Snippets from the past.
The Dorset Small-Bore Rifle and
Pistol Association began life in 1910 as the Dorset League of Rifle Clubs, with
11 of the 36 clubs in the County affiliating.
The Lord Digby gave a “handsome” challenge shield for competition between
the affiliated clubs, which is still competed for today, although the rules
have changed over the years.
In 1939 there were 28 affiliated
clubs, many bearing “Home Guard” in their title, as some still do. The League
was dormant during the war years and reformed on 14th July 1945 with
just £4:75 in the kitty. The name changed around this time to “Dorset Miniature
Rifle Association” and 50 Home Guard clubs were invited to join. On 29th
July 1947 a meeting was held on the old racecourse at Poundbury when 170
marksmen competed for prizes. Shooting commenced at 10:45 am and continued
until the disc breaking at 10:00 pm. A full days shooting. The individual
champion being G.N. Brucknel of Beaminster with 595 ex 600. He also won 2 other
trophies gaining 7 maximum scores throughout the day. There was no concurrent
shooting at the meeting.
1949 saw 39 clubs affiliated with
Dorset winning the National League with an average of 197 ex 200 per team
member. 1952 saw J.W.R. Newman of Beaminster become the British Short Range
Champion dropping just 1 point in three rounds his scores being 300, 299 and
300. He also won the English Championship which is shot concurrently.
At the Annual General Meeting
held on 13th March 1953 the name of the Association was changed to
“Dorset Small-Bore Rifle Association”. A minute of the meeting expresses dissatisfaction
with the supply of ammunition from the NSRA.
The County Prize meeting of 1955
was shot in 3 classes as follows. Class A average 98 and above, Class B 98 to
95 and Class C below 95. Shooting took place at 25, 50 and 100 yards ten shots
being fired at each distance. The 25 and
50 yard competitions for Classes A and B were decided on centre bulls with 12
shooters tying on maximum points in Class A and 5 in B.
The AGM Minutes of 1956 show that
a donation of 2 guineas was made to the Olympic appeal, and the entry to the
Winter League was increased to 75p.
At the AGM of 1963 a Pistol
section was set up.
The AGM of 1967 saw a proposal to
change the Association name to “Dorset Small-Bore Rifle and Pistol
Association”. The meeting did not think it necessary to change the name as the
national association was the NSRA and not NSR&PA. In 1971 a new set of
Rules was agreed and the name changed to include Pistol. Three positional shooting
started in 1970 but initially did not receive much support. It is still a very
small part of Dorset shooting having been revived in 2009 after a long break.