Members of Forfar Racing Pigeon Club have enjoyed great success in a national competition recently including their first ever national win.
Several members entered pigeons in the race from Ypres in Belgium on Saturday, July 6.
This race was organised for the first time in 2008 to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the first world war and since then has become an annual event.
The race was originally suggested by a pigeon fancier from Ypres who had close connections with the local mayor; it was their wish to have British racing pigeons representing ‘doves of peace’ released to fly back to the UK.
At the time of the first race the president of the Scottish National Flying Club was invited to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing and this has continued in each subsequent year.
Every evening at 8 p.m. the Last Post is played by a bugler at the Menin Gate in memory of those who gave their lives in the Great War.
The entry of 2,500 pigeons in this year’s Ypres race were released at 7.15 a.m. and the first pigeons were reported in the Edinburgh area around 4.30 p.m.
Just 40 minutes later it was an ecstatic Dave Glen who timed his first arrival to claim first prize in the national result, an outstanding achievement considering the extra distance the pigeons in this area have to fly compared to most of the other competitors.
Dave has an excellent record at this race having previously been second, 11th twice and 13th in the national result.
Not to be outdone another Forfar member, Gavin Ferguson, who along with his silent partner Gregor Macaulay has had an unbelievable season, timed a pigeon just seven minutes after the race winner to claim fourth prize and also another just 15 minutes later to take 13th place. Ian Scott and Mike Leggett also timed two pigeons each to take prominent positions in the result.
On the same day there was also a short club race from Arniston and once again it was the in form Gavin Ferguson who took first place from the 144 entries.
Ian Scott was second followed by another arrival to Gavin. David Liddle was in fourth place followed by Bob Baldie in fifth and a second pigeon for Ian Scott completed the top six. The full result was Macaulay & Ferguson 1141.75; I. Scott 1054.58; D. J. Liddle 1045.04; R Baldie 1034.98; C. E. Bell 1025.45; D. Glen 1024.93; R. Greig 857.44; E. Galloway 849.94; D. Smith 643.25.
The following weekend saw the final old bird race of the season when nine members entered 86 pigeons in the cross channel flight from Clermont. This race was also a national event with around 1,500 pigeons competing from all over Scotland. Only around a dozen pigeons were reported home on the first day and one of these was to David Liddle who timed a pigeon after 16 hours’ flying to cover the 550 miles. This was to prove the club winner and also took an outstanding seventh place in the national result.
With poor visibility the next morning it was some time before pigeons started to arrive, and the first of those was to Gavin Ferguson who timed the bird which won the previous week’s race to claim second in the club and an excellent 15th in the national result. The next two pigeons were timed by Dave Glen and they took 24th and 25th in the national while Ian Scott timed three arrivals to finish 28th, 39th and 46th. All in all another excellent performance by the Forfar members. The full club result was DJ Liddle 997.71; Macaulay & Ferguson 807.42; D Glen 738.19; I Scott 705.86; R Baldie 547.34; J McKay 523.34; E Galloway 438.35.
The latest winners in the 100 Club are I Simpson (No. 73) and J Peters (No.4)