Summer fun over the old rifle range

by PAUL PICKERING

If you were a child living on the Barnhill estate in the 1950's-60's then you surely would have, at one time or another, visited or more likely played in the old rifle range that is situated north of Kingshill Avenue to the west of West London Shooting Grounds.

I can remember going to the woods for the first time just behind the range with my parents, older brothers and neighbours as a very young child around 1956 or '57 to pick blackberries for my mother to make into pies, and later on in the early 60's spending days there and abouts with friends during school Summer holidays. Up until about 1964, the place had a three section heavy gauge steel sheet roof suspended by girders. This sadly disappeared bit by bit over the years until the structure became totally open to the elements. A couple of years ago, I related the above story to my (then) 16 year old daughter.

The original photo, 1999 Some months later, I was in the area and had the opportunity to revisit the place, enjoy old memories and to take a photo, as much for myself as for her to see for herself what the place was like. She is a very keen artist, and later gave me a drawing in pastels, of the range based on the photo that I showed her. This drawing now hangs on the wall of my den/computer room and I thought that you might like to have copy of it for your site. It is a little larger than A4 in size, so consequently, I had to scan it in two sections (hence the watermark down the middle). I think she has captured the place quite well. Any locals - what do you think ?

Regards, Paul Pickering

'We picked blackberries there in 56-57'

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