Alan Paine Blog

  • National Ladies Shooting Day 2017 - it's all about the cake! by Lucy Sillars


    National Ladies Shooting Day 2017 - it's all about the cake!


    As with anything you've been looking forward to, when the big day arrives it all goes too quickly.

    Saturday started with the familiar butterfly nerves, getting ready with one eye on all the #NLSD2017 messages flowing through on social media (jealous to see so much sunshine while up in North Yorkshire the forecast rain lashed down).


    NLSD 5

    Picking up my friends (who before NLSD hadn't so much as picked up a gun), a flurry of excitement met us on arrival at Hazel Bank Shooting ground. A throng of forty ladies all trying to contain nerves, catch up and find out which group they were in.

    I'd been placed in the experienced group (gulp!). I booked my #NLSD2017 place as a beginner in December, in mid-February, I shot at Hazel Bank as an intermediate and now I'm experienced? As I've been spending my recent Wednesday evenings feeling like the biggest novice, it was an amusing upgrade. I needn't have worried, my group had several familiar faces and my past few weeks of league nights certainly helped me with the stands we faced.

    Shooting in a group is great fun, shooting in a bun club group is just brilliant. The banter and camaraderie as each of us takes our turn is fantastic. Even though technically we are competing against each other for a prize, there is nothing but support and encouragement. As befits the "experienced" group, our 5 stands had a mix of challenging clays. Nothing super easy, but nothing we couldn't hit at least once each.


    The bouts of rain didn't help but also didn't dampen spirits. I decided to wear my Alan Paine Compton jacket. The collar closes right up to keep out of the way when shooting, and it has plenty of handy pockets to distribute my bits and bobs so I could go bagless round the stands. Then shooting over, a quick change into my Aylsham gilet & I was ready for tea and medals.

    The S&CBC cake rosettes are more hotly contested than the shooting! Across the country, confections of amazing technical wizardry were displayed, tasted and judged. At Hazel bank, we had a myriad of chocolate and fruit creations, with a devilish rocky road winning the treasured rosette and my friend Amy's Pimm's fruit cake coming a deserved second.


    NLSD 2

    My score of 27/50 was topped by a 30/50, so no winner's rosette this time, but plenty more to aim for in the future. Sadly, no best dressed prize either, maybe because I did manage to wipe my muddy gun slip across my knee at some point spoiling things slightly (I don't need a toddler to get mucky it would appear).

    My friends really enjoyed their day. Both had found the gun heavy, which isn't surprising for their first time. But both are keen to come again - result!

    I'm now looking at the S&CBC website and planning our next trip out with the bun club girls!

    Thank you for reading my posts, hope you've enjoyed them.

    Lucy x



    If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • Shooting in the rain for NLSD2017??? by Lucy Sillars

    Shooting in the rain for NLSD2017???





    June - you need to have a word with yourself, where has summer gone?

    This time last week I was worrying over whether it would be too hot to wear my new Aylsham gilet for National Ladies Shooting day on Saturday 10 June. Now it's more a case of what will keep me dry while still looking as stylish as possible.

    Shooting in the rain is no fun. Shooting in the rain, feeling uncomfortable/cold/wet is awful! Having left it far too late to order anything new, I am stuck between wearing my tweed shooting jacket and borrowing an old shooting coat from my husband:








    Tweed Shooting Jacket:

    I've had my Alan Paine Compton Shooting Jacket for 7 years, but apart from the colourway not being in current stock you can barely tell it's not new. And this is after A LOT of wear chasing after 2 small boys. As a day to day coat it's pretty useful, lots of pockets, waterproof and warm. However therein lies my concern, I usually wear this jacket in the autumn and winter. Even in the rain, it's June, so if I wear my new gilet under the jacket I'm going to boil shooting. Feeling hot and sweaty isn't going to help my aim much. Equally I will need to take it off for the tea, cake and prize giving afterwards and I do then want to have my new gilet on and not look too bedraggled.




    Old Borrowed Shooting Coat

    My husband's shooting coat is in a thinner fabric so I can wear my gilet underneath. Yay!

    However, I will look like a scruffy hobbit while I'm wearing it. Nay!


