The Racing Pigeon - 5th April 2024

5th April 2024 The only independent racing pigeon weekly - over 125 years serving the fancier

Racing Pigeon The only independent racing pigeon weekly – Over 125 years serving you the fancier £1.70 5 APRIL 2024 • No. 7374


have been premier pigeon racers in the Surrey area for many years, including winning the Three Borders Federation Championship twice in recent seasons. See page 22

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1st Club, 1st North West Section, 1st Open Peterborough & District Federation, 1st Section B, 1st Open North Road Championship Club Dunbar Young Birds, 223 miles, 1,075 birds, velocity 1081.614ypm 2023. 1st Club, 1st North West Section, 46th Open Peterborough & District Federation Darlington; 9th Boston & District, 2nd North West Section, 48th Open Peterborough & District Federation Whitby; 4th Boston & District, 2nd North West Section, 29th Open Peterborough & District Federation Driffield; Winner of 1st Royal Pigeon Racing Association East Midlands Region Meritorious Award, Best Young Bird 2023. Bred by Billy Foulstone, Sheffield. Raced by Matthew Mason, Hawthorn Hill, Lincolnshire.

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The Only Independent Racing Pigeon Weekly and e -edition Over 100 Years Serving You The Fancier Breaking news at

5 APRIL 2024 Issue No 7374 The Racing Pigeon Co Ltd, PO Box 12760,

Colchester, CO1 9TZ Phone 01206 250880

Editor: Lee Fribbins Production: Stephen Rickett Advertising, Subscriptions: Carly Huggins

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Around the North East WITH BARRY PEARCE

within those two UNC Federations. Taking 3rd we have the North Yorks Fed top 2023 seasons loft of Andy Ward and Keith & Kenny Homer, they got £96,75. At 2nd it was John Cooper and Mick Preston of the home club, and they took £161.25. The winners were the Brian and Keith Simpson of the East Cleveland Fed, they take £387, a bril- liant pay out. 15 Rossett Walk, Park End, M’Bro, Cleveland, TS3 7LX

below what Alan usually wins, but the YB’s flew well to give them 25 points, which gave them the R/U spot in those averages. Billy Cowen moved into Paul Burniston’s allotment loft from flying behind his house just along from Ged and Sue on Laburnum Road in Redcar, so their will have been friendly rivalry I would have thought at each race to see who would be ‘top loft’ on Laburnum Road at each race. Bill I believe took over the lofts with some of Paul’s birds still in situ, so he had a good foundation in place, and it shows for he started straight away with a 5th Club at Selby, and then went on to get in total 35 points. He had wins at Peterborough and Newark, with other scores in the top five including 4x2nds with the OB’s, but he only had the one score with YB’s, a 5th Club Worksop, but still a good season foe the lad. Next up was a bloke that has served this club well over the years, taking the top spot in many years since he moved to Redcar from the Yarm/Eaglescliffe area, and he has been a staunch supporter of this column to. Bob McGillicuddy had another good year with a modest sized team of Widowhood cocks, and a modest sized team of YB’s, no more than 20/30 OB’s and say 40 or so YB’s, which is far below the norm in these times. He had 3x1sts with OB’s, then we go to another nine top five turns with OB’s then moving on to the YB’s he had 2x1sts with them, and another three top five turns, and amongst the silverware he had to take home on the night, was for the best position won by a club member in UNC races, and he had a 2nd UNC Maidstone which nearly got him Gold Medal number two to go with the one he won back in 2007 from Eastbourne against 10,143 birds. His points total was 56 points which got him the R/U spot in the club, but as well as he flew, and as stated as done for many years, he was a long way behind the top lofts total of 169 points, this magnificent total was won by the Paul Withers, Steve Hobson and Sean Gent loft. They had 118 points with OB’s and 51 points with YB’s, with the OB’s taking 9x1sts etc, and the YB’s taking 3x1sts etc, which saw a barrow full of trophies being won, amongst them one for being the highest placed loft in the North Yorks federation averages, R/U I believe behind Ward, Homer and Homer of the Grangetown HS. The partnership has now split up, Paul is still going to be involved as he has taken over the Federation Secretary’s job, and I hope Steve and Sean stay with us in some capacity, but whatever, they had themselves one hell of a season, that's for sure. That saw the trophy side of the night over, so it was then on to the buffet, but not before thanking John Groom for travelling across from Hartlepool to do the honours, and as stated the buffet, raffle and an auction of five birds which was towards the clubs B/B. Thanks to Ged and Sue for the information for the Redcar clubs night of nights, thanks for results during the 2023 season, and I’ll end by wishing all Redcar members all the very best in the 2024 season. BP

Of the few regular yearly invites to presentations, without doubt the one I would probably to have wished to have attended the most, is the Redcar Central HS nights of nights. This is one club that I have had a long and good association with, for thanks to Bob McGillicuddy, the results of all races flown by this good and strong club, he has unfailingly sent me the results, thus when this clubs presentation has come around, the invite to attend has always been put to me. This years was one that due to being unwell I couldn't attend, it was held during my twice weekly course of treatments at James Cook Hospital, and that fact, plus my ‘aversion’ to night driving, the invite was reluctantly turned down. Nevertheless, I wanted to give this club the publicity it richly deserves, for it has some great fanciers and people within its ranks, which to me deserve that publicity. Thanks to the long time Secretary Ged Hampson and his wife Susan for the list of winners.

The last vote of thanks go to his wife Sue for her help, especially with the paperwork, and doing the result if Bob’s not around to do it, and all this confirms my take on this club, its a good well run club by some good lads and lasses. It was then time to hand over the winnings, and on this night the chief guest was John Groom from Hartlepool.

