From 1882 Craneford Fields were part of the farmland and market gardens owned by the Pouparts of Marsh Farm. They provided London with fresh fruit and vegetables and were also famous jam makers. Old maps show that there have been allotments on the site since at least 1934. In 1935 the land transferred to Middlesex County and the fields were used for recreation for the housing estates that grew up around them and for sports by local colleges and schools. Richmond College took over the management of the East Field in 1977.
Twickenham Rifle Club is situated on Marsh Farm Lane. It was formed in 1903 to promote the training of civilians in rifle shooting skills, which had proved so inadequate in the Boer War, to help train Her Majesty's populace in the defence of the Realm. In October of that year the club's ranges were officially opened on what is now Marsh Farm Allotments. By 1915 the ranges had moved to their present site on the other side of Marsh Farm Lane, as shown in the photograph on the Hon. Directors' Report and Accounts for 1915. The significance of the Rifle Club, in the second year of the First World War, is shown by the number of Vice Presidents and Honourable Directors.
Since this time, the club and its members have enjoyed much success both nationally and internationally, including producing six British champions, double Queen's Prize winner and Commonwealth gold medal winner and a European junior champion and world junior record holder. Target shooting is an Olympic sport and was included at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896 when it had more athletes than any other sport. Between 1896 and 2004, British athletes won 88 Olympic medals in shooting. Tim Elson Chair of Twickenham Rifle Club / FORCE Trustee
To see more about Twickenhams forgotten industrial heritage :
- A history of Pouparts Farm