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in Articles & Loft Reports
Posted February 20
Stuart Maskame and Ruth Cordiner
How it all started: -
It started as far back as 1983 with an English (GB) stray landing on a one of Stuarts friends farm, a
local fancier Andra Buchan was contacted in an effort to try and get the pigeon repatriated back to
the original owner. However, Andra being the fancier he was always eager to recruit new blood into
the sport and duly arrived with a hen to pair to the cock, great motivator as we all know once you
get the bug it very seldom leaves! The next stage was a bigger and better loft to house the birds, his
friend having received permission from his dad the work was commenced to convert the upstairs of
a steading into a loft. The second stage was to increase the team which was completed by
youngsters being received from various members of the Peterhead Racing Club. The next few
seasons came and went with no real impact on club positions however that was to change in 1987, A
blood red cock which was a gifted pigeon from Andra Buchan won the race from Coupar Angus the
time had arrived the first red card for the pair!!
Racing in earnest
The next pigeon to record a win was another gift bird this time from Davie McDougall this bird being
a Herman x Busschaert cross this pigeon was first from Burscough a distance of 277 miles the
following week the bird was put to Stafford a distance of some 300 miles where it recorded 3 rd club.
The next birds which were introduced to the loft were obtained from Johny Mathieson in Aberdeen
when John left the sport. One of these pigeons being a ten-year-old blue cock, this bird had been
sent “over the channel” to compete in some of the France races and proved very adequate to the
task. However, the cock had not filled his eggs for the past two years (85 and 86) so the decision was
made to break this pigeon into a new loft and to try him on the road. First race was Brechin some
sixty-two miles and he took nine days to return (wonder if he had been sitting on the roof of John’s
house which over looked the Froghall Plots). Next race on the cards for him was a distance of 170
miles and this time taking two days to return a considerable improvement. Next, he was dispatched
to Exeter (470 miles) and arrived at 6:20 on the day to record 4 th club.
After the enjoyment of seeing this pigeon return from 470 miles the distance racing bug had well
and truly been imbedded.
The teen years: -
Stuart’s interest turned away from pigeons to perhaps a different type of bird!
In 2001 Stuart had a chance meeting with some of the local fanciers, an interest was rekindled and
next on the agenda was the building of a 12ft loft.
When the loft was constructed A truly amazing gesture was received from Irvine Buchan who
presented Stuart with a team of 40 youngster, Irvine subsequently became a mentor for Stuart
always being there for advice etc a truly great character. In addition, some birds were purchased
from Bob Whyte of Ritchie and Whyte fame, these two families becoming the mainstay of what was
to become a very famous loft.
In the 2005 season Stuart recorded his finest performance to date he recorded first, second and
third in the race from Hastings a distance of 466 miles, two of the three pigeons being grandchildren
of Bob Whyte’s 5th SNFC open Lille, hen ‘Margaret’
The 2005 young bird season was unbelievable as Stuarts team went on to win; -
1) Every race with the exception of the first one.
2)Winning the fed averages
3) Federation combined average
4) recording 14 th and 33 rd open SNFC YB National from Cheltenham (386miles).
5) Stuart has won the North Federation Combine averages eight times which is only 1 behind the late
great Bob McDonald.
Stuart stated that “the Scottish National Flying Club has given him his greatest achievements in this
wonderful sport” having won the North Section a total of 5 times.
The highlight of Stuarts pigeon racing was in 2014, when Poppy a two-year-old blue hen was sent to
the Ypres race. This gallant hen arrived at his loft to record 1 st Open SNFC, this had always been
Stuart’s dream and to realise that Poppy had enabled him to fulfil that ambition was an experience
he will never ever forget. But the story did not end there Stuart also topped the Federation race
from Battle a distance of 464 miles with a yearling hen. How many readers can equal that
performance – not many I believe.