Now on to the points winners etc, and we’ll start with a loft that I know will only get better, as Mick Calvert and his son Kevin are previous 1st UNC winners when they flew behind Mick’s home. They then relocated to Dormanstown and more than held their own there, before again relocating to Redcar allotments, taking over lofts, as he was leaving the sport. Mick and Kevin only had the one chalk, with OB’s for just the two points, and just to say the club pays out on the first five places. Andrew ‘Wez’ Wheeler will welcome the UNC flying the water again, he much prefers the longer races, so his five points means he will be looking to better this season. Next up we have forementioned Paul Burniston & Family, Paul decided against flying behind his house, and took up the allotment and lofts of Preston and Mooney, flying just YB’s. They flew well before they sold the lofts with the idea of flying behind the house, and they have quickly served notice of the intent to do so again, for their eight points came about with a 2nd Club Grantham, and a 1st and 5th Club Chelmsford, winning the trophy for that race. The new partnership of Cooper

This years venue was Redcar Cricket Club, the new place for meetings, and this is a place I have been in on quite a few occasions, as my nephew Craig plays cricket for the club, and various family members birthdays, christenings etc have held their get together there. Ged is one hell of a Secretary, and as is his want, first off before the presentation took place, he read out some facts and figures from the 2023 season. The send numbers to all races were 5,533, which equates to about 223 baskets being used at races, a drop of about 50 from the 2022

Paul Withers top with Steve Hobson in 2023 Redcar HS.

season, and quite a drop from 7,200 in season 2022. As he says, smaller send figures and smaller membership figures. In a postscript to me with the list, he’s added that three seasons ago the club had 24 lofts, now its become 12 lofts, that figure alone is testimony of just how the sport is diminishing. The season 2023 saw a change from pooling, to a £5 2-bird nom, which saw £620 being paid out during the year. The four inland Nationals saw £310 being paid out in prize money, and £639 was being paid out on the night in point and average money. The Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show race pay out was being paid out as well, and that was £645, so taking it all in to account, about £2,200 was being paid out on the night, quite a pay out for just a grass roots club. Ged also thanked the likes of Bob Mc for doing the results, he’s quite happy to do that, and happier still if he’s on them. Also thanks to Paul Withers for his help with his van, getting baskets and show pens to where they needed to be. Steve Hobson was yet another to be thanked, Steve is the basket man, and the basket cabin man, spotlessly kept said Ged.

John at that time was the Stranton HS Secretary, and a Vice President of the UNC, but since the night he has now taken on the President’s job and is I believe doing the Hartlepool Federation Secretary’s job, so he is well and truly a ‘doer’ as I call them in this game. The first presentation is to the winners of the Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show race, this is held each year in the month of January, I and Sammy Marshall judged this in 2022. The 2023 show had 68 birds in the pens, with another 62 being nominated, 130 in total in the race which is as always the first OB National. The birds in the race that are from 10th to 7th positions receive sponsorship of various pigeon products from Mr & Mrs Arthur Andrews of Oakham, something they do annually. These the winners get more or less straight away after the race is flown, but not last season, has Arthur was in hospital for that time, and the products weren’t given until August, when they came up to near by Whitby for the regatta. Hope all is well now Arthur, BP. The show race is open to two Federations, North Yorks and East Cleveland, and there’s some terrific lofts

and Preston were next up, John and Mick starting their first season together quite well, with 26 points being won. They did quite well at the OB Nationals taking a 4th and 2x5ths, winning a trophy for timing the first yearling in from Plumpton. They also had a 4th at Grantham and ended the season with the first five at the last YB Selby race, so although Mick is evidently at sea as a ship’s painter a lot, as the birds are behind John’s house, he’s obviously getting it right while Mick is away on the high seas, or as Ged’s puts it, some- times in Redcar's Stockton Arms. The next up is the club stalwarts Ged and Susan Hampson who fly behind their house, another loft with 26 points, and they got two red cards to help with this total. They had 1st and 2nd Grantham OB’s, 1st 2nd and 4th Chelmsford (1) winning the trophy for that race, and they also had a 2nd Club at Huntingdon, so well deserved. We switch back to Warrenby allotments for the next winners, the Alan Hall, Walton and Baldwin team with 32 points, with the YB’s flying particularly well. They had just the seven points with the OB’s, far



Old Bird Inland Average won by Danny Dixon. Bryan Eagleson Memorial Cup (Best Ave Talbenny 1 & 2, Bude & Penzance) won by J Smyth & Son Ahoghill. Cross Channel Average won by Mr & Mrs Robinson Cullybackey. Old Bird Average won by Mr & Mrs

Mid Antrim Combine AGM held in Ballymena Most clubs were represented at the AGM for Mid Antrim Combine held in the Ballymena & District HPS Clubrooms on Wednesday 13th March. Secretary Willie Reynolds welcomed

agreed to continue with the award diplomas printed by Ballymena Business Equipment and this be extended to include all cups. Secretary to approach Danny Dixon regarding the purchase of the new diplomas. Mervyn Eagleson to conduct an audit of all cups and trophies at hand, two might still be outstanding. Champion Old Bird and the OB Club Points Shield. Not much doing with the accounts other than collecting of club fees and the purchase of the small diplomas and paying of RPRA annual fees. At the Slemish Credit Union we had £296.83 at 19/03/23 and £288.83 at 11/03/24. The election of officials had the same team returned for 2024, the Chairman had placed an apology for non-atten- dance due to work commitment’s but had given notice he was prepared to serve again if selected. President – Danny Dixon (Rasharkin), Chairman – Robin Service (Ballymena), Secretary – Willie Reynolds (Ballymena), Press Officer – Mervyn Eagleson (Ballymena). Willie Reynolds was

