Club Facilities

History of the Melbourne Gun Club

The grounds at our current location of Victoria Road, Lilydale were formed in 1965 when the members of Camberwell Clay Target Club sought a new location.

The Camberwell Clay Target Club, located on Bulleen Road, held their last shoot on the 3rd of April, 1965 and the first official shoot at the Lilydale Clay Target Club at the current grounds was on the 7th of August, 1965. G.J Jones was the President and W. R Johns the secretary. DTL was the only discipline held at the club around that time.

The club made steady progress with A. D McCulloch as president from 1966 to 1967 with R. W Fox taking over the helm in 1967 until 1969. Four DTL Layouts & skeet were in operation.

It was in 1968 that the club took a big leap forward when the nearby Croydon & District Clay Target Club, which was located on Maroondah Hwy at Hughes Park, was to close due to expansion.

A decision was held at a special meeting at Lilydale Clay Target Club on 01/05/1968 to merge the two clubs and operate from the Lilydale Clay Target Club grounds at Victoria Road in Lilydale.

 

The Melbourne Gun Club is Born

At a meeting held in 1969, with the guidance of Bill Delaney, the clubs sought to change their name to the Melbourne Gun Club. This was due to the Melbourne Gun Club in Tottenham closing in 1964 and the name no longer being used.

Permission was also sought to share the City of Melbourne’s coat of arms as our official logo. This is still our logo today, a privilege no other sporting club in Victoria holds.

Although the Lilydale Clay Target Club & Croydon & District Clay Target Clubs had no official ties with the Melbourne Gun Club in Tottenham it was thought the Melbourne name would hold more value in their vision to become a bigger and more powerful club. The first official shoot at the Lilydale grounds under the name “MELBOURNE GUN CLUB” was held in March, 1969 (see advert below).

In 1970 R. F (Bob) Buchan took over as president. Bob had the foresight of seeing the Melbourne Gun Club become the biggest and best equipped club in Australia and together with his various committees they strived towards that goal.

 

The World Moving Target Championships of 1973

The World Moving Target Championships (Trench & ISU Skeet) for 1973 were applied for and won by Western Australia. Due to unforeseen reasons Western Australia decided they would then not be able to hold these Championships. A decision was made by the Melbourne Gun Club committee to take on these Championships which proved to be a mammoth task.

Two Trench layouts and upgrading of Skeet layouts and the facilities as a whole were required, all with very little or no funding at all offered to the club to upgrade. All works were voluntary by Bob Buchan and members.

A small handful of members worked at the club almost every day for 12 months straight, a few even took guarantor loans out on their homes to ensure the club had the funds to have the grounds upgraded and ready in time.

Lots of earthworks were completed including the levelling and filling in of a big dry creek that ran through where grounds 6 is now located. The 1973 World Championships were a huge success and helped put Melbourne Gun Club on the World Map of Clay Target Shooting.

 

Major events held by the Melbourne Gun Club

The Melbourne Gun Club, on the Lilydale grounds, has held many prestigious events.

As well as the World Championships, South Pacific Championships have been held and a long list of National Championships which include:

  • Combined National Trap & Skeet - 1974 & 1981
  • Trap Nationals - 1995
  • Skeet Nationals - 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988 & 1994
  • XVIII Commonwealth Games Clay Target Shooting Events - 2006
  • Numerous Trench & ISU Skeet National Titles
  • Numerous Victorian State Titles & South East Zone Titles


The Combined Nationals of 1981 was regarded as the largest shooting event ever to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. A field of 409 had entered the Skeet event and over 800 shooters in the Trap Event!!! A record crowd which competed over 9 DTL layouts with all events finishing on time.



The 1981 Nationals were regarded as the biggest shooting event in the southern hemisphere

 

XVIII Commonwealth Games

2006 was also another defining year for the Melbourne Gun Club.

Melbourne had won the rights to the XVIII Commonwealth Games and where else would you hold the Clay Target Shooting events at the Melbourne Gun Club.

Again a massive amount of work was required which saw the upgrading of the 2 Trench Layouts with new concrete roofs, wiring and new Matterelli Traps. Upgrades and new Traps were also installed for our Skeet Layouts.

The event was again a huge success which saw the club highlighted on the world shooting map again.

 

Presidents of Melbourne Gun Club

The Presidents who have served their time at the Lilydale Grounds have been to date:

1965 – 1966:  G.J Jones
1966 – 1967:  A.D McCulloch
1967 – 1969:  R.W Fox
1970 – 2007:  Bob Buchan
2007 – 2009:  Lynden McKeon
2009 – 2011:  John Mollica
2011 – 2014:  Roger Esplin
2014 – 2016:  Darryl Johnston
2016 – Current:  Roger Esplin

 

Melbourne Gun Club Historical Image Gallery



Camberwell & District Clay Target Club in 1943

 



The gun rack at Camberwell & District Clay Target Club in 1959

 

Camberwell Clay Target Club - The clubhouse, scoreboard, members & families

 

Camberwell & Melbourne Gun Club member Bill Attwood (left) with friends at Camberwell

 

Croydon Clay Target Club (October 1961) - Norm Kneebone with Single Barrel Championship winner Bob McKnight

 

Notice advising of the merger of the Lilydale & Croydon Clay Target Clubs

 

1968 results write up at Lilydale Clay Target Club after the merger with Croydon

 

 



Long serving club coach the late Rupert Henwood with pupils at Lilydale

 



The Winchester Tournament at Melbourne Gun Club 1972

 

If anyone has any further photos or information to add to the Club's history please contact Craig Henwood at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Melbourne Gun Club

192 Victoria Road
Yering, 3770
Victoria, Australia.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.MelbourneGunClub.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MelbourneGunClub

Club Facilities

The Melbourne Gun Club is one of the biggest and best equipped in Australasia. We regularly conduct competitions in International Sport Shooting Federation (ISSF) and Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) disciplines.