South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club

On Sunday 10th November, Gary Mitchell and I set off to the South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club in Attleborough. It was the final day of the Norfolk County Rifle Association’s Open 10m Air Rifle and Air Pistol Meeting, incorporating the Norfolk County Championships. This was a three-day event, held on the 8th, 9th, and 10th November.

Carole Darnell

Until 2001, Carole Darnell was a healthy, able-bodied woman. Then, when she was 37 years old – and for no apparent reason – Carole collapsed. She was hospitalised and diagnosed with a progressive neurological disorder.

Now relying on a wheelchair for mobility, and looking for a new hobby, Carole went along with her partner, Chris Cook, to St Michael’s Rifle and Pistol Club in King’s Lynn. Chris was a keen rifle shooter, but when Carole had a go at rifle shooting, she wasn’t inspired.

“Then I tried shooting pistol, and I was hooked. This was the sport for me.”

Just months after Carole bought herself a competition Walther pistol, she became Norfolk Ladies’ Champion – a title she held for several years.

Through her performance in postal competitions, Carole came to the attention of the Eastern Region Training Squad; and at the Welsh Championships, she was picked up as a promising disabled shooter.

Carole began training at Stoke Mandeville, and for two consecutive years held the title of British Disabled Ladies’ Champion. However, at international level, her disability didn’t fit the classification system. She wasn’t disabled enough to compete at international level, yet her disability was severe enough to be a handicap in able-bodied competition.

Having arrived at this barrier to ongoing progress in competitive shooting, Carole had to re-evaluate her situation. She wondered about coaching. The more Carole considered the idea of coaching, the more certain she became that she’d be good at it.

She was right. Chris Dickenson, the club’s Competition Manager, told me, “Carole’s great with working with people and enjoys teaching a sport she is so passionate about.”

After qualifying as a coach, Carole became a national coach for disabled shooters, and she coached able-bodied shooters at county level.

UK’s 1st regional training centre for para-sport shooting 

In 2013, Carole was approached for help.

“I was asked if I’d consider starting up a disabled shooting club. There was nowhere in Norfolk for disabled people to shoot – in fact, there was nowhere that was accessible with a hefty wheelchair.”

Carole, along with her partner, Chris Cook, and mum, Merle Darnell, established the UK’s first regional training centre for para-sport shooting.

“We were two units down from where we are now. There were four firing points, and one of those was a hatch, so people could get through to the loo.”

The club’s first airguns were bought from Pellpax!

Although the new club provided opportunities for many disabled shooters in the area, membership was low. Without a reasonable income, it wasn’t possible to grow the club and to develop. So, five years after founding the club, Carole decided to include able-bodied shooters, transforming the South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club into a truly inclusive shooting community. 

“We’ll let anyone in,” Carole said cheerfully.

Chris Dickenson

Chris Dickenson, the club’s competition manager, is really keen to increase the number of face-to-face competitive shooting opportunities within the county.

“It’s lovely to see people come out of their shell,” she told me. “Some of our disabled shooters first come to us at the club with low self confidence. It’s amazing to see how powerful sport is in transforming people’s lives.”

The Olympic Charter

The more contact I have with people in the world of target shooting, the more evidence I see of the sport’s innate connection with the fourth fundamental principle of Olympism:

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

In support of this principle, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched the Sport for All programme, which was adopted by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). Shooting Sport for All has introduced the Supported Rest discipline for seniors. This means that anyone over the age of 56 is permitted to rest their rifle barrel or pistol grip whilst taking 30 shots.

Ray Hart, who took the gold medal for Supported Rest Pistol, cheerfully refers to this discipline as “old man shooting”. (I’ll leave you to muse on that concept.)


Air Rifle (60 shots)

Gold                            Olivia Hill                               567

Silver                           Ellie Folkard                           549

Bronze                         Jessy Lodge                            498

Supported Rest Air Rifle (30 shots)

Gold                            Peter Bell                                280

Silver                           Paul Budd                               272

Bronze                         Colin Allison                           252

Bronze                         John Lane                                252

Air Pistol (60 shots)

Gold                            George Mees                           544

Silver                           Tim Fawcett                           540

Bronze                         Janis Purins                             536

Supported Rest Air Pistol (30 shots)

Gold                            Ray Hart                                 273

Silver                           John Lane                                272

Bronze                         Colin Allison                           262

Thank you SNARPC!

It really was a pleasure to meet the members of the South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club and some of the weekend’s competitors. We were made to feel very welcome and involved.

