Firing range event raises funds for Shoreham fort

Sharon Penfold, Andy Vincent and Gary Baines from Friends of Shoreham Fort; James Wingate, James Washington  and Jimbo Torrent from EAG
Sharon Penfold, Andy Vincent and Gary Baines from Friends of Shoreham Fort; James Wingate, James Washington and Jimbo Torrent from EAG

Children experienced what it was like to defend a fort at an event that raised over a thousand pounds towards an education centre at Shoreham fort.

Players and marshalls of Elite Action Games (EAG), from the Airsoft Worthing site, transformed a bunker into a firing range where children were taught how to shoot airsoft guns in a safe manner, as part of Shoreham Fort’s annual Military History Weekend.

A total of £1010.65 was raised towards finishing work on the Nissen hut, which is used as an education centre where pupils on school trips can learn about the fort’s history.

James Wingate, 36, from Shoreham, is a regular EAG player and offered to volunteer at the event. He said: “It was good fun.

“I didn’t realise how big the Nissen hut project was, it was amazing, actually.

“As a local boy, born and raised in Shoreham, I was surprised to find out how significant the site was and that it became a template for all forts thereafter.”

Mr Wingate, a Mortgage Advisor at Santander’s Shoreham branch, arranged for the £500 raised on the day to be matched by Santander’s community project match funding scheme.

Jimbo Torrent, the site manager of EAG Airsoft, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to help at such an important historical site and support the fantastic work they are doing here.

“Having one of our regular players also be able to contribute and use his firm’s scheme just further helps the fort reach their goal.”

Gary Baines, the chairman and founder of Friends of Shoreham Fort, said the visiting children enjoyed the firing range event a lot.

“The Eliter Action Games team did a really good job.

“We would like to extend our gratitude for all their hard work to helping raise funds for the fort and also to Santander for its generous donation.

“This money was just what we needed to be able to finish the Nissen hut build. Hopefully lots of schools and groups will visit and it will be a huge asset to the fort.”

Other events at the Military History Weekend included military reenactments from various living history groups, dressed up in the clothing of the time, canon firings and military vehicles, which brought the history to life.

The Friends of Shoreham Fort, which was officially established in 2010, carries out restoration work on the fort and holds regular events.