The Feltmakers were only able to field one team of four guns for this year’s competition which was held on 18th. May. This turned out to be the wettest day for some time. As usual it was at Holland and Holland’s shooting ground in Northwood, Middlesex and there was a record number of participants, nearly 500. This resulted in considerable queueing at the stands, but this meant we could all enjoy standing around in the pouring rain for longer.
The team was led by our Clerk, Jollyon Coombs, and also shooting were Bill Gammell, William Battersby and Peter Shirley. Jollyon and Bill are very experienced shots and William and myself are only occasional shooters, so not as impressive in our scores. The day started a little earlier than previously with the stands opening at 8.15 but first a welcome breakfast was available to fortify us for the day. Holland and Holland have the shooting well organised now with the familiar ten stands allowing each gun to have eight shots per stand, at a variety of targets, some harder than others, with most of us struggling to hit any of the clays from the high tower as they soared high overhead.
As well as the stands they had the flush where waves of clays were sent over the guns of the whole team shooting together, and we blazed away with the help of loaders from H&H. Quite an adrenaline running exercise and all the more fun for that. Sadly as this was at the end of our course and because of the queues, we were running very late, William Battersby had to leave for a business meeting so we were only a team of 3 guns for the flush. Given this, we felt that our score of 34 out of 81 possible hits was not so bad. For the stands, we scored 151 hits out of a possible 320. A respectable score, but really we were as much there for the fun of the day as for the number of hits, and even the heavy rain failed to stop us enjoying the event.
It was around 2.30 that our fairly wet team finished shooting and were able to visit the lunch marquee for the traditional hog roast. A most welcome treat after a heavy day’s shooting.