Pigeon clubs are usually confined to small areas to ensure equality of weather conditions, but the birds may fly up to 500 miles. The pigeons, which used to be transported by rail, are now taken to the starting‐point in specially constructed road vehicles. The performance of each pigeon is very carefully monitored, and breeding and feeding rigorously controlled. They are descended from the rock doves (columba livia) and have been used since ancient times for carrying messages.
Subjects: British History.