Coarse Fish On The Fly Training Course – Neil Keep

Neil Keep Fly Fishing in association with:

                Partridge_BM_Colour_1     images

Coarse Fish On The Fly – 1 day Fly Fishing Course

Sunday 5th July 2015 from 9.30a.m. To 4.30p.m.

At Burton Springs Fishery, Burton, Bridgwater, Somerset.TA5 1QB.

Fly fishing for coarse species is a great alternative during the hot summer months when the trout fishing becomes hard, join us to discover and learn this exciting avenue of fly fishing and find out all the tactics and methods used when targeting coarse fish on the fly.

The course will cover:

* Fly fishing tackle used and setting it up including the use of floating and sinking lines.

* Species to target including carp, bream, tench, perch, roach, rudd etc.

* Different flies used from natural imitations to attractor patterns.

* Different fishing methods and tactics used.

* Playing and landing fish.

* Fish welfare when catch and release fishing.

Included for the day will be:

* All tuition with qualified instructors.

* Use of all equipment if required.

* Fishing permit.

* Tea or Coffee throughout the day.

Cost for the course is £60.00 per person payable in advance to secure a place.

All you need to provide for the day is a valid Environment Agency rod license which can be purchased online or purchased from a post office and any food you require, although the fishery does offer a selection of sandwiches etc. but these would need to be ordered on your arrival.

Also please bring clothing to suit any weather eventuality, a hat and some form of eye wear, Polaroid’s or similar if you have any.

If you would like any further information or to book a place, please do not hesitate to contact Neil on 01761 472656 (evenings are best) or by email at enquiries@neilkeepflyfishing.co.uk

Coarse fish on the fly.

New Land Rover Defender to Launch in 2018 – Courtesy of Hilton Holloway

Land Rover’s Defender replacement will be the ‘most capable’ yet, and will get four-cylinder engines as well as a V6 option.

The new Defender will be the most capable Land Rover ever built, according to Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover’s group marketing director.

Speaking at the recent Paris show, Popham said the long-awaited new model would have the biggest “breadth of capability” of any model to wear the Land Rover badge.

The claim emphasises the importance that JLR is putting on replacing the iconic Defender, which has its roots in the 65-year-old original Land Rover model.

JLR has, so far, succeeded in keeping the wraps on the likely styling and the engineering make-up of the new Defender. However, we do know that the styling of the new car has already been signed off.

The styling theme for the new model is thought to have been given the green light during the summer. This means that the new vehicle is likely to be seen as a concept in 2016, and to appear in production guise around 2018.

However, a sneak preview in the form of a concept car is currently being discussed. Potential debuts for a concept are next March at the Geneva show, at the New York show in the spring or at the Frankfurt show next September.

There’s also no news about the structure underpinning the new Defender, but it looks likely to be a version of the company’s aluminium monocoque with the addition of a substantial aluminium superstructure in order to make the architecture as stiff and rugged as possible.

This technique – mixing a monocoque passenger cell and a separate steel chassis – was used under the Discovery to great success but resulted in a vehicle that weighed more than two tonnes. Repeating the exercise in aluminium should provide even greater structural rigidity than the Disco 4, with much reduced all-up weight.

With the new Defender being pitched as “premium durability”, it will come with the new Ingenium four-cylinder turbocharged diesel and petrol engines as well as V6 engines, Autocar understands. They will be connected to eight and nine-speed automatic gearboxes as standard, but there is no definitive news on whether there will be the option of a manual transmission.

JLR is determined that the new Defender will be able to thrive in the world’s harshest conditions, to the extent that it will be able to ‘plug into’ existing component networks by using the same wheel and tyres sizes as Toyota’s Land Cruiser and Hilux.

Autocar has been unable to substantiate rumours that the new Defender also uses the same bolt circle diameter to make wheel replacement easier in places such as central Africa.

The premium durability theme for the new Defender extends to the interior. Land Rover’s design team is aiming for a cabin that is distinctly more upmarket and better made than that of the Land Cruiser, for example.

This, combined with the intention of world-class mechanical durability and off-road ability, should give the Defender a decisive difference in this market niche. The extra luxury and comfort should also make it more appealing to affluent urban buyers.

Q&A with Phil Popham, JLR marketing director

What’s behind the recent massive increase in Land Rover sales?

Product has been the driver. Six years ago, when the recession hit, we made the decision to cut costs but keep investing in new products such as the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. We’ve gone from an annual cash outflow of around £1 billion to a similar amount as a cash inflow.

