Archer’s Lament

Gold? Red? Blue? Black? Alas! Alack!

Far more alight in border white,

Or slide themselves in shame, unseen,

‘Neath tangled grassy glades, in green.


Glimpses of the club through old paperwork and photographs.


There is the County Championships and an Open Tournament on Sunday 8th September 1974. This will be held at:-

Weston Favell Upper School
Booth Lane South

Sighters at 10 am.
We hope that those of you who will not be shooting will attend to support our six participating members.

Are there any artistic members amongst us? Maybe you would like to submit your design for our Club Badge. Please forward these to any committee member as soon as possible. Thanks.

We are having a Disco-Dance on October 4th, so shine up those pumps! It will be at the village hall with the Red ‘R’ Disco plus “Fantastic Light Show” including Disco Don, Jumping John, Bouncing Bet and Lively Les. We will be distributing tickets (which will be 60p inc. Buffet) for this fantasia as soon as possible.Ladies! We will need your help to organise the buffet. Please attend or see Bet Eburn. Meet youTuesday 10th September at 85 Hesketh after Archery.

It has been proposed that 10p should be paid for an evening session and 10p for each morning and afternoon session on a Sunday. This will take place immediately.

We are trying to obtain Winter quarters, at the moment the situation is difficult. It will mean eventually that we will have one indoor during the week plus a Sunday morning shoot according tothe weather. Obviously having to hire a hall will mean that fees will have to go back to 20p to cover the hire fee. However we will let you know about the winter session as soon as we have more details.











From small beginnings, a new year report. A snippet of overheard conversation in Madge’s shop in 1974 started my ears flapping, “Come and watch, we’re doing it down behind the village hall” !! Now this was enough to start anyone thinking. My curiosity was satisfied some days later when Martin arrived home in high excitement shouting, “They’re shooting bows and arrows down the ‘rec.” Les having at one time had a try, went down to investigate and soon became involved in the very modest beginnings of the Yardley Gobion Archery Club.

The club was the baby of Don Eburn, an archer of some years experience, who arranged regular meetings in the old ‘rec for those interested. Equipment was extremely limited and much sharing went on until sufficient funds were available for more bows and arrows. This meant that many members bought composite bows rather prematurely. Spirits were high and competition intense, distances increased to a fantastic forty yards. Members present at these early meetings were: Don, Betty, Reg, Jim, the Beesleys, Merry, Madge and Bill, Marion and Peter, Graham, John, the Freemans, Keith, Jenny and Mrs Spar’ Haversham. Don’s instruction on several occasions was supplemented by Graham’s brother-in-law, a top class archer.

Minor troubles were not long in coming, members of the general public complained about the the safety of the site for shooting. Application was made to the Parish Council to use the top ‘rec. After confirmation of adequate insurance cover; permission was given to use the strip of land at the far end of the field.

Much interest was shown in a stall and demonstration at the village carnival where Don and Les played O’s and X’s, burst balloons and split wands, many people tried their hand with bow and arrow.

The club was put on a more solid footing when a committee was elected with Don as Chairman, Merry as Secretary and John as Treasurer, Betty, Les and Jim as other members. It was decided to hold a Disco during October. The organisation of this was in the capable hands of Betty. There was a very good attendance, this and the raffle helped to swell funds which were urgently needed to buy more bosses. Early autumn, the school was hired was hired for one night a week for indoor shooting. As these conditions were rather cramped it wasn’t long before meetings were transferred to the Village Hall.

Through the first few months we gained some new members but also lost some, including the Freemans who joined Newport Pagnell Club. Shortly after the disco at a rather hectic committee meeting, Betty, Les and Don resigned. An extraordinary general meeting was called poste haste to sort matters out. At this meeting a new committee was formed: Dink as chairman, Merry as secretary, John as treasurer and Jim, Les and Reg as other members, a draft constitution was drawn up and it was decided to order badges to Jim’s design.

Four members of the club elected to attend an instructor’s course to be held in Wolverton, to be run jointly by Bucks and Northants archery societies at the end of the year. Subsequently Don and Brenda obtained instructor’s badges, Jo did not complete the course, Jim unfortunately had a spell in hospital and was not discharged until the day before the examination so was unable to attend.

After a few competitions were shot in early autumn competition began in earnest with the B. A. Postal Frosbite throughout the winter. It was shot with a modicum of success considering our inexperience. It soon became obvious we would be relying on the same few people to turn out to make up a team, not always in the most congenial of conditions I admit.

Merry was forced by family commitments to relinquish her post as secretary, this Reg took over most competently. The treasurer’s position position became vacant when John left us to join Don’s newly formed club at Wicken. Dink took on the job for a while, later Anna took over from him. A number of our members went with Don, leaving a nucleus determined to keep our club intact .

When the 1975 outside season began a few determined members were prepared to enter competitions in the neighbouring counties. These were much enjoyed, both for the shooting, the congenial company and the experience gained. Our junior section began with archer’s children only: Richard Elliott, Richard Holt and Martin Pittam, but so much interest was shown by other children that we made the section open and soon found it necessary to put one of our shooting evenings aside for juniors and beginners. It wasn’t long before the juniors began to shoot in competitions. Martin shot in the Bucks open junior championships at Newport Pagnell, Martin, Richard E and Richard H shot in the Northants County shoot and Richard E and Richard H shot in in the Leicestershire Junior championships. The boys really enjoyed themselves and found the sort of competition they were likely to be up against in the future, As we began our indoor shooting in the evenings we split the sessions into two to enable us to take on more juniors and to further coach the existing ones. At our first session we had seventeen juniors, a rather large number which over the weeks settled itself down to a hard core of about ten.

