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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

Providing support for smallbore, fullbore, and black powder shooting clubs in the county

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Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association

The Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association was formed to bring all civilian rifle clubs together in one association for the whole county. This incorporated the Nottingham League and the Newark League as well as all the civilian clubs which had been in existence for some years.

The Duke of Portland had initiated the formation of the county association and had provided a trophy to be competed for by all member clubs of the Association.

The Association set about drawing up the rules for the Portland Cup and for a miniature rifle league to run through the summer season. The Portland Cup competition took place and the first winners were Newark Town. The league programme and rules were fully drawn up but then postponed until the following year because many interested clubs already had a full programme of friendly matches through the summer.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 2 April 1908.



The prospects of miniature rifle shooting in the county of Notts. during the coming season which opens this week are distinctly encouraging.

Since last spring in Nottinghamshire there has been a big change in the status of the pastime, and the clubs throughout the county are flourishing and strongly organised. The first step was taken by the Duke of Portland, at whose suggestion a meeting of the existing clubs was called by Lieut.-Col. A.E. Whitaker (Retford) and Mr D.J. Jardine (Nottingham), and the Nottinghamshire Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association has been formed.

Of this association the Duke of Portland is the president; Lieutenant-Colonel A.E. Whitaker, the chairman of council; Mr. J.R. Starkey, M.P., chairman of executive; and Mr D.J. Jardine, hon. organising secretary. Already 25 clubs are affiliated, of which 12 belong to Nottingham, the remainder being evenly distributed over the county.


A league for the whole county was found impracticable, owing to the distance some of the teams would have had to travel, but the president has generously presented the association with a county trophy, a challenge cup, which is to be competed for annually on the knock-out system. The conditions for the Duke of Portland's Cup have just been drawn up by the executive, but have not yet been fully passed by the council.

They provide that the cup shall be competed for by teams of eight men (of whom not more than three may be active members of his Majesty's forces), representing clubs in Nottinghamshire which are affiliated to the Nottinghamshire Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association. All scores will count.

For the purpose of the competition the county will be separated into two divisions, north and south of Lowdham. North Notts. includes Wiseton, Retford, Worksop, Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Southwell, Balderton, Castle Brewery (Newark), Stanley Works (Newark), and Newark Town, and South Notts. take in Lowdham, Burton Joyce, Radcliffe, Beeston, Jardine's, Mapperley, Carrington, Nottingham Institute, St. Thomas Institute, Constitutional Club, Municipal Offices, High School Old Boys, Lenton, Notts. Civilian, Boots Athletic, and Sneinton.

The teams in each division will be drawn in pairs, and the contest will continue in rounds until only two teams remain in each division. The four teams representing North and South will meet on a neutral range selected by the executive, and will there shoot off the semi-final ties. The two winning teams will pass into the final, and shoot off for the cup on exactly the same conditions as in the semi-final. Souvenirs will be given by the association to each member of the two final teams.

Within the control of the County Association will also be the competition for the Astor Cup (for N.R.A. clubs) and the Queen's Cup contest (for S.M.R.C. clubs).

There are in addition two leagues in the county, the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League and the Newark and District League, which is confined to clubs within a 13 mile radius of that town.

The Nottingham League, which was formed last year, is in a flourishing condition, and the membership has increased from seven clubs to ten, the new comers being Boots, Constitutional Club, and the Municipal Officers. The competition is for a challenge cup presented by the president, Mr Ernest Jardine. Mapperley are the present holders. The league season opened yesterday.

Secretaries are invited to send in promptly the scores of all matches, league or friendly, and any notes of interest concerning their clubs. Notes on the pastime, the league table, and all official news will appear weekly in the columns of The Guardian.

On 8th July the Nottinghamshire Association of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs drew up its proposals for a postal league and was ready to invite participation.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 9 July 1908.


A meeting of the executive of the Notts. Association of Miniature Rifle Clubs was held last evening, at the Mechanics', Nottingham. Mr D.J. Jardine presided. The chief business was the discussion of rules for the new post league for county clubs, which was suggested in the Nottingham Guardian. The executive at their previous meeting adopted the idea readily, and Mr Revell and Mr. Sutton, who had acted as a sub-committee, presented a draft of rules which were adopted after some slight amendment.

