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The Joe Murphy Column

#1 User is offline   Ian McKay 

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 15:24 PM

The Joe Murphy Column

Thank you to all the people who phoned me with support for doing this weekly column and their backing on my telling the truth as how things are within the pigeon sport. Far too many people are frightened of the outcome as they could be suspended by their club or federation if they criticise them. Whereas I’m not a member of a club and don’t race my pigeons I keep stock pigeons as a hobby and give the offspring to my son to race. The most important thing about keeping pigeons is getting enjoyment from possessing them, when you do not get any enjoyment then that is when you give them up. This is one of the most important facts and the sooner officials realise this-the better. The losses we have experienced this year not just in Scotland but from all over the British Isle has been very distressing. Fanciers know that not all pigeons are GOOD, but they will have some above average birds in their lofts and when these are lost this is the killer. It is not about winning the race but getting your favourite home or a bird that has done well for you over the years. I know a fancier who lost a pigeon that has won 4 times from France for him and he looks for this bird every day as soon as he opens his eyes. We as true pigeon men know that when standing in the back garden looking for your race birds the sight of your first bird closing its wing and heading towards your loft is the memory that will last with you for the remainder of the day. If you do win then the memory lasts a little longer as you can always relate to this moment in time when you won such and such. But we have kept pigeons a long time and there are more times than not you are not in the winning enclosure but at least you have your birds to try again the next week. This year has been the worst as so many fanciers have lost very good birds and THIS is the part that is killing them.

Guy Reed

Dear Joe I felt you may have some interest in the following pedigrees especially as you may have one related to one of these birds. I would also like to add that I sent 2 birds to Bergerac not one as I stated to you and the 2nd bird came at 9-50 the next day which would also have been high in the result. Unfortunately at 07-30 in the morning I took the clock to be cleared. The thing about this 2nd bird was she was a late bred from Alwyn (son of Wing Down) crossed with a daughter of George (G & C Cooper national winner) carrying 7 yes 7 nest flights. Not my normal behaviour but with my change of circumstances and an imminent move I decided to send her. She has earned a perch that’s for sure. From the final old bird race from Perpignan, I had hoped to send my Barcelona hen but the wind looks like being westerly, not the most favourable wind for me, and because of this I’m not sending. I also feel that the remaining birds I have left have earned their perches for the year. If I had a few more birds I may have sent to Perpignan but now I look to the future. The birds left have worked hard in what has been the most difficult season. My birds had very little training about 20 miles and no club racing at all, they were entered ONLY into National and Classic races which amounted to 5 Nationals and 2 Classic races in total, four of these being long distance. From the Tarbes National 829 km; I entered 8 but only sent 4 birds and won 41st section 239th open, and had 3 out of 4. From Bordeaux National entered 1 bird and won 8thsection 62nd open; Bergerac Classic 655 km entered 2 bird won 6th section 16th open, (the 2nd one being the late bred hen) The Barcelona hen ’16 survives, again being the only entry 1059 km. I am pleased with the above considering the all-round degree of difficulty which only a pigeon man would appreciate. The other pleasing thing is the birds that have done well for me are all related to “Hennie” who was one of my best buys from Bernard. The most I entered in any race was 10 and the least was one and I still have 6 left. I am so glad to see that Kevin has done well this year to win 2 x 26 open in National racing is excellent, so well done to you both, best wishes Guy.


