Mayflower Archers held an open tournament to mark their 20th Anniversary on Saturday 28th June at Barleylands Farm, Billericay.
A beginner’s course in archery was first held at Mayflower School in Billericay during the winter of 1988 with 6 newly trained archers who went on to start the Club. A fledgling club, short of funds and members, they quickly out grew facilities at the school. In the spring of 1991, they were provided with a shooting ground by local farmer Peter Philpot at Barleylands farm, where they have since remained and have grown to be the largest non-school club in Essex with 160 members. Thanks to the generous support of Mr Philpot and staff at Barleylands farm, the club has thrived and has produced a number of talented young archers including 19 year old Philip Glover who is travelling to Chinese Taipei this month to represent the Great Britain Archery Team at the Universities Archery World Cup.
Local & Historical Links
The shooting ground at Barleylands has strong historical links with the ancient sport of archery. The village sign at South Green is less than a mile away and depicts two archers shooting at a target. Records reflect that the green is the remnant of a much larger ancient village green, probably originally cleared from woodland. The village sign is a reminder of the obligatory archery practice carried out on the Green in medieval times. When the archers were practising, other activities (such as the washing of clothes) had to cease! Edward IV passed a law that every Engishman from the age of 16 to 60 should own a longbow (of his own height) and to practice every Sunday after church and on feast days.
The tournament consisted of Albion and Windsor rounds and we were blessed with a magnificent hot sunny day.
The day began with a disaster for young archer Rebecca Willson of local club HNA, who’s Longbow snapped whilst at full draw during the opening sighter arrows. Rebecca is representing the England Junior Archery Team at this months Euronations tournament in Wales, but fortunately has a couple of spare bows! It is rare to see a bow explode in such spectacular fashion, but moments later a second traditional Longbow being shot by senior Mayflower archer Martin Blay snapped whilst at full draw. Perhaps the ghosts of archers past from the village green were making a point!
A close battle was fought for the Gentleman’s Recurve bow category between Blue Arrows archer Alan Munson and Mayflower’s Michael Judd. Alan managed to steel first place from Michael wining by 6 points with a score of 806. For the Ladies, Mayflower newcomer Wendie Stevens lead from the start wining with a huge score of 858, beating Andrew's score for the men by 50 points. Wendie has been shooting for less than two years and shows great promise, already shooting for the County Team.
In the Compound Bow category, Mayflower’s Warren Stroud won with a score of 926, beating Mayflower veteran Mitch Vaughan who managed a score of 908 for second place. Ladies Compound winner was Rayleigh’s Sandra Neal with a score of 856.
Fortunately some Longbows survived the day, with top score of 250 going to David Willson of HNA.
A special junior round was held for the youngest archers with 10 year old Jonah Elvidge from Mayflower securing 1st place with a score of 371
The competition was thoroughly planned by Steve Fenton who along with Roger Glover spent many hours planning this tournament. My sincere thanks to Steve and Roger who made this such a memorable day for us all and to our judges Mick Pearce and Graham Sibley who entered the spirit of this fun shoot and kept it all running so smoothly. Thanks also to ECAA President Tom Major and Life Vice President Iris Major, who presented club Chairman Ian Pow with a certificate on behalf of ECAA to mark Mayflower's 20 years in the sport.
A special thanks also to Lady Paramount Claire Stanford who has been involved with coaching members of the club along with her late husband Doug, over the last 20 years. We look forward to welcoming Claire back for our 40th Anniversary!
Robert Markham (Vice Chairman – Mayflower Archers)
I think it was December or January at one of our meetings, Rob mentioned it was Mayflower Archers 20th anniversary. We all agreed it would be fitting to celebrate by holding a friendly competition and invite local clubs along for the fun. The intention was to run this in an informal manner but at the same time, run as a competition so we asked Graham Sibley and Mike Pearce to be the judges and Claire Stanford to be Lady Paramount. So Roger Glover, Robert Markham and I got our thinking caps on and proceeded to organise this competition. After a few months of planning and hard work the day had arrived and to say that it had exceeded our expectations would have been an understatement.
I think the photos of the day tell the story so if you were not there you will get an idea of what last Saturday was all about. Many Thanks to everyone who supported this event and special Thanks to the members and friends of Mayflower Archers who worked so hard in making this such a success,\without thier commitment this could not have taken place.
Steve Fenton (Mayflower Archers)