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15th Nationonships 2019

al Masonic ChampiThe 2019 Championships were held at High Lodge Shooting Ground near Lowestoft.

 This was the largest Masonic event ever held with 201 Entries, It has certainly grown since West Lancashire first hosted the competition in 2002.

A large party travelled to Suffolk for the event, 16 competitors and 5 Spectators. While most stayed in Diss others were spread over the County and if was good to see some new members of the team, veterans Derek Carr, John Wright and Bob Smith. I am sure they enjoyed their experience.

Running the largest event can have problems and Suffolk certainly had some – most of which could have been avoided. First some entries were refused because they thought the ground couldn’t cope with the numbers but the committee kindly reversed the decision to allow the masonic competitors to join in.

We were squadded in squads on 14 – yes 14 – and sent round with a ‘mentor’ usually a Provincial Grand Steward resplendent is his red collar. Then it got complicated. When the first 7 had shot they moved on to the next stand and the other 7 joined them when they had shot effectively making squads of 7.

We arrived at the first stand to find the Mentors had score cards but no names on them so valuable time was lost writing them out.

The shoot itself was interesting with a variety of targets on 15 stands. A ‘Professional referee’ on each stand should have helped but most of them were not referees and needed some guidance from the shooters. They had been provided by the ground at a considerable expense to the Province of Suffolk. The members of the West Lancashire squad, resplendent in team shirts and shooting jackets, at least most did, had mixed fortunes with some exceptional scores put in and some scores that people really wanted to forget. With such a large entry it was bound to take a long time and the organisers did a great job at keeping squads moving and everyone happy. By the time we had finished, some 4 hours after we started, we were ready for something to eat

The meal was in the well-appointed clubhouse and we were asked to sit on the table with our Squad Number on. Unfortunately, the table was for 10 people and there were 14 in the original squad. Add the fact that people wanted to sit with friends and it was just short of chaos. However, the meal at least was very nice, and very welcome, and filled in time whilst the scores were collated.

After speeches by the Provincial Grand Master Rt W Bro Ian J  Yeldham and members of the Suffolk Masonic Clay Shooting Society we got round to the prize giving.

First up was Louise Jennings Hoole, Second in the Ladies Class. As only First and Second place prizes were given out Jason Rhodes  missed out as he came third in the Masonic Individual Category.

Finally, we got round to the Winning Team for the West Lancashire Trophy which we provided way back in 2002.

 

Middlesex were second with a combined score of 264. We eagerly awaited the news that West Lancashire had won, yes, we had already worked out our own team score , 270.

Our team of Jason Rhodes, Karl Prince and Andy McClements proudly received their trophies from the Provincial Grand Master. But horror where was the Trophy? Last years winners, London G Met., had not returned it, the first time in 15 competitions that the winners failed to return the trophy. So, we have no photographs with our winning team holding the cup. It is hoped that it will be presented at the NAMCSS International Shoot in September.

Inter Group Shoot 13th January 2019

It was a cold and wet, miserable day when members of the Society representing 5 Groups met up to contest the Adams & Co Trophy.
We could not persuade June to leave the car to take the entries but we managed quite well through the side window.
The targets, as usual, were a good standard and provided a testing layout for most of the entries. The scores reflect the difficulty.
A new name goes on the trophy this year as Lancaster Group won the event for the first time breaking the hold of North Fylde
There were no tables in the local hostelry for a meal but those who did try ended up with a basket of chips stood at the bar.
The trophy was presented to Andy McClements and he also received the individual commemorative mugs on behalf of himself, Scot Catlow and Grant Parkinson

The group results were:

Lancaster 89
Liverpool 88
Wigan 77
North Fylde 74

And the individual results were:

CoxheadJason43NFY
PrinceCarl36WIG
McClemmentsAndy33LAN
TurnerIan32LIV
BruffelJohn31LIV
CaseyMike31NFY
CatlowScott29LAN
ParkinsonGrant27LAN
BruffelChris25LIV
DennisonRichard25LAN
WallsSteve24LIV
StokesMartin23WIG
FinneyBrandon21LEY
TyrerChris20LIV
NewellPete18WIG
EvansBill17WIG
ParkinsRayLIV

Thanks to Roy Dransfield and his family for hosting the event and June for taking the entries – and all she got was a bowl of chips! It was a cold and wet, miserable day when members of the Society representing 5 Groups met up to contest the Adams & Co Trophy. We could not persuade June to leave the car to take the entries but we managed quite well through the side window.The targets, as usual, were a good standard and provided a testing layout for most of the entries. The scores reflect the difficulty. A new name goes on the trophy this year as Lancaster Group won the event for the first time breaking the hold of North Fylde There were no tables in the local hostelry for a meal but those who did try ended up with a basket of chips stood at the bar. The trophy was presented to Andy McClements  and he also received the individual commemorative mugs on behalf of himself, Scot Catlow and Grant Parkinson

 

Nine Lancashire Masons flew to the Island of Jersey in order to support in the inaugural shoot for the newly formed Jersey Masonic Shooting Society at Lecq Shooting Ground.

We arrived on Thursday and met Louise Jennings-Hoole, who had travelled from Basingstoke, at our hotel. The weather was hot and sunny for the Practice on Friday and the views from the ground spectacular and after a slow start we managed to equip ourselves well. Some of the other masons who travelled from the mainland were also there hoping to see how West Lancashire were doing.