selected as the RPRA Delegate. Ballymena & District HPS had put forward three proposals re new compe- titions for endorsement at the AGM. That Mid Antrim Combine have an Old Bird Inland Points award. That Mid Antrim Combine have an Old Bird Cross Channel Points award. That Mid Antrim Combine present small diplomas for all the yearly cup and award winners. All items carried on the vote and Mervyn Eagleson will issue winners. To help cover additional costs the annual club fee will be set at £5.00. The meeting put forward a New Rule that in the future new members wishing to join MAC must reside and race at a Ballymena Address. Any new applica- tions would have to be endorsed at a meeting of MAC Delegates. Rasharkin & District HPS will host the 2024 presentation of awards. The annual meeting closed at 9.15pm and thanks to Ballymena & District for providing the venue. Trophy and Award winners 2023:

Robinson MAC Meritorious Award (Ind Bird Talbenny & Penzance) won by Trevor Whyte Ahoghill. McIlhagga Cup 1st MAC in NIPA Old Bird National won by Balmer T Young & Sons Ahoghill (29th Open NIPA). Les Mairs OB Points Fancier of the Year won by Danny Dixon. Champions League winners Trevor Cullybackey. The sample of small diplomas to be awarded for the various cups in 2024. The OB Knock- out in 2023 was won by Trevor Whyte.

the delegates tp the annual meeting and asked the members to stand for a moment in memory of those members, friends and family that had passed away in the last year. Jamie Greer read the minutes of the 2023 AGM which carried on the vote as a true record. Matters arising it was The Champion’s League Diploma was won by Ahoghill Flying Club member Trevor Whyte.

The MAC Meritorious Award was won by Trevor Whyte of Ahoghill.

Martin Graham from Ballymena & District HPS won 1st Open INFC in the Yearling Nat Penzance and YB Grand Nat Penzance.



Whyte Ahoghill. Old Bird Knock-out won by Treevor Whyte Ahoghill. T Shanks Memorial Cup Champion OB of the Year won by H Cubitt Rasharkin. The Herbison Cup YB Average won by K & K Kernohan & Sons Ballymena. Champion YB of the Year won by K & K Kernohan & Sons Ballymena ‘Happy Day’s’. Young Bird Knock-out won by Danny Dixon. New North Cup Best Ave Bude OB & Dale YB National won by J Smyth & Son Ahoghill. Parker Cup Combined Average Not Won. Adams Cup INFC Points Average won by Danny Dixon. Old Bird Points Club Shield won by Rasharkin & District. Young Bird Points Shield won by Rasharkin & District. Old Bird Points League won by Sanny Dixon. Young Bird Points League won by Danny Dixon. Mid Antrim Combine Cups and Awards for 2024 Racing Season 2nd Talbenny & Penzance Meritorious award – Best single bird performances from 2nd Talbenny & Penzance.

excluding the duplicated Penzance OB Classic event. W McIlhagga Memorial Cup – 1st Mid Antrim Combine in the NIPA old bird French National. Les Mairs OB Points Fancier Cup – Most points in all official NIPA old bird races including the 5-Bird event and excluding the duplicated Penzance OB Classic event. Old bird cross Channel average cup – Best average all NIPA old bird Channel races excluding the duplicated Penzance OB Classic.

Keith Kernohan from Ballymena & Dist had Champion YB and 3x1sts in the MAC.

New North Cup – Best average Bude OB and Dale YB National NIPA. Herbinson Cup YB Average cup – Best average all official Nipa young bird races including the 5-Bird event. Young Bird Knock out award – Final to be held from Dale YB National NIPA. Young Bird Points award – Most points in all official NIPA young bird races including the 5-Bird event. Champion YB of the Year – Most points by an individual young bird in all official NIPA young bird races including the 5-Bird event. Adams Cup INFC Points – Most points in all the INFC National races. Parker Cup Combined Average – Best Average all official Nipa races including both old bird and young bird 5-Bird events and excluding the dupli- cated Penzance OB Classic event. Old Bird club points shield – 8 points for first club in result down to 1 point for eighth club in result. Young Bird club points shield – 8 points for first club in result down to 1 point for eighth club in result. NOTE – All points cups are worked out on 24 points for 1st position in the Combine down to 1 point for 24th position in the Combine. – Mervyn Eagleson PO Mid Antrim. NIPA News Update The NIPA have increased the costs of crates for the season incoming , Inland £12.00 per crate and Cross Channel £14.00 per crate. The race planned for 13th April has been cancelled so the old bird race programme will

MAC Old Bird of the Year winner for Harold Cubitt of Rasharkin & District, also Champion Old Bird in NIPA Section B.

commence weather permitting one week later on Saturday 20th April. Old Birds – Kilbeggan 20/04, Kilbeggan 27/04, Roscrea 04/05, Fermoy 11/05, Fermoy 18/05, Skibbereen OB Nat 25/05, Fermoy 25/05, Dale 01/06, Dale 08/06, Fermoy 5-Bird 08/06, Bude 15/06, Skibbereen Yearling Nat 15/06, Penzance 22/06, Fermoy 22/06, St Malo/Plougastel 28/06 (Friday). There is a possibility that some of the above Fermoys may be substituted for St Patricks Well if permission to liberate is granted. Young Birds – Kilbeggan 20/07, Kilbeggan 27/07, Roscrea 03/08, Roscrea 10/08, Fermoy 17/08, Fermoy & 5 bird 24/08, Dale YB Nat 31/08, Roscrea 31/08, Fermoy 07/09, Skibbereen YB Nat 14/09 As with in old bird some Fermoy Yb races may be substituted with St Patricks Well. INFC News Update Race programme agreed for 2024. Skibbereen Old Bird Tuesday 28th May 2024 – race marking Monday 27th May. Penzance Yearling Wednesday 12th June 2024 – race marking Monday 10th June.

