British Homing World Show

Date: 21/01/11
Blackpool - Blackpool

Winter Gardens Blackpool

Lancashire One attended the British Homing World Show of the Year at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

The show is without doubt one of the largest in the world and regularly attracts around 25,000 visitors. We understand that it is Blackpool's busiest weekend of the year when hoteliers, restaurants, taxi drivers and shop keepers welcome pigeon fanciers and their families with open arms. For it is truly a family event. Fanciers can buy anything from a £25,000 mahogany loft to a bag of pigeon corn at one of the 200 or so trade stands. 

Thousands of pigeons change hands at sales and auctions where sums of £10 to perhaps £10,000 can be paid for a pedigree racing pigeon or its offspring. Events are held for young fanciers, and wives and partners go to the variety of shops.  There is a real brotherhood of fanciers and friends will meet up from various parts of the country having not seen their pals since the previous show.

Of course there is a serious side to the show and in what can be termed the Crufts of the Pigeon World. Around 2500 pigeons are on display all trying to win best in show with the winner going on to the Supreme Champion class. To enter this class then your pigeon must have won at a pigeon show in the previous 12 months. There is a lot of kudos to winning at Blackpool and indeed the same for any fancier who is invited to judge. It is a great honour for them.

When all the hard work is done, the money is counted. All the profit from the show is donated to various charities. We support the British Fanciers Pigeon Lung Research Team with a sizable grant each year that enables them to carry on research into this respiratory disease. We are also now ASBAH's single largest donor with over £440,000!

The BHW Show of the Year was conceived back in 1972 when the then RPRA General Manager Len Lewis came up with the idea of a national pigeon show. With the assistance of fanciers in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire a show was put on in 1973 at the Doncaster racecourse complex.

It was decided at the time that if any profit was made it would be given to charity. One of the stewards had a granddaughter who suffered from spina bifida and so, after the first show, a donation was made to the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH).

The show continued at Doncaster until 1977 when the Federation Colombophile Internationale asked the RPRA to host the international Olympiad. The size of the show meant that the committee had to find a larger venue and so the show moved to the Winter Gardens at Blackpool where it has remained.