It’s a regular Tuesday afternoon on Strand campus – students in their hundreds are scurrying in all directions between the palimpsest of buildings around Surrey Street, the wind blowing in a chill from the Strand. I, however, am underground and inside an old tube station.
A classic feature of the Strand facade, the old Strand tube station lies under campus and opens its corridors to a lucky few – KCL Rifle and Pistol club. Hidden underneath the hustle and bustle is the only London in-house University shooting club range, a seemingly makeshift stretch of hallway from the old tube station which now serves as a fully certified single-shooter range for one of the College’s most storied clubs.
History lines the walls of a fascinating underground digs provided by the University, where students of any experience can try their hand at a rifle (often to relieve stress). Alongside old posters and flood-damaged walls, a Russian rifle from 1942 was proudly brought out – alongside the half dozen other rifles this experienced and professional society have.
With around 20 active members and 10 range officers, trusted individuals who ensure the safety and professionalism of each weekly session for all involved, students have a weekly opportunity to sooth nerves and focus on splitting holes into a minuscule target in one of the most unique places on any University campuses.