A Yorkshireman's Tale
Well after chatting on Facebook for 7 months I finally met up with "Uncle Keith Coyle" (Legend & Hero)
After a gruelling 4 & 1/2 hr drive I arrived at Park House, a gem of a place hidden away in the Southern Counties greenest countryside. i was greeted upon arrival by Aunty Brenda, Poppy the dog & Uncle Keith & promptly presented with a cool glass of beer to saviour whilst we chatted & swapped historical stories explaining how we had all ended up where we are today.
Then "Aunty Brenda" led us into the dining room where the table was set fit for a King, a beautiful meal was put before us & the wine flowed throughout.
Uncle Keith then started to unleash his Titanic knowledge of the shooting world & by 2am he was still at it like a steam train, delivering one after another humorous impressions & slipping in the odd learning technique along the way. Then we said good nights & awoke to the smell of fresh ground coffee (its a little like easy start to a Yorkshireman)
We almost immediately started the gun fitting session, he made me mount, re-mount adjusted things mount re-mount, for almost 3 hrs, (if you think he is going to give you an easy time folks forget it, he earns his dough this one)
We eventually stopped for lunch when he was happy that everything was in place (by which point my arms & shoulders felt like i had been pumping iron with Arnie for a week.) The rain was relentless on this day & we hoped for a window in the weather but it wasn't to be, we braved the elements to Barbury Shooting ground where Uncle Keith took me round under careful instruction to pick difficult targets that he knew i had struggled with in the past.
Adopting my newly learnt techniques & methods to tricky clays in driving rain was a challenge on its own, after winning some tough competitions & being a stubborn Yorkshireman i have to admit at this point i was ready to snarl (i was missing targets i knew i could hit using my old aggressive methods) but Uncle Keith casually & patiently reassured me that these targets WOULD break on their own if i simply did as he had taught me.
Then BOOOOOM !!!! It all came into play,
I was effortlessly wacking 50yd driven targets (my pet hate) again & again to shrieks of joy from Uncle Keith, (I swear if he had pom poms he would have worn a mini skirt & kicked his little chubby legs at this point)
We moved on, I shot teals, crossers, loopers, fast edge on going away targets, battue's all using this new technique that only an hour before i had little confidence in.
I was exhausted, we were both drenched, the rain wasn't letting up but we were both happy that an incredible amount of progress had been made that day, we paid up then drove back to Park House where Uncle Keith immediately growled "bring that Browning in here Young Man. it's not travelling back to Lincolnshire in that sodden state"
So we both set about oiling & drying off my drenched pride & joy, then we had tea & biscuits, Aunty Brenda returned from her work at this point bless her she looked wetter than us, she presented Poppy with a squeaky toy that I am sure she will regret buying her, Poppy tirelessly ran round Park House squeeking away with her new toy, then the sad time came when I had to leave for the long trek home.
Uncle Keith stood outside in the pouring rain still demonstrating mounts & target reading techniques, I kissed Aunty Brenda & thanked her for her unbelievably friendly hospitality & then with a final proper English style firm handshake from the great man himself I said goodbye my friend, put the wipers on & headed back up North to flooded diverted roads, motorway maintenance, queuing traffic, delays & congestion. 6 & 1/2 hrs later I arrived home ( at half past mid-nite).
Our two pointers had missed their Daddy & threw themselves at me, my other half started pulling wet clothes from my bags & sodden shooting gear now displayed around the kitchen to dry, a quick wipe over of my gun before putting her to bed in the cabinet (a thorough oil up & clean was given to it today incidentally) then collapsed!!!
An exhausting couple of days that i shall never forget, two of the most lovely genuine people welcomed me "Daarn Saarf" & I came away with a wealth of knowledge from an incredible man.
Never have i witnessed such passion & enthusiasm delivered in such horrendous conditions, the mysteries that I was ignorant to the existence of now unravelled & the reasons for these mysteries explained in an extra ordinary way, delivered & demonstrated with obvious lifetime of experience adopted to teaching & helping others to succeed.
My experience at Keith was an incredible one folks & I can only say I now totally understand the difference between a good shot who teaches people & a GOOD Coach!!!
All i have to do now is practise what I have learned & hopefully in time i will be sub consciously adopting technique the "Uncle Keith" way.
UNCLE KEITH !! LEGEND & HERO----- a truly incredible man ...
Mr. Tim Wade