The Midland Rifle League originated in 1924 as the Birmingham Miniature Rifle League, otherwise known as the Birmingham Rifle League. It was originally governed by a committee drawn from participating clubs, with 3 committee members forming a quorum. The rules stated 1 club, 1 vote, but each club could send a maximum of 3 representatives.
The inaugural General Meeting (following prior meeting to discuss the league format) was held at the Crown Hotel, Hill Street, Birmingham, Monday 8th December 1924. Clubs attending were:
Birmingham Small Arms (BSA)
Mr W Stokes was elected to the chair and explained the reason for the meeting and outlined the previous discussions. The League Hon. Sec. reported that there were no outstanding account from the initial league held and that medals for the winners could now be purchased. This was proposed by Mr Speek and seconded by W Bryant. Mr Speek also promised, on behalf of BSA Co. Rifle Club, to cover any excess on the purchase of medals, up to £1. BSA RC were thanked for this generous gesture. Mr Pratt then proposed that the league be continued next season and this was seconded by W Bryant.
C Edden proposed that the conditions for the league (see below) should stay the same and this was seconded by Captain J F Tuckerman. The only exception was that the new SMRC green target would be used for the rapid fire section. A further change was proposed by Mr Jones and seconded by Mr Speek that the opposing team be requested to send a representative to witness a team's shoot, where possible.
Mr Stokes was then elected to be the Charman for the 1924/5 season. Mr C edden was asked to become the League Secretary. Mr Perkins (BSA RC) and A N Cooke (3rd Warwick) were elected as auditors. W Speek was elected Hon. Treasurer. It was proposed that cups and medals should be presented at the General Meeting each year. This concluded the business of the meeting and it closed at 10pm.
At the start the entry fee was 10/- (£0.50 in modern parlance) for the first team and 5/- (£0.25) for subsequent teams for each club. The entries were then split into 2 divisions, A and B. An A team member was unable to shoot for a B team in the season, but a B team member could shoot for the A team but not the B team in the same round. However if that B team member shot for an A team more than twice then the shooter would no longer be able to shoot for a B team in that season. Also a team member who has shot for one club could not then shoot for another club in the season.
Cards were to be shot under the pre-existing postal rules of the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs (SMRC), currently the National Small-bore Rifle Association )NSRA). Cards had to be returned to the League Secretary by the Tuesday following the last day for shooting.
Each round consisted for each team member of 10 shot deliberate on the short range SMRC 5 bull target and 10 shots in 90 seconds on the SMRC short range green target. Teams consisted of 9 members. In each round the top 6 scoring members scores would count. Only .22 calibre rifles were permitted, but any sights could be used. A team shot all its cards on a single night with a witness from another club present during the shoot. The club secretary of the shooting club had to give at least 3 clear weekdays notice to all the other competing club's secretaries so that one ore more witnesses could attend. This notice also had to be given to the League Secretary.
To be continued