BIRD enthusiasts are being urged to flock to Ramsbottom on New Years' Day to take part in the 175th annual gamecock show.

The event is one of the area's longest established traditions, and is perhaps one of the more quirky events in the local calendar too.

Breeders, ranging from those in their late teens to pensioners, can show off their birds in a chance to win prizes, such as 'best bird in show'.

In the past visitors have flown in from as far as Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire to attend.

Russell Taylor, honorary secretary of the Holcombe Old English Gamefowl Club, said: “It is a long-standing tradition in the village to come to the show on New Year’s Day and it would be a shame to see this tradition die."

Lancashire Telegraph:

The gamecock show has its origins in the ancient tradition of cock fighting, a practice that was made illegal in England in 1835, eight years before the first poultry show was held in Holcombe.

But, enthusiasts have kept the tradition cooking by meeting to trade birds and judge them on their fitness to fight on New Years Day.

After judging takes place, the show will be opened to the public at 1pm before the prizes are distributed later in the afternoon.

Mr Taylor added: “Judges look for things that would make the bird a good fighter; its feathers, shape, and whether it has good balance.

"These animals are a rare breed these days, but they are the nearest thing we have to our national fowl."

The Holcombe Old English Game Fowl Club’s gamecock show will be held at the Royal British Legion Club in Central Street on New Years Day at 1pm, with admission only £1.