Focus on the Queen Alexandra Cup

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Queen Alexandra, consort of the reigning monarch, Edward VII, presented the magnificent sterling silver trophy to the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs in 1907 to encourage the relatively new sport of smallbore rifle target shooting.

Originally an individual competition but now also for teams of six, the QA course of fire is two 10 bull cards, each one shot ‘deliberately', each with a 10 minute time limit. These are followed by two 10 bull cards shot ‘rapidly’ with only 90 seconds allowed for each. The course of fire is completed with a skirmisher target: 60 seconds to shoot as many shots as possible at 8 oval ’blobs’, each about the size of a quail’s egg, firing a maximum of 2 shots into each blob before adding a third (if time permits!).

The Surrey QA team consists of the 6 highest scorers in a qualifying round (preceded by a non-competitive ‘practice’ round). The top 8 County teams qualify for the finals at Bisley. All club teams are eligible to enter the QA team competition, whether their team members are in a county team or not. Budding team members can gain valuable practice through the Surrey Individual Winter Time Limit League (10 rounds of 2 cards) or the Middlesex Winter and Hertfordshire Winter and Summer time limit team leagues (teams of three, 10 rounds of 1 rapid and 1 skirmisher card).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The QA Cup was designed by R.S. Garrard, the Crown Jewellers, in 17th century Italian style and bears the inscription: "Presented by Her Majesty the Queen to the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs for competition amongst the counties of the United Kingdom. 1907". Medals, to be presented to the winners for their retention, were designed by Mrs Vereker Hamilton, a well known sculptress of the time.

Initially each affiliated club of the S.M.R.C. selected a representative to take part in the first stage (a postal shoot). The competitor making the best score in each county would compete in the second stage (also postal). In the third stage the top 20 competitors would shoot "shoulder to shoulder" for the trophy. The first winner was a shooter from Lancashire, Mr A.G.Banks. After the final, held at Southfields Rifle Club (Wimbledon), the competitors, still in their shooting kit, were conveyed to Buckingham Palace for the presentation. Queen Alexandra presented a gold medal and the cup to the winner and silver medals to the other 19 finalists. The shooters were all entertained to tea in the palace after the presentation. Mr Banks received a civic reception on his return to Lancashire and gave the cup to the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire for custody – a convention that remains to this day.

In 1910 it was decided to enter county teams of six – the team to be determined by postal competitions, with the final being a contest of the top four counties. In 1977 this was increased to eight counties. With but relatively few minor changes the conditions of the competition remain virtually the same today.

The contest continued throughout the First World War, but was interrupted for six years during the Second World War.

In 1986 an individual competition was reintroduced with the advent of the Queen Alexandra Individual Championship and the following year a Club Team of Three event commenced.

 

Historic results of the Queen Alexandra Cup

1907  Lancashire       (352) (A.G. Banks)
1908  Fifeshire              (D. Gordon)
1909  Derbyshire             (G.F. Colton)
1910  Middlesex
1913  Lincolnshire
1914  Lincolnshire
1915  Lincolnshire
1916  Lincolnshire
1919  London  (2217)
1924  London
1925  London
1926  London
1927  London
1928  London
1936  Yorkshire (2422)
1938  Yorkshire (2422)
1955  London (2458)
1962  Dundee & Angus  (2420)
1966  Essex  (2419)
1968  Bedfordshire (2425)
1969  Essex (2427)
1970  Buckinghamshire (2371)
1973  Kent (2354)
1974  Essex  (2383)
1975  Surrey (2393)
1976  Essex (2360)
1977  Hampshire (2323)
1978  Middlesex (2354)

1979  Surrey (2414)
1981  London (2399)
1983  London  (2392)
1986  Buckinghamshire (2367)
1990  Buckinghamshire (2359)
1991  Buckinghamshire (2374)
1992  Surrey (2382)
1993  Sussex (2384)
1994  Surrey (2370)
1995  Surrey (2378)
1996  Surrey (2347)
1997  Surrey (2376)
1998  Surrey (2365)
1999  Surrey (2333)
2000  Surrey (2371)
2001  Buckinghamshire (2339) 
2002  Surrey  (2365)
2003  Buckinghamshire (2356)  
2004  Surrey (2390)
2005  Surrey (2370)
2006  Bedfordshire (2323)
2007  Hertfordshire (2357)
2008  Buckinghamshire (2363)
2009  Surrey (2353)
2010  Buckinghamshire (2380)
2011 Surrey (2378)

Queen Alexandra County totals (as at 2011)

County

Number of QA wins

Surrey  

19

London        

15

Buckinghamshire

10

Essex          

9

Lincolnshire  

8

Warwickshire  

6

Middlesex     

5

Yorkshire     

5

Bedfordshire  

5

Sussex        

4

Kent          

3

Dundee & Angus

2

Staffordshire  

2

Hampshire      

1

Norfolk        

1

Derbyshire    

1

Lancashire

1

Fifeshire

1

Hertfordshire

1