Attached File  Hennie.jpg (70.99K)
Number of downloads: 2

Another Outlook

I was talking to a fellow fancier regarding the convoyer report for the SNFC Alencon race we could not believe that the national went out on the Dover/Calais ferry! So we both looked into this and the most direct method to Alencon was via the Portsmouth/Caen course. This Dover method subjected birds to many more hours of unnecessary road travel. Overall, it seems to me very little thought has gone into the long journey from Scotland to France. From Gretna it is a straight overnight run down the M6, M40, A34 and M27 to Portsmouth (360 miles) to Dover it is 380 miles. There can be no doubt that the unnecessary extra mileage from Calais to Alencon was not in the birds best interest or welfare, never mind the convoyer having to drive all these extra miles. The ferry cost via Dover is around £400 and approximately £800 on the Portsmouth/Caen route, so a bit more expensive. However by using Portsmouth this also a big reduction in overall diesel costs. Mileages & driving times the best and shortest way to Alencon was to go Portsmouth to Caen. Although this is a 5 hour 30 minute crossing the convoyer would get a good meal, nice cabin and of course the birds are resting for 5 hours after the long overnight drive from Gretna. (The Dover/Calais ferry path is fine for Ypres, Rheims and Arras) Going Dover/Calais for Alencon race also meant the birds had to endure a cross country trip of 233 miles across France taking 5 hours 15 mins (conveyers times as shown in report) Whereas going out of Caen it is only 77 miles or a 1 hour 30 minute drive to reach the Alencon race point. Using Dover/Calais it is a round return trip of 466 miles when the Caen route is only 154 miles. Just think of the extra time driving - a total of around 10 hours for the round return trip Calais/Alencon/Calais as against only 3 hours on the Caen route. Plus the shorter Caen route gives greatly reduced fuel and minimal motorway toll costs (The convoyer also get free meals and cabin facilities both ways when using Caen) The marking time at Gretna ends at say midnight so if they left a short time after that, the distance to Portsmouth on the motorway is shown as 360 miles so they could easily drive overnight and be at the Portsmouth docks by 8 am and in plenty time to water the birds prior to boarding the Friday morning sailing to Caen. Taking this crossing and driving times they would be at Falaise in less than one hour and Alencon in 90 minutes so would easily arrive at both these race points mid-afternoon the day before liberation. Therefore they have plenty time to properly feed and water the pigeons. In conclusion, less than 24 hours after leaving Scotland they could have been on site at Alencon. (I have taken all driving times and distances from the official Michelin route planner guide) Make no mistake about it birds do get stressed in the baskets and the resting period of around 5/6 hours on the Caen ferry is an excellent boost for both birds and convoyer after the long overnight drive from Scotland. In my opinion all these extra road miles were unnecessary and could well have contributed to the very poor returns in the Alencon races. I see for Ancenis they actually did go out of Portsmouth but I don't know about Falaise as I have not read the press report.


Received an email from David Shelbourne who wrote ‘Hello Joe, Hope you don't mind me writing to you. I used to write in the RP many years ago for North Wales under "Clun" also wrote articles for the Pictorial and judged with Eddie Newcombe; Taffy Bowen at Alexandra Palace. However for the past 15 years I have bred & exhibited Fife Canaries but still have some Racing Pigeon Memorabilia, Clocks, Books anything connected with our feathered friends. If you know of any fanciers up your way who may want to offload or sell anything can you pass on my details, this would be much appreciated. My contact numbers are land line 01492-517981 or mobile 07879864472. Kindest regards and many thank yours David Shelbourne ’.


racing pigeon club held their 2nd young bird race from Arniston on 5th August with 3 members sending 72 birds liberated at 08-00 into a light west wind. Taking the first 3 places is Keven Murphy with his winner from a Billy Bilsland crossed to a Tom & Scott McEwen hen. The 2nd bird is inbred to G W & P Macaloney bloodlines while the 3rd placed pigeon is a Deweerdt crossed with Barcelona specialist Daniel Aerens.

