Well, the 13/14 shooting season seems a long way in the past now but enquiries are coming in fast and it’s obvious that all the good game shoots are getting booked up pretty quickly. Many clients, especially those from overseas, fail to grasp how quick they need to book shooting packages in the Scottish Borders – especially for popular grouse shoots. Spring seems to be going in the right direction and hopefully counts will be good. We still have some great early season partridge days available in September at really good rates – give us a call! Walked up shooting is in great demand again and days are filling well but with good availability still left in December.
Show season is getting underway and we’ve already been to the West Country Game Fair at Shepton Mallet in Yorkshire and the Deer Stalking show at Kelso in the Scottish Borders. Both were really busy with strong gun and product sales and lots of shooting enquiries.
Next week we are off to the Badminton International Horse Trials. We will have all our lovely tweed and tartan textile products including our Harris tweed horse rug, together with some lovely guns and of course lots of shooting packages – come and have a chat. We’ll have a full review and pictures on the blog in a couple of weeks.
We are also excited to be joining Lairds Sporting Directory at the CLA Game Fair this year and will keep you posted. Don’t miss out on the good game shoots; book early to avoid disappointment!
Exclusively Scottish and Castle Gunmakers were at the CLA with Lairds Sporting Directory, Tolley’s, Crowcombe Court, Powder Hill, Bentley Sporting Cabinets, Jonathan M McGee Photography and Lasarotta Ltd.
Although we couldn’t justify the expense of a full stand at this year’s game fair, we were fortunate to buy some space with Lairds Sporting Directory on the ‘2nd tier’ Gunmakers Row. Lairds is an up and coming web based shooting directory and is definitely going places. Our host Nathan gave us a great spot at the front of the stand which we shared with various high quality shooting related companies. Everyone got on really well and there was a great atmosphere on the stand. Friday turned out to be very hot – almost too hot, and the feedback from standholders was that people were not really feeling like shopping! That said the bar was full even at £4.20 a pint!. Cathy and I had a fairly busy day selling a reasonable amount of product and talking to lots of customers interested in bespoke shooting packages.
Saturday was busy enough with lots of friends visiting the stand and lots of interest in Exclusively Scottish. Nathan hosted a great party on Saturday night with good hangovers to prove it on Sunday!
Sunday was pretty quiet and a bit disappointing all round with not many sales and less interaction!
All in all a good fair for Exclusively Scottish but the CLA need to do a rethink on layout and prices. On top of our stand cost we had to pay £250 just to be on the campsite which was a half hour walk! For the public, the high ticket and food prices mean that they have little else to spend and many felt they were a bit ripped – off. Here’s to next year!
Not long now to the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall and Exclusively Scottish are excited to be sharing stand number E0445 on Gunmakers Row with Lairds Sporting Directory.
We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting some new ones, and are very grateful to Nathan Little of Lairds for giving us the opportunity to share a stand with him and some other great companies and individuals. We will be displaying a small range of our exclusive products as well as offering some great hunting, shooting and fishing deals in Scotland.
There seems to be a great buzz around the industry at present despite the still difficult times and a big thanks goes to Ben from Keepers Mate and Victoria from Shotgun and Chelsea for flying our flag. Thanks also to the team at the SCSTG.
If you have any friends thinking of shooting in Scotland then get them to come along for a chat. We need to make some sales to cover the Caravan Park fees! See you at stand E0445!
Exclusively Scottish, Castle Gunmakers Ltd and Shooting School UK team up again for Highclere.
After the success of the West Country Game Fair, Exclusively Scottish decided to have a go at the Countryman Fair at Highclere Castle near Newbury. I had only been to Highclere as a visitor years ago and couldn’t remember much about it, but we thought it might be a good venue to take a stand, as it was in a great position to attract visitors. I had been told that the fair was a lot smaller than in previous years and that not many gun dealers attended – so potentially more business for us!
We arrived to set up on the Saturday and our stand was in between John Field (clothing) and a reloading company – so not bad. Cathy and I did most of the setting up while we waited for Edward (no surprise). Edward was adamant that he ‘dress’ the gun racks but soon disappeared to give a lesson! The stand was looking pretty good by about 8.00 pm and so we got out the red wine and lit the BBQ.
Sunday morning was bright and sunny and people started pouring on to the stand straight away – it turned out we were the only gun dealer there – at a game fair! Cathy was kept busy with the Exclusively Scottish products, selling shooting socks, throws and scarves and we also had a lot of interest in the bespoke game shooting and fishing packages. Edward did a great job as usual selling guns although some people did appear like they were looking for his ‘off’ button! John Ormiston and his crew looked busy on the John Field stand and by midday the sun was blazing and the crowds were huge. The stand was busy right up to the end of the day with Edward selling a shotgun in the last half hour.
Monday was a bit quieter to start with but soon warmed up and by lunchtime the show was packed and we had overtaken Sunday’s sales. Thanks to John Ormiston who brought a friend on to the stand to buy Edward’s lovely .410 hammer gun. Lots of friends came on to the stand both new and old and it was good to meet Adrian Pink who has been a great supporter on Facebook. Lots more interest in the game shooting packages, especially the mixed walked up days. By 6.00 pm we were shattered and started to pack down, deciding to stay one more night and drive back in the morning – a drive that took 8 hours!
All in all the show was a great success and we hope to go again next year. Thanks to everyone who came on the stand even if they didnt buy anything!
Next stop is the CLA where we will be sharing a stand on Gunmakers Row with Lairds Sporting Directory – see you there!
Exclusively Scottish launch in association with Castle Gunmakers Ltd and Shooting School UK at the West Country Game Fair at Shepton Mallet.
Although very early in the year, we thought we’d take a stand at the fair as a launch for the company and a chance to catch up with old friends. The seven hour drive down with a bad back didn’t do me any favours but at least Edward had the red wine open!
Due to the high cost of doing the fair, we decided to make the stand a co operative between Exclusively Scottish, Castle Gunmakers and Shooting School UK. We have all worked closely together for years and between us can cover every aspect of the shooting trade. Edward and I set the stand up on the Friday and my wife and business partner Cathy flew down from Edinburgh on Friday night. More red wine consumed courtesy of Edward our generous host!
Up early and ready by 8.30 on Saturday, I think we had the best looking stand! The fair was busy from the start with Castle Gunmakers selling a Beretta in the first half hour. Edward was busy taking enquiries for shooting lessons and Cathy had lots of interest in our new Scottish lifestyle and sporting products. Footfall was pretty good all day but I have to say trade was slow and there was much more window shopping than actual spending.
By a huge coincidence, Castle Gunmakers had brought along a lovely Damascus Hammer Gun made by T Cook of Shepton Mallet! This gun drew a lot of interest and the local press did an article which appeared last week.
Sunday was quieter but saw a few more sales and lots of enquiries for Game Shooting days in Scotland. The show itself was reasonably well organised but the PA system was terrible and as usual there were too many food and trinket stands detracting from the “Game Fair” ideal.
Since coming back home we have had some follow up enquiries and so a general success. Thanks to Cathy, Edward, all customers, friends, and the trade. The next show will be Highclere or CLA; check the blog for updates.
We have this week sold 2 Guns to customers who visited us on the stand – The Cook and the Powell – Many Thanks!