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Thread Like Summary
67galaxie, eeb, eightbore, GLS, HomelessjOe, keith, mc, Run With The Fox, Stanton Hillis
Total Likes: 23
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#624128 12/25/2022 11:32 AM
by damascus
damascus
I posted these two images in another thread asking the question what is the X for.
In the photographs is a large Norfolk shoot peg selector with numbers one to ten plus an extra token with an "X". The full question was what time of the year was the selector used and what did the "X" signify. These Victorian shoot peg selectors are possibly not used a lot today because there are not that many very large estates in the UK now.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Possibly posting it here may have some results, Oh you wont find the answer in "Downton Abby" yes it is a Brit shooting Trivia question and I do know the answer.
Liked Replies
#624192 Dec 26th a 03:38 PM
by damascus
damascus
Well Mr Brown you now know the Minuti but you did not attempt to answer the question, though come forth with rules after the answer was posted. Lets get this straight the person known to be a Lord who owns an Estate consisting of many many thousands of acres including the farms that keep producing money for his coffers, he will run the shoot day the way they want to and I am sure he would tell your good self to go away in very short jerky movements ending with an off at the same time explaining that you could put tour rules where the sun dont shine also if you require any help his Estate Manager or one of his four game keepers would give you a hand.
Well Mr brown I will now put your good self down as a person who is given an answer then attempts to expand on the answer in an effort to give the aura of knowledge, as we all know the blank piece of paper is the hardest to start with.
4 members like this
#624267 Dec 29th a 01:48 AM
by craigd
craigd
Some of us salute selfless service, on both sides of the pond, maybe not self serving quite as much. I don't mind thanking damascus for his interesting topic.
4 members like this
#624172 Dec 26th a 12:38 PM
by damascus
damascus
Stanton your first attempt was extremely close, But no coconut! The real explanation is this, on very large estates where this peg selector came from in fact it was made on the estate with the "X" being the give away and not just having numbers only. Back in Victorian Edwardian tines such large estates had a good number of "Tennent Farmers" with the tradition at that time was to have a Boxing Day Tennent's Shoot and that is where the "X" came in. Depending on how many Tennent Farmer's where invited and this estate could handle up to ten. The keepers would be instructed to lay out ten shooting stand pegs, then either the number 5 or 6 token' was removed from the draw either numbers being the centre of the lay out giving the best shooting position usually and the "X token added. When the peg draw was done the lucky person with the "X" would get a good peg position also on the estate where this peg set came from the lucky Tennent would also receive a hamper containing seasonal luxury foods I do like to think it was a Harrods hamper plus a bottle of Sloe Gin. The same form of selection method was also used for Keeper and good friend shoots. Alas a lot of these large estates now have been broken up and sold off putting an end to this tradition though I have been told that on some Royal Estates something similar still goes on.

Ernie.
3 members like this
#624206 Dec 27th a 11:49 AM
by lagopus
lagopus
Whatever number you draw you keep that number and them move up; usually two places, for each drive so that no one is left out of a possible good spot. I like the one about the X being the one to dress the birds. That would be great fun on a 500 bird day! The Guns (shooters) are given a complimentary brace at the end of the day and more if they want them. They used to be sold on to the Game Dealers but now the shoot has to actually pay the Game dealer to take them. The Beaters and Dog Handlers are almost begged to take some birds home. I know some shoots used to have what was called the King's Peg. No matter which drive the King was always placed on the best stand. Lagopus.....
2 members like this
#624205 Dec 27th a 03:20 AM
by Hugh Lomas
Hugh Lomas
Damascus, I can only presume the lucky "X" gun retained that peg throughout the course of the day. Whilst this may sound unfair, as you point out they were his Lordships birds and he could do with them as he pleased. Again presumably Guns would rotate over this peg , thus after the first drive gun 4 would move to No6,. Although this may sound rather biased there are many ways the Head Keeper and Under Keepers could control the results and impact, techniques such as banking in, flagging , sewelling position,beating speed and direction could all be tweaked to influence the No. and rate of birds going over Mr X's peg, last drive before lunch ensuring plenty of birds over peg X so he could endure plenty of ribbing over misses or congratulations on an exceptional performance. The afternoon drives being modified by surreptitiously adjusting the positions of the pegs. Either way I'm sure all the guns would have had a marvelous day out, grand lunch and gun X would have had to stand his fellow guns a good round at the hotel that evening or at the next Market Day.

All the Best this Boxing Day
2 members like this
#624560 Jan 3rd a 07:25 PM
by keith
keith
This bit of Edwardian/Victorian era shooting trivia from Damascus was very interesting and entertaining. It all was going very well until Ernie (Damascus) was rudely and incorrectly confronted about his explanation of what the "X" token represented in the set of antique Norfolk shooting peg selectors

I thought Ernie had made it quite clear that his explanation was about how this set was used for large estate shoots in the Victorian/Edwardian era. But then a know-it-all retired National Guard Reservist part-time Soldier of Fortune felt the need to interject and attempt to correct Ernie on how things were done, or are done now. In addition, the arrogance and rudeness was compounded when he suggested that Ernie should address him as "Colonel".