St. Allouestre Kings Cup Saturday 29th June 2024 – race marking Wednesday 26th June. Plougastel-Daoulas/St. Malo Friendship Saturday 6th July 2024 – race marking Wednesday 3rd July. Penzance Young Bird Wednesday 4th September 2024 – race marking Monday 2nd September. Skibbereen Young Bird Saturday 21st September 2024 – race marking Thursday 19th September. Please note Annual Subscriptions for 2024. Existing member £30.00 or euro’s €37.50 payable through your club. New member £30.00 or euro’s €37.50 payable through your club. Any Individual member paying direct £40.00 or euro’s €50.00. Any New individual members paying direct £40.00 or euro’s €50.00. NOTE: Closing date 12th April 2024. HOMER. Willie Reynolds Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683 Mobile: 07538 238364 Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw Email:

Bryan Eagleson Cup – Best average all Nipa old bird channel races excluding the old bird National. Old Bird Inland points award – Most points in all official NIPA old bird inland races including the 5 Bird event. Old Bird Inland average cup – Best average all official NIPA inland races including the 5 Bird event. Champions League Shield – Final to be held from Penzance Old Bird. Old Bird knock out award – Final to be held from Penzance Old Bird. Tommy Shanks Memorial Champion old bird of the year cup – Most points by an individual old bird in all official NIPA old bird races including the 5 bird event and excluding the duplicated Penzance OB Classic event. Old Bird Average trophy – Best Average all official Nipa races including the 5-Bird event and excluding the duplicated Penzance OB Classic event. OB cross Channel points award – Most points in all NIPA Channel races Harold Cubitt from Rasharkin had Champion Old Bird in the MAC. Top prize winner in Rasharkin.



Halle-Booienhoven: Herbots Brothers...or should we say Herbots Family because there in the Dungelstraat every family member is enthusiastically involved with the pigeons in one way or another. The Herbots home is always convivial – everyone is welcome and everyone is welcomed with a smile. The coffee pot is always full, a biscuit or other snack is offered with pleasure. The 2023 season was one to frame. Their flying team impressed at national level like never before. At the beginning of the season, despite the racing team's condition being more than good, the prevailing easterly wind played a disadvantage in their ability to compete with the best at national level, but once the wind blew in from a more westerly direction, it was all over. In the month of July, when long distance races follow each other in quick succession, their racing team struck sharp and deadly as daggers and won 8x Top 10 National and 29x Top 50 National. ‘THe Flup’…masTerFully imposing miet, Jo and raf have to swallow for once when we want to talk about ‘De Flup’ (B21-2130124). ‘De Flup’ is probably one of the best pigeons that ever cleaved the Belgian skies. Jo, who can already put several decades of experience in the international pigeon world on the table, puts it succinctly “never experienced before! such performance in one month (July 2023), we have never seen this with anyone before”.We can only agree and there are no superlatives enough to do full justice t o this historic performance. “Thanks also to our team of loft managers”, Jo continues “Geoffrey who is main loft manager and assisted by Bjorn, Christophe and Viktor. Without them, this would definitely not be possible”. As you know, Jo Herbots is always looking for exceptional pigeons. Not only for his extensive international clientele but also to strengthen his own breeding loft. National Ace Pigeons, International winners, Olympiad pigeons…only the very best are allocated a breeding box. 7th National Souillac 4,827 birds – 711km 9th National Limoges 7,211 birds – 652km 9th National Aurillac 5,342 birds – 685km 9th National Libourne 3,880 birds – 784km 1st National ace KBDB over 4 long distance races old birds 2023 1st Provincial ace KBDB long distance pigeon 2023 3rd World Best Pigeon 4th Olympiad Pigeon Cat H



Impressed at Godfried Verstichele with 1st National Tulle 6,206 birds (615km) and 2nd National Argenton 11,838 birds (504km). After his National victory, ‘Supreme’ was transferred to the Herbots breeding loft where he is father of: 1st I-prov Lorris 2,318 birds

In the 2021 season, Herbots Famy won the National race from Chateauroux. Their ‘Bachelor’ was not only the fastest against 18,741 youngsters but also showed his tail to all 21,070 Chateauroux racers. A breeding box was additionally shined up and ‘Bachelor’ was promoted to breeder. ‘Bachelor’ is already a father of:

1st Melun 665 birds 1st Lorris 203 birds 1st Nanteuil 559 birds

2nd National Souillac 4,571 birds 3rd National Souillac 4,827 birds 37th National Souillac 6,085 birds 6th Lennik 2,434 birds But even in the 2nd generation, the winner’s blood of ‘Supreme’ knows its way around: 1st Prov and 11th National Issoudun 12,349 birds

19th National Ace KBDB Fond 8th National Aurillac 6,512 birds. 42nd National Souillac 6,085 birds 103rd National Bourges 20,328 birds

