SEPTEMBER 29TH 2020

I think 2020 will be a year that we will all remember for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps not the best of years for each of us personally nor for the club and for shooting in general. The emergence of the Covid Virus at the beginning of the year and the subsequent restrictions that have been imposed have devastated many areas of our lives and there can not be one member whose life has not been affected, to a greater or lesser degree. I will not dwell on this apart from saying that we as a club will do everything we can to make sure that we follow the guidelines and make the club as safe as possible for our members. There have been many clubs which have not re-opened for a variety of reasons. We have been fortunate to have a committee who have rallied to make sure we are open for shooting, all be it, in a controlled environment and with an excellent booking system which ensures there is no overcrowding.

The club itself had been making wonderful progress with a great deal of enthusiasm from a significant number of members. The teams were doing well in their various competitions but alas the winter season had to be curtailed due to the shutdown imposed by the powers that be.

There followed several months of no shooting being allowed and so, I expect as many found, we had time on our hands. We therefore took to gardening and other pursuits. However, some members were not furloughed and found that their workload increased rather than decreased. Both scenarios can be rather stressful without the added worry of shielding the more vulnerable amongst us.

Your committee did a magnificent job of re-opening the club as soon as it was allowed to do so in July. This compares to other clubs who are still closed and will remain so. However, we are very mindful that our members could have certain anxieties and vulnerabilities that will be with them for some while and they may not feel comfortable or able to return to the club premises just yet. So please send in any interesting info or articles that can be put on the website or Facebook. Our thanks to Ian for keeping our website up to date. Please visit it regularly as things can sometimes go on there before they are distributed. You can also access the range booking system from the website

Rob has been putting press releases and results in the local Exeter newspaper and I will ask you all to look out for the next “On Target” magazine from the NSRA as he has written an article on the club which makes a good read.

As we are aware we are far from being out of the woods and we must not drop our guard or become complacent. This coming winter is looking to be a further rollercoaster and restrictions are being changed with very little warning. Our team captains are arranging as much shooting as is possible for those that are able. Please contact them if you have any queries.

Your committee will do it’s best to make sure we come through this and resume a more normal regime when it is safe to do so.

Whilst writing this I must admit it does all sound rather gloomy but there are things happening that are certainly much more encouraging.

The building project has burst into life after we suffered a very wet winter which prevented machinery moving on site until March. Following straight on from that was the lockdown. And then further delays. Now we are on course to complete the main build by December and those of you who have visited the club will have noted the progress over the past three or four weeks. We will be calling on you for working parties as we come towards the finishing touches in November/December time. As always if you have any ideas or skills please let me know as soon as possible so that we can factor them in.

I cannot thank the committee enough for all their hard work over this rather challenging year. Particularly our secretary who has to cope with so much on top of a very busy and stressful full-time job. I would also like to especially thank Rob Boulton who has given so much time and expertise way over and above what he is required to do.

In a general way the future is still uncertain but from your club’s perspective we will be in as strong a position as possible when some sort of normality returns. Our new facilities will have come just in time to help with shooters whose clubs may not re-open and we will attract and encourage new members who realise the benefits of our sport on their wellbeing.

I thank you all for your support over this Annus Horribillis and let us hope 2021 will be an Annus Gloriosum

Mike Taylor