As if the lovely company wasn’t enough, Gary and I left with a plate of homemade cakes!

Olivia Hill Receives Award for Outstanding Sporting Achievement

The Broadland Community at Heart Awards

The Broadland Community at Heart Awards celebrate the region’s community heroes. Eighteen-year-old Olivia Hill, who is sponsored by Pellpax, was among those nominated for the outstanding sporting achievement award. As you can imagine, the whole Pellpax team is tremendously proud of our protégée for being the winner of that award.

The judging panel included Mick Parker of Parker Communications, who organised the event, and Chairman of Broadland District Council. Also on the panel were two representatives of Price Bailey Chartered Accountants, regular sponsors of the Broadland Community at Heart Awards. Matthew Hector (Business Development Manager) and James Elvin (Manager) were hugely impressed by Olivia’s attitude and achievements.

“The Outstanding Sporting Achievement category was incredibly hard to judge,” Mr Elvin told me. “Olivia was crowned the winner due to her outstanding achievements and commitment at such a young age. To compete at her level must have meant some sacrifices, and to have overcome so many hurdles, whilst continuing her studies, is commendable.”

Mr Hector added, “Well done Olivia. We look forward to watching your continued success”.

South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club

Having followed Olivia’s shooting career for some time now, we thought it was about time we saw her in action. So, on Sunday 10th November, Gary Mitchell and I set off to the South Norfolk Air Rifle and Pistol Club in Attleborough. It was the final day of the Norfolk County Rifle Association’s Open 10m Air Rifle and Air Pistol Meeting, incorporating the Norfolk County Championships.

In preparation for the competition, Olivia had checked every one of her RWS R10 flathead (wadcutter) pellets for imperfections. Nevertheless, before loading each pellet, Olivia looked it over carefully, paying attention to the skirt, where a nick or an indentation might affect the pellet’s trajectory. Pellets can become corroded as a result of contact with each other in the tin.

“If it doesn’t look right,” Olivia explained, “don’t shoot it.”

Norfolk County Champion

Just a few minutes into the shooting time, Olivia felt that her rifle sight needed to be adjusted. However, even after carrying out work on her kit, Olivia wasn’t totally happy. Other competitors were also struggling with vision, and it soon became apparent that the problem was due to the changing natural light that was coming through the opaque skylights. As nothing could be done about this, they pressed on, adjusting their eyes as well as possible to the fluctuating brightness on the range.

Despite scoring a little below her own expectations, Olivia won Gold in the Open, and Gold in the Confined, meaning that she’s the overall 10m County Champion. 

What’s next for Olivia?

To round off another fantastic year, Olivia will be travelling to Luxembourg, where she’ll compete in the 37th RIAC and IBIS CUP. The competition, which will run from 11th to 14th December, is an annual international event organised by FLTAS (Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Tir aux Armes Sportives). Last year, at this competition, Olivia performed very well in her first mixed doubles event. Her impression of Christmastime in Luxembourg, though, was mostly about the hot chocolate!

A Goal is a Dream with an Action Plan and a Time Frame

I first visited North Walsham Rifle & Pistol Club in July 2016. The club’s membership was flourishing, but the physical fabric of the place hadn’t really moved with the times. The old wooden clubhouse was pretty much as it had been in 1933, when the club was founded.

On that visit, the club’s Development Officer, Mike Kirkham, who has been shooting since he was 15 years old, talked to me about the club’s future. Planning permission for a new clubhouse had been granted, and an application was being put together for funding from Sport England. With help and advice from Liz Davidson, Head of Engagement at British Shooting, Chairman Olly Crysell and his committee worked on a plan of action for all-round improvement.

“The key to our success,” Mike told me, three years ago, “has been to change our club culture to think more like a sports club, and to actively promote and market what we offer.”

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes (Benjamin Franklin) 

In October 2016, Sport England awarded £75,000 to North Walsham Rifle & Pistol Club towards their new clubhouse. This was marvellous news, of course, but the total amount of money needed was £125,000. The club members worked hard at raising funds for the project, and they also applied for, and were granted, aid from North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund, which was established in 2012 to help fund projects that improve and support the social and economic wellbeing of communities.

Karl Read, Leisure and Locality Services Manager at North Norfolk District Council, was impressed by the drive and commitment of NWRPC.

Olivia Hill, international shooting star, sponsored by Pellpax

“Mike, Olly, and the rest of the committee have worked tirelessly in order to grow participation within this club, especially with the junior section. They’ve worked hard in order to create a fresh presence in North Norfolk, and they’ve forged a great relationship with the Council and Active Norfolk.

“The club has created more visibility locally using positive PR and marketing, and they’ve created a working marketing plan. Mike set up a Sports Development plan for the club, and a new website. In the time that I’ve worked with the club, they’ve has seen a 45% increase in membership, which is unheard of in local sports clubs.

“In a nutshell, the members of North Walsham Rifle & Pistol Club have done all the things we would expect from a Big Society applicant, and in a very comprehensive way. I wish the club every success.”

NWRPC now has over 200 members, some of whom have gone on to compete in national and international championships.

Mingling with Members

The evening began with refreshments and conversation. I caught up with several club members I’d met before, including Charles Cain, who, at 76 years old, is still coaching some of the club’s talented young shooters.

It was a great pleasure to meet 17-year-old Jessie Lodge, who shoots in the 10m Precision Air Rifle county air rifle team – and Freya Giles, 19, who has shot for the England Ladies’ team in .22 Target Rifle.

Imogen Wright

Imogen Wright, who’s just 15 years old, began her shooting career with Explorers at North Walsham. Before long, she was a member of the Scout International Squad. Imogen, who shoots with a Steyr, is now on the South East Regional Pistol Squad (SERPS); later this year, she’ll be competing at the Welsh Open and at the Scout Championships at Bisley.

Tony Clarke, Scouts’ Norfolk Shooting Advisor, told me about Target Sprint – a relatively new shooting discipline that’s becoming incredibly popular, especially among younger shooters. Tony explained how Target Sprint works:

“Competitors run 400 meters, then they shoot five targets. They run another 400 meters, shoot another five targets, and then run 400 meters to the finish. The winner is the first past the post. But …” (I think Tony could read my thoughts.) “But you have to hit the targets. You can’t continue until you’ve hit all five. Bear in mind, though, that there’s a limit to the number of attempts you have.”

I was rather disappointed not to see Olivia Hill, who is sponsored by Pellpax. There was a very good reason for her absence, though: she was in Serbia, competing in the Novi Sad Grand Prix. It was, however, great to chat with Olivia’s mum, Lisa.

The official opening

Mike Kirkham

Mike Kirkham began his address with, “A dream is always a dream. A goal is a dream with an action plan and a time frame.” He immediately had everyone’s attention.

Mike thanked everyone for all their hard work, with a special mention for Tony Clarke, the man responsible for a strong junior membership, thanks to Scout involvement.

There was a special mention for the late Ken Nash (1948-2019), who introduced shooting for the blind into the UK. Ken was a life member of both the National Small-Bore Rifle Association (NSRA) and British Blind Sport (BBS). I had the pleasure of talking to Ken in August 2017, when he contributed enormously to A Guide to Disabled Shooting.

Saul Penfold

Mike handed over to Councillor Saul Penfold.

“In 2017,” he began, “an application was received from North Walsham Rifle & Pistol Club for a BSF grant towards a £125,000 project to replace the old wooden clubhouse. The application explained that the existing wooden clubhouse and its facilities were in a poor state and no longer fit for purpose. There was limited social space, no proper kitchen facilities, and no disabled toilet. A new clubhouse was needed to ensure that NWRPC had the appropriate facilities to enable them to cope with their existing and growing membership.”

Just like Karl Read, Mr Penfold expressed his admiration for the club and its members.

Norman Lamb, Lisa Hill, Freya Giles

“Everyone involved in the project is to be congratulated for their dedication and commitment. It’s a fantastic achievement. The new club house will be an asset to the local community for many years.”

Mike Kirkham declared the clubhouse open, and the ribbon was cut by Freya Giles and Lisa Hill (representing Olivia). North Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb, presented the two ladies with bouquets.

Good luck, NWRPC – and congratulations. Here’s to the future!

Pellpax at the Midland Game Fair 2019

Pellpax partners up with Umarex and Rothery

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September, Pellpax will be at the Midland Game Fair at Weston-under-Lizard in Shropshire. The event will be held at Weston Park – a beautiful country house built in 1671, which has been home to the Midland Game Fair for more than 30 years. The gorgeous 1,000-acre estate was designed by the celebrated landscape architect, Lancelot (Capability) Brown, who is fondly remembered as England’s greatest gardener.

This is the first time that Pellpax has attended the Midland Game Fair. Pellpax Managing Director, Darren Kirk, is delighted to be joining John Rothery and Umarex at this well-loved event, which has become a mainstay of the shooting community’s calendar.