1st against 2,500 birds 3rd against 6,500 birds



The Joe Murphy Column

I have been asked as I’m one of the longest Scottish scribes still active in the magazing and obviously I have seen and handled some wonderful pigeons during my 48 years reporting on them. They wondered if I would do an article on a pigeon, for example, ‘If I could own any pigeon that has flown into Scotland which one, would I love to have’. I replied and said ‘I would like to have two pigeons who to me are the greatest pigeons to race into Scotland. Durning my time as a scribe and Press Officer of the SNFC I have handled and seen some outstanding pigeons over the years. Plus, I have been blessed with having bred and raced a pigeon that has gone on to win 1st Open SNFC Sartilly from an entry of 3,293 birds. However, my choice is not one but two pigeons, these are ‘Fortune Lady’ and ‘Kingdom Spirit’. They agreed and I have been working on accumulating details on these two of the greatest pigeons ever to race into Scotland. I know this is a strong statement to make but I hope when you have read this article you will agree with me that these two birds are truly exceptional. The initial Scottish National Flying Club race was flown in 1894 and throughout this historical time there have been some truly outstanding pigeons that have distin- guished themselves in the success of this great club . The Scottish National Flying Club introduced a special ‘Gold Award’ to any pigeon that was a Section diploma winner in five or more SNFC Channel races, or a bird that had won a Section diploma in four or more SNFC Channel races having flown a minimum of 2,500 miles from those races . This was indeed an enormous challenge to ask of any pigeon, however, the objective was achieved for the first-time in 1975. When two pigeons won this Gold Award, these fanciers being namely George Bain & Son of Danderhall and David Rose of Aberdeen. During the period of 1984 to 1994 approx- imately 2¼ million pigeons rings were issued to the membership of the Scottish Homing Union. Since the Gold Award’s introduction in 1975 up to the present time (February 2024) only 148 tremendous pigeons have been awarded with this illus- trious accolade with the incredible amount of 393,738 pigeons partaking in SNFC Channel races during this time. When you also contemplate the above and realise that only two unique pigeons stand-out in the annuals of this great club’s historical past as being the only two pigeons to win TWO GOLD AWARDS is quite incredible. The first of these being a pigeon who won 10 times from Channel races into Scotland from the race points of Sartilly (499 miles) and Rennes (542 miles). This distinguished achievement was accomplished between the years of 1987 and 1994 by a chequer pied hen named ‘Fortune Lady’ bred and raced by Mr & Mrs Jimmy Smith of Elphinstone in East Lothian. This Champion hen, did not win her first SNFC diploma until she was three years old. Nevertheless, by the age of 10 in the year of 1994 she collected her 10th Channel certificate and became the first ever Double Gold Award winner in the history of the Scottish National Flying Club. Her winning performances are as follows: Race Point Year Section Open Distance Velocity Members Birds Sartilly (1) 1987 89th 49th 499-1614 1056.27 756 2358 Rennes 1988 19th 10th 542-1475 855.07 1162 3490 Sartilly (2) 1988 15th 14th 499-1614 926.16 569 1929 Sartilly (1) 1989 6th 4th 499-1614 1158.03 895 2989 Sartilly (2) 1989 15th 6th 499-1614 1342.71 692 2659 Sartilly (1) 1990 20th 10th 499-1614 1370.45 952 3310 Sartilly (2) 1990 186th 83rd 499-1614 954.29 720 2912 Sartilly (1) 1991 160th 50th 499-1614 921.80 1305 4476 Rennes 1992 28th 18th 542-1475 1118.93 1289 4501 Sartilly (1) 1993 Timed out of Race Time Sartilly (2) 1994 79th 45th 499-1614 595.86 Not Found 2274 ‘Fortune Lady’ flew the Channel 13 times winning in 10 races and as you will see from the above, she was six times in the first 20 Open positions in these races and her total cash winnings was £5.964.03 pence. She was also the winner of the Scottish Homing Union ‘Pigeon of the Year’ award and she also won the presti- gious ‘Dewar Trophy’ in 1988, and she was runner up for this same trophy in 1989. I have no doubt in saying she was the best 500-mile pigeon in Scotland and maybe even Europe during her racing career . ‘Fortune Lady’ performed best when sitting six days on eggs at the time of basketing but on both her Rennes wins she was sent sitting on a four day old young- ster. Sire of ‘Fortune Lady’ was an injured pied cock ‘ 11809 ’ bred by Tom McEwen of Elphinstone, he was paired to his own daughter ‘578 ’and this pairing produced

‘Fortune Lady’.

‘SU84E05776’ ‘Champion Fortune Lady’ . ‘578’ won the following SNFC prizes: 1979 – 27th East Section 136th Open Falaise – 27th East Section 29th Open Avranches

1980 – 101st East Section 106th Open Avranches 1982 – 139th East Section 231st Open Rennes In 1983 – the SNFC had no Channel racing and she won 127th East Section 159th Open Dorchester (1). In 1985 – 86th East Section 104th Open Exeter winning six times in the SNFC, winning SNFC Gold Award. ‘SN578’ best nest condition was sitting 15 days on eggs. Dam of ‘SN578’ was named ‘Flower of Scotland’ and she won the following positions in the SNFC: – 69th East Section 131st Open Rennes – 74th East Section 108th Open Avranches – 85th East Section 163rd Open Rennes – 31st East Section 87th Open Avranches, winning SNFC Gold Award So, you will see from the above that; BREEDING FROM THE BEST – REPRODUCES THE BEST I HAVE ALWAYS FOLLOWED THE ABOVE RULE IN MY OWN LOFT – EVEN TODAY 2024 – 64th East Section 141st Open Avranches – 29th East Section 52nd Open Rennes – 134th East Section 216th Open Avranches My second choice pigeon; Is the wonderful ‘Kingdom Spirt’ who 21 years later repeated ‘Fortune Lady’ achievements, and we in Scotland were blessed to again have another very special pigeon who also achieved a SNFC Double Silver and Double Gold Award . This new ‘Superstar’ was a blue bar hen named ‘Kingdom Spirt’. She was a late bred in 2008 with an old ring placed on her leg and was raced



