Lothian & Borders Target Shooting Association: The Field Day.
|Scottish Southern Counties Association – Field Day
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Origins & Evolution
The Field Day
BMRA/BRL/SSCA ran an annual Field Day (outdoor open meeting) starting possibly in 1912 as that is the first year that’s engraved on the trophy for the winners of the team competition. However, the first year engraved on the trophy for the Aggregate competition is 1924 so there may be a case for thinking that the team comp was run differently before the Field Day got going in 1924 and it was incorporated into it. However, that’s just speculation: perhaps the only trophy they had at the start was for the team competition, and WWI did get in the way a bit.
In the early years the meeting was unclassified and consisted of competitions at 25, 50 and 100 yards with an aggregate comprising scores at all three distances. Originally it was 10 shots per distance, but in 1955 it increased to 20 shots. The team competition was shot separately by teams of four and the course of fire was 20 shots at 50 yards.
Here are the original competitions and trophies awarded:
|Teams of 4 (scratch)
|Discs (club teams of 3)
|The Lambden trophy
* For younger readers, ‘SMRC’ stands for ‘Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs’ which was the precursor of the NSRA.
In 1968 the meeting became classified and some of the competitions and trophies were reorganised. It now has competitions at 50 metres and 100 yards (40 shots each) with prizes for the best aggregate over the two distances in each class (see table below). There are concurrent competitions for Ladies and Juniors as well as the team competition, which is no longer a separate shoot and was changed to teams of three and run on a handicap basis depending on each team member’s classification. All of these are 20 shots at each distance.
A disc-breaking competition has been ever-present over the years and it has evolved from strict club teams of three to pairs of shooters from any club. The meeting culminates in the final of the Championship of the meeting for the Liddell-Grainger trophy.
Some of the original trophies were re-allocated sometime after 1961, probably when the meeting became classified. For example, the Tennant Bowl for the abolished 25 yard competition was re-allocated to the short-range Individual Championship, run over the winter.
The following are what have been awarded since classification was introduced.
|Teams of 3 (handicapped in recent years)
|Class A agg
|Class B agg
|Class C agg
|Norman Brown Cup
|Discs (odd pairs)
The Berwick Cup was presented by Jean Lawson in 2019 for the Ladies Championship, although a Ladies competition had been run since 1992 at least. Norman Brown (of Eastfield RC in Edinburgh) presented the trophy for the Junior competition in 1989.
It looks like the Lambden trophy for the disc-breaking shoot was lost at some point as the Stevenson Trophy replaced it in 1972. Whatever happened to the Lambden is anyone’s guess: the last known winners (from paper records) were in 1961. Probably forgotten about and gathering dust in someone’s attic. If you know where it is then please get in touch.
The meeting closes with the Disc Shoot followed by the final of the Liddell-Grainger Championship. The qualifiers are those with the top ten aggregates regardless of class, and they shoot 50 shots at 100 yards over two 3-diagram cards with no sighters on the second card.
All Field Day trophies except for the Team competition and the L-G Championship are confined to members of affiliated clubs.
In its earlier years up to at least the 1960s, the meeting was usually held at Duns. Who knows where that range is now?
More recently, the Field Day has a strong association with the Maitland family (Earls of Lauderdale) and Thirlestane Castle, with Gerald Maitland-Carew (grandson of the 15th Earl) being a big supporter and a big reason the NSRA’s Scottish Meetings take place at Lauder in the Castle grounds. Field Day meetings have also been held at Ayton Castle (courtesy of the Liddell-Grainger family) and Whitslaid (courtesy of the Younger brewing family
This meeting used to attract entrants not only from the Scottish side of the border and some Edinburgh clubs, but also from the north of England (e.g. Cumberland News, Felton, Sunderland). Latterly, however, it has been just the Borders clubs plus some from Edinburgh, mainly Watsonians & George Watson’s College but sometimes also from further afield after the meeting started to be held the day after the NSRA’s Scottish Meeting ended and some competitors stayed on for it. The entry could bigger though.
After the creation of LBTSA the intention is to continue the annual Field Day run in July at Lauder as in recent years as an LBTSA event and keep its long traditions going. The NSRA have indicated that their Scottish meeting will continue to be held at Lauder for some years to come, and the Field Day takes advantage of their ready-made range before it is demolished.