    Alan Paine Berwick Ladies Waterproof CoatOrdinarily clay shooting isn't a catwalk, but this is National Ladies Shooting day - with a (fun) prize for the best dressed lady. While I don't think I have a chance at winning, I do feel I've got to make an effort. (I do see that this is not the worst problem I could have today).

    What I should have done was to order myself a new thinner shooting jacket of my own before now. Something like the Alan Paine Berwick Ladies Shooting coat, which has handy zips inside to enable you to zip in the Aylsham gilet, without adding too much bulk. It's at times like these when I kick my procrastinating self for not getting my act together and sorting all this out sooner!

    I may just have to take all options down with me on the day and do some swift changing in the car park!


    At least my shooting seems to still be going in the right direction. This week's league night was away at Marne Shooting Club. On a wide mix of clays, I managed 13/25 which I'm pleased with. Some of my misses were down to inexperience, others to losing concentration and just not focusing my mind before calling "pull". This is why getting my outfit planned out before Saturday morning is important (to me at least), one less thing to get in my headspace when I'm trying to slay that clay!

    Wish me luck!

    Lucy x


    If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • What to Wear to NLSD2017? by Lucy Sillars


    Signs of improvement...!


    "Sun's out, gun's out" so they say all over Instagram (usually when I can't get out myself).

    This week it has been shining on me: by actually shining (extraordinary for a school holiday), having a willing (and free) babysitter in my wonderful mum staying for a few days enabling me to get out to shoot. And finally, seeing tangible improvement in my shooting on the Thimbleby league night.

    On the 5 home stands where I have twice previously scored 9/25, this time I managed a whopping 14/25!

    The driven stand still eludes me. These clays shoot fast & high over your head so that you are forced to pull through them and fire with your gun blocking your view of the clay. I managed to hit one of them but not entirely sure how. It does feel good to smash any clay but hitting a tough clay by luck rather than skill does feel a little like cheating to me. On the other stands, I felt much more confident in how to shoot the targets, and with the 2017 National Ladies Shooting Day looming, I am hoping this run can continue at least until 10 June.

    With the shooting going in the right direction. My attention is turning to another very important concern - What to Wear to NLSD2017?

    For normal clay shooting, comfort is key. I'm still a novice and haven't really started to amass much "kit" yet. I've been shooting up to now in wellies or walking shoes (flat shoes are better for balance and most clay grounds are gravelled) and an old gilet. However, at NLSD17 there will be a (fun) "best dressed" competition at each ground. With so many fabulous ladies (and cakes) attending, I feel I should really try to make a bit of an effort.

    Handily Alan Paine have come to my rescue with one of their fab Aylsham fleece gilets which will significantly smarten up my usual attire. I am now torn between hoping for the sun to stay or cloud to return so I can wear it along with some new pink shooting socks and boots.

    I am taking two friends to Hazel bank for NLSD2017, neither have held a gun before let alone shoot one. My clothing advice for them is going to be simple:

    Dress for the weather obviously but also keep in mind you will need to be able to move your arms above your head. Don't have anything too bulky around your neck or shoulders which will get in the way of the gun. The Hull 21g Comp X cartridges which will be provided at each ground have very little recoil so you don't need to have anything too padded on your shoulder. All ear & eye protection will be provided (if you don't have your own) as well as some gorgeous navy caps provided by sponsor Hull Cartridges (falling clay fragments can hurt).

    One more week before 10 June & I have our village show's annual clay competition as well as an away league night to get some practise in. Hopefully the sun will keep shining!

    Bye for now

    Lucy x


    If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • Bad habits & finding it does help if the gun fits you by Lucy Sillars

    Shooting ClaysAfter a frustrating practise where I couldn't hit a barn door, on Wednesday afternoon I met up with one of the Thimbleby instructors for a much-needed lesson.

    Adrian's theory was I had either picked up some bad habits or had gun fit issues (or both). He wanted to go right back to the beginning & take me through a CPSA first lesson plan. This involves several steps before going near the clay stands. Most points were thankfully not new to me but a refresher on gun safety is never going to be a waste of time. We moved on to mounting the gun into my shoulder and the problems began to appear:


    Firstly, my gun stock (the wooden end) was too low meaning I couldn't see any of the rib (the top edge of the barrel), just the bead at the end. A 5mm comb raiser pad on the stock solved this quickly (if not exactly elegantly).

