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.CHESHIRE RIFLE ASSOCIATION.I

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CHESHIRE RIFLE ASSOCIATION. I ♦ RIFLE RANGE DIFFICULTIES. FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS. The forty-third annual meeting of this associa- tion was held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Chester, on Monday afternoon, under the presidency of Major-General Hallam Parr, C.B., C.M.G. com- manding the North-Western District. There were present: Colonel Sir W. G. Shakerley, Colonel Ommanney. Colonel Marshall, C.B., V.D., Colonel T. J. Smith, V.D., Colonel W. Mothersill, V.D., Major Cooke, Lieut.-Colonel Blood, Sergts. Cam- pion, Stoddart, Captain Groves (secretary) and others. The annual report of the Council stated that at the last annual meeting, held at Altcar in July, 1902. the total amount of prize money offered was JS595 10s, and there were also prizes in kind. The report continued: "It was hoped with the sub- stantial increase (as compared with last year's prize money) of nearly JS100 the entries would shew a great numerical improvement, but though shewing a fair advance on the previous year they did not by any means approach the total antici- pated. On the dates fixed for the meeting the 2nd V.B.C.R. were in camp, and were therefore (with one or two exceptions) unable to compete, and this, together with the fact that the meeting followed close upon the National Rifle Associa- tion's Bisley meeting, probably accounts fo.r the entries not being so numerous as was expected. In order to add to the attractiveness of the pro gramme, various changes were mad and the experiment was again tried of having an ''All Comers'' competition, which, however, was only moderately successful, for the reasons above stated. The total receipts in 1902 amounted to L474 4s. 8d., and the expenditure (including the debit balance of C80 lis. lOd. brought forward from the previous year) to £ 698 7s. 10d., leaving a debit balance of £ 224 3s. 2d. To this must be added the total loss incurred through the late secre- tary of £ 189 Os. 3d., and which brings the total deficiency to date to JE413 33. Id. The financial position of the association calls for urgent atten- tion. Notwithstanding frequent appeals for sup- port, the subscription list has for some years past steadily diminished, and the work of the associa- tion is considerably hampered. The council ap- peal to their friends to use- every effort to put the association on a sound financial basis. It is noted with regret that only a very small proportion of Cheshire officers are subscribers to the funds of the association, and it is felt that it is from this particular quarter that the efforts of the council are not meeting with the support they had hoped for." Colonel Marshall, in moving the adoption of the report-, expressed the satisfaction which they all felt in having the General Officer commanding the district to preside over them. That was the first occasion when such had been the case, but he felt that it had been partly their own fault, inasmuch as they had always conducted their pro- ceedings on a Volunteer basis, and had never pre- viously approached the regular officers. Now, however, with a view to getting the officers of the regular forces to take an interest in their associa- tion, General Hallam Parr had been asked to preside. The South African war had brought together all branches of his Majesty's forces, and the Yeomanry, Militia and "Volunteers had all fought side by side. As far as the latter were con- cerned. he hoped and believed they had done well, and that a stronger tie would exist between them. which, he hoped, would be for the benefit of the Army. Tho report could not be called satisfac- tory, inasmuch as they had a large deficiency owing to various causes. One cause, unfortunately, was their late secretary, and another was the fact that they had no rifle range in the county large enough to accommodate all the Volunteers of the county in shooting. He was afraid he could not see any immediate prospect of a range being obtained. It was a very difficult question in a highly-culti- vated county like Cheshire to obtain a suitable range, and they had perforce to go out of the county some distance, which militated very much against the number of entries they had for their competitions. A third cause was the falling off in subscriptions owing to the death of subscribers. Their successors did not feel they were in the I position to support the association in the same way as their fathers did. He (the speaker) was afraid he did. not see any prospect of improvement in this direction, but they had received a letter from an old patron suggesting it would be wise to open a subscription list with a view to wiping out tho deficiency, and, he hoped, to make a fresh start. He hoped that might be done. In regard to in- creased subscriptions, he thought the Volunteer officers might do. more than they had done hitherto. He had taken the trouble to ascertain hov/ many officers subscribed, and he found that out of 297 Volunteer