The 14th Ken Gray Memorial shoot was held at Mayflower Archers on Saturday 6th February. This shoot was set up in remembrance of Ken who developed Mayflower’s successful Junior club. It was Ken who started this invitational shoot, designed for juniors in their first year or so of shooting to gain some experience of a competition, without the formality. An average score is calculated for each team in calculating the final results and following this, the bosses are filled with balloons for all to burst and sweets dished out to those who pop them.
This year’s shoot saw clubs from Rayleigh Town A C, Broxhill Archers, Epping Archers (Juniors), Braintree Bowmen and Mayflower. The final averaged scores were:
Best Gold went to Jasmine Jose and Worst White to Matthew Welsford, both from RTAC. Congratulations to this year’s winning team from RTAC; Edward Eason, Jasmine Jose, Oliver Searl, Matthew Gosling and Allie Newman.
Our thanks go to Neal Howell for organising the event and to all the clubs for their support. Ken would be delighted that this shoot has endured for so long and for so many youngsters, continues to be their first experience of an archery tournament.
This years AGM held at the Marconni Sports and Social Club on the 21st February 2016 was a chance to look back over the year, elect new officers (see Officers page) and to hand out the ECAA Awards.
These awards are presented to individuals who have been nominated by their clubs to who meet the criteria and are recognition of good shooting, helping promote archery in and out of the County and overcomming adversity.
In particular the Victor Ludorum Trophy is for an archer who has finished highest in their category at all the County shoots. If you are not entered for the County Championships then you cannot be considered for the award.
This years winner was Alix Lawrence seen here receiving her award from Mick Pearce.
Other winners this year were:-
Baldwin Trophy - Clubs nominate a person who they consider has done most to enhance the sport during the past year. Winner - Dave Shrimpton
Thelma Davison Cup - Junior Recurve archer who has the most improved handicap over the past year. Winner - Sophie Pollard
Joe Dormer Trophy - Junior Compound archer who has the most improved handicap over the past year. Winner - Alex Rowberry (taken by John Wilson)
The Bill Tucker Award - an individual whom the Officers of the County wish to receive public acknowledgement of supportive services rendered on behalf of the County. Winner - Paul Clark
The Bill Giggs Trophy - Senior Archer who has shot consistently well in at least six Record Status Tournaments and whose general standing reflects credit on the County and the Archer. Winner - Michael Judd (presented at the ECAA Indoor Championships)
Thelma Davison Shield - an archer who has overcome an adversity of any nature to continue in the sport. Winner - Christine Higgins (presented at the ECAA Indoor Championships)
When the information for next year's AGM come out there is a call for nominations for these awards so it is worth considering who should receive them and getting nominations in.
Congratulations to all the Award winners and see you at next year's AGM.
Dave Shrimpton receiving the Baldwin Trophy
Sophie Pollard receiving the Thelma Davison Cup
John Wilson collecting the Joe Dormer Trophy for Alex Rowberry
Albert Harris (Bert) became known as “Handy Harris” which then changed to Andy Harris. He earned the title “Handy Harris” because he was a Carpenter and Joiner by trade, trained in the Government Training Scheme after being demobbed from the armed forces.
Bert, as we knew him, lost a leg in the Second World War. He left his squad on the front battle line and walked over to join a friend to have a chat. His squad went over a hill and whilst trying to catch them up, was hit by a mortar. He said that if only he had not stopped for that chat he would still have had his leg. Instead, he was left with a metal replacement which never held him back from doing anything he wanted and did not stop him from doing more than his fair share of work in clubs, county and other organisations to which he belonged. He also had a very nice Baritone voice and belonged to a group who went around entertaining pensioners.
His first archery club was Regentone Archers whose venue was at the Armitage Centre which is no longer there but was near the Old house in Brentwood. The ground was just long enough to shoot 80 yards Bert and his wife, Belle, were the main social side of the club’s “tea and cakes”. That was 54 years ago!
Because Bert (Andy), some of the club wanted to be more competitive they joined The Pilgrim Archers at Little Dytchleys, near Pilgrim’s Hatch. This ground belonged to the London University and the County held their Championships there for a number of years.
Due to some problems with children, it was decided to start a new archery club near the Fortune of War on the A.127. This ground was owned by the mother of one of Bert work friends. The club was called “Fortune Archers”. With the help of the members of the club, hours were spent cleaning up an old chicken shed which was then lined with oak ply panelling. Once that work was finished the club bought an Allen grass cutter and Bert used to almost run behind it as he cut the whole field (around 2.5 acres).
After a while it became obvious that Bert could not get the competition he required at which time it was decided among the members of Fortune Archers to disband the club. Bert then joined Grays Archers and became one of their Albion League Teams. He also shot for the Essex County Archery Association and was involved in the Essex Guild of Archery Coaches where he held the position of Secretary. He was awarded the County’s prestigious “Red Tassel” for the continuous and varied duties he carried out.
