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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

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Nottingham Miniature Rifle League

The increasing interest in miniature rifle shooting was welcomed by the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League at their meeting in February. They had been joined by three new clubs and had received enquiries from others situated outside Nottingham City, who were not currently eligible to join.

The arrangements for organising the league shoulder-to-shoulder matches was agreed.

A proposal to allow shooters to use shooting spectacles in the matches was defeated and provoked a short exchange of letters in the Evening Post, which are included below.

There was a discussion about holding a "Bisley" meeting at the Mapperley Club later in the year and secretaries were appointed to organise this. However, the event was subsequently handled by the Nottinghamshire Civilian & Miniature Rifle Association, which was formed to bring all county clubs into one association and had on its committee many of those on the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League committee.

Nottingham Evening Post, Tuesday, 4 February 1908.


A meeting of the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League was held last evening. Captain D.J. Jardine occupied the chair, and amongst those present were - Messrs. A. Emmerson (Carrington), A.E. Mee (Mapperley), T.F. Revell (Boots), Wallis (High School), Searby (Sneinton), Harrison (Nottingham Institutes), P.V. Westby (St. Thomas's), W.A. Barrow (Jardine's).

The Chairman said that last year the league was a great success, and there was every prospect of it being a greater success during the coming season. Three new clubs had made application to join the league, viz. Boots, Constitutional Club, and Nottingham Municipal Officers. Applications had also been received from a number of clubs in the county to join the league this year, but that was a matter that would have to be settled by the committee.

A discussion ensued on this point, and on the motion of Mr. Emmerson it was unanimously agreed that for the present no clubs outside the city be allowed to join the league. The rules were next revised, and it was agreed to on the motion of Mr. Revell that the conditions this year should be N.R.A. rules, ten shots at 25 yards prone, the target to be the S.M.R.C. decimal, no sighter.

It was resolved that the score sheets must be forwarded to the league secretary the day following the shoot. An amendment proposed by Mr. Revell that orthoptic spectacles be allowed in league matches was lost.

The following officers were re-elected:- President, Mr. E. Jardine, J.P.; vice-president, Captain D.J. Jardine; hon secretary and treasurer, Mr. W.A. Barrow. The committee will consist of the secretary or representative from each club.

The three applications for membership to the league were considered, and they were admitted, viz. Boots, Constitutional Club, and Nottingham Municipal Officers. The league is now composed of ten clubs.

A discussion ensued with reference to the possibility or otherwise of holding a Bisley Meeting at Mapperley this season. It was agreed that one should be held, and Mr. Mee and Mr. Barrow were appointed joint secretaries of the meeting. The season will open on April 1st instead of May 1st.

It was also resolved that the home secretary should communicate with the secretary of the opposing club at least six days previous to the date fixed for the match arranging a mutual time for shooting their respective match.

The decision reported above to not allow shooting spectacles in the league matches provoked this letter to the EVening Post.

Nottingham Evening Post, Friday, 7 February 1908.



Sir.- I was glad to see that at a meeting of the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League an amendment proposed by one of the members, that orthoptic spectacles be allowed in league matches was lost. Personally, I would not bar orthoptics altogether, for if, through some defect of vision, a man cannot shoot without their aid he had better use them than not shoot at all. I should suggest that the club be divided into two sections - those who use and those who do not use orthoptics. By their aid men make and get the credit of higher scores, and incidentally take any prizes that may be going from those who shoot under fair conditions with open sights. As the majority of men do not use them they should see that this matter is fully discussed and a settlement on the above lines made before the season opens for competition. - I am sir, etc., NO ORTHOPTIC.

And a rather longer response appeared the following day.

Nottingham Evening Post, Saturday, 8 February 1908.



