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Report - Totley Rifle Range, Sheffield, S.Yorks, December 2017

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by HughieD, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jan 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    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 then was 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):

    [​IMG]Totley map

    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:

    [​IMG]Totley 1

    Lewis machine gun practice, 1929:

    [​IMG]Totley 2

    The Hallamshire Rifles, Totley Rifle Range, 1932:

    [​IMG]Totley 3

    For a more detailed account of the range see 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, having being inspired by @Torchlight and his excellent report on the place (hope you don't mind I borrowed your map and one of your archive pix). It’s 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:


    The older style target-marker shelters:

    [​IMG]Totley Range 01


    [​IMG]Totley Range 02


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


    [​IMG]Totley Range 03

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




    Love a bit of Coloquix:



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

    [​IMG]img4108 b

    A second Coloquix:


    Stop butt wall:


    The old store room:

    [​IMG]img4123 b

    Store room roof:



    An old communications socket at the 200 yard firing point:

    #1 HughieD, Dec 6, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    tarkovsky likes this.

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  2. Steve Poultney

    Steve Poultney 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Just for your info, my club, The Dorset Riflemen, has and annually awards the "Hallamshire Cup" as it's short range trophy. Coincidently we are shooting for the trophy on Sunday 10/12/17(weather permitting at Bisley). How the club came to own the cup I'm not sure but it is contemporary to the First World War. I will try and date it from the hallmarks on Sunday.
    HughieD likes this.
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