Hadleigh Rifle Club History

In the autumn of 1968 there was a "shooting" sideshow at a fete on East House Meadow in Hadleigh. This gave two of the club's original members, Jim Hughes and Ron Dear, the thought that something more permanent would be a good idea. Before long Peter Boulton and Ray Gant became involved and in November met at Peter's house in George Street to discuss what they could do about it.

Peter's business experience, natural drive and enthusiasm drove the project towards setting up the Hadleigh Rifle Club in the Drill Hall, just a few yards down the road from his home.

The club was officially formed in March 1969 when the first membership cards were issued at an annual fee of £1, plus a joining fee of 5s.0d. (5 shillings: 25p in today's money).

Peter was elected chairman and from these beginnings membership grew quickly to over 50, with a waiting list as more could not be accommodated at the club premises. In recognition of his major role in creating and developing the club, Peter was appointed life president.

Peter suffered ill health for many years and so was unable to continue shooting, but maintained his interest in the club until his death in March 2003.

Ray Gant had taken over the chairmanship from Peter, and in recognition of his contribution to the club, in 2003 the members unanimously appointed Ray as Life President.

During 2006 discussions took place about the possibility of extending the club's activities into air gun shooting, and with the co-operation of army cadet leaders a small group of club members took this forward, and constructed a "portable" range complying with NSRA and MOD safety standards. The air gun range officially opened at the beginning of 2007 and membership numbers have increased steadily since.

On the club's 40th anniversary in 2009, of the club's original members only Ray was still shooting, but although Ray continues as Honorary President, he has given up shooting in 2012.

It is pleasing that the club has attracted several responsible youngsters to the sport to carry us forward towards our next major "birthday" in 2019.