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Imperial Rifle Club

Imperial Rifle Club entrance in Madeira Drive

Visited the club in the 1950s

As a young lad in the 1950s, I remember visiting the rifle range with my father, Alfred Grossmith, who was a member of the Imperial Rifle Club. He had previously been a member of Brighton Corporation Waterworks Rifle Club.

Archway under Marine Parade

The rifle range was located in one of the archways under Marine Parade and was accessed via an entrance door from the elevated terrace of Madeira Drive. During a recent visit to Brighton seafront I was able to find the original entrance door to the range, now shuttered (see right).

The photograph below probably taken in the 1950s, shows members of the rifle club, my father is in the front row on the extreme right.

Imperial Rifle Club members

Comments about this page

  • Why is this place not still operational?

    By Adrian Rainbow (16/12/2016)
  • Hi Peter, thats my dad Ken Wallage in the front row second left. I have the same photo. I don’t know if there was any special reason the pic was taken – maybe they had won something. Are there any club archives?

    By Chris Wallage (22/01/2017)
  • Hi Chris, many thanks for adding another name to the photo. So far I haven’t been able to locate any club archives and had no luck at the NSRA. I am going to try the East Sussex Archive at The Keep, Falmer to see if they have anything relating to the rifle club. I found my copy of the photo after my Dad died and like you I don’t know why the photo was taken. The 1939 Kelly’s directory lists the club secretary (Imperial Rifle Club, Brighton and Hove) as E.W. Collins, a position my Dad also held at sometime as I have his 5 year NSRA Distinguished Service medal for ‘Imperial R.C. Brighton.’

    By Peter Grossmith (23/01/2017)
  • Hi,
    Question for the original poster, Do you have any pictures of the inside at all?

    By Colin Bruce (15/12/2021)
  • Hi Colin, Regrettably I have no photographs of the interior of Imperial Rifle Club range on Madeira Drive. However I am intrigued by the suggestion that the entrance I located several years ago may have
    previously been an entrance to public toilets.
    It is 65 years since I visited the range with my late father so perhaps my recollection of the location of the entrance is incorrect. I must now endeavour to
    find out more about the club and the range although to date I have been unable to locate any archived information.

    By Peter Grossmith (19/12/2021)
  • This is a fascinating piece of local history. There aren’t any gun ranges in Brighton at all now as far as I know, not even something suitable for air rifles.

    By Mr G (26/12/2021)
  • In response to ‘Mr G’, I walk on the Downs around Standean near the Chattri and have often heard gunfire so I presume there is a range nearby.

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (28/12/2021)
  • Is the club still there?

    By Derek SHAKESPEARE (29/01/2022)
  • Further to my original article (12/4/2012) about the entrance to the Imperial Rifle Club’s rifle range it was suggested that the entrance which I had located and photographed was the former entrance to a public toilet and not the rifle range entrance.
    Following a visit to The East Sussex Record Office at The Keep, Falmer and a further visit to Madeira Drive confirms that the shuttered entrance which I originally located and photographed was not the entrance to the Imperial Rifle Club Range under Marine Parade (A259) . In order to correct my error I will submit a further item about the Imperial Rifle Club with the updated information regarding the entrance to the rifle range.

    By Peter Grossmith (13/09/2022)

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