    The next issue? A tilted gun. On mounting, I wasn't putting my head over the gun enough so the barrels were slanted over to the left. (They should be an upright figure of eight). It's made me realise I've been lazy up to now. I haven't really done any practise dry mounting and I need to start.

    Finally, we got to the clay stand but without the gun. Adrian apologised he was about to waste a few of my clays. I pointed out that if I didn't get sorted out I was just going to waste a lot more and cartridges on top! Adrian started me on the "Pull Away" technique for shooting - get onto the target, track it for a beat then pull ahead and fire. It was here that my next bad habit was picked up on. Instead of looking at the clay, I've been looking at the bead on the end of the gun and trying to line it up with the target. I am therefore not giving myself enough time to see the clay as it comes into view.

    Putting all three together, I then managed some success on the training ground clays. After the last few weeks of patchy results on the faster targets, it felt fantastic to be consistently smashing some! But then all too soon it was time to get back to the real world and the school run.

    Back that night to Thimbleby for a league night in the rain (hence no pictures as too busy trying not to get my gun too wet!). With this added complication & trying to remember to follow my new techniques, the shots I did hit, I felt I'd "got" them rather than just being lucky. So, while no immediate improvement in my score (9/25), I feel a lot more confident in what I'm doing. Time to get practising!

    Bye for now Lucy x

    NB: I do realise what I've had is not a "professional gun fitting" which I will consider once I've got some further practise under my belt


    If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • I hit the Bumblebee! (but I have a long way to go...) by Lucy Sillars


    IMG_9081My first "Away" league match was this Wednesday at the Duke of Wellington shooting club. Feeling a little apprehensive at shooting somewhere completely new, I decided to go for a quick practise before school pick up. This was both a good and bad idea. Good in that I felt much better on some of the slower clays, picking them up and getting the lead right. Bad in that I realised that on the faster clays, I'm just not there yet. And the clays on that evening were going to be fast!

    I did get a great piece of advice- "practice makes perfect, but only if you practice perfectly" (thanks Adrian). On the faster clays, I'm just snatching at them and to be honest wasting cartridges. I need to get my technique right on the slower clays first, and work up to the quicker ones.

    That said, as I'm signed up to the league I can't stop now!

    So, new ground, but thankfully many more familiar faces this time (including a fellow Bun Clubber Amy Fair). The lay out was 4 stands, 3 pairs at each and a "bumblebee" on the last stand. Up to now I have only shot "on report" - the second clay only coming once you have fired at the first. I'd never even practised shooting a pair of clays. This slightly threw me on the first stand (two quick right to left) and I came out with a 0/6. Undeterred, I managed a 1/6 on the R-L rabbit and L-R crosser (I need to practise rabbits!). The third stand was up on a tower with a pair going away from you into trees but also into the sun. How I managed to hit 3/6 I do not know.

    IMG_9088The final stand had a fairly normal pair, preceded by a fast left to right teal which you could use both barrels on. The clay was a mini (60mm) "bumblebee" and pretty hard to spot. Suffice to say I didn't even see the first one whizz past but they kindly let me have another go. On my second attempt, I'm not sure I saw the clay or was aiming at a midge, but I hit it with my second barrel! I ended my shoot with a right and left (don't mention the two before it) which felt fantastic and an overall 7/25. I'm happy with that score; I'm only at the start of all of this and so much more to learn.

    It's a home shoot next week so back on more familiar clays (still the quick ones) and with some further work on my technique in the meantime, I'm hoping to improve on last week's 9/25!

    Lucy x

      If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • Mens Spring & Summer Picks


    It can be tricky getting the clothing balance right when Spring arrives; one minute the sun puts in an appearance and for an instant you're bathed in warm rays, the next moment it's clouded over and it's a little chilly.

    We think layers are the best solution, and we have the perfect selection for you.

    Alan Paine Aylsham Fleeces

    Why not start off with one of our pure cotton, minimal iron country shirts? There's a great choice of check colourways on offer so you can co-ordinate your next layer as you wish. Alternatively we have a wide choice of cotton polo shirts in a vast array of colours or lightweight stylish long sleeve polo shirts in a choice of a sumptuous blend of cotton, silk and cashmere or a cool linen cotton mix.

