Notts RA Waterloo Weekend Meeting
Thorpe Cloud, 17-18 June 2023
BP County Open Championship
We have changed the format of our annual Notts RA BP Open Meeting in response to members comments. This year the patched ball and match rifle competitions covering Friday and Saturday were replaced with a Saturday only competition for Vintage and Classic military breach loaders. The Sunday continued the traditional 1861 Volunteer Cup competition followed by an innovative snap shoot involving balloons at 200 yards.
The Saturday Competitions
The Saturday competitions were at the two ranges of 200 and 400 yards, each of which comprised of one warming shot, two sighting shots and seven shots to count. The shots at 200 yards were un-marked after the sighters, the score being advised after the string was completed. At 400 yards each shot was scored individually. Black Powder centre fire service pattern rifles of the Victorian period and smokeless nitro service pattern rifles with a design cut off date of 1945 being the order of the day. Each person had the option of shooting each competition with the appropriate rifle, or to shoot again with the same rifle; but if so the first try would be the score to count for the competition.
Each distance was treated as a separate competition with a bottle of white wine as a prize. The winner of the aggregate of the two distances in each category also received a medal donated by the Robin Hood Rifles.
We had 11 competitors for the Saturday shoot two of whom unfortunately were unable to attend at the last minute. The weather was kind, neither too hot nor too windy with a gratifying absence of rain other than a very brief hint in the air. The sheep and cows also took little interest in proceedings.
The result of the black powder breach loader competition for which there were four competitors had Andrew Wike taking the honours at both ranges.
|Andrew Wike||1873 Springfield||20.1||26||46.1|
|Bill Parnham||1871/84 Mauser||20||13||33|
|Richard White||Martini Henry||9||12||21|
|Michael Hunting||1871/84 Mauser||11||0||11|
The smokeless competition attracted 8 competitors, three of whom also shot the black powder element. Andrew Wike again topped the scoring but with only a narrow margin.
|Andrew Wike||6.5 Swedish Mauser||29.2||18||47.2|
|John Cooper||Pat. 17 in 30.06||18||29||47|
|Bill Parnham||6.5 Swedish Mauser||23||20||43|
|Andrew Russell||.310 Cadet||22||11||33|
|Stuart Brewer||.303 No.4 mk1/2||16||12||28|
|Geoffrey Hall||SMLE .303||7||11||18|
|Richard White||SMLE .303||8||4||12|
|Mark Blatchly||SMLE .303||8||0||8|
At the conclusion of shooting, we gathered to analyse the scores and award the prizes. Andrew Wike scooped the prize pool, except for the 400 yard smokeless competition won by John Cooper. After receiving the first two bottles of white wine Andrew declined to accept the third due to him: after all there can be too much of a good thing! As winner of both the black powder and nitro aggregates, he was also awarded the two Robin Hood medals donated by Mike Hunting and Bill Parnham.
The Sunday Competitions
Sunday morning followed the traditional format of the Enfield 1861 Volunteer Cup competition. However, before commencing, we all assembled at the 200 yard firing point to deliver a volley in remembrance of absent friends: a few supporters have either passed away or are now unable to attend the Thorpe meeting and so the volley seemed a fitting way to mark their absence.
The Volunteer Cup competition consists of a warmer at 200 yards only, followed by one non-convertible sighter and seven shots to count at 200, 300, and 400 yards, at a reproduction of the square target used in the first Volunteer Meeting in 1861. The scoring for this target at 200 and 300 yards is 1 in the white, 2 for the outer black and 3 for a centre, and at 400 yards the scoring is a simple 1 for the white and 2 for the black.
At the conclusion of the competition, Bill Parnham reclaimed the Volunteer Cup once again with an aggregate score of 27, John Cooper 2nd with 25, Neil Aspinshaw 3rd with 24, each receiving a bottle of wine.
Towards the end of the morning, we were delighted to have the company of Douglas Robson, the Notts RA Chairman, to observe the end of the Enfield competition and see the charity shoot.
After the announcement of the winning scores and lunch being taken on range, a snap shoot was organised for teams of three using Enfield rifles at three balloons arranged on the target faces at 200 yards, the object being to be the first team to burst all the balloons on your target, in support of a young person's cancer charity. Not everyone was able to stay for the event, but two teams were formed. One team comprised John Clough, Richard White and Neil Aspinshaw, and the second team Bill Parnham, Robin Scott and Michael Hunting.
After much feverish shooting it was the team of Parnham, Scott and Hunting who emerged victorious. The event raised the respectable sum of £56 for the charity.
It just remains for me to say thank you to all for taking part and helping with the running of the event and for those who despite being unable to attend still wished their entry fees to be collected.
Andrew Russell, Hon Sec, Notts RA Black Powder Section
Reports for previous Open Meetings:–