Dear members

I would like to bring you up to date following our committee meeting this week.

Our main concern is to get the club open and shooting in a safe manner. I can understand the frustration many members are feeling at not being able to partake in our sport at the moment.

The situation is largely unchanged from earlier this month when there was a slight easing of the rules allowing outdoor shooting to re-commence within certain guidelines. The latest changes from the government do not allow us to open the indoor range at the present. This has been made clear by the NSRA who have posted their latest guidance this week.

As we are all hoping that this situation will change in the not too distant future we have discussed how we must organise ourselves once we are able to re-start indoors again and I am going to outline what we as a club and you as members must be aware of.

Firstly, we must be fully aware of our members feelings and experiences. Although we have been fairly protected in Devon it does not mean to say that members, member’s partners, member’s friends and families have not had a direct involvement with this pandemic. So a Gung Ho attitude is not acceptable within the club and naturally some members will have a raised degree of anxiety for some time to come even after this acute phase has passed.

We will carry out a full risk assessment with particular reference to preventing infection before opening.

It is obvious on some club evenings “pre-covid” we were very busy and lots of members congregated particularly in the prep-room, armoury and around the desk. To avoid crowding we feel that the range can accommodate 3 shooters at any one time. The club room will be divided into a left and right half with 3 kit stations in each. This will allow the outgoing shooters to be separate from the incoming.

There will need to be a booking system. We are looking at a way of doing this electronically as a manual system would be very onerous on one person. To enable enough range time we would have 2 hour slots from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We would keep specific days for specific disciplines as we did with club evenings. There would be a duty officer each evening so ammo etc can be purchased and also for those who feel more vulnerable. Nobody will be made to act as duty officer but we will need a pool of volunteers so the load can be shared.

There are other more specific details which will be covered in a further report when we are nearer a date for opening. Obviously we hope all of the above will be temporary and is based on the existing one range at Pinhoe. The Fonthill site will be run in a similar manner. Your forbearance and understanding with the situation thus far has been much appreciated and I hope we can all continue that over the next few months.

However, when the new ranges become available it will be easier to accommodate more shooters and social distancing will be easier.

So, an update on the new build is that the foundations are in ….there are some cross trenches and re-enforcing for the armoury still to be concreted next week. The steel frame is being galvanised this week and should be on site next week ready to be erected. The blockwork needs to be raised to floor level prior to the hard-core and base layers going in. Then the concrete slab for the floor.

Water levels have still been an issue even with this dry weather, but a further site meeting with the engineer this week has been helpful. Rob Boulton is being very generous with his time and is putting in a great deal of extra hours over and above what would be expected, our thanks go to him.

Robin batten is beavering away in the background working on the technicalities of the range design with regard to the various cones of fire and what safety materials are needed to make sure we will pass muster when inspected for the range certification.

He is also looking at the outdoor range as we need to improve the butts and also make provision for expanding the number of firing points as we have the earth spoil to be able to make a larger backstop. It therefore makes sense to make these improvements whilst we have the materials and machinery on site.

We are therefore clearing a lot of the overgrown brambles etc in that area so that we can see where we need to build up the embankment. Thanks to that working party.

We have had some sad news this week as our President Dirk Bate-Jones has lost his wife. Our thoughts and prayers are with him at this difficult time.

So what shooting is available at the moment?

There is outdoor shooting available at Budleigh Farm…… phone Bruce Harvey to book in.

Budleigh Salterton is kindly allowing us to use its outside range for prone shooting again this year. You need to phone Dave Lemon to book a 2-hour slot. Contact Lindsay or myself for his phone number if you don’t already have it.

Chris is organising a Devon County Shoot at Budleigh Farm on the weekend 1st & 2nd August for Prone, LSR and Benchrest. Booking is essential and booking closes one week before the event. All are welcome but places are limited to allow for social distancing.

I will mention once again that hopefully soon we will be putting out a call for members to help with some of the internal work on the new build. I know this may seem like a way off but I think the building will now progress quite quickly over the next 6 weeks.

Best regards to you all

Mike