Darren says, “We’re extremely proud that Umarex and Rothery have chosen the Pellpax team to represent them by hosting their stand this year.”

Umarex 850 Air Magnum – .22 CO2 Air Rifle

Fantastic Weekend Ahead

So, what will Pellpax be showcasing at the Midland Game Fair this year?

“We’ll be selling a wide range of Umarex air rifles and pistols,” Darren says. “We have some very experienced shooters and knowledgeable gunsmiths on the Pellpax team – but there’ll also be a couple of staff from Rothery and Umarex on the stand with us, who’ll be able to answer all sorts of technical questions about the products.”

The Midland Game Fair has become increasingly popular over the years. If you’re planning to visit, you could well find yourself in the company of more than 86,000 fellow enthusiasts of outdoor pursuits! Parking and toilet facilities are plentiful, with special provision for disabled visitors.

For more information about this event, visit the Midland Game Fair website.

Contact Pellpax

If you would like to find out about Pellpax’s delivery service, or any of the products on the website, email [email protected] or phone 01263 731 585.

Paralympic Archer Mel Clarke is an Inspiration to Children Everywhere

“I tell my story to kids and talk about not giving up”

These are the words that Mel Clarke, two-time Paralympic medallist, left us with last year after sharing her extraordinary story of sporting excellence.

As a result of contracting osteomyelitis after a fall in 1993, 11-year-old Mel found herself unable to walk, and believed that her sporting life was at an end. However, as a teenager, she discovered archery, and soon became one of the UK’s best-performing archers. But when Mel was struck down by Lyme disease at the 2003 World Archery Championships in New York City, the prognosis was grim: in fact, she wasn’t expected to survive.

Mel awoke from a two-week-long coma, paralysed from the waist down, and blind in her right eye. She left hospital and resumed her training. Mel returned from the 2008 Beijing Paralympics with a bronze medal, and the year after, she won Silver at the World Championships in the Czech Republic. At the 2012 London Paralympics, Mel won Silver – pipped at the post by her friend and fellow British competitor, Danielle Brown.

“Everything’s possible when you want to do it”

Mel retired from competition archery in May this year – for the best possible reason.

In January 2019, Mel gave birth to Cali, who’s a dream come true for Mel and her husband Richard Hennahane (also a successful para-archer). In their minds, there was always the possibility that Mel might never be able to carry a child full term. But in January, Cali discredited that theory in the same style that her mother dismissed the general opinion that she’d have to give up competitive archery.

“I can go back to archery later,” says Mel. “But I want to spend time with Cali. I won’t get this time back.”

I ask Mel about the challenges of motherhood in a wheelchair.

“Getting up at night is physically difficult … and I had to find a buggy that I could handle. But everything’s possible when you want to do it.”

“Wow! This is really making an impact”

Although Mel is not competing at the moment, she’s continuing her role of mentor for the Youth Sport Trust – a charitable organisation whose mission is to promote the general wellbeing of children through the provision of sporting opportunity.

The six main aims of the Youth Sport Trust are:

  • To transform PE’s place in the curriculum, putting it at the centre of wellbeing and achievement in education.
  • To support schools, clubs, and families to remove the causes of negative experiences for young people.
  • To unlock sport’s potential at every stage of a child’s life, especially where they face inequality or disadvantage.
  • To equip young people, through sport, with the skills, confidence, and opportunities to lead change in their communities.
  • To champion the impact of physical activity, PE, and sport through research and insight.
  • To deliver their charitable objectives through good governance, a skilled workforce, and sustainable income.

As a mentor, Mel’s work varies from small-group activities to whole-school assemblies. She talks to students of all ages, from the little ones of four years old, to young people of 18.

Many of the children Mel works with have physical disabilities, like the 14-year-old boy with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, whose only independent way of communicating was to turn his head left and right. Mel describes how this gutsy boy trained to be a sports leader. Using communication technology, he led sessions and delivered a presentation to his peers and their parents.

“The able-bodied kids were so impressed. And his mother was so proud! This was something she really didn’t think he’d be able to do. I remember thinking, ‘Wow. This is really making an impact.’ That child’s self-esteem just rocketed.”

“If I can help one person to think positively … it’s all worthwhile”

Many of the children Mel works with have behaviour issues, or are simply disengaged. The characteristic trait of a disengaged student is a lack of interest. This block to learning can be tackled by helping a disengaged child to connect what they’re learning with real-life experiences, or to incorporate group work and hands-on learning.

