The future of a well-established Bury St Edmunds club is unclear, with a question mark hanging over the life-expectancy of its current site.
Bury Racing Pigeon Club (RPC) has met at the back of Bury Town Football Club, in Cotton Lane, since moving from the town’s former Railway Hotel around 20 years ago.
But, with the football club due to relocate to Moreton Hall some time from August next year, members of the RPC are growing increasingly concerned about what that move will mean for them.
Their current has been earmarked for housing by St Edmundsbury Borough Council planners.
Ron Prewer, club vice-president, said: “I hate the thought of it. We just go from day-to-day really because we don’t know what is going to happen.”
The 76-year-old is one of around 16 members and says what he enjoys most is watching his birds come home.
“That’s my life and my partner will tell you that my pigeons come first. I really love it.
“I don’t know what I’d do without them to tell you the truth, and I think everybody feels the same. I’m dedicated to it.”
From April to September, members meet on Friday nights to mark their pigeons, which are then taken to a designated racing point, and on Saturday nights to record ‘clock in’ times after the birds have returned home.
They use an 18ft by 12ft shed they own at the back of the football club but could just as easily make do with the use of a garage, as long as it had power connected and good access for vehicles.
“We have in the past been at pubs but they haven’t the facilities for that anymore, and most of them are closing anyway,” said club president Michael Neal, 77.
He added: “We don’t know what’s happening and I’m concerned because we’re all getting on a bit and that’s all we have really is this sport, or hobby as we call it.
“I should like to go with them really (the football club) but, whether there will be any facilities up here for us, I don’t know.”
Irene Davis, club secretary and treasurer, said members had been asked to keep their ‘eyes and ears open’ for an alternative place but had, so far, had no luck.
“It just isn’t convenient not knowing where we’re going. We’ve got the shed, all we need is somewhere to move it to.”
Chief marker Roger Peters, 76, said: “It (racing) keeps me going. I just love the sport. I’d be lost without it, although I do have a beautiful wife.”
Bury RPC will give talks and demonstrations in schools. If you are interested, or if you are able to offer an alternative location for members, call 01284 704116.