THE Cirencester Air Rifle and Pistol League faces moving away from the town for the first time in its 82-year history.

They have been made homeless for the second time in five years by the sudden closure of the Social and Services Club in Chesterton.

And they are not alone in being put on the back foot – various skittles and darts teams are having to find new homes. The club was also one of the rare venues for snooker players in Cirencester.

Tony Clack, a former England shooting international who also captained the national side in 1982, has been the league secretary for 41 years and he is less than impressed at the council’s treatment.

“We were given absolutely no warning until the council’s notice of closure appeared on the door of the Social Club last Tuesday, said Clack.

“That’s no way to treat a community venture like ours which has been going since 1932.

“We paid the local council rent to use the Corn Hall for 30 years and were not given the opportunity to return when it was taken over by Wildmoor Properties. We are in our fourth season at the Social Club and again have always paid our fees on time.”

Tony’s league has had to temporarily shut down while it seeks a new base.

“We have looked at the TA Centre in Somerford Road, where the army cadets practice, but they are busy every night, so we are appealing to anyone in the area who has a big hall that we could rent for one evening a week, ideally our regular Monday shooting night," added Clack.

“Another alternative would be to move out of Cirencester altogether and perhaps share the facilities of the VWH Air Rifle Club in Cricklade."