Getting back to the hotel we had to be ready to leave to attend the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge of Jersey in the famous Jersey Temple. The eight who attended received a warm welcome, a reserved seat and an individual mention from RW Bro Kenneth Michael Rondel the Provincial Grand Master during his introductions. After the normal business of Provincial Lodge we received an interesting paper by W Bro Rupert Hague Holmes titled ‘The fallen twenty’ the story of the Jersey Brethren who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

With only 11 Lodges in the Province the Appointments and Promotions did not take long with 24 Brethren receiving an acting  appointment only 14 of which were first appointments for the others it was ‘second time around’. One Past Rank appointment and 16 promotions completed the investiture of Officers.

On Saturday the sun of the previous two days was blown away and we faced rain, followed by rain, followed by rain. After a hearty breakfast we boarded the same taxi for a trip to the opposite end of the island back to Lecq shooting ground for the competition.

A slow start necessitated by faulty traps meant we started late and found that we were all split up in different squads. Had the weather been fine we could have enjoyed the spectacular views from the new stands in use for the competition, instead we could not even see the sea from the cliff edge.

We had no idea how we were doing until we reached the clubhouse wet, cold and hungry, to compare notes and stories of clays hit and missed.26 entries from 5 Provinces completed the entry with West Lancs having the largest contingent with 8 shooting.

The top scorer was John Perin from Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London with 82. Our own Jason Rhodes was second with 80 and Sam King from GMet third on 78. The Deputy PGM Graham Leonard Spence, one of the competitors, congratulated the winners and a sum of money was given to the charity of their choice in lieu of prizes. London won the Team Competition with 301, West Lancashire 2nd with 279 and Jersey third with 239.
The top 4 West Lancashire shooters making up the team were:

Jason Rhodes 80
Andrew McClements 70
Richard Dennison 67
Mike Casey 62

As you can guess a late night out followed the competition and we all learned a new game from Richard. He must not have understood his own rules properly as he lost every round.

Of course the weather changed on the Sunday and the heat was cracking the pavement. Some of our party took a tour of the island and either got the wrong bus or miss timed the trip whichever it was they had to be rescued and brought back in time for the taxi to the airport.

As this was the first time the Jersey Masonic Clay Shooting Society had held an event West Lancashire were proud to support this initiative and hope the see Jersey competing at future National Championships.

Thanks must go to  RW Bro Kenneth Michael Rondel the Provincial Grand Master for his welcome; W Bro Jerry Courvain for his assistance with permits; Jack and Cathy Hanby on the ground: Andy McClement our official photographer and last but not least all those who travelled to represent the Province of West Lancashire.

National Masonic Clay Shooting Championships 2018

Hosted by the Province of Surrey

10th August 2018 – Bisley Surrey

Friday 10th August saw 200 plus masons, friends and family descend on Bisley Camp, recognised as the home of shooting in the United Kingdom, where 172 vied for the 14th National Masonic Clay Shooting Championships.
Superb representation was made from provinces far and wide;

Bedfordshire Bristol Buckinghamshire Devon
Dorset East Kent Essex Hertfordshire Hants & Isle of Wight
Metropolitan Grand Lodge Middlesex South Wales Suffolk Surrey
Sussex West Kent West Lancashire Wiltshire

Shooting 100 sporting clays at the “Clock Tower” on Cottesloe Heath, a rarely available set of stands due to its proximity to the Stickledown rifle range, ended with Metropolitan Grand Lodge being presented the trophy by the RW Brother Ian Chandler, Provincial Grand Master of Surrey, with their top 3 guns scoring 269 in an incredibly closely fought contest over runners up Surrey Province, just one point behind them, and 261 to West Lancashire for 3rd place. A Masonic High Gun of 95 went to Danny Bishop, of Hants & Isle of Wight.

  • Junior High Gun

A full list of scores can be found here – SCORES

Ladies, junior and non-masonic guests tussled for additional trophies in their various categories with a dazzling score of 92 securing Lady High Gun for Sue Osbourne and 69 for Junior High Gun Tom Hemmings again just one point more than junior runner up Coco over from France for the event. The weather proved rather challenging varying from bright sunshine to monsoon conditions but the layout was reported by one competitor from East Kent, as “one of the best, if not the very best layouts I’ve ever shot” The Surrey Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W. Bro Kevin Stone, Provincial Stewards present, past and many others including W. Bro John Tofield gave their great support throughout the day and especially to our visitors.

R W Bro Eric Stuart-Bamford the Past Provincial Grand Master and an ex-Team GB shot, also provided ample assistance and help on the day. Ellie Vidler of Comfort Kitchen provided sustenance through some fine freshly cooked food and non-stop refreshments throughout the day. Incidentally, Ellie’s partner Will is soon to be initiated into Freemasonry, where he will be joining Ellie’s Father and Brother who are members of the Cherchefelle Lodge 6543.  Prince David Lodge, the Surrey shotgun specialist lodge, report that clay shooting seems to be attracting a significant number of new candidates – good for the sport and good for Freemasonry. W Bro Steve Butwell undertook a keen and highly humorous approach to selling the raffle tickets for some really fantastic prizes including a 12g shotgun.

A year of great effort by the organising team and wonderful support from Provinces and guests ensured a decidedly successful and enjoyable event raising £5,500 for the 2019 Surrey Festival Appeal. We all now look forward to next year’s event which will be hosted by The Province of Suffolk.