Ladies' shooting group celebrates 5th birthday
The sound of laugher, cheers and applause could be heard echoing around the striking grounds of Raemoir House in Aberdeenshire as the ladies of Glad Rags And Cartridge Bags celebrated their 5th birthday by doing what they do best - shooting clay pigeons.
This momentous occasion saw a weekend of festivities and rejoicing in style as the group had exclusive use of Raemoir House.
Ladies enjoyed a relaxed dinner on Saturday night followed by an overnight stay in the exquisite Georgian mansion, and the following day 41 ladies of all abilities - from never held a gun before to the more experienced shot - undertook a morning of clay shooting under instruction.
It was, as always, a nail-biting finish in the Country Ways Glad Rags Challenge.
Throughout the year the more competitive ladies entered their four best scores from the events they attended, the birthday event was the final day to enter scores or improve on scores.
At all Glad Rags events ladies are allocated groups according to their ability: experienced plus, experienced, improver or beginner.
The competition mirrored these groups, with fantastic prizes for first, second and third place in each category including vouchers from Country Ways, day at the races for two people from Weatherbys Private Bank and bottles of fizz from MHA Henderson Loggie.
Coming first in their respective categories were Helen Malcolm, Fiona Macpherson, Fiona Miller and Tricia Schooling while Lois Moyes, Vicky Sell, Kim Shearer and Jenna Humphrey were runners up.
British Association Of Shooting And Conservation's Kathleen O’Connor attended the event and presented the Glad Rags 5th Birthday Bash trophies to the high guns on the day for each of the four categories.
The lucky winners were Lois Moyes in the experienced plus, Marie Archer the experienced shots, Barbara Lumsden the improvers and Rosie Morton in the beginners.
Founder of Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags Mhairi Morriss says that she would have laughed five years ago if anyone had suggested they would be celebrating such an impressive milestone for the club, but she is obviously very proud of how glad rags has developed.
She said: “It has been the most amazing five years.
"We are unique - unlike other shooting clubs Glad Rags does not hold its clay shooting events at traditional shooting grounds and instead we are like a roving syndic holding our shoots at stunning exclusive venues.
"Over 1900 places have been filled at the 70 events at our 21 amazing unique venues, raising a staggering £10,000 for local charities.”
The club is going from strength to strength, with events continuing to sell out and new ladies attending each month.
This year saw the addition of two new sponsors Country Ways and MHA Henderson Loggie coming on board, which Mhairi described as "a perfect fit."
Country Ways' Rosemary Michie said: “I’m really passionate about encouraging women into the sport, so to have the chance to work with and support Glad Rags is fantastic!”
Lucy Crow, tax manager at MHA Henderson Loggie's tax manager Lucy Crow said: “It has been a joy to be involved with the superb events that each and every Gladrags day is.
"It has been wonderful to meet all the women who are so passionate about the sport and support each other to learn and improve throughout the year.
"At MHA Henderson Loggie we are proud to have been a sponsor for 2019 and are very excited for 2020.”
Looking forward to 2020, Mhairi is very enthusiastic about what is in store for the group, saying: “I am really looking forward to collaborating closely with our brilliant sponsors and new venues to offer the ladies a calendar of fun and exciting events.
"Children 1st is our chosen charity for the year and I have no doubt that we will reach are 500th lady to shoot with us, we are ending the year on 497.
"The 500th lady will come as my guest, I am in no doubt that this will happen at our first event of the year Blast Away The January Blues on January 12 at Pittodrie House.”
She was also very excited to announce a further two sponsors for 2020 - Weatherbys Private Bank and Station Garage Mitsubishi Torphins.
Head of Weatherbys Private Bank in Scotland Duncan Gourlay said: “We are delighted to be supporting Glad Rags in Scotland.
"We look after clients right across the country from our Edinburgh office and eager to encourage women into the sport.
"Glad Rags approach to tailoring the event to accommodate participants of any ability is very similar to our approach to banking, treating each and every one of our clients as an individual and priding ourselves on exceptional levels of personal service.”
Reminiscing on the start of Glad Rags And Cartridge Bags, Mhairi said: “I can’t lie Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags happened a bit by accident.
"The very first clay shoot five years ago at Raemoir House started out as a fun day out for friends but as soon as it was planned I had requests from so many ladies wanting to join us, one press release later and a few posts on social media and the clay shoot was sold out with 30 guns joining 'my day out for chums'.
"Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags was born."
Ladies who have never held a gun to the more experience shot are all welcome, and the emphasis is always on safety while learning how to shoot properly in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere.
There is no joining fee and ladies dip in and out, going along to the events they can manage.
For more information you can visit: www.gladragsandcartridgebags.com or call 07841 393 155, or alternatively you can find the group on Facebook and Instagram.