and Yeomanry officers, ex- clusive of the chaplains, only about 150 became members, notwithstanding that the qualifying sub- scription was only 10s. per annum, which could not be considered large and would not be felt by the majority of them. It would be well if com- manding officers would draw the officers' attention to the matter, with a view to increasing the mem- bership. Supposing the remaining officers sub- scribed, it would mean an increased income of £ 75 per annum, which was something considerable. He hoped that before the next annual meeting that would be done. He had had to do with this association since its formation more than 40 years ago, and he remembered that in the early days of the movement the competitions extended over three days. They had an "all comers" competi- tion, and their subscriptions were very much larger than they were at present. He remembered they were able to give in prizes something over JS700. Now it was as much as they could do to give something over J6400. and that fact_ militated very much against the success of their meetings. He noticed that in the neighbouring county of Lancaster they gave £ 1.057. but of course Lan- cashire was larger and more populous than Cheshire. But still he thought. they ought to do more than they were doing. Cheshire supplied a considerable number in proportion to its popula- tion of both recruits, Militia, Yeomanry and Vol- unteer, and he thought the county might do more than it did to support the claims of the Rifle Association. He proposed that General Hallam Parr be elected a vice-president of the association. He was sorry that. Earl Harrington had retired from the list of vice-presidents, because he com- manded the Yeomanry. Colonel Sir W. G. Shakerley seconded, and the motion was carried. Major-General Hallam Parr said it would afford him great pleasure to accept the appointment. On the motion of Colo-nel Mothersill. iseconded by Colonel Marshall, the Duke of Westminster was also elected a vice-president. C-olonel Sir W. G. Shakerley. speaking with reference to enlisting more officers as members of the association, suggested that it was desirable to encourage young subalterns to join the associa- tion. Several of his young officers had joined re- cently, and he thought the matter only required mentioning to secure their joining the association. Sergeant Campion drew attention to tha item of JB17 for clerical assistance at the annual meet- ing. and with a view to effecting an economy he offered to find this assistance or pay for it. Colonel Mothersill and Captain Groves said such assistance would be welcomed, and the latter promised to communicate with Sergt. Campion on the subject. On the motion of Colonel shakerley, seconded by Colonel Smith, Captain Geo Wyndham, of the Imperial Yeomanry, and Chief Secretary for Ire- land, was elected president of the association. The retiring members of the council were: — Earl Egerton of Tatton, Colonel Mothersill, Col. H. T. Brown, Colonel Smith, Colonel Kennedy and Colonel Cotton-Jodrell. These were re- elected, and Colonel Ommanney, commanding the 22nd Regimental District. Colonel Jas. Tomkin- son. Imperial Yeomanry, and Major Cobbett, 5th V.B.C.R., were elected to fill vacancies by deaths and retirements. -r», j i On the proposition of Colonel Blood, thanks were accorded to the donors of prizes. The next prize meeting was fixed for the 26th and 27th August. Colonel Shakerley proposed a vote of thanks to Major-General Hallam Parr for presiding. There could be no more suitable chairman for working matters than the General Officer commanding the district, and he hoped that h" might occupy the position of their chairman in years to come. Sergt. Campion seconded, and the motion was carried. The Chairman, responding, said he was very lad to be present on that occasion. Their finances were not in a flourishing condition, and, finances were not in a flourishing condition, and, therefore, thev required to observe economy. One ^Irortion in which economy might be practised t A Wn tainted out, and he hoped the secretary would appeal to them through Coiojol Ommanney + if'the.Y could save money for this association • nfat mrticular direction. They had clerks at t, a ill sof the 22nd Regimental District, the headquarters « h a"d Sici at the disposal of the associa- place thci ^ieg.ested that they should make a t,0n- .♦ !nd organised "whip" right through the persistent an f wiu;:ng out the deficiency, di-trict. with the r(?- dfid as a Volun- He did not Cheshire me?ting of the teer Vol ,tor.r rogi. Imperial Yromanr>. thaf thev should make an merits, and hp P[°Pn°ot r' t;„? the mess of tho or?an]?ed f.pp<>< hoadciuarters staff. 22nd Reffimontal o ht to increase If thev did that h» jTr, was going to th-ir income to withdraw his try to induce Loid Jlairirifll Yeomanrv resignation, and to fo <]ic COunty. understand that cf officers amon? tot'ilf CltJ i»P™ <•»' menced a new era u- t 10t1o'd 't would be n Rifle Assertion and ho Hc KV-eived W.p f»«. Colonel °t £ TSae ttea terminated

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