This annual shoot was started by Ken Gray who ran Mayflower’s Junior Club prior to his death in 2002. Ken wanted this shoot to act as a gentle introduction for junior archers who were new to the sport and had not yet attended a tournament. The format has always been relaxed with an average score system adopted for each team which adjusts scores for compound archers allowing all to compete together.
Behind the light hearted atmosphere however is a strong competitive spirit and each team manager is plainly looking for a good result. This year’s shoot was supported by junior teams from Epping, Rayleigh, Braintree, West Essex, Colchester and Mayflower.
Our thanks to Michael and Maggie Pearce for their usual good humour in judging the event and encouraging our young archers, many of whom were at their first ever tournament. Michael was sporting his now customary hideous socks (see photo) and enthusiastically announced the World famous Balloon Shoot which followed the main event.
People will be saddened to learn of the death of one of our long-standing members, Albert Fenton, who died on 20th August, 2016 after a short illness.
What can I say, other than at the last shoot Albert attended, the Havering over 45s Shoot in July, he took home another gold medal to add to his collection.
Albert had been with us since around 1978 and I remember a bunch of us going to Tom Foy’s Archery Shop in Hawkhurst, Kent with Albie, his wife Joan and George and Edie Brown to get their first set of equipment after they joined us, Where does the time go?!
Over the years, Albert could always be relied on to support Ardleigh at League Matches (or anywhere else, come to that) , either by shooting with us or just to coming and have a look and a chat. He was “always there” and he will be much missed.
ArcheryGB held the European Championships and CQT at Nottingnham between the 21st and 29th May 2016 and Essex were well represented.
Daisy Clark was shooting in the Ladies Compound category and was part of the GBR team (with Andrea Gales and Naomi Jones) who made it through to the finals in the very centre of Nottingham coming fourth after a close match against the Netherlands in a fantastic venue.
Shooting had started earlier in the week at the Highfields Park ground where over 400 archers from 40 countries battled it out for places in the finals and also the CQT - Continental Qualifying Tournament where the top three won places for their county for the Rio Olympics.
This was very tense but Patrick Huston won a place for GBR Men which means we will have at least one athlete at the games - there are chances for a whole team at the Atalya competition which is in a couple of weeks time.
Essex were also well represented in the Judges and volunteers with Steve Johnson and Paul Clark taking charge of a number of team matches along with the Continental Judges and Richard Pilkington acting as Assistant DoS.
The event was one of the best people had ever seen - high praise indeed from officials who travel the world at such events and the question being asked is what can the team do next?
Whatever it is I hope I can be involved as it was great fun even if it was very hard work!
George Lewis, who will be well remembered by the ‘older’ personnel in Essex, passed away on Monday 4th April 2016.
He joined the archery fraternity in the mid 1960’s and was one of the Founder members of Damon Company of Archers. (The club lost its ground in 1982 and with some of the members moved to the Sports Ground of an Electricity Substation in Wickford. This became Southend Electricity Archery Club -SEAC).
He was a past County Senior Records Officer, Vice Chairman of the County 1972-73 and General Member 1981-1983.
An extremely dedicated archer, he reached Grand Master Bowman status and shot many times in the Essex County Team. Was regularly Essex Champion, East Anglian Champion, and won the majority of tournaments he entered. In the late 1970s, with a one-piece wooden Hoyt bow and aluminium arrows, he set the Albion record at 916 – a record which remained unbroken for many years.
When equipment improved with take-down bows and carbon arrows, George felt he may be able to shoot even higher scores and decided to sell the Hoyt. A club member bought the bow but the poundage was too heavy for him and, rather than let the bow go, stored it away. George’s scores did not improve with his new bow which caused him much frustration. The old Hoyt was returned to him and normal service was resumed.
George’s archery came to an end with severe Arthritis in his fingers. He moved to Kent with his wife Mary. Our deepest sympathy goes to her and his four children, Mandy, Tracey, David and Simon.
We received the sad news from Brian Wright that Felicity had passed away on the 9th March, 2016 whilst in the Critical Care Unit in Colchester General Hospital. Felicity was a National Coach and was very well known in the county, region and nationally through the many years she and Brian were involved in the Coaching side of archery at all levels.
Felicity was Secretary of the Essex Guild of Archery Coaches during the period 1982-1986, Vice President of the Essex County Archery Association for the term 1990-1991 and the first Lady President of the county for the term 1991-1994. In 1991 she was presented with the county’s prestigious “Red Tassel” award for her services to Essex. Felicity was also a qualified Sports Physiotherapist.
Felicity and Brian first met at a Southern Counties Coaching Conference at Bournemouth. Together they put in a great deal of time and effort into developing the Essex Guild of Archery Coaches by inviting qualified people to give talks on various subjects such as relaxation, visualisation, exercise, good diets and psychology of archery, to name but a few. There was always time for a forum session when attending Essex coaches could discuss any problems or difficulties they might be experiencing in their own clubs and gain helpful advice from the more experienced coaches among them. This was the main purpose of the Essex Guild and Felicity and Brian supported this one hundred percent. Together they organised many Essex squad training sessions, meeting beforehand with the coaches assisting to discuss how the sessions would be staffed.
Felicity and Brian attended the Wicken Bonhunt coaching weekends, which were always well attended by Essex archers and sometimes archers from Hertfordshire. Then there was the Essex Guild’s Annual Conference at Wicken Bonhunt which was just prior to the Southern Counties Conference. Both Felicity and Brian were very active in all those years, organising very successful meetings.
Felicity was a lovely lady with a friendly welcoming smile on her face and always listened with genuine interest to whoever was speaking to her. She had a very caring nature and gave up her time most generously to anyone who needed her help.
Felicity will be sadly missed by all who knew her and our deepest sympathy goes to Brian and their family at this very difficult time.