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Feather weight showdown

Pigeon fanciers were kept busy on Sunday inspecting birds displayed in their cages at the British Homing World Show of the Year.

The annual two-day event was held in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in north-west England.

The show, run by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, is the largest gathering of pigeon fanciers in Britain, and around 2,500 birds were on display.

The event is one of the largest in the world too, regularly attracting around 25,000 visitors.

The profits are donated to a variety of charities.

Fanciers can buy anything from a £25,000 (S$44,000) 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 £10 to perhaps £10,000 can be paid for a pedigree racing pigeon or its offspring.

Of course, there is a serious side to the show too.

The pigeons on display are all trying to win honours, with the winner going on to the Supreme Champion class.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Feather weight showdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe