Glen Forbes-Grantville

Glen Forbes/Grantville Rifle Range a Modern History

Prior to the history detailed below, the Glen Forbes Rifle Club was active for many years at the now Grantville Rifle Range, however, as there is very little known about the original Glen Forbes club and its history we cannot elaborate and so, we begin our modern history.

Williamstown Rifle Range also known as the Merrett Rifle Range, ( after Colonel Sir Charles E. Merrett CBE, VD, who  served on the VRA Council from 1890 to 1947), catered for all clubs in metropolitan area; No:19 MDRA. 

The Williamstown Rifle Range opened on 27th July 1878 and was utilised regularly by militia, the armed services and civilian shooters until it was closed on 30th June 1990. ( In 1886 there were no less than 225 rifle clubs in Victoria with 6500 members ).

The closure meant that all clubs that used Williamstown as a shooting range had to find alternative ranges to shoot on.

Lilydale Rifle Club, Bacchus Marsh Rifle Club, Werribee Rifle Club, Geelong Rifle Club, Fitzroy-Brunswick Rifle Club, Caulfield Rifle Club, Collingwood Rifle Club, MCC Rifle Club, International 300 M Rifle Club and Lang Lang Rifle Club, were among some of the clubs affected by the closure.

The following clubs moved to the Lang Lang Range; Fitzroy-Brunswick Rifle Club, Caulfield Rifle Club, Collingwood Rifle Club, MCC Rifle Club, International 300 M Rifle Club, however, the clubs were not completely happy with the move.  As a result they were made aware that a range existed at Glen Forbes which was not regularly used and was under control of Lang Lang DRA with a requirement that it had to be used twice a year and it was only ten minutes from Lang Lang.

Arrangements were made for Fitzroy-Brunswick, Caulfield, Collingwood and International 300M Clubs to move to Glen Forbes, although range was in a poor state and required a lot of work.  The above clubs and Lang Lang DRA affiliated clubs undertook to bring range up to a suitable standard;

  • Range had three targets which were then increased to five.
  • Stop butt needed a lot of work and was moved forward to its present position
  • Target area was in bad shape and needed to be rebuilt.
  • Bush area cleared to allow for five targets (this was done by working bee and completed in one day).
  • Shooting mounds upgraded with synthetic grass.
  • Flagging reinstated, used flags from the now defunct Merrett Rifle Range.
  • Target shed upgraded to twice original size.
  • Road to stop butts upgraded.

All this work was carried out by volunteers and financial donations, Life Memberships were taken out thus creating more donations.  
The works were carried out from late 1990 under the Glen Forbes Rifle Range banner which was later changed to Grantville Rifle Range in 2000 to better advertise the range and supply facilities for the now current clubs.

Fitzroy-Brunswick merged with Caulfield to became Fitzroy-Caulfield and were joined at the range by MCC (who had moved to Geelong but were unhappy with this arrangement and returned to Grantville).

Grantville Rifle Range clubs currently provide the following:

  • Range Maintenance 
  • Targets
  • Rates
  • Rental
  • Any other costs associated with running the range. 

Costs are covered by a percentage of $10 weekly shooting fee collected from all shooters.

  MDRA

Metropolitan District Rifle Association (No: 19) has been in existence for a very long time and once included all clubs that were once based at Williamstown, the remaining clubs are Fitzroy-Caulfield, MCC and Lilydale. The activities of the No:19 MDRA include;

  • Pennant Competition
  • DRA Teams
  • DRA Champion of Champions
  • Monthly matches

A photograph of the Glen Forbes Club members can be found in the photographs page.  If any of the shooters in that photo are recognised please make contact with the club secretary Don McLeish on the email address and let him know.  donaldmcleishjp@gmail.com