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Eventually, a letter arrived from the bird's owner who lived in Northumberland. The bird was an expensive one. I Nike Uptempo Quiz

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They looked small for pigeons but they looked very fit and businesslike. They were passing over No 3 furnace when the unthinkable happened one of them collided with the boom wire at the furnace top. The very top.

There was a well told story about a furnace workman who disappeared from the furnaces a few years before my time. He was working on the coke burners and just disappeared.

Soon I was racing up the steel staircase to the landing walk. I walked fast and came to furnace No 3. I was soon climbing up the vertical steel rungs to the summit of the furnace. I was nearly drowned by the cooling waters but, not to worry, I was almost at the top.

It was assumed he had fallen down the chute into the large skip, lost consciousness, then tonnes of coke Nike Air Max Uptempo Gs and materials had been tipped on to him. He would then have been hauled up the rails to the summit and tipped into the furnace. He had clocked on as usual that morning but was never seen again.

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I shouted for my wife, June, when I arrived and retrieved the little bird. We checked it over. It was blue grey in colour. It was small and we were still not sure whether it was dead or alive. It had a wound the size of a half crown on its body which was caused by the collision with the wire at the furnace top. We treated that with antiseptic.

A treacherous journey to top of furnace just to catch the pigeon

To hazard a guess, I would have said about 25 of them. I calculated they were about 150ft high, flying fast in full racing mode.

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I moved forward to clock out and, having done so, I had made up my mind to find out. I walked out with my cycle back down into the furnace yard. My luck was in.

At first light, the next morning, I went to check him out and we were delighted to see him on his feet. It made June and I feel good. I bought some pigeon meal, I put a perch up and he was kept in the quiet for a fortnight.

I took him to our dog kennel, placed him on the straw, left some drinking water and locked the door. We would wait and see.

He started hopping on his perch. I then made inquiries with a pigeon trainer I knew in Trowell. I got the address of the Pigeon Racing Association, sent them the bird's racing number and included a stamped addressed envelope with my details.

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contacted him and told him the story. He came on a Saturday morning while June and I were out.

in a small heap. I guessed it was quite dead, lying on the very top of the furnace platform where it would be blown with the skips of coke and other materials into the furnace. I stood there, just taking in the scene.

down the side of the furnace.

"It must be dead, surely, but just suppose it isn't," I thought to myself. "Will it be lying there, helpless?"

One lovely summer Friday afternoon, when I was the last man in the queue waiting patiently to clock out at about 4pm, I looked skywards idly watching a flight of pigeons flying high towards the ironworks.

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Nike Air Max Uptempo Gs

Nike Air Max Uptempo Gs

There was no one about, the entire furnace yard was deserted and there was no one in the haulage winding house. I looked all around again. A second's prayer, then it was up and over the safety gate I went.

I picked it up and shoved him, very gently of course, down my shirt front and soon was making my way Nike Air Uptempo Pippen White Red

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It spiraled down Nike Air More Uptempo Red Black

I scuttled down the furnace staircase, up and over the gate and, with my bike to hand, set off for home.

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Where I'd been was "strictly forbidden" unless all arranged and having specially trained safety officers in attendance.

The rest of the birds continued their flight and disappeared into the distance.

I reached and pulled myself on to the platform. I passed through the safety rails and I soon saw the poor little bird.

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