Because of sport’s physical nature, a child with social anxiety can feel exposed and threatened in a PE class. Self-consciousness is agony to a person with social anxiety, and fear is a barrier to participation. With patience and empathy, Mel coached a boy with very low esteem to be a sports leader.

“At first, he’d hardly speak at all – to anyone. But during our sessions, his confidence grew, and at the end of his training, this lad delivered a speech to his teachers and class-mates. His mum said, ‘He’s a different person.’”

Of course, not every child will benefit from intervention of this kind. I ask Mel if this is disheartening.

“If I can help one person to think positively about what is possible, and encourage that person to work towards achieving their goal, then I’m happy. It’s all worthwhile.”

“I’m retiring with two titles, which is nice!”

Even Mel doesn’t know whether or not she’ll be returning to competition archery. But if this really is retirement, Mel has hung up her bow alongside the titles of British National Para Champion and British Wheelchair Sport Champion. With her usual cheerful optimism, Mel says, “I’m retiring with two titles, which is nice!”

Benefit Boys Raise £934 for Help for Heroes at Charity Meet

Who are the Benefit Boys?

 In 2014, Garry Brookes attended a charity shoot organised by Vermin Hunters TV, a highly subscribed YouTube show. When it came to accommodation on the camping site, the organisers managed to arrange things to their own advantage. Basically, they got there early and claimed the nicer end of the field for themselves!

As the good-hearted punters rolled up in ones and twos, they found themselves thrown together in a somewhat rougher neighbourhood. Everyone rubbed along really well, and strong bonds developed amongst these ghetto rats, who agreed, as they communed around the camp fire, that it was like ‘living on Benefit Street’ (remember the TV show?). All this good-natured rivalry was purely in fun, of course, and it turned out to be the catalyst to some new and long-lasting friendships.

So, the ‘Benefit Boys’ kept in touch through their new Facebook group, which, before long, comprised 1,000 members from all over the world. Since 2015, the Benefit Boys have held an annual charity shoot at Garry’s home club – Richings Park Airgun Club. All profits are donated to Help for Heroes.

Accessible and Inclusive Airgun Club

It’s not the place. It’s the people that run it. Garry and the guys are out of this world. They make every single person welcome and will do anything they can to help you. (Facebook review)

Richings Park Airgun Club, in Iver, Buckinghamshire, is a relatively new airgun club, established in 2016 to run alongside Richings Park Clay Shooting Club. Driven by an ethos of inclusion and accessibility, this is a place to shoot (competitively, or just for fun) and a place to make friends.

Chairman Garry Brooks says, “It’s the only course in the country that you can go around in a wheelchair – as long as the conditions are right. If someone with a disability turns up, I’ll do my very best to acquire, or build, whatever they need to enable them to shoot. There’ll never be a problem including a person with special needs.”

Help for Heroes

Besides looking out for their own members, Richings Park Airgun Club are staunch supporters of Help for Heroes, a charitable organisation that offers aid to wounded service personnel.

Help for Heroes runs recovery centres (in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion) for the rehabilitation of sick and injured servicemen and -women. In partnership with the British Paralympic Association and other relevant governing bodies, Help for Heroes runs a para-sport programme, which provides access to adaptive sports for the charity’s beneficiaries. Some very successful sporting champions are ex-service personnel who have been encouraged and assisted by Help for Heroes.

A Fun-Filled Weekend at Richings Park Airgun Club

On the last weekend in June, the guys at Richings Park Airgun Club held a three-day shooting event in aid of Help for Heroes.

Benefit Boys and their families came from all over the country, and abroad, to socialise and to raise money for this important cause. There was a lot of catching up to do, so Friday was all about meeting, greeting, drinking and eating. Saturday was shooting day, when 65 of the 80 guests took part in the HFT (hunter field target) competitions.

On Sunday, there were presentations of trophies for outstanding shooting performance. Many congratulations to Paul Andrews, Wally Hale, Toni Bingley, and Sebastian Hale!

The weekend’s grand finale, on Sunday afternoon, was the raffle. Special congratulations to Sam, who won the Pellpax Dragon Kit, donated by Pellpax!

This year, the Benefit Boys’ annual charity shoot raised £934 for Help the Heroes, and the Pellpax team would like to say a big “Well done!” to the organisers and everyone who took part.

Olivia Hill is Selected to Represent Great Britain at the Novi Sad Grand Prix in Serbia

Olivia’s Shooting Career Year 1

This week, Pellpax is celebrating yet another success from talented target shooter, Olivia Hill. Olivia, 18, has been with the Pellpax sponsorship programme since the beginning of 2018. On Monday 15 July, when British Shooting announced the GB team for the Novi Sad Grand Prix in Serbia, next month, Olivia was competing at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany.