If Stuart was asked to nominate his best performances, he would have to say his SNFC section
winners and of course Poppy his open winner. But as Stuart states his 2005 bred blue cock named
“Maverick” was a real doo, he was sent to 4 SNFC races and scored in all: -
1) 4th north section 204th open Eastbourne 475 miles
2) 12th North Section 60th open Alencon 632 miles
3) 2nd North section Alencon
4) finally 8th North section Reims 620 miles
5) Received an SNFC silver award
6) Won the Joe Murphy/BHW sporting challenge with his 2nd section Alencon performance.
That is some fine performances from the distance
The Loft: -
The set up consists of three lofts the first being 18ft long and is home to his roundabout team also
12 pairs of stock birds. Second is a 16’ foot loft which houses the widowhood cocks and finally a
young bird loft which is 12ft in length.
Feeding and Exercise
During the old bird racing season the birds are fed a mixture of three types, diet 2000, Gerry Plus
and a high fat energy mix. The young birds are fed depurative, diet 2000, Gerry Plus and high energy
is added prior to young bird national.
The regime begins at 6am with the roundabout team being exercised. The widowhood team are
exercised twice per day which starts with Ruth getting the cocks out at 8 and again at 4pm. The
roundabout team go out again when Stuart returns home from work which is about at 5pm. After
which the young birds are exercised.
Partner of Maskame and Cordiner formed
In 2021 Stuart met Ruth and it wasn’t long before she took a real interest in the birds and soon after
the partnership Maskame & Cordiner was formed. Ruth has proved a massive help and doesn’t let
Stuart rest on his laurels making sure he does not slack off and completes all jobs that need doing
with the birds! Ruth also manages the team of 16 widowhood cocks and also the young birds.
In her first year looking after the young bird team Ruth topped the federation three weeks on the
trot no mean feat.
In season 2023 old bird season, Ruth’s widowhood cocks recorded the following positions:-
2nd and 10th fed from Auchendinny 1
1st club 5th fed Huntingdon 363 miles
3rd , 4th club and fed Strathkinnes 2
However in the 2023 young bird season Ruths achievements were outstanding:-
Brechin 1 = 2nd,3 rd and 4th club which resulted in 8,9 and 10th federation
Brechin 2 = 1st and 2nd club 7 th and 8th federation
Strathkinnes 1 = 4 th ,5 th , 6 th club and 13 th ,14 th and 15 th Federation
Strathkinnes 2 = 2 nd ,3 rd ,4 th club and 2 nd , 3 rd , and 4 th federation
Auchendinny 1 = 1 st 2 nd , 4 th club and 1 st , 2 nd and 4 th Federation
Brechin 3 = 6 th club and 7 th Federation
Strathkinnes 3 = 2 nd and 3 rd club and 8 th and 15 th Fed
Strathkinnes 4 = 2 nd , 6 th and 7 th club and Federation
These are Ruth’s yb results from last season In the old birds her widowhood cocks were 2nd and
10th fed from Auchendinny 1 1st club 5th fed Huntingdon 363 miles 3rd , 4th club and fed
Ruth has become a valued part of the team.
On race days, after the chores have all been completed Stuart and Ruth sit in the garden
accompanied by a bacon n egg butty to relax ready to enjoy the birds arriving.
The aim of the partnership is to try and win the North Section again so that Ruth and Stuart can go
down to the presentation.
Every race is enjoyed here from the first to the last and that is how they mean to proceed!
Scribes note: - I have written for the Racing Pigeon and BHW for a number of years but this is the
first time I have had the opportunity to do a loft report on a winning SNFC pigeon and given the
location of Stuarts loft and the distance this pigeon had to fly over a mid Scotland location this must
Posted February 16
Posted February 13
Posted February 12
Posted February 11
Posted February 9
Back in the Day
George first started keeping pigeons back in 1973 at the ripe old age of 13, his family were well
acquaint with the sport in fact Georges late father was in partnership with Georges uncle, this
partnership ceased to fly in the early 70s, George went on to join the Keith club and North
Federation in 1974 this has continued until last year when he decided to fly with Aberdeen
Federation in an attempt to push his birds further getting them ready to participate in the Scottish
National races however he has again joined the North Fed and has taken up the role of liberator
(there is no such thing as a free dinner in this Fed).
