Metropolitan Clay Shooting Team Triumph at 2021 Championships

VW Bro Brian Saidman reports on a sixth, record-breaking win

Following the long-awaited resumption of the 2021 major Masonic Clay Shooting events under the National Association of Masonic Clay Shooting Societies, the 2021 Home Counties Masonic Clay Shooting Championships was held on Saturday 14th August.

The Home Counties participants comprise the Metropolitan Grand Lodge Clay Shooting Association with the eight other Provinces: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, East Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex and West Kent. 

The teams were pitted against each other in a ‘clash of the Titans’ (fraternally, of course). 103 shooters were vying for glory in the various categories for Masonic Shooters, guest non-masonic shooters and lady shooters.

The MetGLCSA team were well represented with eight masonic shooters and five non-masonic guest shooters. The Surrey team obviously felt more power might be needed and arrived with twelve masonic shooters and five non-masonic guests.

Each year, pandemics excluded, there is an orderly line of eligible applications (I refrain from the use of the expression ‘bun-fight’) for the much sort after opportunity of hosting the ‘Home Counties’ for that year. This year the Province of Sussex was chosen, the event hosted by the Sussex Masonic Clay Shooting Association at the Northall Clay Shooting Ground, a magnificent East Sussex spread, in glorious surrounds.

Registrations were at 8:30 am with a pleasing aroma of frying bacon wafting from the Club House.  Following the splendid full breakfast and safety briefing, the 103 attentive shooters teamed up, and under perfect blue skies and with the promise of continuing good weather all day, we were off.

The Competition was English Sporting Clays, 100 birds, over 12 traps. The terrain was an enjoyable, albeit testing, a mixture of woodland, forest area and open grassland. The traps behaved themselves (by and large), ensuring a steady flow for the shooters moving around the course of fire. The administration by the club and staff throughout was impeccable. Gradually the shooters finished their cards and returned to the Club House. The counting-up of scorecards commenced; cold drinks were in great demand! 

The Provincial Grand Master of Sussex, RW Bro Christopher Moore, had kindly come along to keep an eye on proceedings (together with, I understand, his own party of shooters to ensure he had a reasonable blatt) and, of course, to make the presentation of the Trophies.    

Masonic Home Counties Three-Man Team Winners        MetGLCSA
Sam King 88.ex 100, John Perrin 82.ex100, Dave Brown 79.ex100
Clays 249 ex.300

Masonic Home Counties Three-Man Team Runners Up    Essex
David Wilder 87.ex100, Neil March 81.ex100, Mark Woolard 80.ex100
Clays 248 ex.300

The win may have only been by one clay – but it was our clay!

Masonic High Gun            MetGLCSA    Sam King    88.ex 100
Masonic High Gun Runner Up    Essex        David Wilder    87.ex 100

Non-masonic three-man Guest Team Runners Up        MetGLCSA
Kevin Walsh 86.ex100, Louis Walsh 74.ex100, Craig Cotton 74.ex100 

Whilst the Metropolitan Grand Lodge Clay Shooting Association and our members are elated with our recent success, it is tinged with sadness following the loss of RW Bro Right Hon Lord Millett. Lord Millett had taken a keen interest in the nascent MetGLCSA. We had been his London clay shooting ‘body guard’ at the first Inter-Provincial Championships held in West Lancs.

In 2005, he kindly accepted (along with VW Bro Charles Grace, the role of First Patron of our Association.) He will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on as we are honoured that the role of First Patron of the MetGLCSA is continued by the succeeding Metropolitan Grand Masters.    
Interested in joining?
Any Member of a London Lodge who participates in Clay Target Shooting can be eligible to join the MetGLCSA.  For further information on joining or on upcoming events please do not hesitate to contact:

Brian Saidman, 
Hon. Captain 
07860 370 220

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 46 October 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 46.