British Homing World Show returns to Blackpool this weekend at the Winter Gardens

Around 25,000 pigeon fanciers will be flocking to the Winter Gardens this weekend when the annual British Homing World Show returns to the town.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 2:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 2:19 pm
The Royal Pigeon Racing Association host the British Homing World Show of the Year at the Winter Gardens. Pictured is Patrick Axe from Axholme Lofts with Buggenum Boy.

The event, now in its 47th year, has been coming to the resort for 41 years and is worth an estimated £2.5 million to the Blackpool economy.

Over the two-day event, there will be over 100 trade stands, charity pigeon auctions, raffles for new lofts and the showing and judging of over 2,000 of the top homing pigeons in the country.

It all takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Ian Evans, CEO of organisers the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), said: “Pigeon racing is not simply just a hobby for the fancying community.

“For many, the past time helps people to stay active and social.

“The population of pigeon fanciers is made up of those from all different backgrounds and the event is a great chance for our members to catch up.”

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He said the event in Blackpool was also an opportunity for the RPRA to launch its junior membership scheme to encourage the younger generation to keep our pastime thriving.

The BBC’s national security correspondent Gordon Corera will also be signing his book, ‘The Secret Pigeon Service’ at the event.

The book is based on a story about the 16,000 homing pigeons which were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of ‘Columba’ - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.

The event’s £2.5m injection into the Blackpool economy is based on the trade it brings in for hotels, restaurants, taxis and other businesses at a time of year when the town would otherwise be quiet.

Tickets are available on the day and also online on the RPRA’s website.