The first fully participated season was in 1979 and had the occasional success during the next three
or four years, it was about this time that his first business which entailed working some ridiculous
hours and his father took up the reins as far as racing etc was concerned well the change in
performances was there for all to see, from an occasional win the team went on to record having
three pigeons in the first four club places a remarkable change indeed. At this time widowhood was
none existence the birds racing to the loft but in fine condition as seen in the performances, George
went on to bask in the glory!!
However, life and time do not stand still and in 1986 George and Jacqueline tied the knot and
relocated to a house in grange which proved to be a better location for both couple and of course
the pigeons. About this time George had a light bulb moment and realised if he was going to
compete with the old man, he needed to up his game, the result being some enjoyable years were
to follow competing against each other, obviously George wanted to beat his father but if that was
not possible then he wanted his father to claim first prize.
Start of the Widowhood era.
After Georges father passed, he got the bug for widowhood racing having bought 4 birds from the
late great Frank Tasker, they were of the Haeltermans strain and one hen in particular although
quite a dull looking pigeon turned out to be the best stock hen he has ever had, at one time the
team of 8 widowhood cocks had 3 of her sons in it and they all performed impeccably, he could do
no wrong with them up to 360 miles. This however was their maximum; they just did not perform at
a greater distance which was a great pity. One particular cock 1407 recorded 13 firsts and 5 seconds,
he won the North Federation race from Hexham by 30 mins, his brother arrived 40 mins behind him
to record 6 th fed, 1407 was also 3 rd fed on two separate occasions being retired at four years old,
tragically a couple of years later a cat got into the loft not only killing 1407 but eight others of his
pigeon’s sorry day.
During the years George performance has fluctuated having had some very good seasons and some
iffy ones but his main satisfaction has always been derived from trying to find some exceptional
pigeons and getting the best from them although what he has classed as good pigeons have
amounted to about no more than 20 individuals in the last 50 years.
He has been fortunate enough to have won the North Of Scotland Bird of the year 3 times and had
the satisfaction of breeding a Bird of the year winner for Jackie Ritchie of Fraserburgh which he aptly
named “Duncans Rocket”, this hen topped the Fed in consecutive weeks as a yearling and went on
to win many fed tickets before Jackie gave her back to George when she was 5 years old, Duncans
Rocket was bred from a bird that had previously won bird of the year two years previously, this bird
was number 4515 which was another bred from the Haelterman family.
Another outstanding performer for George being number 7303 this pigeon recorded seven firsts also
bird of year which is a pied again bred from the haelterman. Sadly, this great pigeon passed away
just before Christmas at the grand old age of 20 this pigeon has topped the Federation from a
distance of 360 miles by 20 mins and bred another North of Scotland Bird of the Year George being
the only person to win it three times, another great performance.
George had always envied fanciers who could condition birds to fly 500 plus miles in race time
especially “across the channel”, Alencon was tried with a hen received from Albert Mathers and she
was a really “tough nut”, never laid an egg in her life but could mate with any hen George tried to
pair her with in no time, she was twice 2 nd club hastings and was his only entry to France but she
returned to record 11th north section 188 th open at a distance of 620 miles. However as so often
happens to our birds she was sent to a 240-mile race but alas did not return but unfortunately there
are a lot of obstacles in our pigeon’s return journeys.
About 8 or 9 years ago a stock hen was purchased from the Padfield family with the intention of
giving the distance another try, since the purchase a good friendship was struck with the brothers
which resulted in various visits to their lofts and accompanied by some friends which resulted in
some great nights during these trips.
Over the next few years a few birds were obtained from Dai and Vince but the original hen paired to
a Brian Sheppard cock resulted in a great foundation for the way forward, one of the offspring a red
cock topped the fed in the longest young bird race which was a distance of some 240 miles,
incidentally loft mates taking the next five club and Federation positions, this cock as a two-year-old
went on to record 3 rd North Section SNFC Ypres a distance of 520 miles.
