On Their Last Detail
In memory of those club members that worked so hard to secure the future of Bideford Target Shooting Club, but sadly are no longer with us to enjoy what they helped to create.
Bideford Target Shooting Club
remembers you and thanks you.
John Morgan 1924-2023
Originally from Abergavenny, John joined Bideford in 1992 after moving down from Worcester. In his own words he was approaching 68 years old, and wanted to continue shooting "until such time as senile decay finally takes hold" He had been Captain and Chairman of his previous club, the Worcester West Unit Rifle Club, having been a member since about 1945. Although he had moved to Eggesford he decided to join Bideford over a club in Exeter because the club had been “mentioned in despatches” in the Rifleman and he preferred the journey.
John continued shooting prone until well into his eighties, and then took up bench rest which he only gave up at the age of 93 when the travelling became too much. Still fiercely independent (and with no sign of "senile decay" !) for many years he assisted in the running of the club by organizing preparation for the teams for the Devon Winter League.
He was invited to be a vice-president and more recently President in recognition of his many years of service and generosity to the club.
We will miss his company and his dry sense of humour, and remember him with great affection.Simon John Dafforn
Simon Dafforn, our Club President, passed away on November 12th 2021.
In his long shooting career, he had been not only an active shooter of county standard, but also highly-qualified on the international stage as an ISSF Judge, Technical Officer and Referee, as well as Team Manager for many international matches. His proudest moment was undoubtedly his involvement in the Olympic Games 2012, and he was deservedly recognized by the NSRA’s gold award for services to shooting.
To our club, he had been Club Captain and Chairman before being elected President, and committed to every aspect of Club life – including the building of our new club facilities at Melbury. We remember his support, his constant fund of shooting stories and his smile.
Everything he brought to the club and its members will remain with us, and help to shape our future.
See you on the last detail, Simon.
Keith shot bench rest at the club and was a skilled and proficient marksman. A true Devon lad with a broad Devonian accent. Always willing to attend work details and offer advice on matters concerning the countryside.
The selected picture is of Keith working on hedge laying at Melbury. Under his guidance and instruction club members were able to lay the foundations for what has since become a flourishing hedgerow along the left hand side of the drive as you enter the site.
Thank you for all your help across the site Keith.
Rest in Peace.
Michael Geoffrey Coombs
Michael joined the club in 2007 and completed the instruction course in 2008. In the years that followed Michael became a prolific and very much valued and driven member of the club and the club's committee shooting both .22 prone and air pistol at club and county standard; he was also the club's air gun captain.
Michael also gained his County Coach qualification and achieved the I.S.S.F. pistol coaching qualification.
Recognised in 2017 by the N.S.R.A. with their Diploma award for services to shooting after being instrumental in helping with the building of The Melbury Ranges amongst many other things.
Within the club Michael was indeed a unique character who had plans to progress not only our club but the sport. A quiet and mild mannered gentleman with a determination to finish whatever he started and to bring more people into our club and sport.
There is not a single part of Melbury and Bideford Target Shooting Club that has not benefited from Michael's hard work and forward thinking.
David John Morgan
Dave joined Bideford Rifle Club in 1989 when he moved to Devon from Middlesex, and went straight into the club A team where he remained for several years, playing an important part in team wins – his proudest probably being in the club team which represented Devon in the Kynoch Shield competition and beat Cornwall for the trophy.
He had been a shooter for most of his life, and introduced both his son Steve and his grandson Ben to the sport. In 2008, he decided to transfer to the newly-popular discipline of bench rest shooting, and immediately started winning medals in this discipline as well.
An engineer by trade, in the printing industry, he spent countless hours preparing his equipment for competition and was always happy to help others in the same way.
Dave served on the Club’s committee for most of his shooting life in Bideford, bringing his own pertinent opinions to the discussion on many occasions. When the Club started to build new facilities at Melbury, he was one of the most regular participants in working parties despite his seniority – even if he only made the tea, he was there and part of the team. He even put aside his lifelong antipathy to the colour green, which he normally refused to wear, and bought a jumper in club colours!! He attended the National Meeting at Bisley nearly every year – firstly as a competitor and in later years just to be part of the shooting community – usually driving himself and his caravan there and staying for the whole week of shooting. And until last year, he was still taking part in competitions and delighted to be part of the Club and its future, and we shall miss his input and companionship.
This picture is of David with his grandson winning a trophy together.
Thanks for all your help David.