Clermont race sitting four day eggs. In 2015 after the race, she returned to her eggs which is the first time she has done so in ALL her racing contests. You will see from the above this magnificent hen has only ONCE been out of the top 100 in these 10 national races flying almost 5430 miles during this time and she has been within the top 5% in ALL these National events. Both parents were bred by R Cook of Chatsworth Lofts of Colchester, Essex, both containing the bloodlines of Geoff Kirkland 1st national winner ‘The Pest’ . Many fanciers throughout the world will appreciate the prominence of these two wonderful pigeons ‘Fortune Lady’ and ‘Kingdom Spirit’ and many fanciers will wish they had a pigeon of their calibre within their own lofts. Had these two birds been a Dutch, Belgian or German pigeons they would have been worth a fortune and even today’s World record priced pigeon in my opinion does not have perform- ances as outstanding as these two Scottish National Racing Pigeons. The above are my own thoughts and opinions. – Joe Murphy Scottish Scribe. 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 REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE or log onto www.pigeon- who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland . WITHOUT LIMITS – ICON OF THE SPORT – JIM BISS

Jim Biss – Without Limits – The Ultimate Icon Written by Lee Fribbins – Editor of The Racing Pigeon, Racing Pictorial International Jim Biss was one of if not the greatest fanciers to have ever graced our shores. The sport of pigeon racing in the UK had in Jim Biss an extraordinary talent that made him certainly one of the Ultimate Icons of his generation but also one of the greatest exponents in Europe of all time. Jim was one of those fanciers that didn’t just get a performance a season that for many would be once in a life time that those fanciers would be

‘Kingdom Spirit’.

by the father and son partnership of George & Brian Hunter from Dunfermline and the area is known in Scotland as the ‘Kingdom of Fife’ . Hence the reason she was known as ‘Kingdom Spirit’. Dunfermline town grew under the influence of Queen Margaret to be an important ecclesiastical burgh (a town with special privi- leges). It is situated north of Edinburgh over the river known as ‘The Firth of Forth’ which continues out into the North Sea. On 20th May 2022 the town was granted city status by the Queen. Back to the pigeon, this wonderful hen competed from 4 different race points with the Scottish National Flying Club, and her performances are as follow: Race Point Year Section Open Distance Velocity Members Birds Reims 2010 7th 26th 567-704 1091.4 397 1187 Clermont 2010 2nd 2nd 524-391 1031.97 311 1102 Messac 2011 2nd 31st 573-1315 582.17 385 1159 Clermont 2011 31st 69th 524-391 1220.67 356 1471 Alencon 2012 4th 36th 547-1603 1291.3 389 1204 Alencon 2013 2nd 2nd 547-1603 979.02 431 1355 Clermont 2013 41st 90th 524-391 607.7 343 1500 Alencon 2014 18th 120th 547-1603 624.9 421 1427 Alencon 2015 2nd 58th 547-1603 820.85 400 1416 Clermont 2015 28th 67th 524-391 1141.11 338 1547 Kingdom Spirit also won the Scottish Homing Union ‘ DEWAR TROPHY’ in 2010 for Scotland’s ‘Pigeon of the Year’ and was Runner up for this award in 2011. She correspondingly won 1st prize in the ‘Joe Murphy BHW One Bird Sporting Challenge’ competition from Alencon in 2012. From where she competed against a select band of quality pigeons to win the highest placed bird in the completion being 36th open Scottish National Flying Club. During the above 28 year period the Scottish Homing Union have distributed over 2,500,000 rings to their membership and it was an incredible achievement for ‘Fortune Lady’ and ‘ Kingdom Spirit’ to become THE ONLY TWO PIGEONS TO ACHIEVE THIS FEAT FROM ALL THE MILLIONS BRED AT THIS TIME. PLUS ‘Kingdom Spirit’ she was also regarded as ONE of the Best Racing Hens in Europe. ‘Kingdom Spirit’s ’ normal preparation for the season was; paired up in March and reared two babies until they are 15 days old at which time she is taken away and prepared for racing on the ‘Roundabout’ system. With her mate finishing off rearing the babies. ‘Kingdom Spirit’ normally has three races out to Leicester a distance of 257 miles, she was then repaired to her mate and entered into the SNFC Gold Cup race from Alencon sitting 10 days on eggs. ( On return she generally did not go back onto her eggs ). She was then allowed to go back to nest and receives 2 short training flights (40 minutes on the wing) and was then entered into the SNFC

proud of but created a team of pigeons that achieved results many could only dream of on a week after week basis and season after season. * 1st, 2nd and 7th Pau Grand National in 1993. * The famous ‘Champion Natrix’ winning Marseille BICC National an incredible three years running. * 25x1st Nationals at middle/long distance events, 17x2nd National and 19x3rd National. * Kings Cup from Pau plus 12x1st Section NFC and 4x1st Open Midland NFC. * 1976-1984 alone he won a staggering 9x1st National, 6x2nd National and 7x3rd National. * Winner of the coveted British Marathon three years in a row. In this book I take a look at Jim’s life, his racing methods, his lofts and the infamous pigeons that made him a household name with descendants of his fine team still winning around the world today. A true gentleman and Icon of the sport.

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Hathaway & Poole’s loft set up.

