Ballater in Royal Deeside Aberdeenshire saw ladies arrive from all over the United Kingdom to join Scotland’s premier all female clay shooting group, Glad Rags & Cartridge Bags at their annual Right Royal Weekend.
The weekend began with an exquisite three course dinner at the Rothesay Rooms, with more than 36 ladies enjoying The Big Sleep Over in various local establishments.
As the night sky turned into the new day it was time for the greatly anticipated main event Glad Rags and Tiaras. It wasn’t long before the sound of chatter and laughter resounded round the Delnadamph estate, Her Majesty the Queen’s private estate.
The ladies sporting sparkling tiaras of all different shapes and sizes, perfectly perched on hats and ear protectors, all glittering in the morning’s sunshine.
Fifty-seven ladies grouped according to their ability from never held a gun before to the more experienced all enjoying a morning of clay shooting under instruction. Woops of joy, cheering and clapping as the clays were smashed could be heard around the heather glad hills. Having built up an appetite in the fresh Strathdon air the local butcher H. M Sheridans served a freshly prepared barbecue.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, BASC, sponsored the fun competition Queen of the Clays with fabulous glass trophies as prizes. Barbara Eckersley triumphed in the experienced group with runner up Chelsea King, Emma Shanks was high gun with Micaiah Jakeman runner up in the beginner’s section.
The drawing of the raffle signalled the end of a spectacular weekend. With Irene Macleod the lucky winner of the star prize, a bronze gilt Firebird brooch by the world-renowned engraver and lifelong supporter of the charity Malcolm Appleby. The event raising an impressive total of £1470 for Children 1st.
Mhairi Morriss, owner of Glad Rags Events and founder of Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags, explained: ‘The reputation of our events has spread far and wide. It’s brilliant to have new ladies join us at every event and I feel so privileged and so chuffed at how far ladies have travelled and how much effort they put in to attend.
‘It was fabulous to see so many smiling happy faces with no doubt ever lasting memories and new friendships having been made.
‘No one else in the whole of the United Kingdom offers the experiences that Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags does. We are unique in that we hold our events at fantastic locations, castles, private houses and estates and beautiful country hotels, not at traditional shooting grounds apart from our annual outing to Gleneagles shooting school.
‘We also have the support of our marvellous sponsors, Anderson Anderson Brown LLP, Weatherby’s Private Bank, Brewin Dolphin Aberdeen, Shepherd and Wedderburn and Country Ways who generously donate prizes and goodies bags.’
Barbara Eckersley travelled over 350 miles to attend the weekend, and added: ‘Thank you to Mhairi for creating the most unique experience for us all, in addition to the fund raising. Those of us from Cheshire had no idea what to expect, but what we found was way beyond our expectations.
‘Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, the venue was stunning to say the least, and the food at the Rothesay Rooms will keep us talking for some time to come.’
The clay shooting element of the weekend, Glad Rags and Tiaras, is so called as it is held at Her Majesty the Queen’s estate Delnadamph in Strathdon.
Mhairi added: ‘I still can’t quite believe that Her Majesty knows all about Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags and she so kindly gave her gracious personal permission for us to hold this charity event at her private shooting lodge and estate.
‘Glad Rags welcome ladies of all abilities, there is no joining fee and ladies dip in and out of the events as they wish.
‘Many ladies have never held a gun before coming to one of our events. They are taught not only the importance of safety but how to shoot properly and are blasting clays in no time. For the more experienced guns the targets are more difficult, we supply everything they need, all they have to bring is themselves.’
Up coming events are:
December 5, Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags 7th birthday celebration dinner, Raemoir House
December 6, 7th birthday celebration Ladies Clay Shoot, Raemoir House.
January 30, Blast Away the January Blues, Pittodrie House Hotel
February 26, Cocktails, canapes, dinner, bed and breakfast, Maryculter House
February 27, Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags with a Difference
April 24, Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags Ladies Clay Shoot and afternoon tea lunch, Saplinbrae House Hotel
For more information and to book www.gladragsevents.com.