The Edenbridge and District Rifle Club was formed at the end of the Second World
by past and serving members of the 'D' Company, 32nd Battalion, Kent Home Guard.
The title of the Club at its formation was the Edenbridge and District (D'Coy. 32
Bat.) Home Guard Rifle Club. Its title was to be changed three times, until in 1950
it was agreed that the links with the disbanded Home Guard were no longer necessary
or desirable and the Club was renamed with the title it holds today. It was in 1947
that the Club opened its doors to ex-members of HM forces and cadet’s forces and
a present member, being fifteen years old at the time, holds the privilege of being
the first member of the cadet forces to join the Club.
From its formation the Club met during the winter months at the drill hall in Edenbridge
and in the summer at the Hever range. Having thrown off the military air the Club
had grown up with it was opened around 1950 to all interested in the sport of small-bore
target shooting, and in 1959 a pistol section was formed. Interest was keen, and
as older members were forced by ill health and failing eyesight to retire from the
scene, the positions of officers of the Club were taken by the younger generation,
and it would not be unkind or untrue to state that the club was launched into a 'new
era' around the mid nineteen fifties. Improvement of weapons and equipment brought
the expected improvement in scores, and at least five members to date have been honored
by being selected to shoot in our county teams. In 1975 the Club opened its doors
to the world of Air Gun shooting, specifically for the younger generation, but with
the advent of Air Gun sophistication this section has grown in popularity encompassing
all age groups from 10 years upwards.
Back to 1967 and the Club suffered a severe setback with the disbanding of the TA
and the decision to demolish the drill hall. A bitter blow indeed, for it was impossible
to shoot at Hever in the winter as there was no heating and the firing point and
club quarters were in the open. The President was approached, and in due course,
with the generosity and kindness shown to the Club by the Astor family, the Club
was granted a twenty one year lease. This was the impetus required, three chicken
deep litter sheds were purchased for a nominal sum, dismantled and re-erected at
Hever, covering the 25 yards range. After a season's hard work by all members, a
covered range was formed, and for the first time in its history the Club had a permanent
home. The ex-chicken sheds served the Club well, for at a conservative guess they
were some 40 years old, but eventually they had to be replaced, and this time all
agreed, with a more permanent brick built building. And so in 1980 our President,
Lord Astor, was again approached and the Club duly granted a further 21 years lease,
all that was needed now were the necessary funds to carry out the work.
After some twelve months of arduous fund raising, interest free loans from club members
and a grant from the Sevenoaks District Sports Council our target was reached and
work could begin. During a period of only four weeks the old range was demolished
and a new, and dryer, covered 25 yards range was completed, a tribute indeed to all
the club members, among them the main contractor, for the hard work and long hours
they had given.
The Club has always maintained a realistic annual membership fee and evening levy
with ammunition sold at a low profit margin to encourage more shooting. The Club
provides rifles, pistols, telescopes and other equipment necessary, for those who
do not possess their own. There are numerous cups and trophies to be competed for
during the year, most under handicap, allowing all members a fair chance of winning
and at least two teams are entered for the Kent County League competitions during
both Summer and Winter seasons.