Olivia at the Norfolk Open

Over the last eighteen months, Olivia (known by friends and family as Liv) has progressed from 16-year-old novice to accomplished sportswoman.

In 2018, Liv’s shooting diary included:

  • InterShoot, Holland (February)
  • British Open Airgun Championship, Bisley (April)
  • English Championships, Bisley (April)
  • Norfolk Open, North Walsham (June)
  • Junior International, Bisley (August)
  • Scout National Championships, Bisley (October)
  • Welsh Open, Cardiff (November)
  • Surrey Open, Bisley (December)
  • RIAC, Luxembourg (December)

Olivia Hill 2019

Olivia Hill (centre), Emily Bale, Phoebe Taylor

In February this year, at the 2019 Intershoot in Holland, the GB Talent Squad Junior Ladies’ team – Olivia Hill, Emily Bale, and Phoebe Taylor – won Silver in the team event. Two months later, in April, Liv was competing in the ESSU (English Small-bore Shooting Union) Championships at Bisley. Liv qualified 1st in Juniors and 4th in the Open event, earning herself a place in the final. Finishing 2nd overall, Liv was the highest-scoring junior, and she came home with the title of English Junior 10m Air Rifle Champion.

Paul Goater, manager of the England Rifle Academy and lead air rifle coach for the Rifle Talent Squad, is Olivia’s primary coach.

“She’s been a real pleasure to coach, and if she keeps working hard, is certainly capable of great things. I hope that I am fortunate enough to remain part of her support team moving forward.”

Junior World Cup in Suhl

Olivia competing at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany

At the time of writing, 18-year-old Liv is competing in the Junior World Cup at the Suhl-Friedberg Shooting Centre in Suhl, Germany. After her first match, Liv posted on Instagram:

“It was an amazing experience to shoot alongside some great shooters from so many different countries and see how others prepare to perform at their best. I can now say I have competed in my first Junior World Cup!”

Novi Sad Grand Prix, in Serbia

On the day Liv first competed in a Junior World Cup, British Shooting announced the GB team for the Novi Sad Grand Prix – a competition organised by the ESC (European Shooting Confederation). Olivia Hill had made the team!

“SUPER SUPER SUPER EXCITED to finally announce I have been selected to represent Great Britain in the Novi Sad Grand Prix in Serbia!!!” (Instagram 15 July)

Needless to say, the whole Pellpax team are immensely proud to be Olivia’s sponsor, and we believe that our Norfolk girl will keep shooting to the very top of her sport.

Liv says, “Pellpax has enabled me to do more training and competitions by supporting me.”

To keep up to date with Olivia’s shooting progress, why not follow her on Instagram

Contact Us

To find out more about Pellpax’s unique delivery service, just give us a call on 01263 731 585

Pellpax at War & Peace Revival

This week, Pellpax are preparing for the War & Peace Revival Show at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, in Kent, which will be open to the public from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 July, 09:00 to 18:00.

War & Peace Revival – an FRL Media event – is a celebration of 20th century military action and wartime civilian life, incorporating staged battle re-enactments, living history displays, and a huge exhibition of military vehicles and militaria.

There’ll be dancing and live music at the Victory Marquee, and special fly-overs by a Spitfire Mk9 TA805 (‘Kent Spitfire’) and a Hurricane Mk1 P2921.

So, if you’re at the show, come and say hello to us at stall P12, and have a look at some of the fantastic products we’ll have on offer at special show prices.

… Like Smith & Wesson revolvers from Umarex – widely considered to be the best CO2 revolvers ever made. The 586 4” Black .177 and the 686 6” Nickel .177 are both double-action revolvers with a 10-round magazine and fully adjustable sights. You can pick up one of these beauties, in its own hard case, from Pellpax at the War & Peace Revival show next week.

… And from the Umarex Legends series, the Legends Cowboy Lever Action and the Legends MP German Submachine Gun; both of these guns are CO2-powered, and fire 4.5mm pellets.

For more information about any of the products we sell, or to find out about the Pellpax unique delivery service, just give us a call on 01263 731 585 and talk to one of our experts.

And remember that the Pellpax office will be open all next week, so orders and enquiries will be handled as usual.

BASC Director of Firearms, Bill Harriman, Talks to Pellpax

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) receives approximately 10,000 enquiries each year. Last month (May 2019), there were 844 firearms-related enquiries.