Now, I don't know where he gets off demanding such respect, especially when he certainly didn't show any respect to Ernie. And the bigger question is why would Ernie show any respect whatsoever for a bloviator who claims to have been a Military Intelligence Officer... yet didn't have the intelligence to notice that Ernie's post and explanation for the "X" on the shooting peg selection token had absolutely nothing to do with how pegs are assigned in the present day? There was no need for the off-topic lecture... other than an inability to admit being wrong.

Originally Posted by damascus
....The real explanation is this, on very large estates where this peg selector came from in fact it was made on the estate with the "X" being the give away and not just having numbers only. Back in Victorian Edwardian times such large estates had a good number of "Tennent Farmers" with the tradition at that time was to have a Boxing Day Tennent's Shoot and that is where the "X" came in. Depending on how many Tennent Farmer's where invited and this estate could handle up to ten. The keepers would be instructed to lay out ten shooting stand pegs, then either the number 5 or 6 token' was removed from the draw either numbers being the centre of the lay out giving the best shooting position usually and the "X token added. When the peg draw was done the lucky person with the "X" would get a good peg position also on the estate where this peg set came from the lucky Tennent would also receive a hamper containing seasonal luxury foods I do like to think it was a Harrods hamper plus a bottle of Sloe Gin. The same form of selection method was also used for Keeper and good friend shoots. Alas a lot of these large estates now have been broken up and sold off putting an end to this tradition though I have been told that on some Royal Estates something similar still goes on.

Ernie.

I really enjoy the information that Ernie (Damascus) takes the time to share with us here. I hope he isn't offended enough to be driven off by this nonsense.
2 members like this
#624129 Dec 25th a 12:04 PM
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
I'll hazard a guess. Could the X indicator have been used by the host, so that whoever drew it would receive some special honor, or place?

Having participated in many drawings for stands on dove shoots I find the set charming, in it's quality. Definitely a carryover from the mindset of the wealthy class of Englishmen. At dove shoots around here the more common means is to draw a poker chip from a little bucket that is passed around by the host, on which numbers have been written with a black "magic marker". If a deck of cards invites the Devil to the premises, what say ye of poker chips? shocked
1 member likes this
#624176 Dec 26th a 01:00 PM
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
Thanks, Ernie. Those details are interesting to me, as I have done much the same thing with friends, when I would put a special friend, or guest, in a spot on a dove shoot that I knew, from scouting, would be a "warm corner". No gift baskets, or hampers, though. It's fun hearing about how the gentry did such things across the pond.

There is a "dove club" on a very large plantation that adjoins my land, to the east. The membership is closed at a set number of members. In order to become a member one must get on a waiting list with a partner. Individuals are not allowed to join. The annual membership for each "team" of two is about $4000, as I recall. They are guaranteed eight dove shoots a year/season for that. If one of the "team members" cannot shoot one day, the other member can invite a guest, free of charge. I am not a member but have been invited in that manner a few times. When the poker chips are drawn to assign the stands, one chip is drawn per "team". The team gets the stand that matches the number on that chip, and the next higher numbered one to it. This allows the partners to shoot near each other and adds to the social aspect of it. Last time I was invited my host told me to draw the chip. The field location had already been announced and my partner knew how the stands were laid out, and which numbers were the best stands. He whispered to me to draw a high number. I chuckled and told him I'd try. I drew blind, of course, and drew a high numbered stand. My partner smiled and said I had done good. Indeed! We had the best shooting on the field that afternoon and I soon limited with my 30" Fox AE 16 ga. It was a memorable afternoon. Luck of the draw, as they say.
1 member likes this
#624221 Dec 27th a 05:14 PM
by Argo44
Argo44
Fingers crossed behind your back. In Florida in the 1950's it was meant as "time out" but it also (Perhaps locally) gave you the right to tell a falsehood without retribution.
1 member likes this
#624215 Dec 27th a 03:52 PM
by Geo. Newbern
Geo. Newbern
Originally Posted by mc
KINGSX

I remember KingsX from childhood but I cannot remember what it meant. Time out, maybe?...Geo
1 member likes this
#624237 Dec 28th a 12:08 PM
by L. Brown
L. Brown
Good question, Fox. I spent 9 years "standing in ranks" before I was commissioned. But then hung around long enough to retire as a full bird. A real stroke of luck. I'd only been an LTC for a year when I was selected to command an Army Reserve Military Intelligence Detachment (Strategic). The command slot--of a unit with only 10 soldiers--rated a colonel. So my promotion, as long as I didn't screw up, was pretty much automatic. We MID(S) commanders recognized that we probably had the best job in the Army. No vehicles. Another unit looked after our weapons. We had two 4 draw safes full of classified information and a bunch of office furniture. All the enlisted soldiers were NCOs, plus a warrant officer, a major, an LTC, and a colonel. We did our annual training in places like Washington, DC rather than garden spots like Camp Ripley, MN or Ft McCoy, WI. And eventually went to the UK for our annual training, in support of the US European Command's Joint Analysis Center. Located at RAF Molesworth, an old WWII bomber base. Shortly before I retired, the military started building Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) for us so that we had access to the Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) which you probably read about in connection to documents recovered at Mar-a-Lago. And we were provided with secure computers so that we could communicate at a classified level with units we supported all over the world. Shortly after we finally entered the 21st century (although it was a few years before 2000), I retired. It was a very interesting part time job.
1 member likes this

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