Shooting Instructor’s Day Off To The Royal Cheshire County Fair

by Brett Davies.

It’s a bad sign when your day off work starts with an early morning. But, if you are planning a visit to The Royal Cheshire County Fair, I highly recommended that dreaded early morning start. After a quick Starbucks stop off we still had a long wait in show traffic before we reached the ground. Wishing I hadn’t ordered the Large Coffee we swiftly headed towards the gates.

The Royal Cheshire County Fair, with the familiar smells of cows to your right, pigs to your left and sheep straight ahead. We have been coming to the show for a good few years on the run, no map was needed as everything is well signposted.

We started with the livestock, a good idea considering it was boiling hot and all the tents that featured animals were nice and cool. An impressive display of the sheep shearing gave me some good knowledge to try out on the dogs later at home. The young lads worked quick and precise before educating the audience on the age old tradition.

The Royal Cheshire Show is a good place to look at cars, yes cars (?). As always there was a stronghold of auto-mobiles in the middle of the show ground.

Instead we headed to the main ring and the always exciting Pony Club Games. I highly recommend looking at the games, they are full of energy, some impressive speed and competitive spirit. For those who don’t know what The Pony Club Games are, it is like a sports day for kids on ponies. With games that include passing items to other rides, collecting items and placing them in set places all whilst on a pony and travelling at high speeds. The teams receive points for completing the challenges first, the winning team won a memorial trophy at the end of the games.

Being proud owners of a LOT of poultry, one of our favourite parts of the show is the poultry tent. Which if you are like us and like seeing the different arrays of chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese, I would recommend you visiting the show on the first day. The second day leaves only the winning birds, pigeons and rabbits. Unfortunately, at this point Mrs Davies noticed the Pygmy Goat Club sign. Luckily for me she couldn’t fit the goat she had gotten attached to under her shirt, though I’m sure if my back was turned, she would have tried. But, I would like to say a big thank you to the lady who took the time to convince Mrs Davies that the best dog to own is an Irish Wolf Hounds. The dog show provides an array of dog breeds from the great to the small but equally great.

The Show arenas hold all kinds of attractions, from the Scots Guard Association Pipe Band, Falconry Displays, The parade of the cattle and one of my favourite attractions, the Huntsman and Hounds.

We took a trip down to the have a go clay pigeon shooting, with good incoming targets for first timers, they also had an air rifle range and archery. It was nice to see a wide variation of people having a go at the shooting stand. Talking of shooting, back to work I go with a full week of lessons ahead. The Cheshire show is a good county fair and a good day off. But we are, as always, excited for the year’s supply of Game Fairs.

Introducing – Brett Davies

The Sporting Lodge would like to give a warm welcome to our new blog contributor Brett Davies.

Brett is a highly experienced game and clay pigeon shooting instructor at North Wales Shooting School, with an impressive history in competitive shooting.

As a junior, Brett re-wrote history by winning the Home International Championship with a score of 196/200 making him the Inter Countries all round Champion. He was the only junior to win this title. He also was the Home International Champion at Automatic Ball Trap as a Junior shooting for England.

Brett then went on to represent The England Shooting Team three times, winning the English Open Sporting AA class and the English Open ABT.

In 2016, America also opened up a wealth of opportunities for Brett, as this is where he achieved 12th place in the Seminole Cup.

Staying true to his roots, Brett represents Cheshire in national inter counties competitions where he has become Cheshire’s English sporting, English Skeet and Olympic trap county champion numerous times at senior level. Within Cheshire, Brett is also the Sporting and Skeet Doubles Champion.

At present, Brett is ranked 8th in the official CPSA top ten ranked English sporting shooters in the country. Brett is also the current West Midlands Inter Counties all round Champion.

We are really looking forward to getting a glimpse into Brett’s life, seeing where his shooting careers takes him next and getting some of those valuable shooting tips!

3 Things to Consider When Clay Pigeon Shooting

3 Things to Consider When Clay Pigeon Shooting

Stance

It is important to stand comfortably when shooting, but positioning and angle is essential too. The front foot generally should be pointing to where you are going to shoot, and the other placed in a way that provides balance when shooting. Being unstable can disturb your alignment and therefore reduce the accuracy of your shot.

Cartridge Choice

Cartridge choice is really down to opinion and preference. The most important thing is being confident with what you’re shooting as this is more likely to ensure consistent scores. The best thing to determine which cartridge is most suitable is to test them and how they go through the gun you are shooting. One method of doing this is to pattern them at around 30 yards and then see how many gaps are in the pattern. It is best to have little or no gaps to reduce the chance of not breaking the clay. 

Time to Shoot

Although shooting in warmer, less windy conditions is always preferable, it is important to practice in all weather conditions if you are planning on taking part in registered competitions as this prepares you for whatever conditions you may be faced with. Knowing how to respond to rain, sun, wind and different lighting will provide you with an advantage.

