When Sporting Gun started hitting the shelves in 1977 it was like a breath of fresh air for clay and game shooters alike. All we had before was Shooting Times, so I started buying it from day one.
Here are the some images you requested from my message to Sporting Gun’s Facebook page. This most recent photograph of me was taken at Lakenheath in 2011 while shooting for Bedfordshire at the East Midlands Inter-counties
I hope you can use them. I have taken the liberty of including a bit about me if you think you can use it.
I started shooting in 1974 at Flitwick Gun Club and joined Bedford Gun Club in 1975. After buying a Browning B1, which cost
£516 new, I started shooting Skeet when it was then eight stations. I scored a 99 on my third 100 bird shoot.
I shot ISU skeet on squad with Joe Neville who used a Rottweil Olympia 72 Skeet gun with retro chokes. Having watched Joe powder most of the targets, I got very envious and swapped my B1 for a Rottweil. I still use it today although it has started to let me down with the odd misfire, still it is 40 years old.
However, I had a bit of success with it and went on to win quite a few competitions. I also found myself in the Sporting Gun Top 20 English Skeet Club in 1981 and I have the badge to prove it!
When Bedford Gun Club closed in 1987 I carried on shooting, travelling all over the country but business commitments took over and I gave up shooting in 1989.
Then out of the blue in 2011 I received a phone call from Bert Mason who was Bedfordshire Skeet Team Manager asking if I fancied joining the team. I was honoured to be asked but suggested to him that I was very rusty. To cut a long story short I won the Veterans class in the Beds County Skeet Championship and won the Bedfordshire County Championship in 2014. I didn’t seem have much success shooting for the team though, sorry Bert!
Now, at 71, I’m thinking of buying a new gun and giving it another go.
Geoff Bickers, via Facebook
Ed – It’s great to hear from you Geoff and I’m glad you took the time to get in touch through Facebook. I’m glad you are still reading the magazine. Thank you also for sending the pictures. For that extra effort you have won the excellent Musto Fenland jacket.
Veteran Geoff Bckers shooting for Bedfordshire at Lakenheath in 2011
Success Geoff featured in Sporting Gun in the 1970s