The Paviors held their ground at the Inter-Livery Shooting Day at the West London School of Shooting on 18 May.

Against the backdrop of a sun-kissed sky, a team of eight members from the esteemed Worshipful Company of Paviors descended upon the West London School of Shooting to partake in the annual inter-livery shooting event. Nestled amidst the remnants of progress, a picturesque sporting ground emerges, an unexpected gem of manicured lawns, rolling terrain, and gracefully winding paths. Little would one know that the site was crafted from the construction spoil of the M25.

Split into two teams of four, the Paviors, armed with their trusty scatterguns, prepared to test their skills against the wily flight of clay pigeons. Arbitrarily dubbed ‘Paviors team B’ upon arrival and fully prepared to defy their moniker, Team B consisted of elder statesmen John Catton, Vin Chapman, and Ian Andrews and was staunchly directed by past master Christopher Laing. John Catton and Vin Chapman were guests of Christopher Laing.‘Paviours Team A’ consisted of virile young bucks Richard Harding, James Harding, Steve Hargreaves and their virtuous leader, James Atkins.

The stage was set, the barrels were polished, and the scent of healthy competition wafted through the air. With a collective determination in their eyes, the Paviors were filled with ambition and a hint of mischief, both teams aiming to demonstrate their expertise and love for the sport.

As the day unfolded, a symphony of laughter and camaraderie echoed across the range. In this whimsical symphony of flying targets and cracking shots, every stand presented a new challenge, blink, and you might miss the fleeting target.

When the final shot was fired, the elephant in the room was pressing everyone’s lips: who had prevailed? Paviors Team A or Team B?

And thus it transpired, irony dripped like molten gold as the venerated “Team B” emerged victorious. Their wisdom and experience left their young competitors in awe, The sun, in its silent applause, began its descent, casting golden hues upon the victorious team. With wry smiles and a twinkle in their eyes, Paviors Team B accepted their triumph with grace and style, leaving no doubt that they were the true Team A in both skill and spirit, if not in name.

Throughout the two-day competition, dozens of livery companies vied for supremacy on the shooting range. As one would expect, the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers are the standard-bearers and greatest adversaries in the competition submitting numerous teams every year, the Worshipful Co of Farmers always hot on their tails. Therefore the highest accolade at the inter-livery shoot is whimsically given to the company that finishes 12th overall, aptly named ‘The Glorious 12th, which this year went to the Worshipful Company of Farriers. A mention should also be given to the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers who emerged victorious in the ‘Team Flush’ event overcoming even the might of the Gunmakers. On the other end of the spectrum, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen graciously accepted the tongue-in-cheek award known as the “Muppet’s Prize.” In the spirit of good sportsmanship, they embraced their light-hearted title, reminding everyone that the joy of participation transcends the boundaries of victory.

Thus, as the curtains fell on this inter-livery shooting extravaganza, the Worshipful Company of Paviors left their mark as steadfast contenders. They may not have ascended to the pinnacle of the leaderboard, but their spirits remained unyielding, and their passion for the sport remained undimmed.

So, let it be known throughout the annals of the Worshipful Company of Paviors that on this fateful day, ‘Paviors Team B’ emerged victorious, a testament to the fact that sometimes, life’s delightful ironies can create the most memorable moments. May their laughter echo through the ages, reminding all who follow in their footsteps that true victory lies not in titles but in the spirit of one’s aim.

Richard & James Harding

(written in the depths of defeat on the drive home)