    Shirt 2 Mens Polo Shirts


    You're then going to need one of our new lightweight jumpers. Our new lightweight knits in a luxurious blend of soft Pima cotton, silk and cashmere are the essential layering pieces for your smart, cool wardrobe. In a range of classic and on-trend colours and available in a variety of styles, these knits look just as smart paired with jeans and trainers as they do with sharp trousers and shoes. And, while you're at it, take a look at our best-selling cotton cashmere range.

    Aylsham Mens Fleece Gilets


    You could also try one of our popular Aylsham fleece waistcoats or jackets. Perfect for when there's a nip in the air or the temperature drops on a Spring evening.


    That's you Spring ready!

  • Moving out of my comfort Lucy Sillars


    On Wednesday night, I went along to my first Sporting Clay league shoot at Thimbleby (my local ground). I shot 9 clays out of 25 which on its own doesn't mean much (and doesn't sound very good) but for me it marks the start of the next stage in my shooting journey.

    This time last year my shooting know how was limited to watching my husband, occasionally loading for him but mostly stopping our lab Poppy from running in during the drives. A chance prize draw entry got me a place on the 2016 National Ladies Shooting Day last June. This was my first "Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club" experience and marked my shooting epiphany. With the right gun and cartridges (21-gram not my husband's 32-gram game cartridges), I found shooting clays didn't (and shouldn't) hurt. I hit some clays and caught the bug.

    My progress from that day to now has been via some fantastic ladies' clay shooting days organised by the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club and some rough clay shooting with family. A steep learning curve so far but without doing something else, I don't think I'm going to improve quickly enough for the bigger shooting events I'd like ultimately like to try.


    Consequently, on Wednesday night I found myself nervously standing amid several groups of (mostly) men, taking my turn to shoot at 5 clays on 5 different stands. Comfort zone nowhere to be seen.


    So, what did I learn on my first night?


    1. Take & wear the right clothes/kit.

    Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and, like a total fool, I didn't take a coat or gloves. Just a light jumper and gilet, gun and cartridge bag, bits & bobs in pockets, I felt streamlined and good. Thirty minutes in and the sun had gone, an icy wind picked up and I was freezing.

    I've learned I need to at least put some extra kit in the car.


    1. Yes, they are watching, but not watching you.

    I knew that there would be people at each stand watching as I shot and yes this makes me nervous. What if I cock up and do something stupid like trip over or hit nothing? Everyone is in fact mostly thinking about their turn. Where are the clays coming from? How fast? Where do you need to be in the stand?

    I know I need to get better at blanking my mind out at who might be stood behind me.


    1. You will get advice - do with it what you will

    Okay so some people are watching you shoot, at the very least the one marking your scores!

    I was very open about my novice status - which did mean I got advice at most of the stands. All of it well meaning, but to me mostly confusing.

    It's well meant, but there is only 5 clays at each stand so not enough time to really process advice. I need a lesson with an instructor who can explain clearly where I'm going wrong.


    Next week it's an away match with the Duke of Wellington. I will certainly be making sure I wear some thermals, take my coat & gloves and get my head in the right place nerves wise before I shoot! Bye for now.


    If you would like to read more from Lucy you can find her blog page here

  • Ladies Spring & Summer Picks


    It's that time of year when the changeable weather can play havoc with your wardrobe choices resulting in too much time spent staring in your wardrobe in despair and confusion. Fear not, we've got the answer when you need a stylish lightweight layer.

    Alan Paine Aylsham Fleeces

    Our popular Aylsham fleece waistcoat is one solution, worn over one of our Bromford cotton shirts. Available in a selection of classic colours, dark navy is now back in stock!

    Alan Paine Aylsham Ladies Waistcoat Alan Paine Bromford Ladies Shirt


    New in, our cotton cashmere vee and crew neck lightweight sweaters are available in a selection of must-have seasonal shades, from timeless dark navy to sophisticated orchid pink and soft peach.

    Ladies Luxury Knitwear

    Crafted from a luxurious natural blend of Pima Cotton and Cashmere for day-long comfort these sweaters could easily become your wardrobe staples. You'll wonder how you ever managed without one!

