BIRD lovers from across the country descended on Ramsbottom for the historic Holcombe Old English Gamefowl Club’s gamecock show.

People travelled from as far as Newcastle and Yorkshire for the traditional event, which was held on New Year’s Day at the Royal British Legion Club in Ramsbottom.

The event started in the early 19th century and 60 birds were inspected by judge Cliff Stone.

The Mary Shaw Cup for best in show went to Eamon Fletcher, from Chesterfield, who also won in the stag and cock classes.

Todd Fletcher, also from Chesterfield, won in the hen and pullet classes, while Sophia Taylor from Bury came out on top in the local class.

Edward Mason, aged 24, of Hospital Road, Bromley Cross, took his Carlisle Cock to the show but did not win in his category.

He said: “The competition was good.

“People came from all over the place, but there were also a lot of local people, which is good to see.

“It’s the first time I’ve entered the competition and I definitely plan to take part again next year.”

Club honorary secretary Russell Taylor was encouraged by the visitor turnout for the event, which was first held in 1833.

Mr Taylor said: “It’s a big part of the show to have people coming from all over the country. It’s the way it’s always been.

“This is a very traditional event and we need to keep the best standards of tradition possible. A lot of people came through the doors this time and they keep turning up. We want to thank them for their loyal support.”