George Appleton identifies three breeds within the shooting classes and urges readers to see which they belong to
A) In a damp castle in some far flung rural shire, as far away from London as possible.
B) London during the week, country at weekends.
C) Divide your time between London and Dubai.
A) On your family’s 800-year-old estate in Cumbria, and occasionally at cousin Algy’s in Norfolk.
B) Anywhere and everywhere. Pheasant in Yorkshire and Devon, partridge in Spain, and grouse in Scotland.
C) You rarely venture out of the Home Counties. You think Surrey is positively rural, and Gloucestershire might as well be the Scottish Highlands.
Your kit comprises of:
A) A once new, but now rusting Purdey side by side. You always wear your family’s estate tweed, and generally anything with holes in. Wellies are bog standard green Dunlops.
B) A well-used pair of Beretta over and unders. Expensive shooting coat from Schoffel or Musto. Le Chameau wellies with zip sides, a la Kate Middleton but with actual mud on.
C) The latest state of the art bespoke pair of Holland & Hollands, and a Toad of Toad Hall-style three-piece suit. Your leather boots come from Ralph Lauren.
A) You have a whole kennel full. Two blacks labs called Bertie and Gussie, Cecil the Irish wolf hound, and a Jack Russell named Humphrey (nicknamed Humpers for obvious reasons).
B) You don’t – you leave that sort of thing to the pickers up.
C) Lady Ga Ga, the Cockapoo.
A) A beaten up old Land Rover Defender, with moss growing on the roof and grass sprouting in the back.
B) The latest Range Rover Sport in Forest Green.
C) You don’t – you get chauffeured around in your Bentley Bentayga.
Your significant other is:
A) Frumpy and dumpy, but produces a cracking shoot lunch.
B) A willowy blonde, rarely seen on shoot days.
C) A Russian model, who always decamps to the nearest Range Rover after the first drive as all that banging gives her a headache.
Mostly (a) – You’re ‘Old School’ – when you were growing up, everyone you knew had their own gamekeeper. Oh and by the way, don’t you think central heating is just so arriviste? Classic ‘Old Schooler’ – Francis ‘f-ing’ Fulford.
Mostly (b) – You’re a ‘Seasoned Pro’ – you probably have a significant private income but still pull in a packet every year in the City, which is just as well as you spend it all on shooting. Classic ‘Pro’ – William van Cutsem.
Mostly (c) – You’re a ‘Nouveau Newbie’ – you struggle to tell one end of a gun from the other, but those clothes are dope. Classic ‘Newbie’ – David Beckham.
George Appleton is a UCL graduate and freelance writer who is based in North Lancashire.
Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:
Amusing and fun!!!!!!!!
Just explain what is fun about killing animals? Do these people understand what it is to take away life? To cause pain and suffering to creatures that have sentience, social relationships and the ability to feel the agony of being shot?
New people coming into shooting is only a good thing.
What sort of game do you shoot in your outback? Dogs, Kangaroos?
Sorry, but why would you be idiotic enough to let Purdey’s rust? When I was young the first rule was to look after your gun/s. Clearly, Appleton, s a young boy, you had no gamekeeper to teach how to shoot .
A good gamekeeper would never allow you to neglect your gun.
There is a really boring snobbery about ‘best’ London guns and most written by people like Appleton who have superficial understanding.
Had I a choice a pair of Boss o/u’s would suit me well. I prefer shooting with o/u’s and it was 30’s snobbery that made people feel they were common
My favourite was a John Dixon Round Action which I bitterly regret selling. Probably better than a London gun in terms of balance. And, certain Beretta and other Italian and Spanish guns are far superior to modern day Purdeys or H&H,
I handled a Beretta o/u which had been modified by a gunmaker in Chichester; it was stunningly beautiful.
So, Mr Appleton, your attempts to prove you are an old school shooter are just a bit lame.
Harry Stow Crat. Mr and Mrs Nouveau-Richards etc;-
Class – by Jilly Cooper .. Get it – read it – give it to a friend
THE best of Social commentary
Well said Mr Wayde, I second every point you make here, especially about ignorant gun snobbery and I too love the Dixon round action although I have yet to find one myself. The more I read your posts which are always to the point, the more I regret our stupid early spat which was probably my fault, will you accept my apologies?
Charles, I think the apology is more due on my part. You write a great deal of sense….
Thank you, thats a good seasonal reconciliation then. I loved your comments about the things you would pay most not to attend (Dec 6th). The loathsome “Sir” Phillip Green tops my list of people who I consider least deserve a knighthood.What was it granted for exactly I wonder? being greedy and avoiding British taxes by residing in Monaco ?