The King of Rome - Radio Play starring Wayne Russell as Charlie Hudson

Cornucopia Radio

Are a Sheffield based production company who specialise in radio drama. click here to visit the website.

The King of Rome made its online debut on 10th May 2014. Visit Cornucopia Radio website for more information or if you would like to hear the King of Rome right now, just click the pigeon..

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Antony Atkin and Allison Glossop

Are a pair of dynamic playwrights who have collaborated to write The King of Rome. Tony (from Sheffield) was present throughout the recording and was incredibly helpful to the performers. Allison too was really supportive even though she lives in Canada. Its a remarkable feat of writing that conveys evocative images from the 1913 setting by the use of just the written word alone.

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Based on a true story

The King of Rome was a racing pigeon that won a 1,001 mile race from Rome, Italy to England, in 1913.

The bird, a blue cock, was owned and bred by a man from Derby called Charlie Hudson (1874-1958). At the time of the story, the Hudson family lived at 56 Brook Street, Derby. (now demolished) Charlie is believed to have started pigeon racing around 1904.

At the time of the race, he was President and Treasurer of Derby Town Flying Club. He also wrote about pigeon racing for the Derby Evening Telegraph.

On the bird's death Charlie presented its body to the Derby Town Museum and Art Gallery where it was, until very recently, on display.

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Listen to the song about The King of Rome

Several artistes have recorded the story in song but this version by Northumberland folk group The Unthanks backed by the famous Brighouse and Rastrick brass band is without doubt one of the very best.

Click the button below to hear their haunting harmonies as they tell the tale of The King of Rome.