Ann’s fancy hobby send us all a flutter

In her day job as administrator in our service department, Ann Williams can deal with as many as 50 customer enquiries each day.

But that’s nothing to managing her 50+ flock of racing pigeons at home.


Ann explains how she first got into pigeon racing or fancying, as it is also known, 10 years ago;

“I’ve always loved animals and birds but I never wanted to get into breeding and keeping them. Our neighbours had kept pigeons for years and over time my husband (Bob) really got into it.”

Ten years later and the Williams’ are now official pigeon racers and members of the Sodbury Vale Flying Club where Ann is Secretary & Treasurer.

During the racing season which runs from April to October they are out and about at least 3 times a week both on training runs but also in attending races around the region – the furthest they have been is Saintes – some 408 miles away.  They also breed pigeons, which lay 2 eggs that hatch after 21 days and this year have added 60 to the flock.


“The most common question I get asked is “How do they find their way home?”. Our understanding is that they rely on the Earth’s magnetic field which is just amazing in itself. Despite my initial protestations it’s actually a really fun hobby to have, especially in the Summer when the weather is lovely. It means getting out and about, discovering new places and new friends.”


Interesting pigeon facts and figures

  • Pigeons are the oldest domesticated birds in the world
  • Racing pigeons originated in Belgium and first started in the UK in 1881
  • Racing pigeons are capable of finding their way home from over 900 miles away and flying at an average speed in of around 40 miles per hour