Ayrshire Federations race report from their first young bird race of the season from Arniston on the 29th July with a convoy of 1,682 birds. Arniston is approximately 56 miles to the bottom end of the federation and up to 72 miles to the top end of the federation. Jim O’Hare gave the go ahead for the birds to be liberated at 08:30 into a 12-14 mph south west wind. This was going to be a testing race for the youngsters for their first race especially the boys in the South Section of the federation with the south west wind. The wind was favouring the birds to hit the top half of the federation first and this was the case with top 20 positions going to the North Section members. Returns reflected how the birds hit into Ayrshire with the top end reporting around 75% of their bird’s home at ring off compared around the 35% mark from reports I was hearing for the southerly members. The birds continued to arrive steadily throughout the day with the top end of the federation reporting good return but in the south end of the federation some members were struggling to make the 50% by nightfall. Leading the way in to Ayrshire Federation this week is Andy Barbour of West Kilbride. Andy had a great race recording 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th federation. His winning pigeon is a darkness young bird flying to the perch. This lovely blue bar cock is bred down from two direct imports from M & D Evans of Myrtle Lofts. The sire is a double grandson of the world famous Vandenabeele “Champion Shadow” and is a son of “Lord Shadow” when paired to “Carmella” two individual pigeons that are responsible for countless top national winners. The dam is a granddaughter of the top Vandenabeele birds “Pre-Olympic”, “Eisenhower” and the “The Chosen One”. 2nd & 3rd federation is fellow club member Sandy Gardiner of Beith his first bird was a blue bar hen Staff Van Reet, natural reared and flying to the perch. This bird was part of a batch of young birds Sandy purchased from Phil Thomas of Pentre of Wales. 2nd bird for Sandy to record 3rd fed was another natural young bird flying to the perch. The sire and dam are pigeons Sandy bought from a well-known Middlesbrough fancier and contains the bloodlines of the Herman Ceusters pigeons. Some of the Beith members were saying at the ring off they witnessed Percy striking the Ayrshire birds as they were heading over their loft in batches making their way to the Ayrshire coast with some of their birds breaking off the batches coming to their own lofts. In and around Ayrshire clubs starting with the

Andy Barbour 1st Fed Arniston YB 29.07.2017

Attached File  Andy Barbour 1st Fed Arniston YB 29_07_2017.jpg (45.3K)
Number of downloads: 1

S Gardner 2nd and 3rd Fed Arniston YB 29.07.2017

North Section: 650 birds.

Dalry HS 253 birds: 1st A Barbour 1031.8, 2nd and 3rd A Gardiner 996.8 and 994.3
Ardeer HS 255 birds: 1st J Simpson 971.4, 2nd and 3rd Grant & McGovern 970.9 and 970.7
Kilwinning HS 113 birds: 1st, 2nd and 3rd J McNeil 906.4, 886.8 and 875.8
Central Section: 395 Birds
Kilmarnock Invitation 184 birds: 1st and 2nd C & K & K McKerrow 944.3 and 937.3, 3rd I Scope 899.2
Crosshouse HS 65 birds: 1st A McCullen 923.2, 2nd A Wilson 913.0, 3rd W Julyan 896.9
Darvel HS 49 birds: 1st and 2nd Cowan & Findlay 953.3 and 945.7, 3rd R Donegan 938.8
Irvine HS 126 birds: 1st and 2nd D McCullen 928.0, 927.1, 3rd E Diamond 914.9
South Section: 637 Birds
Mauchline: 96 birds: 1st A Plenderleith 717.3, 2nd J Watters 693.3, 3rd E Stewart 643.2
Cumnock & Dist. No bird’s race marked.
Carrick & Dist. No bird’s raced marked.
Whitletts & Dist. 261 birds: 1st Boyd Bros 866.6, 2nd and 3rd Boyle Bros 864.1 and 863.8
Annbank & Dist. 126 birds: 1st and 2nd J Mathieson 858.0, 811.1, 3rd D Graham 778.1

Almond Valley Federation
Had 1015 birds sent to Stobs Camp race and topping the federation is Colin Bain with a blue chequer pied hen a granddaughter of his SNFC Silver Award winning hen ‘Abigail’. Jimmy Young is 2nd with Freddy Jamieson in 3rd place and Ian Jamieson takes the next 4 places.
Balerno Club news from Colin Bain who phoned me as he is having problems with his computer (let’s hope it is fixed soon Colin they are ok when going ok but when they have a problem you will be like me and have to get someone in to help you out) From Stobs Camp for the 1st race of the young bird season 5 members sent 136 birds with Colin winning the top spot. Ian Jamieson took the next 6 positions in the club. From Stobs camp 2 there were 7 members sending 186 birds with Ian Jamieson taking the top spot with a bird bred from his own grizzle family crossed with a John Bird of Blackburn: In 2nd & 3rd positions is Dougie Bald with 2 darkness youngsters that contain the bloodlines of Willie Hay crossed with Dougie’s own family.

