Originally built in 1876, the "Working Men's Social Club" was based in Bull Lane, Chislehurst. During 1906, the building was redesigned by Sir Aston Webb, and included a purpose built rifle gallery on the upper floor of the building. This was our first appearance as a shooting club.
In August 1910, the shooting club became affiliated to the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs, (which today is known as the National Small-bore Rifle Association (N.S.R.A.)). During the affiliation process, the shooting club settled on the new name of St. Nicholas Rifle Club.
During the Second World War, on the 13th March 1945, the Bull Lane premises, and the furniture stored there, were badly affected from fire as the result of a nearby V2 rocket explosion. This resulted in the Club having to move to another range.
The present day name of the Bull Lane building is "Easdens"
Known as the shooting range at Whitehorse Hill, the actual location has been traced from the photograph below, to the scrub land behind the rear of number 51, Walden Avenue, Chislehurst. We remained here for five years, until 1950.
* The present day location forms part of 'Bromley Allotments - Elmstead Lane'.
In 1950, the club then moved again, thanks in large to the kind provision of Colonel Francis J.F. Edlmann D.S.O., D.L., J.P., to his Hawkwood Estate in Chislehurst.
After the construction of the range's new target butts was completed by Club members, Club president Colonel Edlmann D.S.O. was invited to fire the first shot before an audience of enthusiasts, members of local clubs, and a specially invited team from Embankment R.C., who would participate in a friendly match to mark the occasion.
St. Nicholas R.C. (2874 ex 3000) lost the 'through the ranges' match to Embankment R.C. (2887 ex 3000). Highest scorer for St. Nicholas R.C. was J.R. Williams (297 ex 300).
Although Colonel Edlmann died later on in 1950, shooting continued on the estate. In 1957, the estate was purchased by Robert and Francesca Hall and the entire Hawkwood Estate donated to the National Trust. A new site for the Club had to be found.
As reported in a local newspaper at the time: "A new smallbore rifle range, described as the most comprehensive in the country, has been opened at Chislehurst. It has been built by members of the St. Nicholas Rifle Club - one of the oldest and largest rifle clubs in Kent..."
It was during 1958 that the freehold of the land, for the present ranges at Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst, were acquired for the Club. This was due mainly to the generosity and excellent offices of the then Club President, Hugh Williams, and the Club Chairman, Leslie (Les) Nicoll. Initially the land at Foxbury was very heavily wooded. This woodland was cleared by Club members over a period of several months. The initial two outdoor ranges were then laid out, and then the Club house and internal range were constructed.