Welcome to the Burnham-on-Sea Rifle Club. The club was formed in 1908 and moved to its current site in the 1970’s. The club facilities include a 25yds firing range which can be extended to 50 yds, and a separate air range which has the options to set targets at 20yds or 10yds.
A report in the Western Herald & Bridgwater mercury of 16th November 1859 describes a meeting to explore the creation of a Rifle Corps for Burnham and its neighbourhood as part of the ‘national patriotic volunteer rifle movement’ (a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire in 1859, in response to the Crimean War.)
By this time Polden Hill already had a corps and it became apparent that there were many people in the Burnham area aiming to join this despite the distance. The prime mover in the initiative. Mr B.T. Allen, established that there were 45 people in the Burnham area wishing to form a corps with a membership of one guinea per annum and prepared to provide their own outfit. It was noted that the beach would afford ‘ample space for practice’. Mr Allen was also able to solicit support and subscriptions from a number of ‘gentlemen’ in the region.
It is known that Burnham still possessed a Rifle Corps in 1867 (Report in Western Gazette 4/10/1867) and on into the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Between the Wars and onto 1970’s
First Battalion Somerset Light Infantry Volunteer Unit Shield
Between the two World Wars instruction was provided by the 1st battalion Somerset Light Infantry volunteer unit based at Bridgwater. After the Second World War the practice of small-bore rifle shooting was regarded rather more as a sport and the Burnham-on-Sea Rifle Club was formed in 1947. Instruction and practice took place at the Highbridge Road Drill Hall.
In 1963 the drill hall became scheduled for demolition and plans were laid for members to build a new range. In August of 1964, the plans were drawn up for the range to be situated in the sports field at Cassis Close.
During 1968 funds were boosted by a £500 loan from the National small-bore rifle association, and also a small grant from Burnham Urban District council.
A 99-year lease was granted by Burnham’s Urban District council, building works started in 1969 and the new purpose-built range was built by the members at the time and opened on the sports field at Cassis Close in 1970.
Dedicated Air Range 2023
(The Brian Fox Range)
In 2023 the addition of a new £45,000 extension of its facilities with a new dedicated air rifle shooting range incorporating 3 lanes.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sunday July 9th 2023 at the club.
The new range has been named after Brian Fox, the club’s former treasurer and a long-standing member, who passed away in 2020.