2005 marks the 50th anniversary of the above and during that time there have been eight League Secretaries:
1955-1956 H.McSweeney 1956-1961 P.Falcon-Uff
1961-1964 E.W.Butler 1964-1967 Mrs.A.Bradley
1967-1971 K.Francombe 1971-1977 B.Ray
1977-1983 Mrs.B.Huxtable 1983- Mrs.M.Hutchins
The following is the initial report and recommendations made by the first Organiser.
ESSEX COUNTY ARCHERY LEAGUE
How it works – What you do
by H.McSweeney (League Secretary and Organiser)
From a casual remark of mine at an ECAA Executive Meeting, which now seems to have taken place years ago, the idea of forming an Archery League was born. The first problem was the most suitable round to be shot. This had to be a round which all clubs had facilities for shooting and, after a survey it was obvious that a Short Western would suit most competitors.
Various methods of application were carefully considered, the main being (a) direct elimination, (b) points scheme, (c) highest average over a required number of matches. The latter was considered the most practical and works out as follows:
1. League scores are to be submitted every month and will be written down to the credit of the clubs concerned.
2. The team scores to consist of the five highest scores. Up to eight archers may shoot for each side.
3. Ten matches only need be shot but if more are shot the eleventh and subsequent match scores will be used to increase the total by substituting these latter match scores for lower ones previously shot.
4. If the eleventh and subsequent matches are not higher than any previous scores, these will not be substituted and the total of the ten best will remain the same.
5. The final club average will be calculated by dividing the total by ten thus giving the average score for the ten best matches shot.
6. If less than ten are shot, the total of matches that have been shot will be divided by ten.
It will be apparent to all clubs that every effort should be made to shoot as many matches as possible. The entire success of the league depends upon clubs fulfilling their commitments. The main principle of the League is to promote a healthy flow of competitive activity throughout the archery clubs in Essex. The Association has agreed to award five medals to the winning team and five more to the runners-up. The problem of distribution of the medals to the individuals of the winning team could be solved by applying the same formula of the league to the club, i.e. the five highest individual averages. On this point I would like to emphasise that an archer can only be allowed to shoot for one club in League fixtures. Individuals belonging to more than one club should state for which club they intend to shoot.
Let me wish all the participating clubs good shooting. May the scores returned be so high that they will prove that the standard of archery in Essex is the highest in the country.
Over the past fifty-five years, league clubs have decided how they would like the league to be run and, with ratification from County, changes made comprise the Rules we have today. Personally I think it is an improvement, for example, I cannot see clubs shooting a minimum of ten matches – there were obviously not very many open tournaments in those days! In fact, it seems there were just five (Wicken Bonhunt was just for Coaches). These are listed after the 1955 Fixture List which, at first glance, seems very complicated. The 1958 Fixture List doesn’t appear to be much easier to understand but now there were seven open tournaments and two inter county matches.
On the Fixture List you can see that the first league season comprised one Division of nine clubs, Pilgrim, East Ham, Marconi, Southend, Latton, Woodman, Braintree, Ardleigh, Grays. After this first year Latton and Braintree withdrew and in 1956 Plessey joined but East Ham retired. By 1958 there was still one Division which now had ten clubs with the inclusion of Colchester, Ilford, and Woodford.
1956 saw Southend the top team with an average score of 2871, 2nd Pilgrim 2588, 3rd Grays 2582, 4th Marconi 2409, 5thArdleigh 2327, 6th Woodman 1996, 7th Plessey 1498, 8th East Ham 1454. Early in the following season, the 2nd, 3rd and 4thteams of the previous year shot on the Grays ground (in Grays) for a trophy donated by Grays and named The Grays Oak. This match continued annually for many years.
Since the onset, the number of Divisions has increased and waned. The highest was in 1988 when there were five but this was not repeated until 1991 when it continued to 2000.
Below are the previously mentioned copies of the 1955 and 1958 Fixture Lists. I don’t know of any others in existence so think these should be treasured!