Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Pigeon fanciers race to Blackpool

Racing Pigeon Show of the Year
Pigeon fanciers have travelled from across the Europe for the annual show

Thousands of fanciers are flocking to one of the world's largest pigeon shows, in Blackpool.

The Racing Pigeon Show of the Year at the resort's Winter Gardens is expected to attract up to 30,000 people from across the UK and Europe.

The event, sponsored by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), is an annual event which raises thousands of pounds for charity.

Organisers say they are on track to beat last year's fund of 85,000.

The show was first held in Doncaster, but moved to Blackpool in 1977.

The stereotyped image of old men with a flat caps couldn't be further from the truth
David Bills, event manager

As well as pigeon sales, trade stands sell equipment for enthusiasts and one pigeon is named "Best in Show".

David Bills, 60, who is also general manager at the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), said: "I think we will beat last year's fund-raising total.

"It's absolutely brilliant. The Winter Gardens is jam-packed. To say it's packed means there are tens of thousands. We are expecting 20,000 to 30,000 to visit the show this weekend.

"There is very much a family atmosphere here.

"The stereotyped image of old men with a flat caps couldn't be further from the truth.

"It's still part of the British way life."



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SEE ALSO
Fanciers' passion for pigeons
24 Jan 09 |  Lancashire
Flight of fancy
01 Feb 08 |  Magazine
Pigeon fanciers flock to resort
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19 Jan 02 |  England

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