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Birmingham pigeon memories project awarded thousands


A scheme which will celebrate people's passion for pigeons through a library collection has secured a lottery grant of more than £40,000.

The archive at Birmingham Central Library will include video interviews, oral histories and a book containing stories and photographs.

Voluntary Birmingham group Project Pigeon hopes to deliver some of it using pigeons carrying USB sticks.

The scheme is due for completion by September 2013.

A total £43,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help to provide material which will include 30 oral histories, lasting for an hour each on average, and 10 video interviews.

Radio play

Young volunteers will carry out interviews with enthusiasts aged between 60 and 95, organisers said.

Project Pigeon director Alex Lockett said it was "good to give a voice to pigeon fanciers".

She added: "[The archive] documents a whole part of West Midlands culture which very few people know about and is starting to decline in numbers.

"It's younger people finding out about older people from a different generation.

"We're hoping to fly the archive to the library via pigeons carrying USB sticks, but we will keep back-ups in case the pigeons get lost."

The group will collect memorabilia for the archive, such as race sheets containing details of pigeon racing and newspaper cuttings.

A radio play, which is due to be performed by pigeon fanciers, will be included in the collection after a writer, Mandy Ross, was commissioned.

Project Pigeon said it used the birds "as a vehicle to bring communities together" and has trained people to deliver workshops about pigeon activities since it was formed in 2009.

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