BLOGGED: Barbury and Honesberie

Zea Purnell is one of our darling members who went to Barbury Shooting School for our day on 11th February, here's how Zea got on.

Victoria says: 'I'd like to say the biggest of thank you's to Haley, the Barbury team and all of the lovely lady guns who went along and braved the cold! Not to mention thanks to Zea for sharing her day with us. We love Barbury and we're super grateful to them for putting on another fab day and Haley for all of her hard work x'

There’s not many things that will get me out of my bed on a cold Saturday morning in February, but I do love to shoot and I do love cake, so when I heard that The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club were gathering at Barbury Shooting School, I knew that this was something that simply could not be missed.

Waking to a light dusting of snow, I started preparing myself for attending my second event with the club. A relative newbie to the group, many questions circled my head; would the journey there be clear? Would I shoot well in the freezing conditions? And would they mind that I was attending empty handed? (My attempt of baking a cake the previous evening had ended in disaster; much to the delight of the dog)

I did not need to worry. The journey was clear and a warm welcome and hot cup of tea were served upon my arrival. The clubhouse soon began to fill up with excitable chatter; from new faces and ‘old hands’. Amongst swapping stories about our previous shooting experiences I also managed get recommendations for the best gin. Result!

Our Bun Club hostess was Hayley Blessit who talked us through the itinerary. Wendy Spackman provided our name badges embellished with a picture of the much loved Barbury instructor and SCBC favourite Kev. Roll called, we were divided into our groups; beginners, intermediate and experienced. We layered up, gathered our kit and set off to break those clays. It was still lightly snowing as we were taken to our first stands, but in high spirits we didn’t mind the cold conditions because we knew we were in for a lot of fun.

In a merry band of 6, my experienced group found both familiar and challenging targets to get our teeth stuck into. I quickly got to know a great group of wonderful ladies who I had never met before, found myself inspired by some stories I heard and massively supported with ‘whoops’ and cheers when I shot well.

The icy weather did result in the instructors slightly amending the set up for the experienced groups; cutting short the 75 intended targets to finish in a ‘Flush’ competition. For me, this was the best part of the day; shooting in a team with the excitement of not knowing where the next clay would appear and working together to smash as many as possible.

Back to the clubhouse to defrost, beautiful china crockery was laid out and an amazing array of delicious cakes were there to be sampled. Once our appetites for tea and cake were suitably sated, Hayley announced the winners for each category. The beginner’s group competition winner was Kate Woods, the intermediate winner was Katie Fry-Paul and the experienced winner was Karen Pinker. Jaime Swift won a rosette for her beautiful roses and chocolate cake. The day was wrapped up with thanking Barbury and their instructors for providing us with excellent tuition and a tremendous amount of fun. As I said my goodbyes I found myself thinking about how much I enjoyed the day and meeting so many like-minded ladies who clearly love shooting as much as I do. I’m so very pleased that I did drag myself out of my cosy bed to attend because despite the rather chilly wintery conditions, I left with the biggest smile that could only be gained from a day spent in fantastic company doing something that I love.

Beki Fowkes is one of our lovely new members, who joined us at Honesberie on Saturday. It was freezing cold but mega fun. Beki has written up this blog for us!

Honesberie on a cold and snowy Saturday was my first event of the year. Despite Honesberie being one of the closest grounds to me, it’s not one I had heard of before bun club, which is really nice to be able to visit new grounds but without having to rock up on your own. It also helps that Honesberie is one of the best grounds I’ve ever been to. The facilities and clubhouse are 5 star and they have a huge range of targets, plenty for a round with bun club and more in the afternoon if you wanted it.

On arriving there was a big, warm welcome from the lovely Victoria. Having only been to one event before (at a different ground) and this time coming on my own, I didn’t know anyone when I arrived. It didn’t matter in the slightest. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, the clubhouse is big, airy and most importantly for this Saturday – well heated!!

It didn’t take long for everyone to arrive and the clubhouse to be buzzing, this event was easily twice the size of the one last September and it was so good to see so many ladies ready for a day’s shooting, even in freezing temperatures! We headed out in groups with our rather brave but completely unfazed instructors.

At the first stand we introduced ourselves and got shooting! The stands varied in difficulty, but our Instructor Alex was great, coaching everyone individually through each target. My experience of going around clay grounds in groups is that those not shooting stand quietly and watch the shooter from a couple of meters back, this just isn’t the case at bun club. When you’re not shooting it’s a great chance to get to know the other ladies in the group. This is where I found out that one of the girls in our group lives less than a couple of miles from me, so before we’ve even finished our round, we’re already planning to re-visit together another weekend!

We were back in the clubhouse before we knew it, with beautiful crockery laid out and a table bursting with cakes. As everyone came back in to defrost themselves, we helped ourselves to a slice or two of cake and nattered away. We were very lucky to have a wide selection of cakes including a heart shaped red velvet, banana loaf, coffee cake, biscuits and lots of others! The shooting was great, the company even better and I am so looking forward to coming back to this ground in June for #NLSD – with hopefully more temperate weather!

Victoria says: 'It was such a fun day. It was my first S&CBC event of the year and it was such a treat to spend the day with the most lovely group of ladies. As always, the Honesberie team were wonderful and there was some incredible shooting, including lots of first timers. The warm club house and amazing cakes were a welcome relief from the cold! Thanks so much to all of the ladies who came along - roll on next time! x'

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