Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 19 August 1907
An Interesting Ceremony.
It was a big day for the village on Saturday. In the afternoon the new pavilion, generously given to the Rifle Club by Mr. F. J. O. Montagu, of Melton Hall, was formally declared open by Mrs. Pope, the wife Captain M. E. W. Pope, who has been elected the directorate of the Denaby and Main Collieries Company, Limited, of which his uncle, Mr. Buckingham Pope, is chairipan. At night, the gallant captain, who saw active service in South Africa-with ‘”the Death or Glory Boys (the 17th Lancers), was the recipient of handsome presentation, subscribed for by the miners, to signalise his marriage few weeks back, and mark of general esteem. Accompanying both events was a remarkable spirit of enthusiasm.
The Denaby Main Rifle Club is one the leading civilian organisations its kind in the county, and, a large company climbed the high hill to witness the opening of the new pavilion. The Denaby Main Ambulance Band was in attendance and rendered selections of music. The building, of red brick, with fancy facings, has windows adaptable for shooting from, and is so arranged to allow for winter use, so that the club’s season will now extend practically all the year round.
Amongat those present to welcome Captain and Mrs. Pope, who were accompanied by Mr. Buckingham Pope, were Mr. W. H. Chambers (president o; the club). Mr. A. H Barnard, Mr. H. S. Witty, Mr. and Mrs. G. White (Melton), Mr. Mrs. and Miss Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. G. Kilner, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Smethurst, Mr. A. Emmerson, Mr. and Mrs. Moses Soar, and Mr. J. Hill.
Mr. W. H. Chambers, on behalf of the club and company present, extended a hearty welcome to Mrs. Pope, and pointed that theirs was one of the first miniature rifle clubs opened in the neighbourhood. Rifle shooting was commendable in many ways, not only from the recreative point view, but from its aspect usefulness. (Hear, hear.) He thought, the progress the members of the club had made, in case of invasion, that Conisborough would be one of the safest places to be in. (Laughter and applause.)
Mrs. Pope, who was warmly received, expressed her pleasure at being able to come there for so congenial a task. In declaring the new pavilion open she wished that club the very best of prosperity and an increase of members. (Applause.)
Little Miss Gwendoline Smethurst then presented Mrs. Pope with a lovely bouquet of flowers, following which the door of the pavilion was opened and part of the company proceeded inside on a visit of inspection. During an interval tea was served.
Subsequently Mr. W. H. Chambers proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Montagu—who was unable to present—for his generosity in providing that pavilion to complete his former kindness in giving them the range. (Applause.) When the rifle range was first initiated the difficulty of finding a suitable site was met by Mr. Montagu, and they would agree that would be impossible to have a more ideal situation than they had obtained. (Hear, hear.) The club had, since its institution, made appreciable headway, and now had, he believed, about hundred members—all good shots. (Applause.) They were very pleased to see Mr. White —Mr. Montagu’s agent —present in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Montagu. (Applause.)
Mr. S. J. Bridges seconded.
Mr. White acknowledging, said he had received a letter from Mr. Montagu expressing his regret at -being unable to be present. Mr. Montagu took a very great interest in rifle shooting, and was proposing to establish a similar club on his Norfolk estate. (Heat, hear.) Mr. Montagu was shooting man, a sportsman and a gentleman, and therefore it was natural for him help forward their rifle club. (Applause.)
Mr. A. H. Barnard proposed vote of thanks to Mrs. Pope for her kindness in coming there that day (Applause.)
Mr. H.’ Witty seconded, and in the name of the members of the club hoped Mrs. Pope would come often and continue to take interest in the amusements as well as the work of the employees of the Denaby and Cadeley Main Collieries. (Applause).
Captain M. E. W. Pope thanked the company for the kind reception given to Mrs. Pope and himself. They were both prepared to do all in their power to help on anything of that character. (Applause)
. The Captain then presented the silver cup—his own gift the club—put for monthly competition Messrs. F. W. Rudd, T. Baypes, and T. Oxley, the first three winners, remarking that he hoped they would require a higher score every time to win it. (Applause).
Mr. W. H. Chambers, on behalf of the club, thanked Captain Pope for the practical interest had taken in the club giving such a handcome cup. (Applause