The president of the King’s College London Rifle and Pistol Club’s shows Roar! the underground shooting range.
I’D ARRANGED to meet the King’s College London Rifle and Pistol Club’s President Tom Saggers in the Strand reception where he would take me to the shooting range.
The location of the shooting range appears to be one of the best kept secrets of any King’s society.
After being lead through the Strand Campus we came across a door with the indiscreet sign ‘K.C.L.R.P.C’ , a button was pressed, the door was unlocked from within and I was taken into King’s very own shooting range.
The shooting range is based in the old Strand tube station with the club themselves still using old TFL equipment; An old TFL cash safe is now the ammunitions locker, staff lockers now house rifles and there is a very out of date tube map up on the wall.
With its leaky ceilings and bare walls, the range is full of character and history and it is unique in that the club is the only ULU rifle club with its own range.
When I first heard about the KCL Rifle and Pistol Club, my initial thoughts were of a group of private-educated country boys with a penchant for tweed and Barbour jackets.
What I encountered was an eclectic group of passionate people from differing back-grounds, one of the members I spoke to came from a “very rough state-school” while another is a genuine Viscount!
The club is unusual for a society in that it is largely autonomous and is advised from above by an alumni committee chaired by a former student who graduated in 2003.
This system is in place largely for security reasons, it would be irresponsible to allow an inexperienced first year or second year to run a club which handles firearms but it also gives the club a friendly community atmosphere where new members can stay in direct contact with old members.
100 year lease renewal
The committee devote a lot of their free time to the club as they also double up as shooting instructors with them collectively putting in around 18 hours of coaching a week. Recently, the club entered its first competition for five years where they placed 2nd with the team captained by Will Hall.
The committee of 2013/14 intend to move the club in a new direction.
I was told that they plan to enter the BUCS league and to start seriously competitive shooting, they’ve also recently created the new position of social secretary and they plan to have a lot more social activities going on, something which is difficult when you are only shooting one-on-one with an instructor.
The future for this club may be bright, but it is not without one major issue.
The lease for the tube station is to run out in 2021 after 100 years and the club now must work out how to contact TFL and renew the lease.