The rain that threatened, as members of 41 livery companies arrived just after 7.00 AM at the shooting grounds of Holland and Holland in Northwood, Middlesex, moved on, thankfully, and we were treated to a splendid day’s shooting.
As usual, Holland and Holland staff had set up ten separate stands, each providing a different challenge to the guns, with liverymen being invited to ‘kill’ four pairs of clays at each one.
In addition, part way round the course, teams tried their skills at the flush. Unlike at the stands, where contestants shoot individually, albeit with their scores contributing to their team score, the flush has all four team members shooting together, as waves of clays totalling 82, are sent over their heads in very quick succession.
The Feltmakers fielded two teams this year, but one member of team A had to withdraw to attend a family funeral, so with insufficient time to recruit a replacement, team captain Brian Minnighan decided that we would shoot with just three guns. Team A consisted of Brian, Simon Millar and Peter Shirley. The Feltmakers Team B were the Clerk, Jollyon Coombs, 3rd Warden Simon Bartley, Bill Gammell and Peter Winfield. Also attending to support the teams, were the Master, John Ray, and Past Master Bill Horsman.
101 teams from across the liveries, took part, and the top scoring team was the Butchers Company D team with a score of 348 out of a total possible score of 402. The Feltmakers B team came 30th., with a score of 262, and the A team scored 168, giving them 75th. place equal with the Farriers A team, and the Tallow Chandlers B team, but remember that the Feltmakers A team were only fielding 3 guns.
Brian managed to assemble both teams to begin the shooting at the earliest opportunity when the stands opened at 8.30, so we had completed the course by 1.30 and headed for lunch in the marquee, where, as has now become the tradition, we were offered a splendid buffet, which included two whole roast hogs. We were delighted that the Master and Bill Horsman were able to join us for lunch.
Another most enjoyable day and, hopefully, we will be able to field at least two full teams next year. This year’s participants are already looking forward to the 2012 competition.