Here at the shooting school, no two days are ever the same. Today Tom, our gunroom manager, talks you through a typical day in our gunroom, Sportarm at Lady’s Wood.
My day starts at 8am, when I arrive at the shooting school with the rest of the team. I begin by opening up the gunroom, unlocking doors and turning off alarms. I’ll ensure the shop is in a tidy, clean condition from the busy day before.
Once the gunroom is set up and ready for the day, I have half an hour to catch up on any emails that may popped into my inbox since the previous evening. A few early customers may also arrive at this point. These are often individuals visiting the shooting school for a lesson, popping in to pick up some cartridges before their lesson.
For most of the morning, my schedule will generally be filled with meetings or appointments with customers. This can mean anything from booking guns in for repairs or servicing, performing gun fits or, perhaps most excitingly, assisting customers who are looking to purchase a new gun.
When a customer is looking to purchase a preowned gun (or there’s a demo gun to hand) we’re able to make full use of the fantastic facilities of the shooting school. Taking a customer to shoot their perspective gun is an ideal way for them to get a feel for it.
Whilst this might be lunchtime for some, I prefer to have a quick sandwich at my desk so that I can catch up on any admin tasks that may have accumulated across the morning. However, I’ll always taken fifteen minutes to get out into the grounds and stretch my legs, taking Juno (my golden Labrador, who comes to work with me most days!) for a walk around the woods.
In between appointments there are a myriad of other jobs to attend to. I ensure all of ours guns are cleaned regularly, to keep them looking their best. This includes the guns on display in the gunroom, as well as customer guns we have in storage.
Another really important part of my role is keeping in touch with all of our customers, whether that’s regarding a gun repair or servicing, or updating a customer who is looking to purchase a particular gun. We take great pride in helping our customers to the best of our ability, scouring the country (and sometimes further afield!) in search of the perfect gun for them.
It’s quite common for me to make an afternoon post office run a couple of times a week. This is usually to send items of clothing or accessories to customers who can’t get to the gunroom. It’s easy for a customer to pay over the phone. I can nip it down to the post office before the last collection!
Transporting guns is a whole other matter. Shotguns are frequently transferred between the gunroom and our other Sportarm locations in Dorchester and West London, as well as to other gun shops around the country. For obvious reasons, we can’t just pop them in the post! Any gun that needs to be sent is carefully packaged in lots of layers of bubblewrap and cardboard. We always use Parcelforce to transport our guns; they’re one of the few courier companies that offer this service and they’re always very reliable.
Once the last of the day’s customers have left there’s enough time to ensure the gunroom is in order and begin closing the shop for the day.
After a busy day, it’s time to head home around 5.00pm, ready to do it all again tomorrow!
Tom and the rest of the