Over the last ten years I have updated the Hathaway & Poole success story several times, which featured premier winning performances every year, competing against big birdage. Their loft performance over that time must rate second to none and this latest instalment brings us right to date. The Hathaway & Poole partner of Egham in Berkshire have enjoyed a wonderful 2019 old bird season, winning many premier positions, including five times 1st BB&O Federation. The membership of their club, the Windsor RPC, hosts some the best flyers in Europe and can some weeks send as many as 1,000 birds to an inland race. Fantastic competition and a really hard club to win! Peter, Steve and Brian won the first five old bird races in the club, which included the first race from France. The highlights of their old bird performance in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon SR Federation were: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 20th Federation Honiton (2,934 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th & 30th Federation Exeter (3,042 birds), 1st Federation Carentan (1,698 birds), 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 26th & 28th Federation Exeter (2,377 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th & 28th Federation Portland (1,525 birds), 1st Federation Wincanton (old bird). One of the stars of the season was the Heremans Ceusters blue cock. ‘Roddy’, which had won many premier Federation positions in previous years, but in 2019 won: 1st Club (570 birds), 1st BB&O Federation (2,934 bird), 2nd Club (843 birds), 2nd BB&O

Federation Exeter (3,042 birds) beaten by his loft mate. The pigeon to beat ‘Roddy’ from Exeter with 3,042 birds competing was the yearling Lambrecht blue pied hen, ‘KT’, and she went on to win 8th

Federation Portland (1,525 birds) and 14th Federation Exeter (2,377 birds). Another top performing hen in 2019 was the beautiful Lambrecht blue chequer hen, ‘Dolly Daydream’, and she won 1st Club three times



hen ‘Little Flee’ was the first on the clock. This class hen was previously number six on the ETS from Honiton to win 6th BB&O Federation. The good year- ling Soontjen blue chequer cock, ‘Dodgy Dave’, won 2nd Federation from Kingsdown and he was bred by the partner’s good friend, Dave Vass. The partners only keep a small team of young birds and only race them lightly to educate them, for future racing as old birds. In the 2017 season a team of 20 youngsters were sent to Exeter (150 miles) with the BB&O Federation and they recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 12th, with 1.299 birds competing. The first two birds on the ETS to win 1st & 2nd Federation and racing to the perch were the Heremans-Ceusters nest pair, ‘Spoiler’ and ‘Blue Lou’. Hathaway & Poole didn’t intend to send to the last and longest young bird race flown from Wadebridge (200 miles), but were persuaded to send to the race and sent a small selected team of three birds. First pigeon clocked was the Soontjens blue chequer hen, ‘Lucky Dip’, and she recorded 1st club, 4th BB&O Federation, with 1,231 birds competing. I recently visited the Hemel Hempstead loft of Mick & Lorna Dickinson for a YouTube filming session after their wonderful 2016 racing season, which saw them win a long list of premier positions including 1st UBI Combine twice. The two Combine winners were both yearling Widowhood cocks. The first Combine winner of the season was the dark chequer cock, ‘933’ and he was purchased at the 2015 Spelthorne Breeder/Buyer

and 1st BB&O Federation Portland (1,525 birds), 7th BB&O Federation Yeovil (3,085 birds), 1st Federation Wincanton (old bird). One of the stars of the season was the Heremans-Ceusters blue cock, ‘Third Bird’, although he didn’t win the Federation, he was 3rd Federation three times and 16th Federation. Peter Hathaway moved house a couple of years ago and had a terrible job settling the Hathaway & Poole team of pigeons to the new garden, which is sited only a few hundred yards from the old one. The 2017 season has seen the partnership record their first three Federation winners to the new garden and everything has been re-established to its former glory. The Berks, Bucks & Oxen Federation sent 2,484 birds to Honiton (120 miles) and the partners recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Federation, all with pigeons flown on the Roundabout system. Peter was telling me that there were several hens up there in the Federation result and he was amazed as the females had had very little work. The hens only fly out around

the loft for ten minutes every day and only had a couple short training tosses at the beginning of the season. He only sent the hens to Honiton to stop them pairing up! The partners recently brought some Lambrecht pigeons in from Steve Foster and they have been doing well, and from the Honiton race they recorded 1st, 2nd & 5th Federation. The Federation winning pigeon from Honiton was the partner’s good yearling mealy cock, ‘Freddie’, and he had previously won other premier positions including 10th BB&O Federation Yeovil. Three weeks after taking the first seven positions from Honiton, Hathaway & Poole hit the top spot again, by winning 1st & 2nd BB&O Federation Kingsdown (2232 birds). This time it was the turn of a hen to win the Federation and the partners were delighted as one of the loft favourites, the yearling Lambrecht grizzle

Auction, being bred by the very successful Hathaway & Poole partnership of Egham. This game Widowhood cock achieved club and Federation positions as a young bird and went on to win 1st Club, 1st Inter Counties Federation (2,322 birds), 1st UBI Combine (3,330 birds) Yelverton, velocity 1290ypm and 2nd Club Honiton (234 birds). A fantastic yearling cocks! Prior to the house move, the Hathaway & Poole part- nership of Egham in Berkshire got the 2014 racing season off to a brilliant start, racing in the very strong Windsor club, which has several premier racers in it’s membership, including Mark Gilbert and John Haynes. The club often sends 750 birds to inland races and the Windsor club members regularly win the Berks, Bucks & Oxen Federation. Mark Gilbert won the Federation from Portland, with 3,065 birds competing and Hathaway & Poole’s two Soontjen blue Widowhood cocks, ‘Ho! So’ and ‘Near Miss’ hit the ETS together to record the same velocity, and joint 2nd Federation. The following weekend the roles were reversed in the Honiton race, when Hathaway & Poole won 1st Club (708 birds), 1st BB&O Federation (3,530 birds), with their brilliant Soontjen blue chequer cock, ‘Short Head’. This outstanding Widowhood cock has previ- ously won several premier positions, including 4th Club, 4th BB&O Federation (2,558 birds) Wincanton in the 2012 racing season. In the Honiton race the part- ners beat Mark Gilbert by a yard and he had two pigeons hit the ETS together to win joint 2nd Federation. Funning ol’ game, this pigeon racing! The