The chief provisions are that only clubs affiliated to the Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association are eligible to enter teams. Post matches will be fired, each club firing on its own range. Teams to consist of eight men, all to count. Range 25 yards. Ten shots to be fired on decimal duplicate target, five shots on each target. Any miniature rifle may be used that complies with the definition as laid down by the N.R.A. Sights: Open. Targets for each match will be posted to clubs two days before the date fixed, and must be returned immediately after completion of the firing by the secretary of the club, who will certify that the target was fired on at 25 yards, with sights complying with the rules of the league. Scores will be awarded by the executive of the association, or by officials they may appoint, and the results published in the columns of the Nottingham Guardian and Nottingham Daily Express. Clubs may enter only one team. Any member of the council shall have the option of officially attending any league match. Any club permitting irregularities or misconduct in connection with league matches will be liable to expulsion from the association; also to be reported to the N.R.A. and the S.M.R.C.. Competitors can only be registered and fire for one club during any calendar year.

Nottingham League clubs will be barred from this competition. Circulars are to be sent out to all clubs outside the Nottingham League which are affiliated to the Notts. Association asking if they are desirous of entering the league. Secretaries of eligible clubs are urged to send in their decisions promptly in order that an early start may be made with the matches. A club will only fire one match this season with each of the other clubs in the league.

With the popularity of miniature rifle shooting growing strongly in the county, the NCMRA proposed in July to hold a "Bisley" meeting for its members to be held in August.

This had been discussed by the Nottingham Miniature Rifle League; but with the county association being formed and many of the committee being from the Nottingham League, the idea was passed to the county body.

Nottingham Evening Post, Tuesday, 14 July 1908.


The Nottinghamshire Association of Civilian and Miniature Rifle Clubs will hold a Bisley meeting on the ranges of the Carrington R.C. and the Municipal Officers' R.C., on August 22nd. All the firing will be at 25 yards distance. The programme will contain eleven competitions, three of which will be for teams, and will embrace both deliberate and rapid shooting.

At the end of July, the NCMRA arranged the semi-final and final stages of the Portland Cup to take place in mid-August; but postponed the start of the planned postal league.

Nottingham Daily Express, Thursday, 30 July 1908


Meetings of the Executive Committee and Council of the Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association were held at the Mechanics' Institution, Nottingham, last night, Lieutenant D.J. Jardine presiding.

Mr H.W. Davis (Constitutional Club) was appointed to the vacancy on the executive caused by the retirement of Mr. Crabtree (Retford).

The semi-finals and final of the competition for the Duke of Portland's Cup were fixed to be fired on August 15th on the Lowdham range, which was kindly placed at the disposal of the association by Mr. F.E. Tyler. The draw resulted in Southwell being pitted against Jardine' and Mapperley against Newark Town.

Mr. T.F. Revell (boots) and Mr. A.E. Sutton (Notts. Civilians) were thanked for drawing up such an excellent programme for the proposed "post" league, but it was decided that as most of the clubs had their fixtures made out the scheme should be postponed until next season.

The Council meeting passed a resolution that any member of the executive omitting to attend three consecutive meetings without reasonable excuse will be asked to resign.

The NCMRA committee met just before the final of the Portland Cup to confirm arrangements for it and the proposed "Bisley" meeting to be held on two ranges later in the month.

Nottingham Evening Post, Thursday, 13 August 1908.


A meeting of the Range sub-committee of the Nottinghamshire Association of Miniature and Civilian Rifle Clubs was held at the Mechanics', Nottingham, last evening. Lieut. D.J. Jardine presided, and those also present were Messrs. Emmerson, Radford, Sutton, Revell, Gibson, Wallis, and Barrow.

The final arrangements for the semi-final and final rounds of the Duke of Portland's Cup competition at Lowdham on Saturday were made, and Messrs. Radford, Emmerson, and Sutton were appointed range officers for the day.

For the "Bisley" meeting, on the Carrington and Municipal Officers' ranges, on August 22nd, the capital entry of 137 individual competitors was received. Owing to the unexpectedly large target accommodation that had been provided it was decided to extend the period of receiving entries until the morning of Wednesday, the 19th. The unlimited entry competition, for which entries will be taken on the ranges, will be open all the afternoon.

