North Mercia Pistol and Rifle Club
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Club History

Myrtle Street Rifle Club (MRC) was originally known as McQuorcodale Rifle Club (MRC) which was formed mainly by members from the Crewe Rifle & Pistol Club in the 1960's.

McQuorcodale Security Printers was a company based in Francis Street off Nantwich Road, Crewe, that printed cheques for the banking industry. The name Myrtle Street Rifle Club was adopted to reflect the location of the rifle range which was also used by the Crewe Rifle & Pistol Club and was situated in the TAVR drill hall which was on the corner of Myrtle Street and Derrington Avenue in Crewe. It also enabled the initials MRC on the old club’s badges to still be used.

The membership of Myrtle Street Rifle Club had by the middle of the 1970's dropped to only three members which was below the National Small-bore Rifle Association criteria for a shooting club. The three remaining members, Dave Mason, Adrian Hughes and Rob Worthington agreed to keep the club alive by bolstering the clubs failing membership, enlisting friends and family into the club as members.

The membership slowly grew due mainly to better recognition of the club’s existence through a local gun shop owned by Rob Worthington. Early in the 1980's this also opened the opportunity for the club to negotiate for its own shooting range. This culminated in the acquisition of an abandoned RAF outdoor range at Prees Heath (whose war time role was a conversion unit for crews to the Stirling and Halifax aircraft), which was now in private ownership.

The range had been used for housing rare pigs and had for a while been used by the Newport Shooting Club but was now in a deplorable state of repair and had lost its range safety certificate. The club undertook a major reclamation programme leading to the range’s alteration and adoption as a civilian range which took several months to be completed and to be authorised by the military authorities based in Shrewsbury.

Initially used for small bore pistol and rifle shooting, after some negotiation and further upgrading it was later expanded to incorporate full bore pistol calibres and also black powder shooting. In addition the range could now be used for most of the week during daylight hours.

This had a dramatic effect on the desirability of the club and as a consequence there was a steady controlled growth in the membership. Over the following years further major development took place which allowed the range to attain its true full potential.

Part of the development was to reproduce a flat or walk-down range with solid side walls made from wooden sleepers to facilitate a safer shooting environment and as a shield against the prevailing cross winds. This wall was later enhanced by planting foliage. The range was now ideal for most outdoor pistol disciplines, which enabled the use of many different types of firearms. This encouraged the development of a number of pistol competitions which included UKPSA practical pistol, police pistol, small and large bore precision target pistol and also the use of black powder and vintage short and long arms.

At this time due to the expansion in the disciplines at Prees it was decided to change the club’s name to be more relevant to the location and after some deliberation within the membership the Mercian Eagle logo and the name North Mercia Pistol Club (NMPC) was adopted.

At about this time Crewe Rifle and Pistol Club acquired from Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council a building to convert into a range and club house on the junction of Ellis Street and Broad Street, Crewe. This was called The Blue Bell Range and as part of their agreement with the C&NBC they offered NMPC the joint use of this facility which was eagerly taken up.

The two ranges then used by NMPC differed in a number of ways and this dictated the various disciplines of shooting that they each undertook.

The late 1990's became a turbulent time for pistol shooters culminating in the outright ban on handguns for civilian use in 1997, however the range at Prees still proved to be an attractive location to the keen competitor and is continually being honed and developed by the membership.

Adrian Hughes one of the three founding members resigned from the club and relocated his handguns in Europe where he continued to use them when he could.

In August 1998 Dave Mason also one of the three founder members sadly passed away, he was still an active member of NMPC at that time.

In 2013 the club had to make a decision to stop using the range at Crewe. This enabled the club’s funds to be concentrated on further development of the range at Prees Heath which has included further improvements of the club room to enhance its use in the winter months.

Also at our 2013 General meeting it was agreed that in response to advice from the National bodies re club constitutions it was necessary to update our constitution and club rules. It was also decided that the club’s name should be changed to North Mercia Pistol & Rifle Club to reflect the enforced decline in pistol shooting and the increased use of rifles in club activities. To facilitate our expanded membership it was also decided to create our first website.