Bill Harriman – BASC Director of Firearms and longest-serving resident expert in firearms and militaria for BBC’s Antiques Roadshow – talks to Pellpax about general licences, political influence, responsibility, and preservation of shooting sports.



British Association for Shooting and Conservation LOGO

BASC came into existence in 1908 as the Wildfowlers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland (WAGBI). In recognition of the fact that a single representative body for shooting sports was required, WAGBI took on this role in 1981, and the organisation’s name was changed to the British Association for Shooting Sports. BASC is unique in the shooting community in that it has a dedicated firearms department.

The current BASC President is Lord Geoffrey Dear, a crossbench peer and former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, who has been described as the best known and most respected police officer of his generation. In 1991, Lord Dear came across a rather feisty paper on antique firearms, and he brought this work to the attention of BASC Chief Executive, John Swift. Impressed with the paper, Mr Swift invited Bill Harriman, the paper’s author, to take on the role of BASC Head of Firearms.

“BASC is a mixture of people who know all sorts of things,” explains Bill, “There’s always a relevant specialist to refer members to, so we cover everything. A triage system ensures that urgent issues are attended to promptly. Flexibility is very important.”


Bill Harriman

“Peter’s the go-to barrister. We’re a good team.”

Peter Glenser

Bill is a member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and an Honorary Historical Consultant to the Royal Armouries Museum. He spent ten years in the auctioneer business, specialising in arms, armour, and militaria, and for many years, he’s been one of the trusted voices of authority on arms and militaria for the BBC’s popular and long-running Antiques Roadshow. There surely isn’t anyone better qualified to take on the role of expert witness in legal cases that involve firearms.

Bill works closely with BASC Chairman, Peter Glenser QC.

“Peter’s the go-to barrister. My job is to help the judge and jury to understand the forensics. Together, we’re a good team.”

BASC has approximately 155,000 members. So what’s the attraction?

“Insurance is undoubtedly the biggest draw,” Bill says. “But expert advice comes a close second.”


“If we don’t influence politicians, we might as well go home.”

What does Bill have to say about general licences?

“Things have definitely stabilised. There’s been a really good response to proposals. This will lead to much more permanent general licences … But the shooting community hasn’t done itself any favours by not being familiar with the terms of the licences – there’s a huge amount of ignorance. People who shoot have to take responsibility for promoting what they do. You need to read the licence, understand its terms, and make sure that you’re adhering to the terms. There are a lot of people out to get us. We must be very careful.”

Bill suggests that successful organisations like BASC might have lulled members into complacency.

“There’s a considerable amount of political apathy – a leave-it-to-them-to-sort-out kind of attitude. But politicians are power tarts. They’re influenced by the number of letters they get in their post bags. When someone brings a grievance to BASC, I ask, ‘Why aren’t you knocking on your MP’s surgery door?’ If we don’t influence politicians, we might as well go home.”


“I’ve always been interested in guns.”

As a child, Bill wasn’t encouraged to shoot.

“My dad did his level best to dissuade me from shooting, but I’ve always been interested in guns. I remember being at my Great Aunt Madge’s house – I must have been about seven years old. The sun was shining through the French windows. Propped up against these French windows, and framed by yellow-velvet curtains, was my dad’s BSA Standard Model air rifle from around 1928. I thought, ‘I’d like to fire that!’”

Under strict supervision, young Bill was allowed to fire his dad’s gun. This was the very first time he fired a gun. All these years later, Bill still has that precious air rifle.

As Bill grew up, his enthusiasm for shooting didn’t wane. He grabbed every opportunity to practise and to learn.

“My uncle was a farmer, and when I was old enough to go out shooting, unsupervised, he gave me free run of the farm. And I had a couple of farmer friends from university who let me shoot on their land. I learnt a lot about shooting in those years.”


“Biscuits for life! Just find that woodcock!”

I ask Bill, “What was your greatest shooting moment?”

There’s no hesitation. “I shot a woodcock with a flintlock that was made in 1824. It was one of the last flintlocks ever made.”

Bill is a good shooter, but, by his own admission, he doesn’t stand out from the crowd. He doesn’t really shine. I mean, he’s good – but not that good. (I think I’ve made my point.)

Anyway, out on a shoot, armed with an antique flintlock made by H W Mortimer London (“Very fast ignition, the zenith of flintlock technology”), Bill shot a woodcock! This small, hard-to-spot, zig-zagging bird that’s a challenge to hit in anybody’s book, was knocked from the sky by Bill and his antique flintlock.

