A century of tradition
At the start of the year I was invited to shoot with the Moorhall syndicate at Ninfield in East Sussex. Nothing unusual about that except that it was 100 years almost to the day that my grandfather (whose parents owned the estate at the time) made the first entry in his game book, aged 13. That shoot was also at Moorhall so I was literally treading in grandfather’s footsteps a hundred years later. The bag on 9 January 1917 was two grey partridges and a rabbit, and on 7 January 2017 we managed 19 pheasants, two woodcock, one mallard, a pigeon and a rabbit.
The present-day syndicate, keepered by Tim Scott Ford Smith, made me extremely welcome and were most interested in the old photographs and history that I had managed to unearth. Perhaps in another 100 years’ time my grandson will shoot the same ground?
The photographs show the shooting party on the estate [top picture], including my grandfather, standing third from the right; and the present-day syndicate [bottom picture] with myself in the centre of the group.
Richard Thomas, via email