Monday, September 28, 2009

To The Birds

(Ron Onions' Pigeon Loft, Albany)
I've always loved allotments and, in particular, the little sheds that are built on them. These are artful assemblages of as-found building components; old doors, windows and timber panels lashed together to make hybridised, miniature houses.

(Joe Bridges's Racing Loft, Timsbury, UK)

The same strain of home made ad-hocism exists in the world of the pigeon loft only with the added interest of the obsessive pigeon fancier thrown in. The photographs accompanying this post are taken from here - a South Western Australian pigeon fancier's (who knew?) website, cataloguing lofts from around the world.

(Graham Britton's Garden Loft, Newborough, UK.)

They are a lovely collection, a group of miniature buildings ranging from the almost Miesian simplicity of the one at the top of this post (owned by the fabulously named Ron Onions) through Mittel European style chalets to the (slightly decrepit) LA poolhouse style loft below.

(Fred Thompson's Poolside Loft, Western Aust.)

There is a strong sense that the lofts are far more expansive and luxurious than required. They are clearly an expression of the owners obsessive love of racing pigeons and the dedication it takes to train them. In the world of the pigeon fancier the birds are the 'talent' and these lofts are their Bel Air mansions. They're a far cry from the terrace rooftop lofts of the Northern England stereotype anyway, and the term loft is a bit of a misnomer. These are houses in their own right.

(Advanced Pigeon Loft diagram, Via)

The site also contains detail of each fancier's dietary and training regime should you be interested. Each one has a personal profile offering an insight into a remarkable world of obsessive feeding patterns and slightly obscene sounding terminology ("widowhood cocks"). Like most hobbies it is a sort of parallel universe, one where humans build houses for birds to live in that are quite probably a lot nicer than their own.

(Joe Baker's Racing Loft, Hereford, UK)


Blaize said...

Ripe for conversion, just like all the mews.

N O R T O N said...

Nice pictures! I must say they are quite beautiful. Reminds me of those tiny, super-cute real estate leasing offices. Do you have any of those in London? They are typically generic commercial buildings which have been (lovingly) forced to look like charming cottages.

Meanwhile... said...

At Bycars allotments, Stoke-on-Trent, there are three knocked-together plots straddled by an epic white pigeon loft in a wrap-around ampitheatre kind of effect.

In front of the loft is concrete terracing six steps deep and what can only be described as an 'arena' (pristine pecking surface), into which their seed gets thrown. This is also used for the imbibing of PG Tips.


Anonymous said...