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Wymondham Rifle Club traces its history

PUBLISHED: 12:56 09 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 16 September 2010

A club which is celebrating its 100th birthday is looking for help in tracing its history.

Wymondham Rifle Club is hoping people will come forward with stories, photos and memorabilia to piece together gaps in its records.

A club which is celebrating its 100th birthday is looking for help in tracing its history.

Wymondham Rifle Club is hoping people will come forward with stories, photos and memorabilia to piece together gaps in its records.

Secretary Mick O'Neill said: “We had one secretary for 50 years. There's a whole gap after he died in 1965 - probably a 20 year gap in the records.

“We know there are photographs of different things and there are trophies but we don't know where they are any more.”

The club's origins are also unclear, but the Wymondham Miniature Rifle Club - as it was known then - became affiliated to the Society of Working Men's Rifle Clubs in 1910.

Members began shooting at Jubbs Barn with converted Martini Henry rifles from the Boer war era and used an old railway wagon as the club's headquarters.

Over the years it was carried out indoor shooting at Wymondham drill halls and a large cellar at St Giles in Norwich.

In 1914, ex Boer war soldier Fred Roope became secretary and held that position until he died in 1965, making him the oldest and longest serving rifle club secretary in the country.

During the decades the club has gone from training the local Home Guard during the Second World War to nurturing world-class shooters, including Paul Leatherdale, who represented Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olmpics, as well as the Commonwealth Games in 1986, 1990 and 1994.

To celebrate it centenary, the club hosted a barbecue and competition at Corpusty on August 14.

Anyone with memorabilia linked to the club can call Mick O'Neill on 01953 604784.

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