But was it? With no physical evidence, this amazing feat couldn’t really be confirmed. I imagine there were those in the party who might have thought that Mr Harriman was telling porkies.

“We couldn’t find the bird – it had disappeared. I said to the senior dog handler, ‘I’ll see to it that those dogs get biscuits for life. Just find that woodcock!’”

The dead woodcock was found, and Bill has basked in the glory ever since.


“Little communities that bring people together.”

The social side of shooting should never be underestimated. For some, it’s a way to be around other people with the option to step into solitude when company becomes too much. For others, shooting is a passion that they love to share with fellow enthusiasts – a life within a life. People who have become isolated through adverse circumstances discover, in shooting sports, a friendly community to relieve the loneliness.

What does the sport mean to Bill Harriman?

“Little communities that bring people together. One thing I like about going on a shoot is that I’m one of the lads. Whilst I have quite a high profile within BASC, on a shoot, I’m just Bill, and I enjoy the banter and the joy of shooting.

“I also get a lot of satisfaction from encouraging new shooters. A young colleague of mine has no background in shooting, but she’s keen to learn. I’m enjoying giving her opportunity and encouragement. It’s lovely to see someone discovering the sport.”

“Who, in your opinion, is, or was, the greatest shooter ever?” I ask.

“Annie Oakley.”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking to Bill Harriman, BASC Director of Firearms. For further information about BASC, you’ll find contact details here. To find out more about general licences, click here.

Knives and Blades at Pellpax

Offensive Weapons Act 2019

As a result of new legislation relating to the sale and possession of blades, we’re now including knives in our unique face-to-face delivery service. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 makes it more difficult to purchase bladed tools such as penknives and axes, as sellers are now restricted in what they are allowed to send out. At Pellpax, however, we already have a well-oiled delivery system in place, and purchasing a knife from us will be fairly straightforward.

If you have ever bought a gun from us, you’ll know the procedure.

First of all, you must be at least 18 years old. Once your purchase has been processed, we’ll contact you to arrange a delivery day and time. When the Pellpax driver delivers your item to your door, you’ll need to present ID that proves your identity, age, and address. A valid UK driving licence is ideal. Alternatively, a combination of documents, such as passport, birth certificate, utility bill etc can be used.

Let’s have a look at a few choice knives available from Pellpax.

Buck Knives at Pellpax

Buck knives have been around for more than 100 years. The American company was founded by the precocious innovation of blacksmith’s apprentice Hoyt H Buck. At just 13 years old, having learned to make knives, young Hoyt developed a method of heat-treating steel for his tools, so that they’d hold an edge for longer.

Today, Buck Knives is run by the fifth generation of the Buck family, and is one of the world’s best known and most highly respected brands of knife.

At Pellpax, we have a wide range of Buck knives to choose from. The Buck Folding Pursuit Knife, for example, with its strong, sharp stainless-steel blade, is available in Small, Large, and Large Guthook. The handle is made from VersaFlex, which is the world’s leading brand of polyurea materials.

Gerber Knives at Pellpax

In 1939, when Joseph Gerber was working for the family advertising firm, he had 24 sets of kitchen knives made and sent out as gifts. The knives were a hit, and very soon there was a demand for more. This first batch of high-quality knives marked the beginning of Gerber Legendary Blades, a US company that’s still going strong today.

There are lots of Gerber knives to choose from at Pellpax – like the Applegate-Fairbairn Combat Folder Outdoor Knife, designed by military officer Colonel Rex Applegate. The spear point blade has a semi-serrated edge, and the built-in thumb stud enables easy one-handed opening. This superb piece of kit is strong, resilient, and lightweight – the result of Colonel Applegate’s great expertise.

Cold Steel Knives at Pellpax

Cold Steel knives are among the elite in the world of blades. Always at the forefront of technological development, the brand is always in the lead as the industry pushes through boundaries. At Pellpax, we consider the Cold Steel knife a must-have accessory.

The Cold Steel Trail Master has a razor-sharp blade that’s super-resistant to breaking and bending. With a non-slip grip and a durable sheath, this lightweight knife is effective and safe.

The pistol grip of the good-looking Frontier Bowie is made from the finest rosewood and secured with steel rivets. The elegant S-shaped hand guard keeps your fingers protected, and the knife comes with a full-length leather scabbard.

Give Us a Call

For information about our delivery service, or about any of the products we sell, just give us a call on 01263 731 585. Our experts are always ready to help.