Continuing our look at the former Greenhall Rifle Range, High Blantyre. In September 1867, just 4 months after the Volunteer Corps Rifle Range opened, an article appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser describing a competition held there. It is transcribed here, the interesting part for me listing the target distances the competition aimed to fire at.
“Rifle Competition – In accordance with a notice which appeared in our issue of Saturday last, a rifle competition in connection with the 44th Blantyre LBV, took place on that day [Saturday 14th September 1867] on the company range on the lands of Greenhall.
It was confined entirely to those members who were then entitled to receive the Capitation Grant and had completed their 60 rounds of ball practice. Distances were 200 and 300 yards, five rounds each. For these there were 10 prizes and three additional ones offered to those who had been engaged in volley firing prior to the 17th August last; highest scores at 200 yards to be the gainers. There were 56 entered [thats 56 x 2 targets x 5 shots = 560 shots let off!] Shooting commenced at 12 o’clock and continued till half past 6 o’clock. The weather was very favourable, especially towards the afternoon, although a strong wind blew at the onset.
The very best feeling was manifested during the day by everyone concerned. The meeting was a great success. At the close, Col- Sergeant Ness, who was in command of the squads announced the winners to be as follows:
- Private Joseph Barr who won a short Ingram Enfield Rifle, 2. Bugler D McKercher, 3. Private Donald McLanchlan, 4. Sergeant Robert Harper, 5. Private John Thomson, 6. Private George Allan, 7. Private William Roberts, 8. Private James Maxwell, 9. Sergeant Abraham Henshaw, 10. Private Archibald Brownlie
Additional Prizes to those who had fired volleys (7 shots per minute): 1. Private James Lindsay, 2. Sergeant Robert Harper, 3. Private Robert Gray.
The first prize was a gift by the Captain of the Corps, the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th, presented by the female workers in the spinning and weaving departments of H. Monteith & Co’s Works. Members of the Corps desire us to record their very hearty appreciation of the kindness manifested to the Corps in these gifts.”
An interesting article, I’m sure you’ll agree. Seeing the distances of 200 and 300 yards in writing, using the measuring tool on Google Earth, I marked out where the targets would have been and they all fit nicely within the confines of that large, existing field. Gordon Cook told me that the Corps could fire much longer distances, which of course would have been possible back then in the fields beyond.