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History of Grange Rifle and Pistol Club


I asked Bill Syers (Club President) if he would write me a history of our club that we could use to form, once edited, the “All our yesterdays” page.  In typical G.R.P.C. style what I received was written on the back of three targets in long hand with photos. I am not going to edit it, but print it word for word. Bill himself told me some of it may be wrong but it's how he remembers it.

John Hughes




With regard to the history of our club “The Grange”, it is difficult to put an accurate date on its founding. My earliest recollection of the club goes back to the late 1940s and early fifties, when the club used to shoot at the T.A camp at Hoylake, Tuesday and Friday evenings, also at Jack Howard’s private range at Meols. It was almost a requirement for Grange members to be members of another rifle club in the district at the time, being the 17th Cheshire or to give it its full title The 17th Cheshire 1944 Home Guard, they were based at RAF West Kirby. From what I can gather the 17th were one of the first on the scene, when they were disbanded the Grange started its life, however the 17th continued to shoot right up to the closure of RAF West Kirby in the sixties. To my knowledge the quarry where we now shoot was used in the very early fifties. I shot there myself in 1952, in 1953 I won the junior coronation medal, a competition organised by the NSRA.

I mentioned Jack Howard earlier, Jack was one of the clubs leading lights, he became club captain in 1952, and then later he became Chairman. There is a plaque in the club commemorating his Captaincy and Chairmanship, he died in 1977. In 1971 Jack played a major role in opening the building we now use. There was a photo of the place as we found it when we moved in and before any work started. Both the photo and the plaque are now missing.

Another stalwart of the club was a character by the name of George Macreavey. George was a flyer in the RAF during the First World War. He was a boffin and worked at Capenhurst, he was also the Earl of Derry, his coat of arms was 3 dolphins, he had the papers to prove all this.

Another character and despot was my father W.S. Syers who introduced pistol shooting to the club. In 1959 dad won the NSRA World Master Gold. I left the club in 1956 the same year as Frank Tan joined us. Frank had served in the RAF as a squadron leader. When Frank Phillips died, Frank Tan became Club Secretary. He held this post for almost twenty years. At an AGM in the '70's he was presented with an award from the NSRA for long service as a club official. Shortly after this Frank became the club President, he held this post until his death in 1995.  At Franks funeral we all learned of his war time activities, Frank had been instrumental in forming the famous “Eagle Squadron” in the far east.

Frank like his predecessor was involved with the church, in that he was on the parochial council of churches, our first President was a vicar, who rode to the Huttment in Hoylake where he shot on a bicycle wearing sandals.  I make this point Mr Chairman to state that as the clubs 3rd President I have nothing to do with the church, however be it known I do ride a bicycle and I’m never out of my sandals.

This brings us up to date and our more recent history, which is known, to all. I hope this potted and somewhat truncated history of our club has been of some help to you. I have not mentioned many of the clubs shooting achievements but that is for another time perhaps.


Bill Syers


Click the images below to see some early pictures of GRPC

For more information and photographs of RAF West Kirby, see this external site.


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