David Painting

1937 - 2016

David Painting was born in London on 15 May 1937, the third son of five.

On the outbreak of war the family were evacuated to N Essex, initially occupying a thatched cottage in Little Sampford before moving to a house in Great Sampford where his maternal grandfather owned a bungalow.  At the age of five he started school at Great Sampford Infants School progressing to the Juniors in the next room. (The school had only two classrooms!)  He passed the School Scholarship for Newport (Essex) Grammar School at the age of 11.

Home life was very basic. No electricity, water from an outside tap and of course the outside toilet.

For a small boy life could be quite exciting as Sampford was surrounded by fighter and bomber airfields, mostly home to the US Air Force.  The sky was frequently full of aircraft, not all friendly!  He also experienced a near miss from a V1 (Doodlebug) destroyed overhead at night when he was staying in a hostel in Bishops Stortford whilst his mother was being treated in hospital.

In 1952 the family moved to a new house in Merstham, near Redhill in Surrey and David transferred to Reigate Grammar School, where he learnt to shoot with the CCF.  He was also a member of the Borough of Reigate and District Rifle Club (BRDRC).

His National Service was served in Cyprus with the RAF, where he considered a sten gun more useful than a rifle although he never had to fire it while on patrol.  On returning to civilian life he took up shooting again with the BRDRC.

In 1961 he married Carol Middleton, another member of the BRDRC.  They shot in many club teams from 1961 to 1965 with three Surrey Astor wins.  At the NRA Bisley meeting they won the Families trophy three times and came second twice before divorce in 1978.

David was the first non-establishment shooter to break into the Surrey team.  He appeared for the County on many occasions in representative matches.  He rapidly became known as a skilled coach as well as a shooter.  He was Captain of Surrey for one year but decided he was better suited to coaching. At club, County and International level he was one of those who laid the foundations for modern coaching techniques.

In 1963 he shot for England in his first National Match, one of five appearances as a shooter and seven as a coach.  In that year he was also reserve for the Kolapore; in later years he made six appearances as a coach.  In 1964 he shot in his first Mackinnon, one of three appearances as a shooter and seven as a coach.  He also shot three times in the Lawrence Match.

In 1966 the Pumas RC was formed by four Paintings: David, his brother Derek, Derek's wife Anne and Carol.  That was the year he went on his first GB tour to Canada.  In 1967 he and Carol both shot in the National, which was the first time a husband and wife had appeared in an England team together.  In 1968 both were on the GB team to Canada.  David also toured to the West Indies in 1980 with Andrew Tucker's NRA Goodwill team, to Canada in 1982 and to Australia in 1988, both with the GB team.  He was proud of being someone who had represented his country in the Big 5 with two appearances as a Palma coach and three as an Empire/Australia coach to complete the set.

As an individual, David's achievements included 12 Queen's Finals between 1957 and 1986, eight top 50 Grand Aggregate bronze crosses between 1961 and 1980, and three top 25 St. George's badges between 1962 and 1970; he also won the St. George's Silver cross in 1974.  David won the Surrey County Championship four times and the Surrey Open Championship three times. 

David was Captain and Chairman of the BCRC from 1985 to 1988.

David's early career was as a personnel officer with John Brown Construction.  In 1971 he enrolled as a mature student at Kingston Polytechnic (now University).  David graduated with a BA in Economics in 1974.  He was awarded a fellowship at LSE specialising in Transport Economics.  In 1975, David joined the Economics department at Kingston Polytechnic.  He pioneered the development of a tutorial based undergraduate curriculum to which he retained a lifelong commitment.  In the 1980s he was offered the opportunity to design and manage the implementation of a University Student Record System (SRS), which became the driver for the integration of all student data; uniquely it allowed access for both administrators and academics.  He managed this system and its gradual transfer to the wider UK Universities Student Information and Tracking System (SITS) in 2002.  He delighted in reconciling the importance of the individuality of students with their place in the wider university landscape, an approach which enabled him to bridge traditional mentalities and enjoy the esteem of academics, managers and bureaucrats.

In 1991 David married Bridget Towers, a fellow academic whom he had met at Kingston.  Their daughter Alice was born the following year.  He was intensely proud of Alice and her academic and artistic achievements, although he never managed to infect her with the shooting bug, except on Queen's Final Day.

David's health slowly declined after his retirement.  He took a keen interest in shooting events after giving up shooting and coaching.  Alice drove him to Bisley on several Queen's Final days.  He continued to delight in taking his daily Kew Gardens walk, latterly in his top of the range wheel chair.

His death on 13 April was caused by a sudden massive heart attack.