HAMPTON RIFLE CLUB
In 1904 Hampton Court Rifle was formed and officially opened 3 years later with a grand parade in Hampton High Street with amongst many military organisations, the then Metropolitan Water Board Fire Brigade with its engine helping to escort Field-Marshall Lord Roberts of Kandahar, a Boer War hero who was educated in Hampton, to officially open the ranges built in a former paddock of Bushy Park that had been given to us by King Edward VII.
The club was extremely successful, winning many competitions but closed in 1924.
It was reformed during World War 2, in 1942, shooting then in the car park of the new Hampton Swimming Pool, where our ranges had been originally located.
In 1955, with the great kindness of Thames Water, we moved to our present ranges at Hyde's Field where we now have a Clubroom, indoor and outdoor ranges.
In the early 2000's we added a 10m 2 lane Target Air Rifle and Pistol range with electronic target changers.
As times change and advances in the sport progress, Air Rifle, Bench Rest and Field Target grow in popularity, Hampton Rifle Club has embraced these disciplines and provide the facilities to participate in these sports too.
Archery at Hampton Rifle Club is still in its infancy but with a good number of members who participate and also with a few members who specifically use our Ranges solely for the practise of Archery.
In the 13th century Kempton manor was the site of a royal residence. Several subsequent houses were built on the site, but none of them now remain.
The manor of Kempton now exists only as the racecourse. A number of public houses associated with it or close to it, reflect this racing activity.
History of Kempton Park Racecourse
Kempton Park was the brainchild of S.H. Hyde, a 19th century Bristol businessman and a Tory party agent. It is said that he was enjoying a carriage drive in the country when he came across Kempton Manor and Park for sale. Hyde leased the grounds in 1872 and six years later in July 1878 Kempton opened as a racecourse.
The racecourse was intended to attract the up-market punter, particularly the female race goer and it was hoped that Kempton would enjoy the success of nearby Sandown Park.
First recorded meeting at Kempton Park in July. The programme included the Imperial Produce Stakes run, at that time, over 5 furlongs.
To mark Queen Victoria's 50th year as queen, the Grand Jubilee Handicap was run for the first time on 7th May and resulted in a win for Bendigo.
The Duke of York Handicap is run for the first time.
A 2 mile handicap, the Queens Prize, is run for the first time.
The Jubilee is run over 10 furlongs for the first time, having previously been over a mile.
The magnificent Sceptre wins the Duke of York handicap.
During the First World War Kempton is used as a military transport depot.
Fire destroys the old grandstand, and the year marks the first running of the Rosebery Stakes.
The new grandstand is completed and opened.
Kempton is used as a prisoner of war camp during World War II.
A sad day in Kempton's history. Arkle competes in the King George VI and sustains an injury which puts an end to his racing career.
David Robinson ensures racing survives at Kempton by purchasing the course for just over 3/4 of a million pounds.
Mill Reef triumphs in the Imperial Stakes before going on to greater successes.