Summer Weekend

Arriving at the armoury with time to spare I found most of the School VIII organising weapons and stuff to take over to the shorts range. It was a good opportunity to remind them that the School hadn’t beaten the VRC since 2001, despite their regular practice sessions and competitions throughout the school year. The VRC only shoot in competitions, never have practice sessions and are notorious for “irregular‟ shooting abilities. An hour later I was wishing I’d kept quiet! Sean Beer and David Lawton went down in the first detail. Sean yet again clocked up the best individual score of the day with 63/65. David Lawton was struggling with the cross wind! Their combined score of 81/130 raised a few eye-brows. Especially as Harmony Constant, the School VIII Captain, and Cicely Pring made a great start with 108/130. Cheslin Edwards and Jonathan Leung were next down, both making their debut for the VRC. Both were previous winners of the Heather Ludlow trophy. Their combined tally of 87/130 was a slight improvement on our first detail but did reflect a certain lack of practice. The School‟s second detail of Tom Bayliss and Ben Evans collected a combined tally of 77/130 which just about kept the VRC in contention. Now, Harry Edgell phoned me weeks ago, from New Zealand, to book his place in the VRC VIII. Unfortunately, despite years of private education, he failed to turn over the page on his calendar! We eventually located him – driving around Essex on a tractor. That left me one shot short of a full squad. That was when Kirsti Ryall, current President of the OWBA, and her presidential consort Jeff, walked in. Seeing a possible solution to my dilemma I explained to Kirsti that it was a tradition for the incumbent president to represent the VRC against the School and as her term in office was nearly over this was her last opportunity. She graciously agreed and in no time at all was “on the mat” with Mike Baggs, in the third detail. After an appropriate amount of “wriggling about and adjusting things” they accumulated a grand total of 60/130, whilst Emily Small and Edward Taylor collected a solid 81/130 between them. I could sense the Crowl Cup was slipping away from us. Lewis Pring and yours truly took the last detail with something of a mountain to climb. Lewis hadn‟t shot since leaving school over twenty years ago. His daughter Cicely had already scored 59/65 for the school team. No pressure there then. Between us we somehow scraped together a massive 102/130 whilst Ross Curtis and William Hughes gather a very average 68/130 for the School. The result was now very much in the balance. We bundled off to the Karslake Hall for team photos and for an excellent tea. I sat and laboriously added up the final scores. Following two recounts we eventually agreed on a final score of 332/550 for Harmony Constant’s school team and 330/550 for my Veterans. The highest individual score of the day went to Sean Beer with 63/65. The highest score on the School team and the Heather Ludlow Trophy went to Cicely Pring with 59/65. Well done Cicely and congratulations to Harmony, School Shooting Captain, for leading your squad to victory at last. And, on behalf of us all, many thanks to Dennis Morgan for organising the match. Chris Wilson (67-72B) Capt VRC WBS VIII: Harmony Constant -49; Cicely Pring-59; Tom Bayliss-36; Ben Evans -41; Emily Small-28; Edward Taylor-53; Ross Curtis-35; William Hughes-31 Total: 332 WBS VRC VIII: Sean Beer-63; David Lawton -18; Cheslin Edwards -38; Jonathan Leung-49; Kirsti Ryall-21; Mike Baggs-39; Lewis Pring-48; Chris Wilson-54 Total: 330

Bisley 2011

Despite our eternal pessimism about the weather at Bisley we haven`t had a really bad day for several years. Wind and rain doesn`t stop us shooting – everyone has the same disadvantage – but it does make a very long and miserable day out! Luckily, we enjoyed glorious weather. We were full of enthusiasm for our biggest competition of the year. The Ashburton is the National Schools Veterans annual shooting match, competing at 500 yards. The VRC hasn‟t missed a year since 1949, when we won with a final combined score of 242.0 /250. Nowadays the winning teams usually rack up 250/250 and the result is decided on V Bulls, which score an extra .1. As often happens, half a dozen veterans arrived unexpectedly on the day, among them the Assheton brothers, Joe and Alistair (both shooting captains in their time at WB), back for the first time at Bisley since leaving school. but not for the last, according to Henry Bexley, who says that he, Bob Parsons, Joe and Alistair had a great day. Henry says, “Even though neither Bob or I qualified for the Ashburton, we stayed until the bitter end to watch a nail-biting finale, where Joe came third out of all of us. Good shooting! This’ll become an annual fixture for us and the veterans’ team membership is well worth joining.” Shooting usually starts on the Siberia range (so-called because it’s miles from anywhere!) – with our „in-house‟competition for the John Squire Cup, at 200 yards, the results of which dictate who competes in the Ashburton. This year produced some interesting results. Sean Beer took the cup with an excellent 34.4 / 35. Matt Coombs 33.2, Mike Baggs 32.4 and Dave Pote 31.1 were hot on his heels. Terry Curtayne and Joe Assherton were in joint fifth with 25.1. Terry graciously stood down to let Joe qualify for the Ashburton team. Having moved over to the Century Range everything went swimmingly for the Ashburton. Those of us not shooting sat around in glorious sunshine before gathering together for our prize giving. Sean collected the John Squire Cup, with Matt Coombs a close second. Dave Pote took the Sanders Cup home again (well done, Dave, three years on the trot! ), beating Sean Beer by one V Bull. Terry Curtayne won the Donegal Badge at 200 yards. Many thanks to Sean Beer for organising everything at Bisley, and to Ann Beer for the wonderful lemon drizzle cake at tea-time. Gold star for effort goes to Alistair Assheton who rode his motorbike over from Northern France for the day. Well done to all who turned up and competed. We‟re always happy to welcome new “vets‟ and can usually find enough ammo (and time) for all to compete in the JSC. If you can let us know you’re planning to come by the end of June we can enter more than one team in the Ashburton and more of us can shoot at 500 yards. (Chris Wilson. Capt. WBSVRC)