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The National Masonic Championships

Hoghton Towers Nr Preston

The idea of holding a National Masonic Championships was first mentioned in 2000 and the event was planned for 2001 using the stately home Hoghton Towers Nr Preston. It was here that Henry viii knighted a side of beef and thus was born sirloin. In addition to the shoot the PGM RtWBro Colin Penty Wright was to host a buffet lunch for dignitaries from this and other provinces. It was determined that this lunch should be self-funding and would not  be supported by income from the shoot.

There was then a huge problem. Britain suffered an outbreak of foot and mouth disease and the committee felt in inappropriate bring people from all over the country for a shoot. Inevitable it was cancelled and rearranged for 2002.This first Shoot was a huge success with 11 Provinces represented, although not all had full teams,  and over 100 guns taking part.With success under our belts we agreed to run the event in 2004 again using Hoghton Towers and including a guest lunch. This was also a success by way of entries and provinces represented however the weather was not kind. Pouring rain made the event miserable and the score cards difficult to read.

Not to be deterred we battled on and hosted the competition again in 2006 at Leighton Hall Carnforth the home of the famous Gillows furniture family.

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Leighton Hall Carnforth

Entries and dignitaries came from far and near and we again experienced a torrential downpour.Traps were dislodged, tents blown away and the score cards unreadable. However we got there in the end and all went away wet but happy; apart from 1 person who complained that he had taken 3 and a half hours to shoot 100 targets. Under the circumstances it was a miracle that he finished that quickly.

We got a rest when the Province of Surrey agreed to host the 4th Championships at Bisley in 2007. Those who travelled from West Lancashire were disappointed when the Province of Cornwall won the event. It was a long way to go and to come back when you contend with a 3 hour traffic holdup.There was nothing else for it we had to run the competition in order to redeem ourselves and win back the cup.So in 2008 we again hosted the competition. But we learned from our mistakes. Firstly we held it at an existing shooting ground, no traps to move or clays to buy, and secondly we used waterproof score cards which were not necessary as we only had one light shower. Our plan did not work as Sussex took the honours. However a good time was had by all and we presented £10,000 to 2010 Festival in aid of the Samaritan Fund, £1000 BASC, £1000 Brian House, & £1000 to Zoe’s Place;Since then the competition has been held annually all over the country. We have travelled to Plymouth and Canterbury to High Wycome and Gloucester all to help support and promote a Competition started by West Lancashire – a competition of which we are very proud

Full list of the National Masonic Championship Venues & Winners

Year Hosted By: Held At: Won By:
2002 West Lancashire Hoghton Tower, near Preston West Lancashire
2004 West Lancashire Hoghton Tower, near Preston West Yorkshire
2006 West Lancashire Leighton Hall, Carnforth Middlesex
2007 Surrey Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Woking Surrey Cornwall
2009 West Lancashire Dolphin SG, Marsh, Lane, Longton, Preston Sussex
2010 London MetGL EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, High Wycombe, Bucks, Surrey
2011 Middlesex EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, High Wycombe, Bucks, West Lancashire
2012 Cornwall Cart Ridge Shooting Ground, Landrake, Cornwall, Sussex
2013 East Kent Greenfields Shooting Ground, Sturry, Canterbury, London Metropolitan Grand Lodge
2014 Bristol Westfields Shooting Ground, Westfield, Gloucestershire, London Metropolitan Grand Lodge
2015 Cumberland & Westmorland The Coniston Hotel, Coniston Cold, Skipton, North Yorkshire,  West Lancashire
2016 Warwickshire Adventure Sports, Warwick Sussex
2017 Essex West London Shooting School
2016 Surrey Bisley