Can you recognise some of the archers still shooting in Essex?
Back in 1966 a group of young men formed an archery club calling themselves Bowmen of Wickford. Approaching the Community Centre they were allowed to shoot on the adjoining school field but that arrangement was brought to an end by authorities insisting the school caretaker be present and paid. Without a ground of their own but with lots of spare fields around, they tied a couple of bosses to a roof rack, found an empty field, set up the bosses and shot. Eventually a field was rented in Ramsden Bellhouse which, with a lot of time and effort, was turned into a shooting venue. The club was re-named Damon Company of Archers (Damon being nomad in reverse) and nicknamed ‘The Damonites’!
One evening in 1968, as light faded, car lights were turned on to illuminate the target - and the ‘Moonlight’ was born. In 1972 we were told to vacate the field (to this day it is still unused and overgrown), however, we found a friendly farmer at Woolshots Farm who allowed us use of an area. This was fine as a stop-gap but a bit too public so a new venue was found in Potash Road. We were very happy there with a good relationship with the neighbours but in 1982 the house at the entrance to the field changed hands. The new owner blocked our entrance with a bolted gate resulting in Solicitor’s letters and bad feeling. Another change of venue was on the cards when superb facilities were offered at the Electricity Sports & Social Club in Rawreth. Some of Damon did not want to move. Those who did became SEAC and very soon Damon was no more.
And we never did get around to dancing naked round the oak tree!!