Award success for Ballymena loft at Blackpool show

The winning team from Ballymena Willy Gilbert and wife Nicola.
The winning team from Ballymena Willy Gilbert and wife Nicola.

The Blackpool Show has passed for another year and plans are being made already for the show in 2016 to be held on January16-17.

The British Homing World Show of the Year is an annual two-day gathering of pigeon fanciers held in Blackpool, England, each January. It has been described as “the Crufts of the pigeon world”.

The event, which is organised by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, was first held in 1972 in Doncaster. It is now held at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, where it has been based since 1977.

The show features around 1,000 show pigeons and 2,000 racing pigeons. Fanciers compete for the award of “Best in Class” in 32 different categories, one of which wins the prize of “Supreme Champion of Great Britain”. Auctions are held at the event as well; pigeons have sold for up to £10,000 at the event. Suppliers for various pigeon-related products exhibit at the event.

The weather for those travelling from Ireland was terrible and some sailings were cancelled but thing improved enough and most seem to have made it, even if a little late. In was most successful for a number of the local lofts with W & N Gilbert (Ballymena) winning Racing Cock T/W and Old Hen flown 300 Miles. Messrs Edgar & A & M Wiggins (Coleraine) won 2014 Cock Un-flown, BSRF Champion, and Best Cock bird in Show. T & K Mawhinney (Donaghcloney) won Old Hen flown 200 Miles, Eye-sign racer likely to fly 500 Miles, Best 200 Miles or over + BOS, and Best Eye-sign racer likely to fly 500 Miles.

Edgar & Wiggins won East Midlands Trophy for Reserve BIS, British Heart Foundation Cup for BOS Show Racer, J & R Scott Cup BOS 2013 Show Racer, Corpratec Mouldings Ltd Cup for BOS Young Bird, Townsend Thorensen Cup for Best Cock Bird in Show, White Vision Cup for BSRF Champion. T & K Mawhinney won Norman Axe Memorial Cup for Best 200 Miles or over, J Wheatcroft Cup for Best Eye-sign racer likely to fly 500 Miles. Finally Willy Gilbert won David Castle Memorial Cup for BOS 300 Miles or over. That collection for Northern Ireland could be the best ever, well done all.


The AGM for Ballymena & District will take place in the local clubrooms at Fountain Place on Monday 9th February at 8.00pm. Resolutions for the agenda must be with the Secretary Willie Reynolds by Saturday 31st January, and remember any resignations prior to the AGM.

RPRA (Irish Region) annual meeting has been arranged for Saturday 7th February in the Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick at 1.00pm. Please note a change of venue.

There appears to be very little on the agenda despite the many problems over the last number of months.

Mid Antrim Combine meeting has been arranged for the Harryville HPS on Wednesday 18th March at 8.00pm. Two Delegates from each member club to vote on proposals.

INFC AGM will be held on Saturday 28th February.