Subsequently a sister of this red cock was mated to a dark cock, this cock being purchased from a
cancer charity sale the breeder being Davie McDougal of Peterhead out of his best distance stock.
The pairing produced a cock who was 3 rd north sect 93 rd open Maidstone 459 miles, (George
recorded 1 st North Section 19 th open also 5 th North Section 163 rd open with loft mates).
They are also grandparents to 1 st federation 2 nd North Section 73 rd open young bird national (375
miles) in 2021, also 1 st federation 3 rd North Section young bird National 2022 (393 miles) both these
pigeons being bred from the same hen. George intends put young birds from this pair into our
forthcoming fed sale.
One of his most memorable/enjoyable performances was also at the distance this time from
Guernsey 560 miles in the National where his single entry was one of only 3 birds from 91 entered
who made it in race time recording 3 rd North Section, a peregrine caught him early next year while
exercising round the loft, he was devastated as you can imagine!
As with most in the fancy raptors are a big problem in this location, last year there were 11 attacks
on his birds this being out of 22 which was the total number he had turned his team out for exercise
times he had them out flying round the loft prior to racing.
George is a great performer as far as the Scottish National is concerned for example over 8 National
Races the following was recorded one first, one second and five thirds, but last year was back to
earth with a bump.
Exercise for the birds is pretty standard with cocks out in morning, he is not concerning how long
the cocks fly for as long as they are flapping their wings etc in fact he feels it is safer for them as
stated previous there are far too many raptors and it does not show any signs of improving in fact
the opposite. Young Birds are exercised late afternoon early evening for between 1 to 2 hrs time in
the air is very important to give the birds exercise etc. The first round of young birds is moved onto
the darkness the longer young bird races are preferred and gives greater enjoyment. Various
restrictions for example last year an outbreak of bird flu stopped clubs participating which resulted
in the Federation restriction on the distance covered.
Old Birds :- Versele Laga breeding plus is used as it also seems to keep the old birds in good
condition while providing more than adequate sustenance for the young birds within the breeding
During the racing season again Versele Laga is used this time it is the turn of the widowhood mix or
Super Star coupled with depurative are used in an effort to reduce the birds weight. Young birds are
fed yes you guessed it Versele Laga Junior however depurative is also used to reduce weight should
the YB put on to much weight with the skin turning a tad blue although George emphasised if you
get it right, darkness young birds can really be brought on for the yb National and hopefully this year
he can get them to participate in the new amalgamation race and make a “pound or 750 lol”.
medicine or additives are kept to a minimum.
This loft is Petron long and is 86ft in length and requires to be painted this year, there are four
sections each containing twelve nest boxes all equipped with cleaning belts. Also, three sections
with 150 perches again with cleaning belts and finally the last section has twenty-four next boxes
again with the cleaning belt installed.
Racing team consists of 48 and 12 stock pairs are housed, this has been reduced over the last few
years but it is my intension to increase this, certain set of circumstances have curtailed his
enjoyment of racing thus the reduction of the racing team but things look to be on the up for the
When the family moved to the Grange, one of the conditions being that he did not move the old
sheds and a new loft was to be purchased. This loft was on display by Petron at the Blackpool show
with an additional 20ft being added when erected. In fact, the loft was erect just as the construction
of the house was commenced. George admits himself that he was a racing fanatic back then winning
28 of the 35 races entered and 2 nd in the ones he did not win but he is alright nowwwwwwww.
For George this hobby/competition is everything as it is what makes fanciers want to try harder.
Finally, George would like to wish “all the best to all in the north fed and roll on 2024 season”
I came across an old article written by the late Owen McIvor of Carnwath in 1982 and was quite staggered
to find the problems back then are more or less the same as we have at the present time within our sport. We
have now moved on 42 years and yet you would think we were stuck in an imaginary time warp.
Owen wrote; It is now a decade since I last wrote an article for the Homing World Stud book and I feel very
honoured to be asked for a further contribution. In the 1971 book I gave a breakdown of my experiences
over the previous 30 years as regards Feeding, Breeding, Racing and Showing, and I propose to past further
comment on some of these topics in this article.
There is not much I can add on this subject. I still feed on a good sound mixture of Beans, Maize and a few
peas. This year I got the chance of a few bags of wheat at a reasonable price from a local farmer and this was
included in the mixture. It didn’t do the birds any harm. I have heard from various sources that peanuts are
the feed nowadays, and the number of wins attributed to the birds fed on them would suggest that this is the
case. However, being a humble working man, now retired. I am afraid they are a wee bit pricey for me. If by
chance, I am offered some that may have ‘fallen off the back of a lorry’ I will certainly try them out.
Now here is a subject that I have always maintained is the most important part of pigeon racing and I stand
by that statement. I am a great believer in the saying that ‘Blood will tell’; and I have made a practice of
keeping a stock bird from my best pigeons. This I did in the belief that I could in time, reproduce
grandchildren with the same winning genes and the character of these good birds. To give you one example
of how successful this thinking has been I will quote my good blue chequer hen SUHW63 11558; ‘Tinto
Sweetheart’. She won five times across the Channel including 2 nd section SNFC Avranches. By the way I
don’t want to digress, but as matter of interest, she was bed from a red chequer cock and a mealy hen and
according to the theorists, any blue chequers b red from such a mating will be hens, and are recessive and no
use for reproduction. At least so I have been told. Anyway, I bred a red chequer hen, SU69L 19517, from
her and kept it for stock. From 19517 I bred a red chequer hen SU72L15530, which also won 2 nd section
SNFC Avranches like her grandmother among good national wins. This hen SU72L15530 then produced a
blue chequer hen SU75L18595, which won 7 th section 13 th open SNFC Avranches. This year’s winner of 6 th
section SNFC Avranches a blue chequer pied hen SU79SN 9602 is a full sister of blue chequer hen SU75L
18595. The sire of these two hens is a blue cock SU71L 10286 which is also sire of my 1 st section SNFC
Nantes winner this year. Blue Cock SU71L 10286 was bred from stock from ‘Tinto Goldmine’ and ‘Tinto
Never Say Die’. ‘Tinto Goldmine’ was five times across the Channel in two year including 5 th open SNFC
Avranches. ‘Tinto Never Say Die’ won six times across the channel in six years including 1 st section 4 th open
So, you see, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these good birds are coming up trumps now simply
because I kept a stock bred from them to ensure the bloodlines were continued. Many fanciers don’t believe
in breeding from birds over 5 or 6 years of age. The consider that young birds bred from older stock are not
as vigorous as those bred from young stock. I’m afraid I cannot go along with this as I have bred equally as
good birds from both young and aged birds. The details in the previous paragraphs are a good example of
A further example is seen in my blue hen SU79 9011 which was in the prize list from SNFC Sartilly this
year being timed at 9-55pm on the day of toss. She is a grand daughter of one of the original blue hens,
SURP58L 1656, with which I started the Carnwath loft in 1958. That is a span of 21 years between the
grand dam and its grand-daughter.
Last year I decided to prepare for the next ten year, I bred a pair of late bred’s from my stock cock
SU71L10286, and his sister SU71L 10298, also stock. I have now two very robust blue cocks which I
reckon should ensure the continuity of the strain for some time to come.
As I stated in my previous article int eh 1971 Stud Book, I am primarily interested in 500-mile races. Since
1971 I have had varied success but in 1979 and 1980, although still winning the odd SNFC Certificate, I felt
I was struggling and I went through a very bad patch. In these two years I lost six birds that had each won
from 500 miles some of them four times. These birds were all lost from training tosses and short club races.
You will appreciate that my performances suffered accordingly.
However, I retired from work at the end of the 1980 season and, during 1981, I was able to give my birds a
bit more attention than they had been getting previously. I am pleased to say they have responded.
