Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group

Rifle Shooting

Rifle shooting was seen to be a useful sport to both keep the male youth of the district occupied and to assist with the defence of the new Commonwealth of Australia. Originally it was proposed that a miniature range should be established in the basement of the School of Arts. This was opposed largely on the grounds of noise and safety, especially by Messrs Murray and Waschsmann. [1]

Upon the opening of a new subdivision in Pennant Hills, the Blackacre Estate opposite the Pennant Hills Hotel [2], an area was set aside as a rifle range. It included 4 targets and had a range of 600 yards. Eight Lee Enfields were available on the club although some members brought their own. Usually called the Blackacre Rifle Range it was also known as Beecroft Rifle Club. [3]

The Range was opened by the local federal member, and Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook. He fired the first shot and hit a bulls eye – although it is unclear from the reports whether this was politely recorded this way! The club had 35 members and each swore an oath of allegiance to the King. William Harris of Cheltenham presented a silver cup as a trophy. [4]

 

[1] Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 11 December 1909  

[2] For the origins of the name ‘Blackacre’ see elsewhere on this web site: People-Individuals-Martin, Mary

[3] Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 20 September 1913; 14 March 1914; 17 March 1914

[4] Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 14 March 1914; 17 March 1914. Northern Miner 31 March 1914.

 

 

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