cocks and hens on the Widowhood and Roundabout systems, with sprint and middle distance racing in mind. They say that the biggest mistake that a pigeon racer can make is over feeding and to be successful this has to be worked out correctly too the type of racing the fancier want to compete in. On the partner’s Widowhood system the birds are not broken down, with the corn being increased at the end of the week and the hens are released in to the cocks section on marking night, and both cocks and hens are sent to the race. The yearling’s race through to Tours (284 miles) and all the other birds through to Bergerac (456 miles), and never any further. The partners say their train system is not for the faint hearted and kicks off at Dummer. In the 2009 season they had five Dummer tosses before the first race and finished up winning 1st Federation Portland (2,814 birds) and 1st Federation Wincanton (1,965 birds). The stock birds are housed in six single flights and are paired up in early December. The main families kept are Soontjens, Lambrecht, Staf Van Reet and Ron Williams of Ireland. The main stock pair is a Soontjens x Staf Van Reet and they have bred numerous club and Federation winners for the part- ners and their friends. This Champion pair of breeders have also bred 3rd Open L&SECC Bergerac, 12th Open L&SECC Bergerac, 20th Open L&SECC Tours in the same season and were purchased at the BHW Blackpool Show for the princely sum of £65. They also purchased a Staf Van Reet mealy cock from the same vendor for £30 and he bred Hathaway & Poole five different winners. Not a bad return on less than a 100 quid! Steve told me, the partners have no interest in the eyesign method or showing their birds, but have supported club shows several times and have never won a card, so maintains their birds must be racing pigeons! The stock birds never breed after the end of May as the partners have no time for late breds and all the race birds are separated from September until February, and do not fly out in the winter months. Peter tells me, they breed about 100 youngsters each year and give 20 of them to friends, clubs and charity sales. The babies go on the ‘Darkness’ system and are raced on the open door Celibate system, being kept separate all week and run together on marking night. The young birds start their training at Dummer (30 mile), which is a favourite training point on the M3 Motorway and after six tosses they are ready for the first Federation race. They maintain the ‘Darkness’ is essential for success with the young birds, as it keep them in good feather right through the season and they like to race, and compete every week with the babies. Steve says that their best yearlings have been young birds that have flown the English Channel. In the 2005 season the partners had another of those brilliant racing days, when they sent too two channel races on the same day and recorded 1st Open UBI Combine Fougeres (2,445 birds) and 3rd Open L&SECC Alencon (2,633 birds). Peter and Steve told me it was a very special day and gave them their biggest thrill in their time in the sport. The two Widowhood pigeons were clocked 15 minutes apart and produced the lofts best performance. Some of the best performances put up by the Hathaway & Poole partnership in recent years have been: 1st Club Newark (604 birds) on the North Road, 3rd & 12th Open L&SECC Bergerac (1,112 birds), 3rd Open L&SECC Alencon (2,633 birds), 5th Open L&SECC Bergerac (835 birds), 14th & 15th Open L&SECC Tours (1,718 birds), 16th, 33rd & 35th Open L&SECC Vire (625 birds), 18th Open L&SECC Vire (1,319 birds), 20th Open L&SECC Tours (1,921 birds), 20th & 45th Open L&SECC Bergerac (738 birds), 21st & 28th Open L&SECC Bergerac, 26th Open L&SECC Alencon (1,783 birds), 26th Open L&SECC Tours (2,253 birds), 27th Open L&SECC Guernsey (1,693 birds), 1st, 4th & 20th UBI Combine Fougeres (2,445 birds), 1st & 2nd Federation Wincanton (1,291 birds), 1st & 3rd Federation Portland (2,814 birds), 1st, 3rd & 4th Federation Portland (3,371 birds), 1st, 2nd, 3rd,

Egham partnership continued and had a wonderful 2014 old bird season, finishing up winning: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 33rd, 38th, 39th, 41st, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 58th & 59th BB&O Federation East Prawle (1,999 birds). The Federation winner on this occasion was the yearling blue round about cock, ‘Defrow’, and he had also won 1st Club Exeter (385 birds) earlier in the season. Peter Hathaway and Steve Poole visited my home in Claygate to have their latest Federation winners photographed and they told me they had had many good days racing their birds through the years, but like every other fancier, had had only a few really brilliant days. Peter said the 2012 season had turned up one those rare brilliant racing days, when the partners sent a team of young birds to Wincanton (85 miles) with the Berks, Bucks & Oxen SR Federation and recorded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd & 25th (2,558 birds). They were racing in three different clubs

and a batch of birds came together, and the first three birds on the ETS won the three clubs. The fantastic thing about this performance was the fact that the first three birds dropped on the ETS together and recorded the exactly same time and velocity, 1678.413. Three different club winners and joint 1st Federation winners. I remember visiting the late, great Fred Elliott’s loft in Egham many years ago and being a keen angler, I was very impressed with a big fishing lake that was sited behind his garden. The Hathaway & Poole’s loft set up is sited in Peter’s garden, which is just up the road from the same lake. Peter and Steve are self- employed builders, so the lofts are very smart, with the main racing loft being a 30ft pan tiled structure which houses the Widowhood racers and the young birds have their own 14ft loft, and all are kitted out with Unikon ETS. The old birds are cleaned out every day during the racing season, but during the winter months are kept on ‘Easy Bed’ deep litter and the young birds are on deep litter all the year round. The partners race

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