We’ve also seen a very high proportion of conquest sales with the two new Range Rovers, so we are pulling in customers who are new to the brand. There’s also a four to six-month waiting list for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which shows the strength of demand.

In the future, we will have great manufacturing flexibility, with the two Range Rovers and the [next] Discovery being built on the same production line. Product demand drives our manufacturing strategy.

Why are profit margins so high?

We sell a very rich mix of vehicles. Buyers are keen to purchase a lot of the options and accessories on offer. We’ve also invested heavily in developing markets such as Russia and China. JLR sold 6000 vehicles in China in 2008. Last year, we sold 100,000 vehicles.

We are also seeing strong residuals for our models and that’s reflected in monthly payments. Even at the premium end of the market, buyers want to spend less running their vehicles. Total cost of ownership is a big issue.

Rifle Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield – SMLE (Great Britain) 

Today is the 100th anniversary of the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula by Commonwealth and Allied Forces. Many of the countries participating in that operation equipped their troops with the Lee-Enfield .303″ rifle. The Lee-Enfield was to see service through WWII, Korea, Borneo and the Malaysian conflicts. It was generally replaced in the 1960’s by the SLR 7.62mm Belgian FN FAL.Lee-Enfield Mk.1 rifle - the original  Lee-Enfield Mk.1 rifle – the original “Long” Lee-Enfield, made in 1900. Note the dust cover on the bolt, magazine cut-off and lack of the rear receiver bridge with its charger clip guides.
image by Kristopher Gasior of the http://www.CollectibleFirearms.com

SMLE mk. III*, made in 1916 (cutoff already omitted from design). image by Alan Blank SMLE mk. III*, made in 1916 (cutoff already omitted from design).
image by Alan Blank

Same rifle, other side (volley sights also omitted). image by Alan Blank Same rifle, other side (volley sights also omitted).
image by Alan Blank

 SMLE mk. III* (latter known as SMLE No.1 Mk.3); this one was made in 1919. SMLE mk. III* (latter known as SMLE No.1 Mk.3); this one was made in 1919.

 SMLE No.4 Mk.1. SMLE No.4 Mk.1.

SMLE No.4 Mk.1(T) - sniper version with scope, mount and cheek rest on buttstock (shown with magazine removed).SMLE No.4 Mk.1(T) – sniper version with scope, mount and cheek rest on buttstock (shown with magazine removed).

SMLE No.5 Jungle Carbine.SMLE No.5 Jungle Carbine.

Pre-1916 Lee-Enfield volley sight (at left the  Pre-1916 Lee-Enfield volley sight (at left the “volley” front sight, mounted on the left side of the stock, just ahead of the traditional rear sight. At right – the diopter rear “volley” sight, mounted alongside the safety on the receiver) left image by Alan Blank.

Safety switch on the SMLE Mk.III* (note the absence of the Safety switch on the SMLE Mk.III* (note the absence of the “volley” rear sight) image by Alan Blank.

 Magazine cut-off on the early SMLE rifle. Magazine cut-off on the early SMLE rifle. “Volley” rear sight in folded-down position.

 .303 British cartridge with Mk.VII bullet in charger clip and alone. .303 British cartridge with Mk.VII bullet in charger clip and alone.

Lee-Enfield Mk .1 SMLE Mk. III (No.1 Mk.3) SMLE No.4 Mk.1 SMLE No.5 Jungle carbine
Caliber .303 British (7.7x56mm R)
Action manually operated, rotating bolt
Overall length 1260 mm 1132 mm 1129 mm 1003 mm
Barrel length 767 mm 640 mm 640 mm 478 mm
Weight 4.19 kg 3.96 kg 4.11 kg 3.24 kg
Magazine capacity 10 rounds in detachable box magazine

