On Monday, 14th February, a small party of archers turned up at Noak Hill to assist Matt Webb with the work which was necessary to bring the County’s equipment up to standard. They met at 9.30 am and worked until about 1.30 pm. Among the workers (photographed) were Matt, Dennis Oates, Harry Grove, Arthur Toy and there were two others whose names I regret I do not know. Tom Major was also among the working party but is not in the photographs because he was behind the camera!
First the County’s container had to be cleared of unwanted items, such as the jigs for the “A” frame stands. Graham of Clickers (and his dog) came along and brought some new centres which were inserted into about 22 targets and the outer cubes were redistributed around the outside of the targets. The “H” frame stands were cleaned up to remove any splinters.
On behalf of the members of Essex and Suffolk I would like to thank these volunteers and, you might note, that apart from Matt, most of the helpers are pensioners! I hasten to add that I use the expression “pensioners” in the kindest possible way and to highlight the need for some younger blood to come forward on these occasions.
Matt was very interested when Tom and I described to him how it was in the “old days” and he was keen for me to describe this in my article. He too would like to enlist the help of younger archers in work projects for the County.
So here we go: In the good old days………
Thelma Davison pictured left, was a great character and very successful when it came to organising tournaments and working parties. When a County Championship was due, she would gather together her working party and at least two members from each of a great many clubs would turn up to help. The setting up of the field would be done with a lot of good spirit and camaraderie - in fact an event in itself to be enjoyed. Thelma would organise a fish and chip lunch for all her helpers. At the end of the season she would organise what she called a “Helpers Shoot”. Everyone who had assisted at any of the tournaments would be invited to a fun shoot and she would present everyone with some small gift such as a pencil.
At one of these “Helpers Shoots” Brian Purnell turned up with a new Tyrolean hat which had been bought for him on holiday. Someone left this at the top of one of the targets and Tom, thinking it was for shooting at, proceeded to score a direct hit on Brian’s new hat!
I know that Matt would love to see such enthusiasm return and I believe he has his own ideas as to how he would like to reward such helpers. Come along now, you good people; let’s see if we can engender that “good old time spirit” again. There are just a few of us left who remember it well!
Iris Major 20th February, 2011
(Hon. Life Vice-President ECAA)