Bearsden District Rifle & Pistol Club


The Club was formed at a meeting in the Public Hall, Bearsden on the 22nd February 1945 under the Chairmanship of Lt. Col. Brodie Hepburn. The initiative came from the Government (changed days!) with a letter from the War Office mentioning the desirability of having Rifle Clubs in the national interest.

The move was supported by the local Territorial Army Association and was initially to include those who had served in the Home Guard. Thus the Club was formed as the Bearsden District Home Guard Rifle Club with approximately 75 members.

Initially as the Club had no home the main activity was full-bore shooting; at the same time, however, a sub-committee was actively looking for a suitable location and very quickly found the current site. They decided that a second-hand hut would be suitable for a Club-room and that the range could be constructed from second-hand “Braby” air raid shelter sections available from Clyde Trust, the firm of one of the members a Mr. M. C. White.

The Club was also starting to take part in small-bore shooting at other ranges and it is interesting to note that .22LR ammunition was available from ICI at 25/- per 1000 or about 6p a box. Similarly .303 ammunition was bought at £2.50 for a box of 1248 rounds. After much negotiation and planning the Club achieved its aim of a home with the erection of the current hut and the building of the first miniature rifle range. A key factor here was that the cost of the hut was donated to the Club by Col. Hepburn; this being £279 – no small figure in 1946. Work proceeded and at this stage there is the first mention in the minutes …”there has been a very poor response from members to help with erecting and painting the range”….. some things don’t change.

The official opening, by Col. Hepburn, of the new Club premises took place on the 18th January 1947 with the Club membership standing at 115. 0.22 shooting was by this time in full swing but peacetime economics had re-asserted itself and ammunition had gone up to 20p a box. It was thought that the high price was discouraging members. The annual subscription was 10/- or 50p. In 1949 the Club purchase 20 0.303 P14 rifles (with spare barrels) at £2 each and some were sold to individual members.

It is likely that the Club's surviving P14 is one of these weapons.