The Lee-Enfield series of rifles was born in 1895 as a marriage between the magazine and bolt action, designed by the J. P. Lee, and the new pattern of barrel rifling, designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) at Enfield. Originally known as Lee-Metford, this design was adopted by British army in 1888 and used a Metford pattern rifling with shallow groves, intended to be used with ammunition loaded with black powder. Introduction of the smokeless powders in the form of the Cordite showed that the Metford rifling was very short-living, so it was soon replaced with Enfield rifling, with 5 traditional land and grooves and left hand pitch. Early Lee-Enfield rifles, officially known as a “.303 caliber, Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Enfield”, were carried by the British army through the Boer war (South Africa) of 1899-1902, and Boers, armed with their Mausers, taught to the Brits some hard lessons. And, unlike some other Empires, Brits were quick lo learn. In 1903, they introduced a new design, which improved over the older Lee-Metfords and Lee-Enfields in some important respects. The main improvements was the introduction of the “universal” rifle idea. The common thinking of the period was to issue the long rifle for infantry and the carbine for cavalry, artillery and other such troops. The Brits decided to replace this variety of sizes with one, “intermediate” size, that will fit all niches. This “one size fits all” rifle was called “.303 caliber, Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1”, or, in short SMLE Mk.I, where “short” referred to the length of the rifle. This rifle passed some improvements during the following pre-WW1 years, finalizing in the 1907 as a SMLE Mk.III. Development and introduction into service of this rifle was accompanied with constant complaints of some “theorists”, which stated that this rifle would be no good neither for infantry, nor for cavalry, so RSAF was set do design another rifle, patterned after the German Mauser, which also should be more suitable for mass production, than the SMLE. This rifle finally appeared in 1914 as an “.303 caliber Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle”, or simply a P-14. With the outbreak of the Great war British troops were still armed with the “poor” SMLE Mk.III rifles, which soon turned far from any “poor”, giving some hard time to the Germans. In fact, the SMLE Mk.III was a really good rifle, quite accurate, reliable and suitable for rapid and accurate firing. British soldiers were rigorously trained for both individual and volley fire marksmanship, and were routinely capable of firing 30 aimed shots per minute, which was quite a rate of fire for any non-automatic rifle. There were times when advancing Germans were impressed that they were under the machine gun fire, when Tommie used their salvo-firing techniques. During the war time the basic Mk.III design was slightly simplified to better suit the mass production needs, with omission of “volley” sights and magazine cutoffs, and with some production shortcuts. When the World War One was over, there were no questions of quality of basic SMLE design, but some improvements were suggested and introduced in later patterns, such as peep-hole, receiver mounted sights. These “interwar” patterns were not issued in any significant quantities until the 1941. In 1926, Britains, quite confused with numerous ‘Marks’ and ‘Marks with stars’ of their weaponry, decided to adopt a new numbering system, so the SMLE Mark III became the “Rifle, No. 1 Mark 3”. The “Rifle No.2” was a training version of the SMLE No.1 but chambered to .22LR ammunition. The “No.3” was assigned to the P-14 rifle, which was used in limited numbers. And the “Rifle No.4 Mark 1”, widely known as a SMLE No.4 Mk.1, appeared in 1941. This was an improved and strengthened SMLE design, with heavier and stronger receiver, which also was faster and easier to machine, and with heavier barrel. The stock shape was shortened at the front part, giving away with the characteristic Mark III snub-nosed appearance. The barrel-mounted open rear sights were replaced with the receiver-mounted peep-hole sights, which were micrometer-adjustable. The latter feature was substituted by the simplified flip-up rear sights for wartime production, and this version became the No.4 Mk.1* rifle. By the end of the World War 2, when British and Commonwealth troops (also armed with SMLEs) started to fight in jungles of the South-East Asia, it was soon discovered that a “short” SMLE was still not short enough for the jungle combat, so a carbine version was adopted late in the 1944 in the form of the No.5 “jungle carbine”. This gun was somewhat lighter and handier than No.4, but suffered from the “wandering zero” problems, which meant that the point of impact wandered during the time. The muzzle flash and recoil were also too strong, despite the flash-hider and rubber buttpad. The last, and by some opinions the finest “general issue” version of the SMLE was the No.4 Mk.2 rifle, which appeared in 1949. It was made by higher peacetime standards of fit and finish, than a wartime No.1 Mk.3s and No.4 Mk.1s, and served with British army until the mid-1950s, when the self-loading L1 SLR (semi-auto copy of the Belgian FN FAL) rifle in 7.62mm NATO was introduced into general service. But some SMLEs were left in military service, as a training, target and, especially, sniper rifles, known as Enfield L39 and L41, rechambered to the new standard 7.62mm NATO ammunition, and served well until the late 1980s, when there were replaced by the L96 sniper rifles. It should be noted, that SMLE rifles were produced and used not only in the UK. Australian, Canadian and Indian factories turned out more than million of the No.1 rifles with various improvements, which were used during both World wars and thereafter. During the WW2, Britain also acquired quantities of SMLE No.4 (marked No.4 Mk.1*) made under contract at the Savage Arms company in USA. In the 1950s, Indian Isaphore arsenal turned out some SMLEs rechambered to the 7.62mm NATO (.308 win) ammunition. These are distinguishable from .303 caliber rifles by the more squared outline of the magazine. Total numbers of all ‘Marks’ and ‘Numbers’ of the SMLE made during the 60 years in various countries is not less than 5 000 000 (yes, five millions) rifles.

