Last weekend saw the sixth year that The Great British Shooting Show was held, this time at the bigger location of Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
With abysmal weather for any kind of country pursuit what better way to spend Valentine’s Day than at this show surrounded by guns, guns and more guns.
With 20,000 square metres of shotguns, rifles and airguns along with accessories there is something for everyone.
Shooting has been known to have a ‘rich persons’ stereotype behind it but it was really great to see a distinct lack of tweed at the event with just really normal people walking around and enjoying themselves. The nature of the exhibitions means the show can be enjoyed by those who are completely new to shooting, those who have been shooting since they could dress themselves and even those that have no interest in shooting and just fancied a bit of shopping.
Despite going on the first day there were still some impressive deals to be had.
The Countryside Alliance were boasting great show offers with a full membership for under 25s at just £12 along with a free bottle of sloe gin and, as always, happy and helpful staff. This covers insurance for all riding, shooting and hunting for a year along with a copy of their quarterly magazine through the letter box. What more could you ask for? And even better, if you’re at an agricultural college you got everything for free!
BASC put on their normal delicious cooking demonstration attracting large audiences with their unusual twist on game meals with the help of Chef Rayeesa of Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen.
The Best Fox Call stand claimed popular and seemed to be surrounded by customers throughout the day trying and buying remote electronic and mouth fox calls.
Browning’s put on their normal brilliant display with a wedding dress that some country girls could only dream of.
Colin’s Traps had some great prices on traps for foxes, squirrels, mink and rabbits which he hand makes at his home in Peterborough as a retired gamekeeper.
Surprisingly, my favourite exhibit was a very large book stand with a publication on every topic imaginable in which I ended up spending a small fortune on books in gamekeeping.
Two thirds of the show is made up of the gunmakers hall. This had shotguns for fieldsports, wildfowling and competitions, rifles for pest control, stalking, hunting and targets as well as historic, classic and modern military rifles and even cannons for sale.
As a lady I appreciated that most rifle stands exhibited at least one pink rifle but was disappointed to see a lack of women’s wear on clothing stalls and a complete lack of women all together.
The day finally ended after my card refused to participate in anymore shopping and was declined whilst buying a rather fetching pair of camouflage trousers for my other half’s valentines present. The large number of visitors each year truly reflects the quality of this show and it is definitely one to be added to everyone’s shooting calendar.