During breakfast at the opening of the annual Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon shooting competition, on the 1st of October 2022, the PGM for Durham John Paul Thompson laid down the gauntlet with another 4 masonic provinces represented at the Thimbleby Shooting Ground, North Yorkshire. John then led his team of 11 guns out of the Club House on this sunny morning and on to Thimbleby’s fabulous shooting facilities on the edge of the North Yorkshire National Park. This was the first time in the 40-year history of the competition that the Province of Durham has been represented. His team of 11 was the largest turnout and consisted mainly of masons from various lodges throughout the province of Durham. The top 6 scores from each province would be submitted.
The other provinces who participated were, Cumberland and Westmorland, West Lancashire, Yorkshire North and East Riding & Yorkshire West Riding. There were 50 shooters in total, 6 of whom were guests and the remainder masons. The event raised £555 and this was donated to The Great North Air Ambulance Service.
The Durham team worked their way through the pre-allocated stands with a total of 50 clays presented for each gun. The stands were kindly manned by stewards from the host Province and they gave the groups guidance on the direction in which the clays were likely to be travelling.
At the end of the morning, the teams returned to the Clubhouse for lunch followed by the results and presentations conducted by the 2 PGM’s present. The Province of Durham lifted the Trophy with a clear undeclared margin and John, the PGM for Durham carefully placed the trophy into his car before proudly transporting it over the Tees to his province.
There was a warm masonic and friendly atmosphere on the day and a good time was had by all.
The date for next year’s Inter-Provincial competition is Sunday 1st October 2023 within a venue at Penrith. It is hoped that regular local shoots can be arranged between Durham and Yorkshire North and East Riding soon.
Any interested masons should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.