Tar­get club could be forced to close

Prop­erty needs £10,000 for re­pairs to its roof

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

A 109–year old gun club in Cal­lan­der is in dan­ger of fold­ing if it can’t find £10,000 to carry out re­pairs to its club­house.

Cal­lan­der Tar­get Sports Club could be forced to close if it can’t source vi­tal funds to fix a leak­ing roof be­fore the win­ter.

Prob­lems with the roof of its club­house has led to wa­ter seep­ing into the build­ing, caus­ing damp­ness and dam­age to equip­ment and fur­nish­ings.

The group has man­aged to save up £5,000 in re­cent years to­wards the cost of re­pairs, but needs an ad­di­tional £5,000 by Septem­ber or it could be forced to close its doors for good.

Club sec­re­tary Robert Far­quhar said: “The roof was put on about 20 years ago and it was sec­ond hand metal sheet­ing at the time and we have patched it up a few times over the years.

“But it has got to the point where patching it up isn’t an op­tion. The wa­ter is seep­ing in and we have in­ter­nal plas­ter that is be­ing dam­aged, there’s damp­ness and some of the equip­ment is rust­ing.”

The club­house is used five days a week by mem­bers and is also rented out to other groups, in­clud­ing Scot­land’s Com­mon­wealth shoot­ing team as well as Po­lice Scot­land.

The group has around 60 mem­bers, aged be­tween nine and 79, but Mr Far­quhar said they could be left with nowhere to prac­tice their sport.

“I would say we need to raise the money by Septem­ber to carry out the re­pairs be­fore the win­ter bites,” he added

“If we can’t, there’s a fear that we could be forced to close.”

Mem­ber­ship fees go to­wards the run­ning of the club but would not be enough to cover the lat­est re­pair bill.

The club, lo­cated in Camp Place, near Ro­man Camp, has two multi–func­tion ranges, with wheel­chair ac­cess and can cater for hand­i­capped shoot­ers for pis­tol and ri­fle shoot­ing plus air weapons.

The main range mea­sures 25 me­tres and is used for .22 rim fire dis­ci­plines al­though it is of­fi­cially ap­proved for larger cal­i­bre weapons in­clud­ing black pow­der. The range is also utilised for .22 air ri­fle shoot­ing and gallery shoot­ing. There is also a small group who use it for knife throw­ing.

The sec­ond range is a 10 me­tre air dis­ci­pline range with elec­tri­cally op­er­ated tar­gets and is used by less ex­pe­ri­enced shoot­ers.

Firearms leg­is­la­tion pre­scribes two cat­e­gories of mem­ber­ship, pro­ba­tioner and full.

Pro­ba­tion mem­bers can only han­dle weapons and live am­mu­ni­tion un­der the di­rect su­per­vi­sion of a full mem­ber. Full mem­ber­ship is only available to those who have com­pleted the statu­tory three-month pro­ba­tioner pe­riod.

The club was founded in 1909, dur­ing the af­ter­math of the Boer War in South Africa. Field Mar­shal Lord Roberts, who com­manded Bri­tish Forces in South Africa, com­plained that the Bo­ers were bet­ter shots than sol­diers of the Bri­tish Army, and his re­marks prompted the for­ma­tion of shoot­ing clubs such as the one at Cal­lan­der.

Cal­lan­der Tar­get Sports Club is af­fil­i­ated to the Na­tional Small­bore Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion (NSRA), the Scot­tish Small Bore Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion (SSRA) and the Scot­tish Pis­tol As­so­ci­a­tion (SPA).

The club has adopted a num­ber of safety mea­sures at its range. For ex­am­ple, the breech of a ri­fle must be kept open at all times other than when the ri­fle is be­ing fired and weapons must not be han­dled while any­one else is for­ward of the fir­ing point.

A ri­fle or air weapon must not be loaded un­til ev­ery­one else in the range is clear.

Any­one who wishes to sup­port the club is asked to con­tact Mr Far­quhar, by call­ing 07721 744229 or email­ing robert­far­quhar@aol. com.

Un­der threat Cal­lan­der Tar­get Sports Club (above)

Prob­lem Ur­gent work (left) re­quired to tackle prob­lem of wa­ter leak­ing through club­house roof

Ap­peal The club­house in­cludes a shoot­ing range

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