The Aldbourne Road site was used by the Brickmaking Company based on the corner of Eastfield Road, Burnham which since 1895 has been the site of the Methodist Church and houses. The club was loaned and then gifted to the club in about 1907 by the Lloyd brothers who ran a Brickmaking Company up to 1895.
Up until 1974 Burnham Bowls Club was situated behind the Club's Firing point sharing the same pavilion with the Rifle Club. In 1974 they moved to behind The Stomp Playground.
The huge improvements to the club have only happened over the last 50 years with high quality weapons and ammunition becoming readily available, this resulted in such an improvement in scores that consequently targets were twice altered by the NSRA to make scoring rings smaller. The last of these changes took place in 1989.
Up until 1997 the club participated in small-bore pistol and full-bore pistol competitions. Government legislation banned these pistols in 1997 and the club was renamed to reflect this soon after to Burnham Target Shooting Club (BTSC).
Burnham Rifle Club, as it was originally known, was founded in 1899. There is evidence from minutes of an early meeting that the club was in existence in 1899. The club was registered with the National Rifle Association , Bisley and was no.2 on the membership roll. The club was based originally in Burnham High Street with practice taking place in Baldwin's Meadow and later Captain Farwell, the President, offered a range at the Priory, Burnham. H. Balwin was captain with R H Cleare, J. Allder, A & W Hyde, W Fuller, J Fuller, J Foulk, H Swaney and J Painter among the early members who paid 5s to join and 4d to practise. In 1901 records show that Misses Slater, Cleare, Allder, Belcher, Hinton, Wright and A & E Lawley applied for membership and were accepted. A Remington rifle costing 18s 4d was purchased for their exclusive use. Burnham Rifle Club was one of the many formed following on from the NRA being granted Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1894 and continues to this day for the "Promotion of marksmanship in the interests of the Defence of Realm and permanence of the Volunteer Forces, Navy military and Air". Our military riflemen were reputed to be such poor marksmen at the time! This need arose again during the 1914-1918 war and again for the 1939-1945 World War when the Home Guard (Dads Army) used the club range for training. They first used standard .303" military rifles with the barrels sleeved down to .22" (Morris Tube) to save ammunition costs and make training safer. In 1903 the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs, (SMRC), held its first competition later becoming the National Small-bore Rifle Association (NSRA) in 1947.
Right up to about October 1964 the club had no clubhouse at the range and the firing point was a primitive wood shed with hinged flaps along one side to open up and give the shooters some cover. It may seem hard to imagine today the enthusiasm that drove club members to wait in pouring rain for their turn to get under the meagre cover to lay down on an old piece of matting to shoot!
In 1959 the club borrowed £400 from the NSRA and with a lot of self help built the modest clubhouse, completed in October 1964, which is still in use today. In the early 1970's Slough Rifle Club whose range was at the Territorial Army Centre, Uxbridge Road, Slough merged with Burnham & District Rifle Club to form Burnham & District Rifle and Pistol Club.
The Rifle Club continued to flourish winning the Bucks County Challenge Cup in 1919 when Edward Clifton-Brown was our President and we travelled to Bisley in Edwin Johnson's coach 'The Taplow Queen'. Burnham Bowls Club was formed from within the Rifle Club in 1922 and a green and wooden pavilion was built on the Aldbourne Road site.
As with the previous war the Second World War saw an influx of women joining the rifle club to practise and be trained to be in a better position to defend their homes in the event of invasion.
BTSC celebrated its centenary year with a presentation plaque given by the NSRA in recognition of the Club's existence prior to the NSRA's foundation.
In recent years there have been improvements to the existing ranges. BTSC was the last club in Buckinghamshire to convert the range from 50 yards to 50 Metres, this meant major earthworks to dig new butts in 1997 during which an Airgun indoor range for up to 10 metres was built. Further work to fully enclose and secure the main rifle range was completed in 2008.
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Of particular note at the Committee Meeting of March 2nd 1901 was the Hon Secretary (Mr William Hyde) surprised the committee by a statement that "He had written to Major William Henry Grenfell MP asking him if he would like to present a Challenge Cup to the club". He told the committee that he had received an answer to the affirmative. Subsequently Major William Henry Grenfell MP presented the Cup to the winner in its first year. We continue to shoot for the Grenville Challenge Cup to this present date.
In the early years competition invites were made via the club's captain to local clubs by post. The Clubs we competed against, from our records, are Runnymede, Chalvey, Slough, Windsor, Ascot, Marlow & Eton Wick.
Early competition entries were for the Club and Handicap Spoons, Middlesex Spoon, Civilians Cup & Tradesman Cup along with the Grenfell Cup.
In 1907 the Club moved to the current site in Aldbourne Road, Burnham. In the early days members travelled regularly to Bisley by horse and trap for full bore practice and competitions. Some of the clubs valuable silver trophies and photos in the clubhouse bear witness to those times.
Conversazione - January 1901, our records show that in January 1901 and subsequent years we held a Conversazione Evening (an event to bring together like minded people to discuss a particular subject). Click on the image left to view the details of activities at the event and expenses paid.
Following an invite by one of our club members Dominic Grieve QC MP, Attorney General, visited Burnham Target Shooting Club in September 2010. It was a great opportunity for Dominic Grieve QC MP to see firsthand how a target shooting club operates. Dominic Grieve QC MP was shown all the ranges and the type of targets we use. Individual club members showed Dominic Grieve QC MP various rifles and pistols, with a demonstration of how they are used and for what type of competition. The 2010 Cherry Fayre, Flackwell Heath, started six years ago. Burnham Target Shooting Club has provided a fun event for all using our Air Rifles on a 35 yard temporary range. All stand proceeds this year at the Fayre went to the Royal British Legion.
Dates for your diary - Saturday 26th September 2015 & Thursday 1st October 2015 Ranges closed