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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Queen donates pigeon to help raise cash for animal war memorial in Cumbria

The Queen has thrown her support behind a plan to build a memorial in Carlisle to the animal victims of war – by donating one of her prized pigeons.

Stephen Glencross photo
Stephen Glencross with his prize Jan Aarden hen pigeon

The one-month-old squab (unfledged bird ) from the Queen’s loft will be donated to a sale in aid the Animals in War Memorial Monument fund.

The campaign and funding started around three years ago to try to put in place a monument in Bitts Park in Carlisle for those animals who died in war.

The Royal pigeon will be the star attraction when the monument fund committee hosts a sale at Flimby Social Club in September.

The Queen keeps racing pigeons and she is also a patron of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.

Stephen Glencross, 57, of Upperby, Carlisle, who started the campaign, said: “It is fantastic news for us and it is brilliant for the pigeon fraternity.

“We now know that our memorial will be built. The pigeon will make quite a bit of money – it could generate as much as £300 or possibly more.

“Everyone would like to have the chance to own the Queen’s pigeon. The Queen is really loved by the pigeon fraternity. Some of her birds do very well in the national events.

“My friend Bill Southward, a pigeon fancier from Egremont, knows the Queen’s loft manager who keeps her pigeons. He has managed to organise this. He is the man behind it and put the extra work in to help our cause.

“What we really need is the funding. Once we have that, it is all go for the memorial.

“There are also a lot of top flyers donating pigeons and it’s all the pigeon fanciers who are carrying the sale out.”

The group have been fundraising since they started to put the memorial in place and Stephen says they are starting to plan the monument.

The campaign and memorial is for all animals, but Stephen, who has kept pigeons all his life, has been particularly assisted by the pigeon fancier community.

He added: “The idea is to educate young people about what animals have done for us all through history and what they’re still doing.

“We need to let them see how good animals are. They’ve saved lots of human lives.

“Pigeon fanciers and horse people know about it but I don’t think the general public do.”

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