Memories of cracker night

Di NichollsNorth West Telegraph

The day started beautifully Hedland for the Sporting Shooters Club with a gentle breeze and 20C temperatures.

Off to the range we toddled with cup of tea in hand, it was to be an enjoyable day for the fellows at the local black-powder muzzle-loading competition.

A little drift back in time, to when the men measured and poured the powder, added a fabric patch, and then rammed the ball down into the rifle to compact it.

Add a small cap in place under its hammer, aim, pull the trigger and be immersed in the resulting cloud of white smoke and the smell of “cracker night” from years gone by. That is what was envisioned.

Competition started at 9am, but sadly, by about 8.30am the wind was gusting almost to mini-cyclone status.

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But everyone still wanted to get this competition off to a good start. To be fair, the shooters did themselves proud with some decent scores.

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