Sir,-I am pleased to see that interest is being shown as to the use of orthoptic spectacles in rifle shooting, but I am afraid that your correspondent "No Orthoptic", like many others, does not fully appreciate the great difficulties that a man with imperfect vision has to contend with, and the utter impossibility of anyone so afflicted holding his own with a man with normal vision, if he is only to be assisted by the use of ordinary spectacles. If the suggestion of "No Orthoptic" were to be followed in its entirety it would not only be necessary for classes to be provided for those he suggests, but also for those with normal eyes and for those who wear glasses.

In a movement such as miniature rifle shooting has now become many men - and as a matter of fact many youths - with defective vision, and who habitually wear spectacles, join clubs, and endeavour to become efficient rifle shots. If these members are not allowed to put themselves on an equal footing with men blessed with good eyesight, it follows that they must eventually become discourages, lose interest, and drop out, to the loss of the movement generally. I take it that the prime idea of this miniature rifle shooting is to make Englishmen generally a nation of riflemen. Then why not give every man an equal chance, and let him shoot with such appliances as he finds best suited to his eyes?

It is an established fact that the human eye, even in its normal state, is unable to perfectly focus three objects at varying distances. This difficulty in the abnormal or imperfect eye is very much increased. In such cases it is absolutely essential that the would-be shot should wear very carefully adjusted spectacles. Unfortunately even this artificial aid does not put him on an equal footing with the normal sighted man, as, if the glasses are made strong enough to see the bull's-eye perfectly, he has difficulty in defining the back-sight, and vice versa. This, every fair-minded man must admit, is a most serious handicap. But - and herein lies my argument - if in addition to the spectacles, the rifleman is allowed to wear an orthoptic, or, in other words, an opaque black disc with a minute aperture, he is enabled to wear glasses of suitable strength and thus see the object or bull's-eye plainly, and by shutting out certain rays of light, overcome the objectionable blur of the back-sight.

Finally, I would say that if we as a nation are to become riflemen we must encourage everybody, and this includes, in addition to the normal-sighted man, the middle-aged men with failing vision, and also the short-sighted schoolboys who are, alas! a far too numerous class. In my humble opinion one way to do this is to make the wearing of orthoptic spectacles permissible in all competitions and matches. - I am, sir, etc., APERTURE.

The season of league matches was completed on the 7th of October. The last match was between The Constitutional Rifle Club and Sneinton Rifle Club, whcih the home team won. Details of the final league table show ten clubs competed, shooting two matches against each of the other clubs, one being a home and the other an away event.

The league was won by Carrington Rifle Club with a team average score for the season of 735, 91.9 per team member.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 8 October 1908.


The final match in the Nottingham League was fired last evening at the Constitutional Club, between the Constitutional and Sneinton. Both made good scores, the former in particular, for their total of 774 was the record for the range, and one of the highest of the season. Details:—

H.W. Davis 98 A.E. Sutton    96
F.B. Johnson 98 J. Grammer 95
H.C. Wright 98 T.E. Thorpe 95
D. Oubridge 97 H. Tomkins 92
F.W. Perry 97 G. Collier 92
H.C. Sheldon 96 D. Simkins 89
G.H. Stubington 96 A. Marwood 85
H. Wood 94 A. Searby 84
Total 774 Total 728


The following is the final table for the league for the season:—

 Fired. Won. Lst. Drn. For. Agst. Pts.
Carrington 18 16 1 1 13,245 12,300 33
Boots 18 15 2 1 13,033 12,541 31
Jardine's 18 14 4 0 13,152 12,706 28
Constitutional Club 18 9 9 0 13,077 12,810 18
Mapperley 18 9 9 0 13,055 12,810 18
Sneinton 18 7 11 0 12,377 12,506 14
High School O.B. 18 6 12 0 11,837 12,488 12
Institutes 18 5 13 0 12,189 12,581 10
St. Thomas's 18 4 14 0 12,494 13,037 8
Municipal Officers 18 4 14 0 12,333 12,699 8

Transcripts from Nottingham Evening Post 1908
British Library Newspaper Archive