The first official rules of the League were formulated by a Committee of ten plus a Chairman on 2nd November 1958 and approved by the Executive of the ECAA on 12th December 1958.
Over the past sixty 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. The present day rules have to be an improvement on the original idea as I cannot see clubs shooting a minimum of ten matches!
Obviously there were not very many open tournaments in those days, in fact, it seems there were just five (Wicken Bonhunt was just for Coaches). The 1955 Fixture List which, at first glance, seems very complicated, lists the Open Tournaments. The 1958 Fixture List doesn’t appear to be much easier to understand but now there were seven Open Tournaments listed and two Inter County matches.
On the 1955 Fixture List 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 but now there were 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, 5th Ardleigh 2327, 6th Woodman 1996, 7th Plessey 1498, 8th East Ham 1454. Early in the following season, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams 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.
There is not any actual information as to when the suggestion of a Short Western round, made at the formation of the League, was changed to an Albion, however, original League Rules state, "The round to be shot shall be decided by the Executive Committee" and League Rules for 1961 state, "The round to be shot shall be an Albion" so it could have been either of those years. The number of Divisions has increased and waned over the years with the highest ever being six in 1992, but that was for just one season.
Below there are copies of the previously mentioned 1955 and 1958 Fixture Lists. I hope you will find them interesting.
February 14th eight eager Longbow Archers headed of on a cold early morning to Cambridge to take part in the annual Intercounty match, this year held at the home of Ramsey Raverns .
The Hosts were very Hospitable providing bacon rolls and tea and coffee on arrival to warm us all through.
The round was a double Portsmouth and by the end of the first round which took one and half hours, Essex was a staggering 224 points ahead of Cambridge. After a tea break and doughnuts the second round began. Essex were looking good and Kathryn Sartain was well on her way to breaking the double county record and after just under three hours (how amazing was that!) we were finished. The match ended with Essex winning by over five hundred points and Kathryn Sartain breaking the county record by 104 points, well done Kathryn!
Congratulations to the whole team for an excellent result, I personally had a great day with a fantastic bunch of archers, I am still curious to know how Bob got everyone into his car, thanks for making it enjoyable, bring on next year!
Rayleigh Town archer and Level 1 coach Simon Harding has been selected to shoot for Great Britain in the European Horseback Archery Grand Prix competition taking place in Grunwald, Poland in April 2015. Simon (together with his horse Thistle) has recently enjoyed great success in competition, contributing to Team GB's silver medal in stage 3 of the 2014 European Grand Prix in September, and placing 3rd overall in the BHAA Championships in Oct. For more information see http://www.horsebackarchery.info/ Congratulations to Simon on his selection, and the very best of luck out in Poland.
The annual Ken Gray Memorial shoot took place at Mayflower Archers on 7th February. The shoot is intended for new junior archers in their first years of shooting to give experience of competition archery in a friendly environment.
This year saw another full entry for the Portsmouth round with representatives from around the county. Winning this year’s shoot was the junior team from West Essex Bowmen, with Rayleigh Town Juniors in second place and Mayflower Juniors in third place. Our congratulations to the West Essex Junior team.
The shoot concluded with its ever popular balloon popping session.
Our thanks to Neal and Lesley Howell who took over the organisation of this shoot for the first time as tournament stalwart Alex Purser stepped down.