Veteran Rifle Club Report

120 years ago in 1896, our Whitgift Veterans Rifle Club was formed and has been active ever since. It is believed to be the 2nd oldest Old Boys Club or Association still active.

We enjoyed an excellent Anniversary Dinner at Croham Road in October, where we were fortunate enough to have Lord Graham Tope as our principal guest.  We remain very grateful to the School for permitting us to use the range here for our .22 shooting, not only on Tuesday evenings but, since early October, on Thursdays too.  The latter was the brainchild of OW Henry Parritt, who left School last July.  He believed, correctly, that he could encourage Whitgift boarders to enjoy the sport quite apart from other members who now also have the option to shoot on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays – it certainly has worked.

We continue to enter two teams in the Surrey League as well as members competing in the Individual League.  Full bore shooting at Bisley has been enjoyed with 7 events plus of course competing in the Schools Vets, followed by the usual Dinner at the Artists Clubhouse.  This Anniversary year we managed to raise 4 teams of 5 and didn’t disgrace ourselves.

Thanks, in extremis, continue to be extended to the School’s Peter Morrison for voluntarily running the Whitgift School Rifle Club, with Tuesday and Wednesday sessions in the range for boys voluntarily attending – as mentioned many times, such boys are hopefully the future of WVRC.  Sadly, yet understandably, Peter has insufficient time available to introduce boys to full bore shooting at Bisley.  For the sake of the future of WVRC it has to be hoped that the new Headmaster, in post next year, will see fit to reinstate the role of a dedicated shooting coach for School CCF shooting, as was the case for decades prior to 1995.  Thus Whitgift would have 1st & 2nd VIIIs, able to return to competing for the Ashburton Shield as we did since 1878, as well as other National and County competitions.

The “feed-through” of such boys, so lacking during the past 21 years, I am sure you will appreciate would assist hugely to ensure the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the WVRC in 30 years time.

Jack Furtado
– Chairman WVRC