East of Scotland Federation
News from John Baillie who writes ‘Hi Joe, for the 2nd young bird race from Ridsdale our race controller John Parry had the birds away at 08-05 into a west to north west wind. The young birds made short work of this with the birds dropping onto the loft in 4 & 5's, with not many missing when we done the clocks an hour and a half later. Topping the federation this week is Dougie Grieve of Longniddry. With yours truly John Baillie of Tranent taking 2nd; 3rd, 4th & 6th places. Filling the rest of the open federation positions is John Bird of Prestonpans in 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th. Prestonpans HC - This week’s winner also wins 2nd & 3rd places is John Baillie. My winner is a granddaughter of my 3rd section Ancenis last year and who also homed late from the same race point this year her bloodlines are Jan Aarden. The 2nd bird is bred directly from Parksyde Ambition who won his SNFC Silver Award last year when paired to a hen from the Black Rico lines also a Jan Aarden from House of Aarden. The 3rd bird home is a pied cock from my Dean Pallatt Van Lint family. That's it for this week Joe, getting to the stage of being frightened to let the birds out with something disappearing when out exercising every week. All the best yours John B’.
Fife Federation
First race from Berwick had 1611 birds liberated at 08-30 hours into a light west wind. The top 10 in the federation are as follows; 1st x 3 places plus 10th open are Terry Turpie & John McCord of Pitlessie with the winner doing a velocity of 1049. Mick McMurchie of the same Glenrothes & Leslie club is 4th to 8th with Willie Hay from Methilhaven winning 9th open spot.
Centre Section had Novar club sending 131 birds and Glenrothes club sending 106 birds the top 10 is the same as the open result except Turpie & McCord win 9th & 10th positions.
East Section had Leven sending 159 birds; Methilhaven 103 birds; St Andrews 150 birds; Kennoway 190 birds and Tayport 73 birds. Topping the east section is Willie Hay of Methilhaven club he is followed by Gilmour Brothers of Leven with club mate Jim Mackie in 3rd place Tam Cook leads the way in Kennoway in 4th section with Brian Chalmers taking the next 5 positions up to 9th with Tam Laing winning 10th section.
West Section had Perth sending 280 birds; Lochgelly 168 birds; Crossgates 131 birds Dunfermline 121 birds. First 3 plus 6th & 9th is G Anderson of Perth club with John Robertson of Dunfermline club in 4th & 5th places. Dan McNeely of Dunfermline is 7th with club mate Eric Reid is in 8th spot and Walker & David Kennedy loft 1 of Dunfermline are in 10t place.
Glenrothes & Leslie RPC news from Rosie Armour who writes; ‘Hi Joe, can't believe it's the young bird racing already. The first 3 in the Glenrothes & Leslie and indeed the first 3 in the federation this week to Turpie & McCord with the winner on a velocity of 1049 a blue cock not on the darkness. His sire is a son of Charlie Cameron's Belgian bird Josh Claes winner of 21 x 1st crossed with a Braspenning hen, his dam same as the cock but a different Braspenning hen.
2nd velocity of 1048 is a blue chequer white flight cock again not on darkness. Bred by Austin Whittaker bought at the Kingdom Show sale. The 3rd bird on 1045 a blue chequer white flight cock bred by John McCord. His sire is a Vandenabeele and his dam a daughter of 2nd open Clermont for Turpie & McCord crossed with N Black & Son of Drumore in Northern Ireland.
Lanarkshire Federation
Cambusnethan and Morningside

For our 2nd young bird race we are back at Longtown on 29th July with the convoy of 2073 birds were liberated into south west wind at 09-30 am. We had 16 members sending 356 birds and taking the 1st x 2 positions and his 1st win of the season is John Dougal. In the federation he won 1st & 2nd section 7th & 10th open. 3rd club 3rd section 13th open is Jimmy Curley. With 4th club 4th section 14th open A & J Cook with Cookaburrow flying for its perch.5th & 6th club 6th & 8th section. ‘The man from Shotts’ the Zeek Fairley and finally Tam Richardson winner of 7th club 9th section. I would like to congratulate McCormack & Hughes from the Uddingston club on topping the federation and "Big Tam McDonagh (Tallis & McDonagh) from Greenfield club winning the west section and well done to all the other fanciers who were fortunate enough to take positions in their respective clubs and sections. Next week we move out of this "Hell Hole" (Gretna, Carlisle Area) and move to Appleby. Lots of differing views surround this area which need left to the politicians but the Gulling thing we were at this race point the week prior and got slaughtered regards for now Joe yours Andy Eadie President’,

