Flights of fanciers: Inside the curious world of pigeon racing

The racers are serious folk, like Win Arnold, who has been in the game for 50 years, breeds birds to race and isn't always keen to share the secrets of his success.

"I've won a couple of races, yes. There's a bit of rivalry there. People come in with a few stunts," Arnold says without elaborating.

Moors is another successful racer whose secret is a homeopathic tonic that speeds up the recovery of his birds.

"Only another pigeon flyer knows what you're going through on the day of the race. You wait five or six hours for your birds to come home and you still don't know if you've done well or not until you go down to the club."