The SMLE is a manually operated, rotating bolt action magazine fed rifle. The Lee-designed SMLE magazine is a first easily distinguishable feature. It holds 10 rounds of ammunition in staggered column form, and while the magazine itself is detachable, it is not intended to be reloaded when detached from rifle. Early Lee-Enfields (Long Lee-Enfields and SMLEs prior to Mark III) were loaded only by single rounds via the top receiver opening. Latter, the clip (charger) loading was introduced, and a rear receiver bridge with charger clip guides was added to the design. Some of the earlier marks were then retrofitted with charger loading ability during the 1907 – 1910. To load the magazine, one must use two standard 5-rounds clips. Loading by loose rounds was still available, but some care must be taken when loading cartridges into clips or in the magazine, due to the rimmed ammunition cases. Prior to the 1916, all SMLEs (and earlier Long Lee-Enfields) were issued with so called “magazine cut-off” – a simple device, located at the right side of the receiver and intended to cut off the cartridge supply from magazine to the action when engaged, so rifle could be used as a single-loader, and ammunition in the magazine could be saved for the hottest moments of combat. This was an outdated idea even when it was first introduced, so it was easily discarded when the need to speed up production arose. The magazine itself should be detached only for cleaning, maintenance and repair, and every rifle was issued with only one magazine. The magazine catch is located inside the triggerguard.

The bolt action, another invention of the James Paris Lee (along with magazine), is the other most famous feature of the SMLE. The rotating bolt has two lugs that lock into the receiver walls at the rear part of the bolt, thus saving some part of the bolt length and bolt pull, when comparing to the forward lugs locking. This shorter bolt pull, along with charging handle, located at the rear part of the bolt and bent down, lent itself to quick reloading. Add a relatively high capacity magazine with fast clip reloading and here you have one of the fastest practical rates of fire along with contemporary designs. The SMLE was a striker fired gun, with cocking on the bolt close action and a dual-stage trigger. The bolt head with the extractor was a separate, non-rotating unit, screwed into the bolt body. The safety was located at the rear left side of the receiver and was easily operated by the firing hands’ thumb finger. One notable feature of the Lee bolt action was that the bolts were not interchangeable between different rifles of the same mark Each bolt must have been fitted to its respective action, thus making the production and in-field bolt replacement more complicated. The insufficient headspace problem on the pre-No.4 SMLEs was solved my manual sandpapering the respective bolt-head, and since the No.4 rifle, there were 4 standard sizes of the bolt heads, from which armourer could select one, most suitable for the particular action.

The sights of the Mark III / No.1 Mk.3 SMLEs were a combination of the barleycorn front (an inverted V-shape) and V-notch adjustable rear sights, mounted on the barrel. The front sights were protected by the two “ears” on the stock nose-cap. Latter the front sight were changed to post type, and the rear – to the U-notch type, and since the introduction of the No.4 rifle the barrel-mounted open rear sight was replaced with peep-hole one, mounted on the receiver, which made the sighting line much longer and improved the long-range accuracy. Sniper No.4 Mk.1(T) rifles, made during the WW2, were equipped with detachable optical scope mounts at the left side of the receiver. The scope was carried in the separate box when not in use. No.4 Mk1* rifles, made during the WW2, were equipped with the simplified, two position aperture (peep-hole) sights, marked for 300 and 600 yards ranges only. Pre-1916 Lee-Enfields were also equipped with interesting device, called the “volley” sights. This device was mounted at the left side of the stock, ahead of the magazine, and was used to provide an indirect fire capability at the ranges from 2 000 and up to outstanding 3 900 yards (1800 – 3550 meters). While the individual marksmanship at such ranges with rifle was a nonsense, the salvo firing by large squads at the distant and large targets (such as tight infantry or cavalry formations) can do some damage to the enemy. This was, obviously, an idea of the pre – machine gun and pre – light artillery period, and it was happily dropped during the WW1.

