The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Pigeonocide (Part 1 of 2)

with 4 comments

It’s not often that Market Rasen, the 24-hour party capital of Lincolnshire comprising 3,200 townsfolk, is brought to a standstill. In the latter half of 2009, however, an infestation of problem pigeons under the railway bridge wrought havoc on the town’s pavements, sending locals into a collective seizure and some of them theatrically slipping to find themselves face down in appalling piles of evil pigeon mess.

Morale dipped, tempers frayed and local economies collapsed, but good old-fashioned community spirit eventually kicked in and the authorities rallied around the one cause that will always unite humankind: cold, gruesome murder of innocents. Just pigeons, though, so that’s fine.

Thanks to the tireless graft of dedicated staff at the Market Rasen Mail over a period of several months, history will never be allowed to forget the pigeons’ fate and eventual (literal) downfall.

Market Rasen Mail, 12 May 2009 (story):

Pigeons to be denied reading material

THE ADVERTISING hoardings are to be removed from under Market Rasen’s railway bridge in a bid to stop the pesky pigeons roosting there.

Following a site meeting between bridge owner Network Rail’s consultant and town councillors, the company which owns the advertising boards is being asked to vacate the site ‘as a means to resolving responsibility issues.’ […]

The town council has welcomed the move but still believes that netting is needed in order to stop the birds shifting up into the rafters and continuing their aerial assault of the pavements.

Town mayor Coun Ken Bridger said it was clear that the lights over the billboards is a ‘warm perch’.

This plan may have sounded foolproof enough, but subsequent delays arising from tricky commercial relationships between the key parties in the episode meant it would be quite some time before the town could sleep easily again.

Market Rasen Mail, 9 June 2009 (story):

Pigeons in fight back mode

PIGEONS are fighting back in the territorial battle of wills and perching places between themselves, Network Rail and Market Rasen Town Council.

After one launched an aerial assault on Councillor Laurie Povey from above the banks in the Market Place he declared there was ‘now an infestation throughout the town’.

The town council is still pressing for Network Rail, owners of the Queen Street bridge beneath which pigeon guano piles up and causes danger, to install netting and get rid of the billboard hoardings which act as perches.

With still nothing done by 13 October 2009 (story), the paper reported that “both the district and county councils are galvanising their legal teams for action” against Network Rail. Yes, actual legal action about pigeons. About ruddy time, really, because diplomacy clearly doesn’t work with these brutes.

Burt Keimach, a councillor on both authorities, told the town council last week, “We have decided to mount a double pronged legal attack against Network Rail which is primarily responsible for this mess.

“It’s like a dirty shagpile carpet under these bridges; really quite disgusting,” he said.

The threat of court action quickly did the trick and, to the Council’s delight, the advertising hoardings were removed the following week. This would surely bring an end to the matter and bring peace to all those serving in local government.

Market Rasen Mail, 20 October 2009 (story):

Relocated roosters wreak revenge on Council

PIGEONS displaced from under the railway bridge at Queen Street by the removal last week of the advertising hoardings are wreaking their revenge on the town council – by roosting at the council offices.

The relocated birds have found a new perch on the roof and mast at the Old Police Station where they can terrorise the councillors who for more than a year have been battling to have them moved on.

Oh dear; what goes around comes around, I suppose. But before any pigeon fanciers in the town could even contemplate getting too smug about such a heartwarming tale of avian success, the humans wheeled out the nuclear option:

Market Rasen Mail, 27 October 2009 (story):

Cull calls extended over Rasen’s ‘roosting rats’

REGULAR culls on Market Rasen’s pesky pigeons are in the sights of fed up councillors after householders again took vigilante action to rid their road of the problem.

There are calls for the culls to become part of the town’s monthly routine until a lasting solution to the plague of birds – seen as ‘roosting rats’ – is authorised by councils and owners of the rail bridges where they perch.

Last Wednesday night Union Street was closed by police for half an hour after residents made private arrangements for a marksman to launch a second assault on the pigeons there.

The cumulative effect of the two culls was to kill 60 birds, with an obvious benefit as the birds had steered clear this week, said one resident.

“It was all well and good taking the hoardings down but the pigeons have only moved on to find nesting and roosting sites elsewhere, like Union Street,” he said.

“What we’ve done in Union Street is only a drop in the ocean and things are better. The street’s much cleaner without their filth but unless we keep up regular culls they’re only going to come back again and keep coming back.”

So there we have it. Open vigilante warfare on the streets of Market Rasen. It was always inevitable, one way or another.

Check back soon for part 2 of this gripping saga, as played out in the typically tempestuous manner of the Market Rasen Mail‘s letters page.

Network Rail concluded

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that ‘as the bill boards and lighting are without doubt the main factor, it is apparent that the bulk of the problem could be resolved by this action’.

The town council has welcomed the move but still believes that netting is needed in order to stop the birds shifting up into the rafters and continuing their aerial assault of the pavements.


Written by Paddy

February 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

4 Responses

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  1. If you paying too much for your london carpet cleaning services, and you are not satisfied with the results you should find professionals like many in London`s area, don`t do it by yourself because you will never get proper result.

    london carpet cleaning

    April 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

  2. Pidgeons thus shit thus shit on carpets that thus need to be cleaned? It’s not the most obvious link, but as I am not a professional like any in London’s area, you shouldn’t trust me.

    (I’m going to look deranged if that comment is deleted)


    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm

  3. I think it must be melodramatic Market Rasen councillor Bert Keimach’s reference to a “dirty shagpile carpet” of pigeon shit which is to blame here. I’m just glad the spambot picked up on the “dirty… carpet” bit rather than “shagpile”, which, let’s face it, could have thrown all manner of website link up.

    Best spam to bypass a filter ever.


    April 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm

  4. Damn it, you’re right. I should have reread the post. A professional like many in London’s area would have done.


    April 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

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