Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Newspaper report from 1910 on the opening of a rifle range at Lytham.


A miniature rifle range, the joint gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clifton, of Lytham Hall, to the Lytham Miniature Rifle Club, was formally opened on Saturday. Master Harry Clifton, the elder son of the Squire, was in the uniform of a boy scout, and under the direction of his father he fixed the first shot.

The range has been built alongside the clock, off Warton Road, Lytham, so that the boys of the town shall have facilities for becoming initiated into the art of rifle shooting. Capt. Wykeham Clifton presided over the opening ceremony, which was performed by Mrs. Clifton.

The Chairman said he thought it of the utmost importance that every man in England —arid he really thought every woman, too—should be taught the use of the rifle, and the sooner they began to teach the youths of England how to use the rifle the better for them. To be able to use the rifle would be moist useful, and in the event of an invasion they could be made into efficient soldiers and territorials.

Mrs. Clifton, who fired a shot, scoring a bull, declared the range open. She had expected Sir Hills-Johns V.C., to be present she said, but he could not be present, and had sent her a letter in which he said he wished them all success, and that to be able to shoot was the duty of every son of England. She hoped every boy would come to the range, and she had great pleasure in declaring it open.

Canon. Hawkins proposed a vote of thanks I to Mrs. Clifton for opening the range. They owed a debt of gratitude, he said, to Mr. Clifton for giving them the range, and to Mrs. Clifton for equipping it. He thought it ought to be known that the range was not to be monopolised by elder people. He hoped the Club would be prosperous. Coun. Pearson seconded, endorsing the remarks of the Canon.

Mr. Clifton, who replied, paid a warm tribute to the efforts of the hon. secretary. Addressing the boy scouts, he said it was important that people should know the uses of the rifle. The youths of the town might have a great duty to perform in protecting their country from invasion. He hoped that in time the boy scouts would become very efficient men, in order to help their country in case of an invasion. It would be a very good thing if everyone learned to use the rifle. He hoped the club would be a success, and he, could assure them that it had been a great pleasure to Mrs, Clifton and himself to be: able to give to the town a range that might in future prove of service for the protection of this country. (Applause.)

Before the ceremony ended Scout J. Malley was presented with a memento by Mrs, Clifton for having won the Clifton challenge cup for the encouragement of rifle shootings amongst boys.