20,000 fanciers to flock for gathering

Stewards prepare for Pigeon Weekend at the Winter Gardens. Pictured is steward Sarah Terrell

Stewards prepare for Pigeon Weekend at the Winter Gardens. Pictured is steward Sarah Terrell

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FEATHERS are set to be ruffled in Blackpool this weekend as thousands of pigeon fanciers flock in for their annual show.

More than 20,000 bird lovers from all over the world are expected to make their January pilgrimage to the resort for what is dubbed “the Crufts of The pigeon world.”

And feathered friends of all shapes and sizes will be up for grabs throughout Saturday and Sunday as traders meet to buy and sell their beloved wares.

The action has already begun in the resort however with stewards and traders arriving on Thursday. Brian Mead, chairman of the event said: “We are thrilled to be back in Blackpool for our 34th year.

“People love arriving in Blackpool to meet up with friends and like minded people.

“The show has a really long history with the town, lots of people have been coming right from the beginning and now bring their families.

“We are hoping for a good turnout, lots of people have been arriving since Thursday.

“The beauty of Blackpool is there is something for everyone here, it really is the highlight of a pigeon fanciers’ calendar.”

Despite extensive regeneration work in Winter Gardens, the Empress ballrooms and Olympia are already a hive of activity as rows upon rows of show cages are set out and traders set up their stands.

Excitement was building according to Derbyshire based fancier John Watson, 53. He said: “it is great to be back in Blackpool and I’m looking forward to meeting up with old friends.

“I’ve been coming for about 20 years and wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Susan Fox, 46 from Doncaster travelled with daughter Claire, 21, she said: “I was at Blackpool’s first ever show, I’ve grown up with it and now my children come, it really is a family affair.

“I can’t imagine January without coming to Blackpool, we love it here.”

Natalie Pounder, 25 also from Doncaster added: “This is my tenth show, I love coming it’;s always such a good weekend. We love the showe in the day and going out at night, we wouldn’t miss it.”