I have often sat and contemplated on the changes that have taken place in the racing of pigeons since I first
started in 1939. Then, all transporting was done by rail. The birds were race marked at railways stations and
put on to special pigeon vans.
The convoyer’s travelled in these vans with the birds and, on arrival at the race point, the vans were put into
a siding. The convoyer’s then unloaded the baskets on to the platform about an hour or so before the
liberation. This allowed the birds to orientate and they knew when they were going before, they were
How the scene has changed. Nowadays the railways don’t want to know us and practically all pigeon racing
is done be means of road transport.
The birds are put into baskets or crates which, in most cases, are so constructed that very little daylight gets
in once they are placed in the transport. In the modern transporter the baskets or crates are left in the
daylight in the release flap which normally runs the full length of the basket or crate.
This flap is usually closely woven cane in case of the baskets or Hardboard where crates are used. In either
case birds have no chance of orientation before release. However, we still get good races but it intrigues me
to see fanciers, when training their birds, take the baskets out of the car boot and let them sit in the open for
ten minutes before liberating. Why don’t they simulate the conditions in the transporter and liberate their
birds straight from the car boot? Is it the case of ‘Old Habits die hard?’ It certainly poses the question, do
pigeons require the opportunity to orientate before being released?
In recent years there seems to be an increasing number of losses, especially with young birds. These are not
confined to federation races, where it has been known for practically a whole convoy to disappear, but to
individual fanciers tossing their birds. They pick a day which they think is ideal for flying and alas, very few
home that day with some struggling back the following day, and at the final count half of the team is
There is considerable controversy as to the cause of these losses. One prominent fancier said to me that we
used to breed a dozen young birds and expect to have 10 of them left at the end of the season. Now, he says,
it is the practice to breed 50 youngsters and hope to have half of them left when the season ends. If this is the
case then it follows that the more youngsters that are bred contain proportionately a bigger number of duds
and therefore more losses.
Another school of thought maintains that the losses are caused by atmospheric conditions, possibly man-
made. The point is that we don’t know how a pigeon finds its way home, but we do know that certain
atmospheric disturbances, i.e. thunderstorms, with their accompanying electrical discharges, do interfere
with their homing instinct. This is the age of technology and, as a result, we are constantly receiving signals
from satellites. We are striving to perfect our radar system as witness the regular appearance of very low
flying jets which, during the last three years, have been thundering over our fields and villages frightening
the life out of livestock and humans. I nearly dropped my pigeon clock the other day when a jet screamed
over my loft at, it seemed, less than 100 feet. My pigeons flew for two hours that day. Now I can’t image
these pilots are flying at this height without a purpose. Might they be testing out our lates radar system?
Who knows, but I have a feeling that immature pigeons, i.e. young birds, could possibly be influenced by
radar or similar signals.
I think that the Confederation of Racing Pigeons Union should approach the Minister of Defence and ask if
this was a possibility. I don’t think they would be giving any defence secrets away by making a statement.
After All, pigeons were a valuable aid to communications during the last two wars, and the fanciers who
supplied these birds are surely entitled to have their fears answered. I have no doubt I will be accused of
talking a lot of nonsense. Maybe I am; but I feel that we must explore any avenue which might lead us to the
cause of these unexplained losses. In the course of this article, I have touched on a few subjects each of
which, I have no doubt, could be the topic of a good going debate and if so, I have attained my objective.
I found an interesting article written by Alec Ross of Laurieston from the North West Federation on A Tour
Of Scotland in 1966; this was a blast from the past with some household names covered in this story; and I
hope readers of my column find this of interest.
Our coach left Laurieston Club Rooms on our way to Wick after accepting an invitation from the members
to spend a week-end with them. You can imagine the pigeon stories which were told. However, on our
arrival at 7am we were met by eager fanciers, who had breakfast laid on in one of the biggest hotels.