Thanks Fred – really great top tips! For all your shooting accessories & clothing at The Sporting Lodge browse here.

Fred Whitehurst – at the English Open Sporting Championship

I mentioned in my intro blog that I was going to be taking part in the English Open Sporting Championship, so I thought I would update you on how it went. The event took place on Wednesday 10th May at Highwaymans Shooting Ground in Suffolk. Fortunately, we had extremely nice weather and the conditions were perfect for shooting – Nice and warm with no wind meaning the consistency of the targets was very good.

The shoot itself was set up very well and ran very smoothly, which helps to reduce any nerves. There was a range of targets to suit shooters of all abilities. I shot 105/120 putting me in joint 3rd in the juniors category, however as I decided the 4 hour drive to the final would be inconvenient I did not get placed.

Highwaymans Shooting Ground is a fantastic CPSA Registered ground, which I would definitely recommend it to other keen shooters.

Thanks Fred, and well done – keep us posted!

Cleaning a Gun in Six Simple Steps:

Fred Whitehurst talks gun cleaning – 

Cleaning a Gun in Six Simple Steps:

  1. Dismantle the gun and wipe down with a cloth to remove any grease from handling the gun.
  2. Spray barrel cleaning solution down the barrels and leave for a few minutes.
  3. Run through both barrels with a phosphor bronze brush to remove the debris.
  4. Use a mop to remove any further debris left within the barrels.  
  5. Wipe down the action and grease all of the moving parts to reduce wear on the gun.
  6. It is also a good idea to remove the chokes from the gun, clean them and grease when putting them back in. Using grease instead of oil for the chokes means that they are less likely to come loose when shooting. 

I would advise that you clean your gun after every time it has been shot, as there may be moisture left in the barrels of the cartridges. This kind of damp can cause rust in the barrels. 

Thanks Fred, top tips! There are many different cleaning accessories available from Beretta. GMK, Perazzi, Purdey and more. Fancy a browse? Head over to The Sporting Lodge

Introducing – Fred Whitehurst

Meet Fred Whitehurst, our newest Blog Contributor for The Sporting Lodge.

Hi, I’m Fred Whitehurst, a 17 year old shooting enthusiast. My Dad introduced

me to game shooting at a young age, and over the past three years I have also

got into clay pigeon shooting as it allows me to get my practice in all year

round.

I was ranked No 1 in colts in UK until I recently moved up to the juniors where I

am now ranked 8th in the UK.

I shoot most weekends, whether that be practising, taking part in local

shooting competitions or representing Cheshire CPSN at county shows around

the country. My next big competition is the English open this week where I will

be hoping to improve on my no 8 ranking. Wish me luck!

My current weapon of choice is a Perazzi MX8, 12 bore 30½” barrel (my pride

and joy).

At home, we have 4 dogs; 2 working cockers, a German wirehaired pointer and

a lab x Collie. This is my dog which I have trained myself to be a retriever at our

local bird shoot throughout the winter when I am not clay shooting.

I have a real passion for everything outdoors and I am currently studying

agricultural engineering, so I am pretty handy on the tools which has put me in

good stead whilst working on my Defender.

If you would like to keep up to date with my progress, my passion the sport of

shooting and maybe a few hints and tips then you can find my latest posts here

on The Sporting Lodge Blog.

Wigwam – Brand New to The Sporting Lodge

by Mark Smith,

Founded in 1905, Wigwam was the creation three men – Herbert Chesebro, Robert Ehany, and Lawerance Bentz. This trio had previously worked for the Sheboygan Knitting Company but when it burnt down, they quickly combined to fill its place.

In a town benefiting from diverse immigration, Wigwam rose to prominence quickly, supplying the various lumbermen of the area. Sheboygan had originally been officially founded 49 years earlier but prior to that it was inhabited by various Native American tribes.

By 1936, Chesebro had taken full control of the company, but like many businesses, the war effort led to a shift in production, with 75% of their capacity being used to make socks for troops overseas.

In the post-war years, Wigwam used its strong reputation to branch out into all kinds of hosiery, with a forward-thinking outlook which has kept the company at the forefront for more than a century.

Today, Wigwam make some of the finest, most hard wearing and hard working socks on the market.

We are pleased to now be stocking Wigwam at The Sporting Lodge, browse the range!

James Purdey – The Best in the World

by Neil Summers.

James Purdey, the best gunmakers in the world for over 200 years.

