After a highly successful Royal Variety Performance recently held in my home town, showbiz razzmatazz returns again with the British Homing World pigeon fanciers show.
Jack Duckworth look-a-likees from across the UK flock to Blackpool to exhibit their prized birds, discuss all-things pigeon and attend glittering award ceremonies at the gala evening.
Now I'm no great expert on homing pigeons. Call me a bit insular, but I find pigeons a bit of a bloody pain the arse to be honest. I hate the way they walk. The way they hang around waiting for falling pastry bits from your Greggs sausage roll. The noise they make. The way they crap everywhere and the way they fly towards your face before winging upwards at the last second whilst your arms are flailing and you're screeching like a banshee. I can't for the life of me see how anyone can get excited about things that make a lot of noise, crap a lot, bugger off before returning days later. You can get an errant boyfriend to do that. And at least there's a chance he'll take your bins out.
Although, homing pigeons don't rock my boat, apparently pigeon fanciers are quite fanatical about their craft and it's big business. Birds can sell for many thousands of pounds. They even have a trophy ceremony at the Blackpool Show with the 'Supreme Champion' being the equivalent of Crufts 'Best in Show'. Looking down the trophy list though, I did a double-take and starting filling out my pigeon fanciers application form when I saw the prize for 'Best Cock In Show'.
Only in the gay capital of Blackpool could you have a 'Best Cock In Show' trophy somewhat disappointingly going to a male homing pigeon from Oswaldtwistle. Only Blackpool gives you the juxtaposition of hosting a Royal Variety Performance and the annual George Formby Appreciation Society. Picture the scene...upwards of 1500 people in the Opera House strumming their ukeleles in unison whilst pictures of George are projected on a large screen on the stage. I kid you not... I worked a summer season there in my youth and witnessed the very strange event first hand.
Hee hee, turned out nice again...