North of Scotland Federation

Before highlighting this result I would like to put in a complaint to the race controller who changed the race day from Saturday to a Sunday race but forgot to inform ME who goes round an opens the gate for the Thornton venue. This was disrespectful and I can assure him I’m not happy about being treated this way. There were 48 members sending 1032 birds to Thornton with 22 members sending 636 birds these were liberated at 07-30 with No wind at the race point. Taking 1st 5th & 7th East section and open are Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District with George Duthie of Fraserburgh & District is 2nd 3rd & 4th positions. Ian Gibb of the same club is 6th 8th & 9th section and open with Colin McRae of the same Fraserburgh club in 10th 11th & 12th places. The west section had 26 members sending 396 birds with G Wilson of Devern Valley club taking the 1st x 3 birds in the section and also winning 33rd 34th & 35th open A Milne of the same club takes the next 2 place with Fulton and Ritchie of the same club in 6th 8th & 10th section 38th 40th & 42nd open J Able of the Devern club is 7th & 9th section 39th & 41st open.
Clubs First Bird; Peterhead & District won by J & A Donaldson; Fraserburgh & District won by George Duthie; Fraserburgh West End won by D Ward. Inverurie won by A Robb; Devern Valley won by G Wilson of Kieth won by G R Dungan Buckie & District won by G Russell and Elgin & District won by D Feaks. Well done to Jim & Ann Donaldson on topping the federation and to Gordon Wilson on winning the west section.
Pentland Hills Federation
News from Andy Miller who writes ‘Hi Joe, hope all is well and you are starting to get over the disappointing national races, believe me I'm not. It all starts for me this coming weekend from Tow Law so fingers crossed for getting them home the first week, then I can start to motivate them thereafter. 13 clubs from the federation sent 3215 birds these were liberated at 08-05 into a west to North West wind. The result will not be any different from the New Lothian. The Pentland federation and New Lothian had their 2nd young bird race of the season on 5th August and winning 1st in both for the second week is Davie Brown and his Lachie Peter. They are also 3rd federation and their federation topper this week is another Geerinckx cross blue pied hen from Gladiator lines. She is bred from a grandson of Wittekop Gladiator when paired to a granddaughter of Witpen Gladia’. 2nd fed are Helen Aitken & sons of Danderhall with A Young of the same club in 4th 5th 6th 7th & 8th with L Mitchell of Castlebrae in 9th & 10th positions.
Club Winners;
Woodburn 215 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Brown & Black
Danderhall 835 birds; 1st Aitken 2nd & 3d Young
Castlebrae 134 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd L Mitchell
Edinburgh Premier 224 birds; 1st & 2nd Gilchrist 3rd Hutton, son & McCaig
Edinburgh West 146 birds; 1st Lamb 2nd & 3rd McLaughlin
Easthouses 479 birds; 1st W Pryde & Son 2nd Reilly 3rd Ferguson
Sighthill 131 birds; 1st & 2nd Summers 3rd Abbott
Loanhead 120 birds; 1st 2nd & 3rd Murray
Bonnyrigg 191 birds; 1st & 2nd Russell 3rd Neill
Rosewell 93 birds; 1st Cunningham & Ness 2nd W Tytler 2nd McCormack
Peebles 52 birds;
New Lothian 123 birds;
Traprain 408 birds; 1st Thomson 2nd & 3rd Mark
Others 64 birds:
New Lothian had 66 members sending 2012 birds; 1st & 3rd are Brown & Black of Woodburn. 2nd fed are Helen Aitken & sons of Danderhall with A Young of the same club in 4th 5th 6th 7th & 8th with L Mitchell of Castlebrae in 9th & 10th positions.

Joe’s Joke

Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom
One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?" "Wait a moment," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance. "That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say... The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates, "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?" "No, on the contrary..." "So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?" The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?" "No, not really." "Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"
The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was having an affair with his wife.

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 joejmurphy1@gmail.com REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE or log onto www.elimarpigeons.com www.fancierchat.co.uk and www.pigeon-chat.co.uk also www.pigeonbasics.com Pigeon Racing the Basics who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland.

© Compiled by Joe Murphy

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