    Alice Ladies Cotton Cashmere Vee Neck Jumper Hannah Ladies Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper
  • #FieldFashionista: Janet Spence


    Three Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club members became #Field Fashionistas and road tested some of our ladies products. Here is what Janet Spence had to say about our Compton Ladies Tweed Blazer.

    "I was so very excited and felt rather privileged to be given the opportunity to be a #FieldFashionista and review the beautiful Alan Paine compton ladies tweed blazer. The blazer comes in three lovely tweeds and selected for me was meadow. When the garment was delivered I could not wait to open the box. I was absolutely over the moon and it was like Christmas had come early. I have never seen any Alan Paine garments before but I was blown away with the quality and the attention to detail within the tailoring. The first thing I noticed was the rich red lining which matched the trim on the pockets and this red was also featured in the tweed itself.

    The blazer has two vents at the back which I love. I am not entirely sure if this is just from riding horses all my life but in my eyes a jacket with one vent is a big no. I remember my mother telling me that one vent just looked messy. The two vents allows the blazer to hang nicely.

    I have many interests and hobbies. Some include eating out, shooting game, clay shooting, hunting, walking and horse riding. This blazer has had a part to play in all those already. It looks fantastic with a pair of heels and equally as fantastic with my wellington boots. It’s great to put on before and after shooting to stay warm and it’s a lightweight layer for a good dog walk on many occasions just to the local pub. I have had a lot of compliments when wearing the blazer as it really stands out from the crowd, it is extremely classy and looks good with anything.

    I have been asked and questioned by a lot of people who have commented on the blazer and then there is always the dreaded question of ‘how much do they cost?’. I think the blazer is extremely well priced at £219.99 and when I have answered people with the price they have been rather shocked. It is hard to find a quality good looking tweed, tailored to this standard for that amount of money and to look at it you would say it would be twice the price.

    I am usually a size 10 in any jacket but this one is a size 8 and it fits beautifully so that is something to bear in mind. It is extremely comfortable, elegant and is perfect for any casual, smart casual occasion. I would definitely suggest adding one of these with high priority to the top of your Christmas list, if not then it is a must for the odd treat to yourself.

    I will certainly be purchasing more products from Alan Paine and when friends ask I will be more than happy to recommend them which I have done so already.

    I would like to say a big thank you to Alan Paine and of course The Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club for this amazing opportunity."

    Alan Paine Compton Ladies Blazer in Meadow (1)Compton Ladies Tweed Blazer

    With its flattering and feminine silhouette and attractive lining the Compton Ladies Tweed Blazer forms an essential part of our ladies collection. This garment comes superbly tailored with a 3 button front closure and exquisitely trimmed with pocket jets that are tonal to the over check of the fabric.


    Blog-Button (1)
  • #FieldFashionista: Aimee Long

    Aimee Long Product Review


    Three Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club members became #Field Fashionistas and road tested some of our ladies products. Here is what Aimee Long had to say about our Compton Ladies Tweed Coat.

    "It was only in the summer did I decide I wanted to get back into shooting, I hadn't since I was at school and living back in Yorkshire.

    London life is far from the country ideal, which is why I wanted to join a club where I could not only shoot, but hopefully meet some lovely ladies along the way. I came across The Bun Club after a little searching and once joining I was focused on the new outfits I needed to buy - Hello Alan Paine. I have a had a few products from them, but to win the Compton Ladies Shooting Jacket was just bliss, as I wanted it anyway, granted in 'Landscape,' but the 'Dusk' is just as nice.

    I can't wait to give it a test run shooting, but using it on the dog walks has definitely given it its test run. It's super warm, spacious with plenty of deep pockets - perfect for those extra cartridges or dog treats! During these colder winters and the shooting season I always look for a jacket has stands strong to the weather, whether it's raining, icy or just plain old typical British weather, I can honestly say that this jacket stands the test, with its cute silk floral lining, it's the perfect addition to my shooting collection and I will 100% be getting another one to alternate between."

    Alan Paine Compton Ladies Coat in LandscapeCompton Ladies Tweed Coat

    This waterproof coat has been one of our most popular jackets since the inception of the Compton collection. Our pure wool Compton tweed is specially woven for us and not only is it a durable and functional tweed it also boasts an extremely soft handle. We pride ourselves on sourcing beautiful fabrics with eye-catching colourful overchecks.

    Blog-Button (1)

10 Item(s)