The famous by its distinguishable shape stock of the SMLE featured a semi-pistol grip, a steel buttplate with a trapdoor and a compartment in the butt for tools and cleaning equipment. The “flat-nosed” forend covered the barrel up to the muzzle, and has a small stud, protruding forward under the muzzle for bayonet mounting. Most SMLEs have a small brass disc inset into the right side of the butt, which was used for regimental markings (unlike the German Mausers, where the similar steel disc was used as a bolt unit disassembly tool). The conventional sling swivels were mounted on the frond handguard band and under the butt. Mk.4 No1.(T) sniper rifles also featured an additional wooden cheek rest on the top of the butt for more comfortable sighting while using the scope.

In general the SMLE were ones of the best bolt action battle rifles, fast-firing, powerful and reliable. While being less suitable for “sporterizing” than Mausers, they are still popular among civilians as a hunting and plinking weapons, and also as a part of the history. The key deficiencies of the SMLE were probably the rimmed ammunition and non-interchangeability of bolts, but the advantages of this design were mush bigger and Lee-Enfields in all its guises served the Britain and the British Commonwealth for more than 60 years in the front line service and much longer as a specialized weapon (training and sniper).

Holland & Holland Range Rover is Most Luxurious Ever – Courtesy of AutoExpress

Land Rover has teamed up with British gunmaker Holland & Holland to create its most luxurious model ever. It could be yours for £180k.

Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division has announced it is partnering with bespoke sporting rifle maker Holland & Holland to create the ultimate luxury SUV. The exclusive branded Range Rover Holland & Holland edition costs an astonishing £180,000.

Its based on the standard £140,000 long-wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography Black, which is stretched 200mm over the standard model to give generous rear legroom. SVO and Holland & Holland then set about creating the bespoke model with a range of luxury upgrades.

So what do you get for your money? Changes to the outside don’t extend beyond an exclusive green paintjob, a special grille, some chrome highlights and the gunmaker’s badging. It’s inside where all the action is.

Like the Black model, the Holland & Holland gets Executive Class rear seating, a luxurious two-seat layout which includes sculpted seats that can recline up to 17 degrees. SVO then adds electrically deployable walnut tables, USB charging points and a bespoke lighting system.

The seats themselves are trimmed in premium tan-coloured leather hides, embroidered with Holland & Holland detailing. The walnut trim about the cabin is polished to resemble the British gunmaker’s hunting rifles.

As we’ve seen in previous Range Rover Holland & Holland specials, its in the boot where the gunmaker’s influence is clearest. A leather-trimmed cabinet, designed to accommodate the brand’s bespoke rifles, slides out on a machined aluminium platform.

Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division only plans to build 40 of these per-year over three years. The car is available on special order only, making it the most exclusive Range Rover available today. It’s powered by either the 334bhp 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel, or the 503bhp 5.0-litre Supercharged V8.

Now read more about the best luxury SUVs currently on sale

Fishing – It’s All About The Location – Courtesy of Neil Keep

Basic watercraft is one thing I try to teach guests on a regular basis while out instructing and guiding as it is the key to becoming a successful angler. It’s all about the location as I found out while fly fishing for pike recently.

This principle was backed up while on a trip to the Somerset levels. Given that I had access to quite a large stretch of river and only a limited time I hatched a plan of attack to optimise my chances.

With a bit of research I opted for a stretch of water a couple of hundred yards long with an island at the top of the stretch and a bridge at the bottom, both fish holding features in an otherwise pretty featureless river.

Setting up in the sun.

Setting up in bright sunshine, opposite the island, I was quite pleased that I had camouflaged my wire leaders the day before to stop any glare off of them. The weather did not scream “bonanza day” to me as it was unseasonably warm. I prefer cold crisp days with a frost for piking, I guess it’s because I’ve had more success on days like this.

Upstream there was a few coarse anglers on the opposite bank steadily catching roach and the like, so I was happy that there was plenty of pike fodder in my chosen stretch. All that was left to do was to select a fly and take the plunge.

Nov Piking 003

I concentrated on casting up to the island as I thought this may hold a fish or two as they lie in wait to ambush any bait fish. I worked my way down the island casting into all the nooks and holes opposite me and from different angles with different retrieves, dead slow to stripping at high speed, but all to no avail.

