As you may already know, I work for The Prince’s Trust, which is a national youth charity. I work on something called the Team Programme but sometimes our fundraising and events team ask for volunteers to work on their events. I volunteered to help out at one of these events, which was a clay pigeon shoot.
The event was held at The Duke of Westminster’s estate near chester called Eaton Park here:
The event took place on Thursday 14th April but for me, proceedings started the night before as the other staff volunteers and I stayed over at Llyndir Hall Hotel. as we had to be up and ready to start work at 7:00am. The room I stayed in was ok, a fairly standard hotel room to be honest. I arrived at about 5:30pm, showered and them met everyone for dinner at 7pm. We were briefed over dinner and found out the following:
- There would be 29 teams of 4 people shooting clays the following day
- There would drives that the teams would visits and these would be named after the simulated animal they would be shooting.
- I would be staffing Drive no 2 called “Duck Flush” with my lovely colleague Heather.
- Our drive would have pork pies and chutneys on it along with Holland and Holland guns!
- Hunters Land Rover Chester would be supplying 15 Land Rovers to ferry the shooting parties between each drives on the Eaton Estate. One of each Land Rover that is made.
- The catering throughout the day would be provided by Horseradish catering.
So I slept fairly well and sure enough at 7am we were on the move from the hotel to the Estate. The shoot itself started a little late, but it was a really good day. On our drive there were the Holland and Holland guns and we told the shooters that if everyone used the guns provided rather than their own they would double their points! We did of course, charge them £20 per gun, which raised £1,860!!
Each group of 4 had paid over £2,000 to shoot and I was worried that people with so much money would be snooty and difficult, but they were polite and charming and very very generous. After the shoot, they were given lunch and then played a few games, paid a few daft fines and took part in the finale which was the charity auction. At the final count, the day raised over £100,000 and whilst long and exhausting, it was brilliant and a real life experience.
The Eaton estate was enormous and magnificent and I am so honoured to get to see inside here… I took a few photos and here they are: