Greenhall Rifle Range


BACKGROUND_IMAGEI once heard there was a rifle range at Greenhall (not to be confused by the range at Dechmont or one which used to be on land that would become Logan Street). However, I’d not been able to confirm a Greenhall range….until now.

On Saturday 1st June 1867, the 44th Rifle Volunteers in Blantyre took use of a custom made Rifle Range at Greenhall, High Blantyre. The range was to be exclusively used by this particular corps.

The range was situated upon a flat part of the Greenhall Estate in High Blantyre, the lease of which had been taken by Captain Watkins with the proprietor’s, Dr. Wardrop Moore’s consent.

A substantial Butt (or earthworks mound) was erected and every provision made in conforming with the instructions of the Government Inspector, designed for shooting in third and second-class ranges.

It was summer upon opening and with the weather being unusually fine, there was a large turn-out of spectators. In addition to the officers of the company, there were several battalion officers present too, amongst whom were Colonel Simpson, Captain Gill the Adjutant, Captain Austine and Lieutenant Simpson. Also present were other friends of the movement, Sir Hugh Maxwell, Baronet of Calderwood and Hugh Maxwell. Esq.

Previous to the opening of the range, Captain Watkins had addressed the corps, and in the course his remarks referred to the obligations which the members had to be mindful of towards Dr. Moore, the proprietor the ground. Dr Moore had greatly assisted him in  making the arrangements for procuring the range and regulations were likely around the upkeep and use of the land.

The Captain also referred to the able assistance of Ensign Strathern who had superintended the erection of the butt. After impressing the members with their duties as volunteers, he requested the Colonel to open the range by firing the first shot. The Colonel having consented, his rifle was handed to him, and incredibly a “bull’s eye”  was duly recorded. The officers and friends thereafter each took a shot, and some good shooting was made.

Thereafter, a competition took place for money prizes, which was presented by the Captain and Ensign Strathern. The winners were: Wm. Maxwell: 2d, William Todd; 3d. John Ness; 4th, Matthew McSkimming; 5th, John Struthers; 6th, David Eglinton; 7th John Thomson.

Recruit prizes were to 1st Hugh Allan, 2nd. Francis Riddle; 3rd, James Roberts. After the presentation the prizes Sergeant Ness briefly addressed the members and proposed a vote of thanks to the donors of the prizes, which was heartily responded to.

The range was described as being a good one, and worthy of the attention of officers who propose erecting similar ranges for their own corps.

See my other post about Greenhall Rifle Range for my suggestion as to where this once was.

From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018

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