Opening the Morris Tube Range

In February and March 1907, a Morris Tube Firing Range was erected at Low Blantyre at the bottom of the cul de sac, just off Glasgow Road, which was to become Logan Street.

This was for the use of the Blantyre Company of the Rifle Volunteers and it was officially opened on the evening of Thursday 7th March 1907. A large audience of volunteers and civilians attended.

The shooting range was the regulation 25 yards and attached to it was a commodious reading and smoking room, a building which was lit by electricity. The opening ceremony was by Colonel Ralston the commanding officer of the Battalion. Captain Graham , the company’s officer in introducing the Colonel knew that he needed no introduction to the volunteers, but did so for the many civilians present.

The Colonel said it wasn’t the first range to be opened for the Battalion and hoped it wouldn’t be the last. He was pleased to see that this new range was one of the most up to date and finest he had seen.

Back in the history of the Volunteers, the Blantyre Company had been known as the “Blantyre Blazers”. Now they had a range of their own, it was hoped that there would be lots of new people interested in Shooting and the volunteers would develop their skills. (I’m sure nobody would have realised how important this would be without knowing a great war was just around the corner in the following decade).

New volunteers had compulsory 15 days training and some of the skills of the long standing volunteers were put on display. For example, the Colonel fired the first opening shot, which to the astonishment of all watching, proved to be a “bulls eye” and half of Blantyre must have heard the loud cheers!

The Colonel then paid tribute to ex Sergeant Roberts who had so kindly given the ground for the range, immediately next to his Priory Bar and Hall. Teams were chosen and a contest followed. Membership for civilians was 2s and 1s for volunteers. Ammunition was charged at cost of 1.5d for 8 rounds.

In September that year a further contest was had between the Volunteers and Civilians, something which proved a little embarrassing because the civilians won on points for accuracy!

Today, Glenesk Homes are presently building new houses on this land, between Logan Street and Church Street, which are due to be finished in late Summer 2022.

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