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About us - A Potted History

It would appear that the Inverness Clachnacuddin Small Bore Rifle Club was formed by 1913.  We do not yet have many details of the early years of the club.

Our records - and the memory of our members - really starts around the time of the Second World War.  At this time the club shot in the Cameron Barracks near Raigmore.  In the 50's it moved to the Haugh, and in the 60's moved to our current base for indoor shooting.  For a period up to 2003 we also had a 50 yard outdoor range at Dochfour.

I am still trying to locate info and old shooters to find out more about the early days of the club.

I have a copy of a K1314 (counterfoil) a range safety cert Number 4/77 dated 6/10/1977 shows the range to have been certified by the Army under office file 625/82G for .22 LR up to 2000ft/second scan.

An copy letter dated 30th November 1973 to the NSRA reference 625/336G refers to a safety certificate number 706 for the range at Kinmylies.  Point two indicates that "to increase safety of the range the Secretary (Mr J Nicol) has been advised to put hardboarding in front of the bullet catchers..."

Assorted letters from 1990, 1997 and 2003 have not been scanned.

From Brian Woodall of the NRSA June 2007

Dear Dr Malone

A quick glance at some of our records suggests that there may well need to be some detective work!!!

Firstly SMRC/NSRA affiliations numbers in the area of 4800 did not appear before World War 2.

All the SMRC's written records were destroyed in the blitz of early-1941, so the earliest original forms we have are from when clubs started to replace them in mid-1941. The form for club 4838 is for "Inverness-shire Rifle Club, Small Bore", officials D H McNeill (President) and Charles Watt (Secretary and Treasurer), dated 22nd March 1952.  Subsequently the word "Inverness-shire" has been replaced in manuscript with "Clachnacuddin".  There is also a change in the indoor range used from "Cameron Barracks" to "Clachnacuddin".  The outdoor range at Dochfour is also a later manuscript addition.  I will be happy to send you a photocopy of the form.

However there was another - "Inverness Small Bore Rifle Club" - membership number 801, for whom we have an affiliation form dated 30th May 1942 - no indoor range, but outdoors at 25, 50 and 100 yards at Holme House Gardens.  For this club the officials were F J Kelly (President), Archibald Craigmile (Secretary) and H Sweeney (Treasurer). 801 certainly suggests early affiliation.

Clubs can sometimes be difficult to find in The Rifleman - my most frequent means is in the lists of winners of the Bell Medal (now certificate).  I have found W Fraser winning the Daily Express medal in 1922, but earlier details will take more searching as in the early days
the club numbers were not given and the clubs were not listed in alphabetical order.  However the other easy search vehicle, the very comprehensive index to The Rifleman from 1906 to 1908, includes no reference to Inverness either as a county association or as a club.

As you have trophies going back some time, there may be some clues in the names of individuals that can be found on both them and in other
early printed material.  For example Inverness-shire is first shown as awarding an SMRC County Silver Medal in 1921.  Early winners are shown as belonging to the Wardlaw, Beauly and Culloden clubs, but there are also winners where the club is Inverness - T Burry in 1921, W J Bethune in 1923, W Fraser in 1925 (see above), F J Kelly in 1926 (see above) and J M Hutchinson in 1928.

The other handy printed records are the NRA's Proceedings.  Around this time each annual volume includes a list of affiliated clubs, and there
were more miniature clubs than full-range clubs affiliated to them.  The first reference to Inverness as a miniature club is as a club
affiliating for the first time in 1913, with the affiliation number 2684, Secretary F W Fraser. It may not have been active during WW1 as it
is listed with the original details, but marked as not having paid an affiliation fee.  It then re-appears in 1920 with W Ross as Secretary,
and W R Macdonald in 1921 to 23, D R Macdonald 1924 and 1925 and W Fraser 1926 (? a father and son possibility).

I hope that this gives you a start and will let you know if I find more.

The one thing I mention in relation to these sort of enquiries is to consult the local newspapers, either at the reference library or the
newspapers themselves.  Miniature rifle shooting was a patriotic activity and frequently involved the local nobility and leading citizens.  The activities of the club, and certainly its formation, are very likely to have been the subject of local press coverage.

Kind regards
Brian Woodall

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr Jon Malone []
Sent: 19 June 2007 11:58
To: Brian Woodall
Subject: club roots

We are trying to find out when our club was first 'on the radar'.

We have cups/trophies that appear to go back to 1912 and 1921 but we have no paper that supports these dates.

The club is known as
        Clachnacuddin Small Bore Rifle Club
But it might also have been
        Inverness Small Bore Rifle Club
our current number with the NSRA is 04838 (I believe)

It would be much appreciated if you could shed any light on the earliest date that you believe we were in existance/existence.

Lord Roberts Centre, Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Surrey, GU24 0NP

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Dear Iain

Please feel free to use it as you wish and will find helpful.

However you may like to hold on for the envelope to be posted tomorrow. In addition to the two affiliation forms there are two further copies from The Rifleman.  Unstructured browsing is not always successful, but in this case two items came to hand.  One from March 1921 includes the words "The Inverness Rifle Club is not yet a year old, ....".  The second from February 1924 talks of "This is the fourth season in which Inverness RC have entered the Burroughes & Watts competition, .....". Both these suggest a re-formation around 1920, following a possibly very short span of life before the war.

My own club at Ludlow had a somewhat similar history.  It was set up around 1901 and closed down at the time of the First World War. Trophies had been donated and these seem to have been lodged with a local bank and rested there for over 30 years until a new club was put together after WW2.  Somehow they managed to convince the bank to release the trophies, which are still in use today.  Bearing in mind the shorter period of apparent shutdown in Inverness, maybe the same people were involved before and after the War, making the hand-on of the 1912 trophy that much easier.

Anyway, good luck with your research.  If I find any more of substance, I'll let you know.  When you come to look at the club's shooting history
in more detail, there will be plenty of information here of interest. The 1924 item refers to the club's performance in the Burroughes & Watts
- we will have the full results.  I know that Inverness shot in the first running of the Scottish Cup KO competition in 1921, even if you were knocked out in the first round!  I have also seen Inverness club members shooting in the Inverness County Team in the Queen Alex during the 1920s.

Kind regards
Brian Woodall