Tees

Giant pigeon to burn for Skinningrove bonfire display

Skinningrove bonfire Image copyright Skinningrove Bonfire Committee
Image caption "Pigeongrove" reflects the local tradition of pigeon fancying

A giant pigeon is to be set on fire for a village's annual bonfire display.

Each year residents of Skinningrove on Teesside build a massive themed structure on the beach.

Local artist Steve Iredale took two weeks to build this year's using wood donated by local suppliers.

John Roberts, from the local bonfire committee and history group, said it aimed to "give recognition to an activity that's part of the social fabric here".

"Pigeon fancying has been an integral feature of East Cleveland for well over a century, and it's still popular today," he said.

Image copyright Skinningrove Bonfire Committee
Image caption In 2016 the theme was "the alum industry", featuring a Yorkshire coble used in its transportation

The bonfire tradition began 32 years ago as a one-off "village arts" project attended by about 200 people.

It has now grown into a spectacle attracting crowds of up to 5,000.

Previous themes have included: ironstone (horses and mine carts), the Olympics (a stadium), creatures of the deep (a lobster), and Disneygrove (a castle).

The bonfire committee said the whole village was involved in collecting, building, and fundraising for the event which takes about 10 months to organise from start to finish.

The pigeon will be set alight after a firework display on Saturday evening.

Image copyright Skinningrove Bonfire Committee
Image caption Construction got under way on Skinningrove beach in mid-October

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