In 1814 James Purdey established his gun and rifle making business at premises in Prince’s street just off Leicester Square and within ten years was regarded as the finest gunmaker in London. By 1858 his son took over the running of the company from his father. Being at forefront of change and advances in the design and building of his guns and rifles James the Younger improved on his father’s legacy by taking out several patents for technical innovations, many of which went on to be adopted by other gunmakers such as the Purdey bolt. In 1868 Purdey received its first Royal Warrant by appointment to the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII with Queen Victoria also granting an additional warrant ten years later such was her love of their prestigious guns. Shortly after this time Purdey moved to new prem­ises at 57 South Audley Street where they offered gun-making workshops and cartridge load facilities and is where the company is still situated to this day.

At the turn of the century Athol Purdey took over from his father, James Purdey the Younger with his two sons James & Thomas joining the firm after recovering from serious injuries sustained fighting in France during WW1. The two brothers later took over the business though due to the economic downturn caused by WW2 sold the majority of their shares to Hugh & Victor Seeley though continued to establish Purdey as the as the best gun makers on a global scale with the help of expert gunsmith Harry Lawrence.

After Richard Beaumount took over the business in the fifties his wife the Hon Mrs Richard Beaumont went on to set up the Purdey accessories shop in adjoining premises on Mount Street in the early Seventies. The shop sold a range of exclusive high quality shooting clothing and was the first London gunmaker to ever do so. Since then Purdey have celebrated their bi-centenary in 2014 and are firmly established as an iconic name synonymous with unrivalled gun making craftsmanship as well as having forged a reputation as suppliers of excellent outdoor attire and accessories.

We are so proud to work with Purdey, long may that continue, browse our extensive range at The Sporting Lodge.

Fjallraven – The Re-Kanken

by Neil Summers,

No longer the preserve of straight-spined Swedes on the school run, Fjällräven’s Kånken backpack is now a beloved piece of carrying kit the world over. Which, given it’s popularity is perhaps why the environmentally-conscious brand has decided to re-invent this firm favourite in the form of the Re-Kånken.

This relatively new addition to the Fjäll family has been produced using recycled plastic bottles and an energy efficient SpinDye colouring process both of which help to radically reduce each bag’s environmental footprint. What’s also great is that the whole backpack (save for its buttons and zips) have been created using the same material, with the main fabric, lining and straps all made from the same yarn, thus ensuring that a Re-Kånken bag will be a lot easier to recycle in the future.

Though given how long it takes to wear out an incredibly durable Kånken bag it’s handy that the Re-Kånken has retained all the timeless design features of its former guise with the only subtle difference being the Fjällräven badge has been embroidered rather than sewn on. This is a bag that will look after your possessions, your posture and the environment.

The Re-Kanken is available in many colours and also available in a smaller ‘Mini’ version. Take a closer look at the all new Re-Kanken at The Sporting Lodge or our Kanken dedicated sister site My Kanken Bag.

Grenfell SS17 – Back to Military Roots

by Neil Summers

The Grenfell Pembroke Jacket

With military-wear being a faithful point of reference in menswear with many of the world’s greatest designers regularly relying on various army’s archives as inspiration for their collections. It’s perhaps no surprise then to see that this season Grenfell have paid homage to military clothing via their beautiful camouflage Pembroke jacket which has been made in an English mill that also supplies clothing to the armed forces. It’s an incredibly substantial jacket featuring a padded hood and full double zip concealed behind a snap close storm flap which extends high up into the neckline for weather protection. Both super functional and incredibly contemporary, the Grenfell Pembroke jacket is made from hard wearing polyamide to ensure high levels of durability and protection from the elements for the wearer.

Staying with the military influences the Pembroke boasts an array of functional storage options that are as handy for carrying your rations and rounds as they are your keys, phone and a couple of pounds (of loose change). Encompassing two button close chest pockets, two buckle close waist pockets and two zip close pockets behind the only storage problem you might have is remembering which pocket you’ve placed your essential items!

The Grenfell Redding Jacket

Whilst the Redding jacket may look like it’s just be taken from a Parisian catwalk, it actually owes its stunning good looks to mid-twentieth century military despatch riders and the world’s fastest man. In the last century Grenfell became the performance wear manufacturer of choice for speed demons such as Stirling Moss and Sir Malcolm Campbell who earned the title ‘King of Speed’ after his world records on both land and water. In honour of both Malcolm and Donald Campbell’s achievements and their connection to Grenfell they have created their Bluebird collection to which this stylish biker jacket belongs.

This updated take on a classic jacket silhouette has lots of interesting features such as an off centre full zip close, a slanted button close chest pocket, two slanted open waist pockets and adjustable leather buckle detailing to each side. Not to mention the smart open pointed collar and subtle mud camo colourway that also pay homage to the military origins of the biker jacket. The Pembroke is jacket that’s packed with the indomitable British spirit of adventure and a perfect fit for modern day daredevils.

View the full SS17 range here at The Sporting Lodge.

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