So what next? The next stretch looked pretty uninviting and featureless compared to the island stretch, there was literally zero cover for pike to hide out in to ambush their prey. Only the bridge in the distance looked inviting with fish holding potential. I decided as time was precious just to have a few casts here and there and keeping mobile whilst working my way down to the bridge, but again there were no sign of any toothy predators.

Nov Piking 012

When I was about 40 yards from the bridge, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of bait fish leaping clear of the water on the far bank, a sign of larger fish charging these bait fish, found them at last! As I got closer the pike gave itself away by swirling at the surface as it made another lunge at its next meal.

Nov Piking 059

So why were there so many bait fish in this one particular area? As I got to the spot it was obvious. There was an outlet pipe in the river bank that was sporadically spewing out into the river, at a closer glance it looked to come from the water works in the distance so I guess the discharge was either warmer water or it had some sort of nutritional value which held the bait fish in high numbers in this spot. Not obvious, but there you have it, a fish holding feature which in turn attracted the larger predators. In terms of watercraft, an “unnatural or man- made feature”.

Nov Piking 081

It wasn’t ideal fishing to this feature from the bank I had chosen as it was difficult to get the fly to “fish” properly casting across the flow and coupled with the flow coming out of the pipe. I persevered though as I didn’t have time to cross over and the fish kept showing itself which kept giving me encouragement. I had just about given up hope when I decided to change my angle of attack and then it happened, a sudden tightening of the line in my hand followed by all hell letting loose as the fish made a bid for freedom. After a few minutes of feisty fighting the fish was being slid to the net. A perfect end to not a prolific session, but a really satisfying one.

Nov Piking 090

A big thank you to my wife for having to endure my perseverance with not a lot happening, whilst taking the photos of the day.

Nov Piking 084Nov Piking 085Nov Piking 086

The World Gunmakers Evening 2015  – Hosted by GunsOnPegs

GunsOnPegs invite you to join them for:

The World Gunmakers Evening 

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge, London

Thursday 14th May from 6.00pm.

The World Gunmakers Evening brings together the world’s best gunmakers for an evening of fine guns, Champagne and canapés.

This exclusive evening will allow you to meet some of the world’s most respected game gun craftsman and learn more about the guns they create. This gives you the perfect opportunity to talk to the gunmakers and potentially order a bespoke gun.

This year, the evening has moved to a bigger and better venue in The Jumeirah Carlton Tower Ballroom and Garden Rooms overlooking Sloane Street and Cadogan Place Gardens. As a result, you will not find a greater array of fine guns in one place.

Gunmakers attending:

James Purdey & Sons Holland & Holland
Boss & Co. Anderson Wheeler
E.J. Churchill Browning
Longthorne Gunmakers William Evans Gunmakers
Fabbri John Rigby & Co.
Fausti Beretta
AYA Atkin, Grant & Lang
Joseph Manton London Rizzini
Sauer R. Ward Gunmakers
Perazzi Christian Hunter
Caesar Guerini Boxall and Edmiston
Miroku CZ
Zoli Watson Brothers
Chapuis Armes Merkel
George Gibbs Perugini & Visini
William Powell Graham Mackinlay
Bill Blacker Piotti

Others brands attending include:

Dubarry, Swarovski, Magee, Bushnell, Cad &The Dandy, Brocket Hall Foods, Hull Cartridge Company, Albion Sporting, Bettws Hall, Devonshire Wealth Management, Sweet Oak Lodge, Croots, The City of London Distillery, Comitti Timepieces & more.

If you would like to book over the phone:

Please call +44 (0) 207 491 1363

Tickets: £75

GunsOnPegs Club Members: £55 (Phone booking only)

Thank you to our sponsors:

Devonshire Wealth Management & Brocket Hall Foods.

          

Below are some photos from the 2014 evening:

Magee – A Family Business Since 1866 – Courtesy of GunsOnPegs

We spent a moment speaking to GunsOnPegs partner Charlotte Temple, who is the Sales & Marketing Director of her family’s business Magee 1866, to find out more about their wonderful country clothing.

Magee 1866’s History 

The business now has 3rd and 4th generation family members at the helm. Magee was established in Co. Donegal, Ireland 149 years ago.

Originally the company was founded on handwoven tweeds – these fabrics were course and hardwearing, designed to dissipate the damp and cold weather so often associated with the northwest of Ireland.

