Pigeon club gives flying start to hospice funds

A group of pigeon racers have helped to raise £1,000 for Overgate Hospice.

Hipperholme and District Homing Society has supported the Elland hospice for a number of years with its social events.

The group is based at Brighouse Sports Club and meets every Friday when they drop off their pigeons to enter a race and again on a Saturday to announce the winner.

The sport is more family friendly nowadays thanks to a small chip which is similar to a barcode at a supermarket checkout, registering the finish time.

The races can take place in exotic places like France or closer to home in Dorset but it is only the birds that are transported.

The races start in April and the distance is built up with the longest in June at 500miles. The last race is held in September.

“It is an upcoming sport especially in places such as China and Asia,” said John Simpson, who lives in Brighouse.

“We are trying to make it into a family sport. It was traditionally a workmans past time but that has changed and schools have started to get involved.

“We are hoping the big push will begin when GPS tracking is introduced into the world of pigeon racing and you can start watching them on Googlemap.”

He added: “It has been a hard year. The weather has had the biggest impact because we don’t race them in the rain and hot weather.

“A pigeon can race 40mph with no wind. If it is a strong head wind it can slow the birds down to 25mph but if it is the other way it can be 65-70mph.”

Anyone interested in joining the club or finding out more can contact Mr Simpson via the website www.hipperholmedhs.co.uk