Our hopes of helping the funds with our efforts at the village carnival this year was thwarted by lack of support from members on the day, too little preparation and too few new ideas to keep the public interested.

During the summer months a number of our members shot in the County Postal League and in the B.A. Western Postal League. There was disappointment with the B.A. Postal as we appeared to be in a division with archers of a much higher class than our average, consequently we didn’t do too well. In the County Postal Les and Jim were of a suitable standard to enter the scratch division, the otheres in the handicap section. Dink and Reg through to the final shoot off, unfortunately this clashed with our own club championship shoot, so they did not attend. Our shoot was well attended and the good weather we had enjoyed all summer continued on the day. Madge acted as our Lady Paramount and donated prizes for the best gold in each section. Albion, Yardley and Sherwood rounds were shot, Les coming out as club champion for 1975.

Our first open shoot was held in October to celebrate the battle of Agincourt. Long distances of 150, 120 and 80 yards were shot to simulate battle shooting. There were thirty eight archers shooting from a variety of clubs, all found it great fun. It is hoped that this will become an annual event as the use of the school for refreshments and toilet facilities worked well. I think we all considered this shoot quite an achievement for a club only eighteen months old which had suffered some unusual setbacks during its short life.

During the summer months shooting Anna did well and won a number of awards in the novice class. Two of our men, Paul and Peter, won handicap medals in the Northants County shoot, we hope many of these up and coming archers will be challenging those at the top of our club in the coming season. I had a good days shoot at Wellingborough open shoot, my score was noted by those that matter and I was asked to shoot as a county team member for the remaining two county shoots against Leicestershire and Bucks/Beds.

Our A.G.M. Was held in October, the committee elected was as follows: Dink (Ch), Reg (Sec), Anna (Tr), Jim (Tournament Sec), Joan (Record Off), Les (Eqip Off), Brenda(Instructor), Eddie (Eddie and family having left Newport Pagnell to return to the fold.) A few amendments were made to the constitution. Committee meetings were held regularly once a month during the year. Over the year our representatives attended County meetings and as few people were restanding for office in the forthcoming County A.G.M., nominations were sent in for Jim, Les and Eddie. At the A.G.M. In November Jim was elected un-apposed as Vice Chairman (Rec Off) as was Les for Postal league sec., Eddie was defeated as chairman by Don Eburn.

The year was rounded off just before Christmas by the collection of the long awaited shed, to be stripped and reassembled in the school grounds after previously obtaining permission to site it there, handy for the field. We will be losing Peter and Ang. Early in the year as Peter has another job, we wish them all the best and hope they keep up their shooting. The club gathered at the Old Talbot at Potterspury for a festive drink together, needless to say there was a good turnout for this meeting.

B. Pittam 1976


The Junior Section

In June 1975 our junior section got off the ground, unlike a lot of the arrows, with Richard Holt, Martin Pittam and Richard Elliott joining the club. Some have come and some have gone but we now have a thriving junior section with about fourteen members shooting regularly. Martin was first of the juniors to represent the club at an outside competition when he shot a St. Nicholas round in the Bucks Junior Championship at Newport Pagnell. In August Martin and the two Richards shot a Bristol IV in our own county championships. Although un-rewarded, Martin came second in the round, with the other two, not quite so experienced at the longer distances putting up quite reasonable scores. It was with great pride that I watched these three youngsters observe the rules and their line discipline. Richard Elliott was next to go out when he entered the under 9’s Rutland round in the Leicester and Rutland championships, finished fourth. Here again his training showed up well when he was the only one in his class who knew what to do in the event of a bouncer. The other tots soon cottoned on, much to the amusement of the judges. Martin also shot for us in the Bucks indoor Portsmouth round at Bletchley Leisure Centre.

With the onset of winter we moved to our quarters in the Village hall and at one of our first sessions seventeen boys and girls turned up, and we had for a time, to close our doors to a few young hopefuls. Although some weeks were rather chaotic, not to mention noisy, we are still thriving and have managed to hold two mini competitions. The first of these was held just before Christmas, mums and dads were invited along for coffee and mince pies. It was a short round for the less experienced and was won by Frances Shackleford who was presented with a club badge. At the second competition the children were put in three groups depending on their ability. Group one shot on a 120cm face, group two a 80cm face and group three on a 60cm face. The winners for the groups were Group 1, Sarah Shackleford (she won this by the skin of her nose, beating Malcolm Elliott by 1), Group 2, Darren Davis and Group 3, Richard Holt. The three winners were were presented with club pens.

This year it is hoped that many more of the children will enter competitions, especially the girls, and if the standard of the indoor shooting is anything to go off, they should do us proud.

May I say how gratifying it is to see so many of the children now turning up fully equipped and dressed as true archers, especially those whose parents themselves are not members.

Carry on the good work boys and girls.

Joan Elliott 1976




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