The “Andy Harris” League was his idea because so many clubs could not find or even afford halls in which they could shoot Portsmouth rounds. Many clubs used either Church or Community halls because of the cost so, in the main, clubs were shooting a maximum distance of 15 yards. Bert was a firm believer that competition kept the club archers interested in archery and avoided losing many a member who might otherwise turn up, shoot with no outcome and become bored. Bert ran the “Andy Harris” League for many years from 1965 until his death in 1991.
One story that Bert (Andy) told was of the time when he was shooting at Harlow Bowmen’s ground. At mid-day, when the lunch break came, Andy walked to the car. Belle, his wife, was there with the sandwiches and tea. “That’s it” said Andy “We are going home after I have had lunch”. Belle looked at him and said, “Why? Aren’t they paying you enough?” Andy replied, “You know they don’t pay me”. Belle’s response was, “Well, why are you doing it?” From those few words of Belle’s he realised that he had been losing the real reason he started archery which was for a pastime which gave him pleasure. He did not go home but finished the round, enjoying the rest of the day. A wise wife was Belle!
Lorna was a founder member of “Holdens Archers” in the mid 1970’s together with Alan & Kitty Hatfield. Alan and Kitty passed away over 30 years ago, in their memory The Hatfield Memorial shoot was born which is held annually to this day in aid of Leukaemia Research.
Lorna became a very able archer, shooting at many Albion League matches and collecting winner’s medals in various club tournaments. She also travelled to many away shoots together with husband Louis who joined the club shortly after Lorna joined.
Lorna was a very active member helping in any way that she could to raise funds either organising with weekly raffles on club nights or fund raising events of which there were many, Quiz Nights, Race Nights and Barn Dances etc. which put the club on a very sound financial footing.
Unfortunately she had to give up active shooting due to arthritis, but was still very active in helping organising fund raising, by running the raffles etc. Unfortunately Lorna suffered a stroke in 2000 which led to her becoming a resident at Brooks House Care Home in Brentwood. She was unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair in all her waking hours, but was still able to attend various social events with the help of husband Louis.
Lorna was granted Honorary Club President, an honour of which she was very proud.
Eventually and suddenly she passed away on October 8th 2015, she will be sorely missed by all club members who knew her and many relatives, and friends and archers from clubs in Essex, who were many.
Ted Bricknell who has passed away at the young age of 89 was a helpful and loyal member of Holdens Archers in Essex. He was a long serving member of the club representing us as a member of the Albion League team always putting up a high score.
Later on he took up shooting Longbow with a small group of other club members always trying to improve his scores with each round he took part in on Sunday mornings.
In later years he was not in the best of health, but never complained, and was always good company on the shooting line. Ted had other interests such as fishing and going to Air displays.
He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
The club and his fellow archers send their condolences to his wife Margaret, family and friends.
The first weekend in December and archers arrived for the National Indoor Championships at Hall 2 of the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre at Stoneleigh for the Junior Indoor Championship, Back 2 Back tournament and the Senior Indoor Championship.
I was there as DoS and also had Mike Peirce and Steve Johnson as fellow judges so a good turn out from the ECAA before the archers even arrived!
With 1200 archers attending over the weekend it was a busy time with the Juniors starting on the Saturday with their Indoor Championship. There were lots of people to say hello to and some very good shooting with the following archers winning medals.
Recurve - Junior Gentlemen U16 1 TATE Jonathan Clacton A 3 VOBE Ollie Deben AC
Recurve - Junior Ladies U16 3 BANN Lauren Rayleigh Town AC
Recurve - Junior Gentlemen U12 3 BIRDSALL Samuel Rayleigh Town AC
Recurve - Junior Ladies U12 1 NEWBY Imogen Braintree B 3 STRUGNELL Sydney Braintree B
Compound - Junior Ladies U18 3 MALLION Emily Mayflower A
Barebow - Junior Gentlemen U16 1 SMITH Ollie Deben AC
Barebow - Junior Gentlemen U12 1 BIRDSALL Samuel Rayleigh Town AC
The seniors were also shooting in the Back to Back competition at the same time – which made for a few false starts as the buzzers went off and in this Daisy Clark made it through to the Ladies Compound Finals where she lost to Sarah Prieels.
We were all back again bright and early on Sunday for the Senior Indoor Championship which took up all 64 bosses in the hall. It was great to see so many of our archers there and if I didn’t manage to say hello to you it was because I was a bit stuck on the top of the DoS stand – I’m sure you heard me and were fed up of my voice by the end of it.
Again lots of good shooting Michael Judd, Alex Body, Jonathan Tate, Nicky Hunt, Phil Glover, Daisy Clark, Sophie Brown and Helen Harris all made it through to the finals.
It was a long weekend but good fun and I hope to see you all there again next year – as I’m on the timers as DoS again!