Afterwards we were introduced to our hosts, with whom we spent the weekend. We were amazed at the
spirit which prevails in the North. As I have said on several occasions before, there is no incentive
whatsoever to fly pigeons into the north, except for their own competition. They have a trophy to be won
from Rennes within 10 days, a distance approximately 800 miles. Nevertheless, they carry on with this great
sport of ours unknown to thousands of fanciers, without any chance of winning our classic races. I have not
mentioned any names, but to the older school the name of the late William Miller (master baker and fancier),
Arthur Bruce, A Rosie, J Sinclair etc, who tried for years without success. Basketing birds two days before
we sent ours away, was even a bigger handicap. Mr Miller used to say the greatest danger was from the
hawks and falcons that infected the coastline, hence the reason every fancier had to breed large teams of
youngsters and a round of late-bred’s every year. Before taking leave of Wick, may I again say thanks to our
fancier friends and their families.
Still in the North, if you are ever near Elgin, stop and inquire for any of the fanciers. You will be made
welcome, but like our Wick friends something should be done to encourage them in National races. My first
visit was in the company of George Pollock and son George Junior, Alex Stobbo and William McIntyre, all
from Bridge of Weir area. We were welcomed by Sandy Mutch, taken to his home and given the freedom of
his house. Mrs Mutch, his mother, like Mrs Miller of Wick, couldn’t do enough for us. If you ever meet
Sandy and he takes you to see the pigeons don’t be surprised if you spend most of the time looking at his
Their annual show, which is named the Moray Racing Pigeon Show Association, held around the beginning
of December, in the Drill Hall, brings an entry of over 500 birds, ranging from Wick, Thurso, Fraserburgh
and Montrose with names such as Ritchie Whyte (Cairnbuig) T Ralph Lossiemouth show secretary; A
Clayton, A Anderson & son, Grant Brothers, C Mackie, R Hadden, Charlie Ironside, A Munro and others,
all from Aberdeen. A Bruce, R McDonald, C Fraser from Fraserburgh; and from Inverurie names like R
Duguid, G D Smith, H Petrie, Young & McLeod, Eric Yule etc. (Who is still showing his pigeons along with
this son; and winning even at Blackpool Show of the Year)
I am sure of one thing, if they ever come another 150 miles or more south to keep birds, some names you
have just read would be prominent in our National results. Back to the show; which is usually opened by the
Lord Provost or a civic official of high office who also presents to the winners an array of trophies which
would grace many a bigger show, north or south of the Border.
A most interesting point up North is the time limit on having their clocks checked. A penalty of 5 shillings is
imposed after a certain hour which they pay gladly, even if only to win a certificate, as the monetary side is
almost nil. Another point which might help some of us, the Council or Burgh has laid down a rule stating no
more than 20 racing pigeons during the breeding season. This, of course, eliminates the mob fliers. The
Elgin fanciers are most fortunate in having a lawyer, Mr Purcell, as their president.
A wee story before leaving the North; Sandy Mutch, waiting on birds from a race, saw one circling, race for
a clock to his house, discovered he had left it in this care and went to the garage, remembers a mechanic
from the local garage had taken same to have it serviced. He managed to get a lift from a van coming to his
house, when he got down to the garage, he found is car was up on the ramp and the boys had gone home, so
he had -had it.
Near at hand, at Lossiemouth, I had the privilege of handling one of the 500 milers belonging to J Spence,
Coastguard, and like most fanciers to the north or south of them their aim is to have a 500 miler on the day.
Fraserburgh; Here if you happened to be fortunate enough to visit any of the fancier, the same atmosphere
exists. The name of Mr Donalson, foremost in my memory along with Sinclair Brothers of Plean club. Here
we were amazed to find in most lofts a great number of 500-mile pigeons. Whether this was mainly due to
the position of Fraserburgh on the East Coast, or to the first-class fancier, I do not know, but I must admit the
fanciers hear are most keen and technically minded. I shall not forget the lighthouse keeper’s wife; who
keeps an excellent loft.
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 email@example.com
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Posted February 8