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Thread: Totley Rifle Range, Sheffield, South Yorks, December 2017

  1. #1
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    Default Totley Rifle Range, Sheffield, South Yorks, December 2017


    1. The History
    Opening on 15th September 1900, the rifle range at Totley was renowned as being one of the very best in the country. At the time members of rifle battalions were required to pass a course on rifle training and practice regularly in order to receive their grant of 35 shillings a year. The standard issue rifle back thenwas the classic Lee Enfield .303 rifle with a range of over a 1000 yards. Hence firing ranges needed to be long and in Sheffield the only suitable site was Totley, just to the south of the city. This explains why it was chosen Colonel Hughes of the 1st Hallamshire Rifles Volunteer Battalion who set up the sit. He acquired the land and after months of hard work and an expenditure of 4,000, the rifle range was finished. The range and out-building were as mentioned earlier constructed initially for military use but public usage began soon after in January 1901 when some of the residents of Dore decided to form a rifle club, affiliated with the National Rifle Association.

    The aforementioned Hallamshires fought in World War One at the infamous battles of Ypres, Somme Messine and Passendale, losing 45 officers and 1,325 NCO men. All these men will most likely have practiced at Totley range.

    Map of the range showing the stop butts, Target line and the various range firing points (100-900 yrds):

    Totley map by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The range finally closed in 1997 because of the “right to roam” brigade trespassing within red flag exclusion zones every time the T/A or Army Cadets were shooting, and then complaining to the police that they were being shot at by the army.

    Civilian shooters, early 1900s:

    Totley 1 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Lewis machine gun practice, 1929:

    Totley 2 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The Hallamshire Rifles, Totley Rifle Range, 1932:

    Totley 3 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    For a more detailed account of the range in the aptly named “Short History of the Rifle Range at Totley”, self-published by Stephen Johnson in March 1993.

    2. The Explore
    Been meaning to head up here for a while as it’s a stone’s throw from where I live. It’s not been reported on much (think this is it's DP debut) but having seen a report on another site, it looked like it was worth a look-see. Nothing spectacular but it ended up as a nice little rural mooch that was a bit different and worth the trip for some on the graff that can be found along the covered area for the target markers.


    3. The Pictures


    Start of the safe area:

    img4080 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The older style target-marker shelters:

    Totley Range 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4082 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Totley Range 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4097 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Up, across and down to the newer style target-marker shelters:

    img4101 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Totley Range 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    It's a sort of out-door urban art long gallery:

    img4114 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4104 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4122 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Love a bit of Coloquix:

    img4102 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img4109 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Not too sure what this bit of technology is/was:

    img4108 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A second Coloquix:

    img4117 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Stop butt wall:

    img4127 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The old store room:

    img4123 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Store room roof:

    img4128 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    img4125 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    An old communications socket at the 200 yard firing point:

    img4129 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Thanks for looking!
    Last edited by HughieD; 5th Dec 17 at 11:58.

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    Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, jmcjnr, krela, Locksley, Mearing, Mikeymutt, mockingbird, oldscrote, prettyvacant71, psykie, rockfordstone, Rubex, smiler, theartist, thorfrun

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  3. #2
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    Brilliant, never even knew this place existed!

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locksley View Post
    Brilliant, never even knew this place existed!
    Cheers Locksley! Me neither until recently. Well worth a stroll if you are in the area...

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  5. #4
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    There were also other ranges around Shefiield:
    Ecclesall - Earlier Volunteers range
    There was also an early 200 yard range in the centre.

    Stannington - standard 600 yard range (Totley would primarily have been a 600 yard range with civilian sports shooting occasionally at greater distances...the army recognised that 'marksmanship' was pointless for ordinary soldiers...the chances of a soldier hitting something more than 100 yards away in the heat of battle were almost nil despite the Lee-Enfield being one of the best fast acting rifle for a very long time).

    Dronfield had an 800 yard range and a slightly later 200 yard one.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD, Locksley

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by druid View Post
    There were also other ranges around Shefiield:
    Ecclesall - Earlier Volunteers range
    There was also an early 200 yard range in the centre.

    Stannington - standard 600 yard range (Totley would primarily have been a 600 yard range with civilian sports shooting occasionally at greater distances...the army recognised that 'marksmanship' was pointless for ordinary soldiers...the chances of a soldier hitting something more than 100 yards away in the heat of battle were almost nil despite the Lee-Enfield being one of the best fast acting rifle for a very long time).

    Dronfield had an 800 yard range and a slightly later 200 yard one.
    Thank you for that extra detail Druid. Much appreciated. RE: the range - that would explain why the 700/800/900 firing posts were tucked to one side almost as an after-thought.

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  7. #6
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    Nice set hughie and a bit different.shame about the graffiti there
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

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    That's something different from your usual. But like the previous comment shame about the graffiti, some people like it and some don't.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

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    Love this, great stuff HughieD :)

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  10. #9
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    Brilliant history and bw pics, really gives your images some context HD:)

    Love that shot of the long gallery, I can see one of the Sheffield's colourful worms at the end:) and thats a great little shot in between the triangular metal joists
    ...

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubex View Post
    Love this, great stuff HughieD :)
    Cheers Rubex...not much left around sheff so having to search hard!

    Quote Originally Posted by prettyvacant71 View Post
    Brilliant history and bw pics, really gives your images some context HD:)

    Love that shot of the long gallery, I can see one of the Sheffield's colourful worms at the end:) and thats a great little shot in between the triangular metal joists
    Ha ha...those worms get everywhere. Cheers PV. Will have to go back in better light some time.

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    Thanks given by: Rubex

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