Champion pigeon Biggles flown back to Edinburgh...with a little help from leading leisure airline

Tuesday 15, June 2010


Champion pigeon Biggles flown back to Edinburgh...with a little help from leading leisure airline is more used to carrying holiday-making human beings than passengers of the feathered variety - but today carried a very special customer back home to Edinburgh in the form of champion racing pigeon Biggles.


The 2 year old ‘Willy Thas’ pedigree bird which is owned by pigeon fancier, Steve Girdwood from Sighthill in Edinburgh, was flying back to his Scottish owner after being released with 1000 birds in Newark, Nottinghamshire on May 22nd.


Steve believes the aptly-named ‘Biggles’ was brought down by hail and thunder en route back to Scotland, causing him to crash land in pilot Captain Mike Smith’s garden in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.


Captain Smith pictured below with Biggles commented: “My children Cameron and Ashleigh found the bird at the bottom of our garden. He was looking a little sorry for himself and had clearly injured one of his wings, so my wife whose father is a game keeper nursed him back to health – and in the meantime the kids nicknamed him Biggles! I managed to get in touch with Steve after finding his contact details around the bird’s leg and he was overjoyed to hear from us. I’m so pleased that I was able to help Biggles finish his journey – he’s a chirpy little chap and I’m sure he wants to get home to his roost!”


Owner Steve Girdwood said: “I was overjoyed to hear from Captain Smith – the pigeon is one of my fastest birds and was 5th out of 1000 racers on his last competitive outing. When he didn’t return home after a few days, I thought something must be badly wrong but the wee fella did well to choose a pilot’s garden to land in! He didn’t have a name until now, but I think ‘Biggles’ fits him pretty well – he’s certainly had an adventure that he won’t forget for some time...”


Meanwhile Philip Meeson, boss of added: “I’m so pleased that Biggles was able to take full advantage of’s fantastic customer service and friendly low fares at the hand of Captain Smith! We’ve carried lions and members of the Royal Family before, but this is certainly the first VIP pigeon!”


Biggles was reunited with his owner after being flown by Captain Smith from Leeds-Bradford airport to Edinburgh today on board a aircraft.



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