Robert Everitt, the card-carrying Yorkshireman and business development manager at Hull Cartridge Company, on mixing work and play in the field.
Robert Cuthbert (RC): Are there any projects that you are currently busy with?
Robert Everitt (RE): “As ever, I’m working on lots of different ‘top secret’ projects. We are the only shotgun cartridge manufacturer with the Royal Warrant, and there’s a huge culture shift towards buying British. People are investing more in products that actually represent better value because they perform better. Being able to put my ideas and strategies into its development is so exciting. The really exciting thing is that I’m actually able to help take Hull Cartridge to the next level. The chance to have an impact on an already established business and see results is fulfilling a huge ambition.”
RC: Come on then, how many days do you actually spend in the field?
RE: “Is this the question that nobody wants to answer? Approximately 20 or so.”
RC: Is that a conservative estimate?
RE: “Yes, maybe a little more than that. I’m a passionate all-round sportsman; I take a great deal of pleasure from fly fishing and stalking as well as shooting. Part of my role involves attending shooting competitions, so that sense of occasion and challenge is proving a real buzz too.”
RC: So driven shooting provides the bulk of your sport?
RE: “Yes, without question. I have some great friends and receive some great invitations. Sadly, I don’t have as much time to go deer stalking as I used to. Hill stalking gives me that real sense of physical achievement. Lung bursting ascents followed by “on top of the world” scenery for me is the pure magic of deer stalking, particularly at somewhere like Kingairloch or Glen Dessary on the west coast of Scotland. When you’re so focused on work, having a release, that’s so very different from one’s normal lifestyle…I love that.”
RC: Who would be your regular shooting buddies?
RE: “I’m no longer part of a syndicate, previously I was in one at Chopgate, North Yorkshire; it taught me such a lot about high bird shooting. I spend so much time travelling around on business and my sport reflects this now, but I always find time each year to have my boys’ trip to Wales for three days of the highest birds with my dear friend Nigel Stabler.”
RC: As a card-carrying Yorkshireman, is Yorkshire your favourite place to shoot?
RE: “Absolutely. There is nothing that you can’t get in Yorkshire that you can get anywhere else; stalking, salmon fishing, trout in chalk streams, high pheasant, partridge, grouse shooting. You know, Yorkshire really is God’s county. It’s all here.”
RC: Who introduced you to shooting?
RE: “I went to school with a few farmers’ sons and in amongst life I have bumped into people along the way who shoot. I was taught everything there is to know about a day’s shooting by East Yorkshire bon viveur Charles Gillett…except the shooting. My first ever big driven day was with David Bontoft, the owner of Hull Cartridge, long before I ever came to work for him. Little did we know a decade later we’d be working together. Perhaps it was my first interview.
“I suppose joining the syndicate at Chopgate was also a defining moment; everything I value about our sport was defined whilst in the syndicate. It had the essence, that camaraderie. We ate lunch in the field; there was no glamour, it was on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors amongst incredible scenery…and I mean stunning with drives that made a man of you. Heart Attack was the most notorious. I was suddenly around people, countrymen who really could shoot, captained and run by Keith Benson who lives and breathes shooting and the country.”
RC: Which day does your mind automatically flick to when asked about your best day ever?
RE: “My best day out in the field was a calamitous day’s stalking that involved, among other things, wading through swollen rivers and recovering ArgoCats, but with a very happy ending. For a young man, I’ve already had so much fun. My most successful day in terms of a challenge would have been at Llechweddygarth, with Robert Jones, where I cleanly killed birds that I really didn’t think were possible to shoot consistently. I have great friends in Northamptonshire, Wiltshire and naturally Yorkshire, so no matter the location, I’m always made to feel completely at home…riotous dinners, house parties, wining and dining and naughty stories.”