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Canterbury pigeon racing club desperate to find new home

Micky Harris, Derek Adams and Roger Cheeseman from the Sturry Road Area Pigeon Racing Club. Picture: Barry Goodwin

A Canterbury pigeon racing club faces an uncertain future after the social club its members have met at for more than 30 years closed last weekend.

The Sturry Road Area Invitation Pigeon Club met twice a week at the Sturry Road Social Club in East Street, which had about 400 paying members and hosted several other clubs’ meetings, but the venue has now closed for business.

As a result the pigeon club is now without a home and could be forced to fold if it fails to find new premises by next year.

The club, set up in the 1970s, regularly holds races in the summer and its members look after their own pigeons in coops in their back gardens.

Video: Pigeon racing club appeals for new home

Member Micky Harris, of Reed Avenue, fears for both the future of the sport and the club if a new home can’t be found quickly.

He said: “It’s an expensive hobby looking after the birds and if I can’t race them any more, I might have to consider selling them.

“If we can’t find a new home, and fast, then I fear that could be it for us, I really do.”

Another member Roger Cheeseman admits the sport is sadly becoming a forgotten pastime, with fewer younger people taking an interest.

He said: “It’s something that’s in the blood. My dad raced pigeons and so did Micky’s.

“Our youngest fancier Kieron Scott, who’s 14, is a member because his dad introduced him to the sport.

“Today, kids are more interested in computer games and technology and less so in something like this, which is a hobby and gets them outdoors.”

City council spokesman Rob Davies admitted they are yet to receive any formal notification of the social club’s closure.

He said: “We have heard rumours about it closing and clubs and societies now being left without a place to meet.

“We have written to the secretary asking him to clarify the position and are awaiting a response.

“In the short term, the affected clubs might want to take a look at our website www.e-canterbury.co.uk/venues which lists all the venues across the district that can hired for events and meetings.”

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