It was also decided to make arrangements for all kinds of ammunition to be sold on the range and for light refreshments to be obtainable. In order to prevent overcrowding, the committee determined to make a small admission fee to non-competitors.

The "Bisley" Meeting was held on 22nd August at the ranges of the Municipal Officers' Club and the Carrington Club with a very satisfactory attendance from local clubs but not so from those further afield in the County.

A full report appeared in the Nottingham Daily Express on the Monday following with extensive lists of competitors scores, which have been summarised in this transcription.

Nottingham Daily Express, Monday, 24 August 1908.


Prompted by the success which miniature rifle shooting has met with in local circles within the last year or two, the Notts. Civilian and Miniature Rifle Association held a "Bisley" meeting on the ranges of the Municipal Officers' and Carrington Clubs on Saturday. A comprehensive programme had been arranged, and under the supervision of the Range Committee it was carried out successfully. In response to the club's invitation a very satisfactory entry had been received from the city, but there were only a few representatives of county clubs competing. The weather conditions were rather peculiar; for at first the sky was dull, while later the sun shone brilliantly – so much so, in fact, that a number of the competitors complained that the foresights on their rifles could not be properly seen.

Nevertheless the standard of the shooting was by no means low, and the performance of H.C. Hooker in scoring 99 points out of a possible 100 on a Robert's target at 25 yards in the first competition was a creditable one; while J.R. Whiston, a Lowdham youth, was only one point behind. In the sportsman's target competition, forming one of an aggregate, the premier position was taken by E. Doubleday with the excellent score of 17, the runner-up being six points behind. Doubleday was awarded first prize in the aggregate, having also tied for a limited time competition at 25 yards, forming one of the aggregate. In the tyros' competition, which was well supported, F.G. Skerritt finished first with 97 points; while in the boys' competition J.R. Whiston was first with 93 points, and R.N. Barker second with 92. There were 30 competitors in the competition for members of clubs in the Nottingham League, W.J. Hodgson and F.G. Skerritt tied for first place; while in a similar competition for members of county clubs J.R. Whiston, scoring another 98, secured first place.

For a third time Whiston compiled 98 points, on this occasion tieing for the county clubs' sweepstakes – unlimited entries. In the teams of four competition open to members of clubs affiliated to the N.C.& M.R.A., Jardine's totalled the largest number of points, and in the skirmisher rapid–firing contest Carrington were the winning team.

One of the most interesting features of the programme was the squadded discs competition open to teams of affiliated clubs. The targets consisted of half–inch breakable discs on a lettered board, 12 at each end, the team first destroying the other's discs being declared the winner. The contest proved to be a very exciting one, and eventually Carrington beat the Nottingham High School in the final, the latter having five discs remaining on their objective. The following are the chief scores, the conditions being 10 shots in each competition:—

25 yards deliberate
H.C. Hooker 99
J.R. Whiston 98
E. Doubleday 97
25 yards time limit 90 seconds
E. Doubleday 92
H. Tomkins 92
H. Davis 91
Sportsman's target
E. Doubleday 17
W.J. Hodgson 11
F.G. Skerritt 10
Aggregate of above three competitions
E. Doubleday 206
H. Tomkins 193
H. Davis 193
F.G. Skerritt 97
J. Dyson 96
W.J. Hodgson 94
Boys 10–17 years
J.R. Whiston 93
R.N. Barker 92
W. Rostance 85
Nottingham League
W.J. Hodgson 97
F.G. Skerritt 97
H. Tomkins 96
County clubs
J.R. Whiston 98
Witherington 93
Ulyett 92
County Clubs Sweepstakes
J.R. Whiston 98
F.G. Skerritt 98
H.G Hook 96
Team competition
Jardine's 371
Nottingham High School 367
Lowdham 366
Carrington 364
Radcliffe 361
Skirmisher team competition
Carrington 14
Boots 13
Jardine's 10
Constitutional club 10
Nottingham High School 10

Transcripts from Nottingham Evening Post
and Nottingham Daily Express 1908
British Library Newspaper Archive