After two years of suffering pouring rain for the day of the inter-Livery clay pigeon shooting competition, the Feltmakers’ team assembled for an early breakfast on a sunny but cool morning at Holland and Holland’s new main building at their grounds in Northwood. Some of us were fooled into leaving coats in cars, which I for one came to regret later when a bitter wind blew up.
The shoot followed the usual pattern of our team of four guns going round the course of 10 stands, each with a different challenging pair of clays, which each team member had 4 goes at hitting. This was followed by a flurry when the whole team shot wave after wave of clays launched overhead from a tower. There was a queue at each stand and we followed the Gunmakers ladies team, who were excellent shots. It was eventually one of the Gunmakers men’s teams that won the overall competition. I have to admit that the Feltmakers team didn’t really shine. Even our better shots had trouble hitting clays caught by strong gusts of wind. At one stand, the official had to warn us to take cover as clays were blown back at us by the wind. A broken piece of clay hit him on the wrist, which obviously hurt but he stoically kept going. Our gallant Clerk, who usually leads the team, was salmon fishing in Scotland so we were led this year by Prime Warden Bill Gammell. Other team members were Simon Bartley, Mark Williams and Peter Shirley.
So, freezing cold, we were keen to finish the shooting with the flurry, which warmed us up a bit and then head to the marquee for the now traditional hog-roast lunch.