On 24 November the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club will be stylishly trashing the 'no brown in town' rule by hosting a countryside fashion event at Adam Street. Ahead of this elegant introduction to country attire, we talked to club founder Victoria Knowles-Lacks about her women-only shooting events, fieldsports fashion and shooting clays from London landmarks. (Hypothetically, of course.)
What is the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club?
The S&CBC is a really fun and inclusive, girls-only introduction to clay shooting. The club, which runs events across the UK, has the sole aim of encouraging more women and girls into shooting, and making it accessible to all. We shoot in small groups, under fully qualified instruction, before returning to the club house for tea and cake served in beautiful old vintage china. Lots of the ladies bring a cake along - there’s a rosette for the best! We have lots of fun, it’s lighthearted and it’s the perfect start to a great new sport or hobby.
Why Chelsea Buns specifically?
Chelsea buns are hugely under rated, plus we thought it was quite a cool name.
What led you to set it up?
The S&CBC almost started by accident: last year I took three girl friends for a group shooting lesson, they had all wanted to try it but were a little intimidated by going on their own, so we opted for safety in numbers! We happened to bring cake and drink lots of tea, and from there the concept was born.
What has the response been like so far?
Absolutely phenomenal! I really can’t believe how successful it has been to date. The club was set up in September 2011, by June 2012 it was my full time job! We’re now rolling out plans to hold a S&CBC day in every county as of March 2013, and to take on ‘Regional Coordinators’ to hold events in different parts of England. We have women of all ages, abilities and backgrounds join us, our youngest has been 11 and our eldest 75 – it really is for everyone and I think people are really tuning in to it, plus what isn’t fun about shooting!?
Why should women take up shooting sports?
Shooting is seriously, seriously good fun and the recoil element is nowhere bad as people expect. We give beginners very low recoil cartridges and nice guns so they feel hardly any discomfort and we quash any misconceptions about ‘kick’. There is something so satisfying and empowering about shooting a shotgun and busting clays, everyone seems to do much better than they think they will. We absolutely guarantee the girls will be hitting clays after a few shots.
Historically shooting has been seen as an expensive past time, however it’s shedding it’s elitist image and really is more accessible than ever. The majority of members of clay clubs are normal, down to earth and welcoming people, not the ‘posh’ types you might expect. Lots of shooting grounds and organisations also offer ‘have a go’ initiatives which allow you to try the sport at a discounted rate. There are lots of ways of shooting without it costing you the earth – the S&CBC being one of them!
Do you get a lot of prejudice from male shooters?
We do have to hold our own a bit more, I think some men expect us girls to not be as good as them, however the majority are very gentlemanly. Unless of course we beat them, then it’s not good news!
What's the Field Fashion Showcase?
The Field Fashion Showcase is fun social event on Saturday 24 November, which is being held at No 9 Adam Street. The event will be bringing the ‘Best of British’ country couture to London. The event starts at 1pm with a drinks reception, before the ‘pop up’ shopping experience opens in the side room. The catwalk show will then get underway and will snake through the atmospheric bar and restaurant, before the event closes with a charity auction that consists of some exceptional lots. Tickets are £35 and include champagne, canapés and an exclusive goodie bag from Out of the City. The event is open to everyone, especially those who want to find out more about shooting.
If you could shoot clay pigeons from any London landmark, which one would it be?
That’s a tricky question... It would probably be the Houses of Parliament as it’s British, iconic and in a beautiful part of London.
For more information about the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club and the Field Fashion Showcase on 24th November, visit the website.