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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    "Surprise Photograph" 1928

    I recently came across this photograph, taken in 1928, and a note with the background story on how it came to be taken which I had completely forgotten about until rediscovering the photo.

    What happened was my late grandmother's brother was a lifelong shooting enthusiast, concentrating mainly on "sporting type guns" and as a young man his mother thought that it would be "rather nice" to have some photos taken of his shotgun, dog and cartridge bag, without his knowledge and then present them, to him, as a "surprise". She either didn't have a camera of her own available or didn't want to present her son with amateurish photos and so she decided to call on the services of a professional photographer. The photographer's business was in Clacton-on-Sea a she lived a little way out of town and she had no means of transport other than her feet.

    She didn't consider this to be any sort of hindrance because she simply put the dog on a lead, slung the cartridge bag over her shoulder and stuck the shotgun under her arm and didn't bother about covering it or putting the gun in any sort of gun bag. She proceeded to walk into Clacton-on-Sea, with shotgun under arm, and then into the photography shop in town. She had the photographs taken, the result is below, and then it was a return walk home, shotgun under arm and, as far as I know, no one challenged her and no one objected either going to or from the photographer.

    When she finally presented the photos to her son and the story came out about how they were obtained he was not all happy because he was always very strict on anything to do with gun safety. One can imagine the reaction that the lady would have got if she did the same thing in 2022.

    The dog's name was "Bob".
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    Last edited by Flying10uk; 05-04-2022 at 02:07 PM.

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    Contributing Member Gil Boyd's Avatar
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    Coppers on every corner in those days, with the formidable whistle to call for their equivalent of todays Tactical Firearms Unit...........a solitary rusty old WW1 Lee Enfield most probably.
    Nice story.
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 05-04-2022 at 07:43 AM.
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    Yeah. In the 1940s in Tennessee, my father used to take his rifle to school and store it in his locker so he could go squirrel hunting after classes. Did it right in front of the principle. It simply wasn't an issue. He also shot on the high school shooting team. He ended up top shot in his Navy Induction class in 1944 and score Sharpshooter.

    In the 1960s at my home in Tennessee, we used to shoot pistols and rifles in our back yard. Our home was just outside the city and the backyard featured an abandoned marble quarry with twenty-foot walls that served as a perfect amphitheater/backstop. Few of the neighbors thought anything of it. Someone once called the sheriff who came to visit. He said, "Guys, what guns are you shooting?" We showed him our rifles and .44 Magnum Ruger Super Blackhawk pistol and he whistled. After trying out the Bllackhawk he said, "Well, you guys have fun and be safe!"

    It was a different age.

    Bob
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    Nowadays people have a heat attack if they see an airgun.

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    Contributing Member RASelkirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
    Yeah. In the 1940s in Tennessee, my father used to take his rifle to school and store it in his locker so he could go squirrel hunting after classes. Did it right in front of the principle. It simply wasn't an issue. He also shot on the high school shooting team. He ended up top shot in his Navy Induction class in 1944 and score Sharpshooter.

    In the 1960s at my home in Tennessee, we used to shoot pistols and rifles in our back yard. Our home was just outside the city and the backyard featured an abandoned marble quarry with twenty-foot walls that served as a perfect amphitheater/backstop. Few of the neighbors thought anything of it. Someone once called the sheriff who came to visit. He said, "Guys, what guns are you shooting?" We showed him our rifles and .44 Magnum Ruger Super Blackhawk pistol and he whistled. After trying out the Bllackhawk he said, "Well, you guys have fun and be safe!"

    It was a different age.

    Bob
    The majority of people back then weren't sick in the head. I got out of HS in '71, in NY state to boot. There weren't many trucks in the parking lot w/o a gun or two in the rack. Dad had a hardware store that sold guns, I remember taking a "sold" gun to school for the recipient because, being a farmer's son, he had no time after school. It did go to to the principal's office, but now? No way!

    Russ

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    Contributing Member RASelkirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    Nice! As an ex "Yankee", us school kids had plenty of indoor gym time once the snows came and that would have been a real treat.

    Russ

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    Looks like a step in the right direction...
    Regards, Jim

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    Nice to see some schools waking up to the educational value of proper informed and safe firearms use.
    There were far less issues with firearms when kids were taught how to shoot and compete with small calibre rifles.
    Teaching kids to be scared is not in their best interests!
    Teaching them gun safety and handling is important; it cold be a life saver!

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    At high school in the early '60's we had 2 ranges; 25 yards for the No8 .22's and a 300 yard range for everything else. We shot No4 .303's mostly but also used Brens, Vickers and Sterlings, plus demos with the then newly issued L1A1 SLR's. The school armoury had over 500 rifles plus MG's. We also had a mortar platoon that used to fire 3" practice bombs diagonally over the playing field while the rest of us were doing drill in the middle. The School Cadets training was compulsory for all boys unless they had a written medical exemption. Nowadays only a very small number of schools have a cadet programme and it is voluntary, with fairly low participation. The 300 yard range at my old school is now the school golf course but the 25 yard range is still in use and they have a clay target range as well, so all is not lost!

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