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Gun and Game with Purdey & Sons

'The Glorious Twelfth': the opening day of the shooting season for red grouse arrives to a warm welcome every August.

'The Glorious Twelfth': the opening day of the shooting season for red grouse arrives to a warm welcome every August. It comes from the Game Act of 1831, a piece of legislation designed to allow the stocks to replenish, and guarantee another fruitful shooting season across the great British countryside. Perhaps the busiest day of the shooting calendar, the 12th comes ahead of many other opening days, which include 1 September for partridge and wildfowling, and 1 October for woodcock and pheasant.

As soon as the shooting season opens, Members can enjoy game on the menu throughout the Birley Clubs. Autumn is an especially exciting time for Mark's Club, in particular, thanks to its kitchen's world-renowned panache for crafting wonderful game dishes. The annual Gun and Game Dinner at the Club celebrates this great British tradition, which will take place on Wednesday 5 November and be hosted by Richard Purdey, Director of Royal gun-makers James Purdey & Sons.

James Purdey & Sons celebrates its bicentenary this year and, to mark 200 years of sporting excellence, a commemorative trio of exquisitely crafted and highly collectible guns has been created, comprising two shotguns and one double rifle. The first, a 12-bore side-by-side game gun that has been in continuous production since 1880, features the unique Frederick Beesley self-opening and offers perfect balance and a consistent shooting pattern.

The 20-bore Damascus over-and-under gun is a design that has been refined since its conception in 1950. The commemorative model is cast from Damasteel - a metal renowned for its exemplary tensile strength and capacity for intricate pattern work. Last but by no means least is the 470 Express Rifle - a piece that holds a special place in the heart of the company, having being developed by James Purdey and his son as an improvement on the underwhelming low-velocity rifles of the 1850s. The commemorative model will feature 'J. Purdey & Sons' inlaid in gold on the action bars and underside, as well as images of exotic animals, in a nod to the halcyon days of big-game hunting.