It is with great regret, and deepest sorrow, that I have to report the passing of another of our members.

                Mr Robert “Bob” Ide, a member of the club for over 50 years, and chairman for 20 of those years, passed away earlier this month, after a short illness.

                Bob was a lifelong shooter, not only in small-bore, but also pistol, full-bore rifle, and shotgun. And, with the exception of pistol, undertook not only target shooting, but also stalking, driven game, and rough shooting.

                He started shooting seriously when he volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm, before being called up for national service. Whilst serving, he became part of his unit’s rifle team, and whenever he was posted to a new location, he was also able to arrange that his rifle was transferred with him. Not a common occurrence I’m lead to believe.

                When he finally left the Fleet Air Arm, he found civvie street a very different proposition, as do many when they leave the forces. He eventually found his perfect job working for the local authority as a pest control officer. This job enabled him to continue to shoot, with the added bonus that all the equipment needed was supplied.

                Whilst a more than proficient shot in all disciplines, the practice obtained in undertaking his work meant that he could more than hold his own against all comers with a shotgun. This was true, not only for game, but also clays, however they were thrown.

                During all this time Bob also continued with is rifle shooting, and he eventually purchased his own target rifle, shooting for Shoreham rifle club and subsequently Fittleworth rifle club. When Shoreham folded, he became a full time Fittleworth shooter. From the late 1980’s through the 1990’s, many of the stalwarts of the club either stopped shooting, or, passed away. There was more trouble for club, when in 1997, the government banned all pistols. After this point the club was only kept operational by Bob’s commitment to keep the club going. He along with few other members, including the late Mr Colin Davies did all they could, and kept the club going.

                In the early 2000’s, there was a regime change, and Bob was made Club chairman, a position now held by his wife. It was during his term as chairman that he suffered a heart attack with complications. But with true resilience, he battled on. And, despite everything he eventually came back to shooting, no longer prone, but the relatively new discipline of Lightweight Sporting Rifle, introduced to replace pistol shooting. Years of pest control now came to the fore, and shooting off-hand at targets was almost second nature. Bob competed in numerous competitions for the discipline, with his final medal winning performance coming in the 2019-20 summer season.

                Bob enjoyed the social gathering of a Thursday evening when the LSR shooters gathered. There was much chatting on those nights, much as now, and he loved every minute. He was always encouraging to new shooters, and ready to help older experienced shooters, with his font of knowledge accrued over the years.

                 Bob will be missed by all at the club; we were all fortunate to have known this able, knowledgeable, and kind man. We thank him for all his efforts to keep the club going into the 21st century.

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