The 25th Anniversary Annual Inter-Livery Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition
This is an enormously popular day and for the first time was split over 2 days to avoid congestion!
We were drawn to shoot on the first of the 2 day event - and accordingly reported for duty on 15th May, a wonderfully sunny day at Holland & Holland shooting grounds in Northwood, North London.
Interestingly the founder of Holland & Holland was not a gunmaker, but a London tobacconist, who happened to be a fine competition pigeon shot. His name was Harris Holland and he started having guns built to order in the 1840s. In 1930, chairmanship passed to Col. Jack Holland, who opened the current shooting grounds in Northwood and saw the company through the difficult years of the Great Depression, World War Two and the austerity that followed.
Past Master Charles Miller was appointed Captain for the day but sadly had to withdraw from participating a day before the event. Liveryman Chris Walter was approached at the Master’s Reception the evening before and kindly agreed to take Charles’s place, joining Renter Warden Adam Bennett, Court Assistant Colin Ritchie and Fourth Warden Paul Taberer to make up the Livery team.
This was a special year in that it was the 25th anniversary of the shoot. Chris Parr (Environmental Cleaners) got special mention for being a founder of the event and still on the Organising Committee - amazing good work from Chris, who hangs up his boots this year. Bacon and sausage rolls, registration and a wonderful post-shoot lunch were all held in the newly modelled top spec H&H clubhouse, packed full of Liverymen boasting at their shooting skills.
The grounds boast 10 shooting stands, each with its own identity and challenge plus an onslaught of 80 clays from the high tower known as the Flush.
We thoroughly enjoyed the day, and each shot around 100 rounds from the barrels of our guns over a 3-hour period. Though we missed the majority of the clays (!) we had much fun and were some way from winning the wooden spoon prize of shooting lessons, though this will have been a good prize to bag for the next event! A quick look at the results showed that we came 76 out of 83 teams - clearly room for improvement.
Well done to The Gunmakers for coming first and joint second with the Horners; to the Turners for winning the Glorious 12th position…and to the Environmental Cleaners ‘C’ team for scooping the wooden spoon!
Fifty percent of monies raised were awarded as prizes to the winning teams’ nominated charities. The remainder goes to charities chosen by members of the organising volunteers, including a contribution of a £1,000 to the Lord Mayor’s charity.