A spokesperson forNorthumbria Policesaid: "Police received a report from two officers of a fire at an allotment on Benton Road, West Allotment on New Year's Day."The report was made at about 1.20am when officers reported a fire in a pigeon loft."The fire service attended to extinguish the fire and it is believed all the pigeons died in the blaze.
In his paper he writes: "For some racers, the pigeon loft was a masculine enclave and a retreat from the pressures of domestic life, but for others it was an opportunity to share time with their families."
And, incredibly, taxpayers are now footing a sum of PS40,000 for a new pigeon loft to house the Royals' birds at Sandringham to provide a "modern well ventilated spacious environment" for the 200 royal pigeons.