Boston rifle club’s farewell gift to the community

Sport writer Mike Cross learns some sharp-shooting skills with Soames Rifle Club in Boston under the guidance of Jack Sleight, Peter Halliwell and Alan Jackson, in 1975.
Sport writer Mike Cross learns some sharp-shooting skills with Soames Rifle Club in Boston under the guidance of Jack Sleight, Peter Halliwell and Alan Jackson, in 1975.

A Boston rifle club that has been forced to close has gone out with a bang – by donating more than £1,000 in leftover funds to good causes.

Amid falling membership numbers and rising costs, members of the Soames Rifle Club voted unanimously at the end of last year to dissolve the society.

The club was formed in 1972. Before that members had been shooting with the Territorial Army, in the Drill Hall, Boston, despite not being not part of the TA themselves.

As part of the closure, the club needed to dispose of all its assets.

To this end, the leftover equipment was donated to another rifle club in the town, while the money in the closing accounts was split between two local charities – Boston Alzheimer’s Carers Group and the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, with each cause receiving £729.78.

Explaining why these charities were chosen, secretary Roger Carrott said: “At the final AGM the club members voted for the two charities we are sending the split final account to.

“We really wanted the closure of the club to have some positive impact on our local community and we felt these charities did just that.”

Hugh Mackay, secretary of Boston Alzheimer’s Carers Group, said: “We wish to express our sincere thanks for supporting us.

“Without people like that, we would not exist. We get no Government support of any kind. We are purely reliant on people making donations to keep us going.”

Sally Crawford, deputy chief executive officer of the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance said: “Our service is indebted to people such as those at the Soames Rifle Club.

“Their benevolent actions in sad times such as their club closure makes it even more meaningful. We are very grateful that they thought of us and wish them all the very best.”