 birds. The following year ‘Seton Queen’ was sent to Maidstone with a convoy of 3001 birds participated and she won 19th section B 36th open and a few weeks later was entered into the Ypres race and won 17th section B 51st open from an entry of 2541 birds and this won her a SNFC Silver Award for winning 3 times from France. Like the 2 above pigeons I have worked out her overall achievements and she has been beaten by 821 birds during her racing career but overall, she has also beaten 22,662 birds which his again an outstanding objective. ‘Seaton Queen’ is also bred from Taylor Brothers of Newbigging stock pigeons. In concluding this short write up on; ‘Mr Consistent’ ‘Donald’ & ‘Seton Queen’ I think you will agree that they are outstanding pigeons and our congratulations go to both Sinclair’s who obviously are very proud of them having excelled in SNFC during the past 6 years. I hope fanciers have enjoyed my efforts in highlighting these 3 wonderful pigeons as there is nothing, I love more than writing about ‘Good Honest Pigeons’ to which the 3 birds truly are.
Who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland
© Compiled by Joe Murphy