Looking to the future…

Fast-forward to today, Magee still weave their fabric in Donegal, however these fabrics are far softer and more luxurious than 140 or so years ago! Charlotte said ‘The ever-changing land and seascapes surrounding us inspire our fabric designs’.

Magee weave both summer and winter weight fabrics, using natural fibres – silk, linen and cotton and lambswool, alpaca and cashmere.

The spring summer 2015 collection is a colourful showcase of what they do best – beautifully designed garments and unique, high quality fabrics.

Charlotte commented, ‘Our jackets are the core element of the collection – tailored to perfection with special attention paid to the trim details and fit. Fabrics include natural silk and linen mixes in cobalt blue and raspberry and camel.’

As we all know the Irish and British summer can be pretty chilly, with this in mind, Magee offer their classic country and Donegal tweeds all year-round.

For a more casual look their bright cotton chinos, seasonal knitwear and shirts are the perfect weekend option. The suit is making a comeback for many – their tailored fitting 3-piece options in a lightweight salt & pepper tweed and summer-weight pure new wools are a key staple for the more formal wardrobe.

Magee offer a capsule women’s wear collection and home accessories – the latter of which are made in Donegal, Ireland.

Magee’s collections are built on their 149 year heritage but with a contemporary, and importantly an Irish twist.

For more information on Magee’s wonderful products go to www.magee1866.com 

Crichel Shoot’s 1st Day Of The Pheasant Season – Courtesy of GunsOnPegs

Unfortuantely, the Crichel Shoot closed at the end of the 2012/13 season but a nice achieved report on a great days sport from a grand old shoot.

What a fantastic way to start the 2012 pheasant season with some fantastic pheasant shooting in the very picturesque Dorset countryside reports Chris Horne.

Derek Woods runs the Crichel shoot very impressively and I was lucky enough to join a charming team of guns on the 1st October for an enjoyable day out shooting pheasants and partridges.

Although the weather was determined to let us know that winter was on its way, it didn’t faze the birds one bit. It was very wet during the first drive although this was never going to stop us enjoying the day and it dried out soon after, even allowing us to have a light lunch in the field as we were shooting through.

About Crichel Shoot
Derek and his keeper, Gary Walker, have recently taken the decision to put down Kansas pheasants on the estate which are slightly smaller than the common strain of pheasant but at Crichel, this is a masterstroke. The pheasants get up on their tails instantly and power for their home which makes for great shooting. They are very well suited to the undulating terrain that Crichel has and having put the birds down in the middle of June, every bird was fully grown with lovely tails on them. You honestly wouldn’t have known that it was the 1st October, they looked and flew like it was the end of November!

The argument over putting your birds down earlier in the season is an interesting one. In the case of Crichel, it works very well for them as it allows for an extended season and more equally spaced days, meaning that they are able to lay on enough days to make the books balance. The downside is that with the young birds being on the ground for a month or so longer than normal, predation control has to be excellent, or your returns will suffer greatly. Personally, I would suggest this strategy for any shoot with a good keeper and wishing to do more days.

The Shoot Day
The team of guns on the day were nearly all regular syndicate members at Crichel, including a couple of guests which turned out to be one of the strongest lines I have ever stood in! George McDonaugh was on my left all day and continually brought down the highest of Crichel’s pheasants, which was most impressive to watch.

The conditions after the first drive turned out to be almost perfect for a day at Crichel, with a light wind and overcast. Having shot at Crichel a couple of times before, Derek is very experienced in adjusting a drive and the line of guns to suit the elements, meaning that guns are safe in the knowledge that they will be looked after all day.

The birds flew very well on every drive with a lovely mix of fast partridges in amongst some cracking pheasants. As it was the shoot’s first day, choosing your shot was the most difficult part. There were large numbers about and you had to be committed on each shot as it was easy to swing onto another and end up missing!

We shot through on the day and stopped for a bite to eat in the field at lunch, followed by another 2 drives and back to the very impressive cart lodge buildings of Crichel estate for a fantastic lunch in the shoot room.

I would certainly recommend Crichel to a team of guns looking for a lovely day’s shooting in Dorset. It is very well managed by Derek and Gary and shows some great birds. Below is a video filmed by GunsOnPegsTV where you can see the shoot for yourself!

Monday 1st October 2012
Pheasants: 181
Partridges: 89
Total: 270

Guns:
Iain Beloe
Johan Denekamp
Chris Horne
Neville Hunter
George McDonaugh
Simon Pearce
Stephen Tory
Derek Woods