Four new archers passed the beginners course on Wednesday evening, pictured here with their certificates: Rhianna Butterworth. Linaya Butterworth, Peter Buckley and Ian Collis-Scurll. They are flanked by coaches John Jackson, on the left and David Reaney on the right.
I was first introduced to archery at 17 years of age while still at grammar school.
We had a kind of acrylic longbow and shot at a target about 25 yards away. Stringing the bow wasn’t the same technique we use now, with a chord stringer; we hooked the end of bow around our ankle and bent the bow enough to fit the string. The arrows we usually used were made of aluminium but my friend, who was taller than most of us, ended up shooting wooden arrows with brass tips. Phew!
I was re-introduced to archery a fair few decades later after reading an advert in the local paper and I've now been a member of the Bridlington Bay Archers for over 4 years. Still only a very average archer but I enjoy the sport very much.
One of the things that comes to mind is when you “shoot the green”. That’s when you miss the boss and target altogether and the arrow flies off into grassland beyond. Most arrows are coloured and should in theory stand out against the grass. Now, the arrows we use are inanimate items of metal, carbon fibre or other synthetic materials – but they do seem to have a playful streak. They like to bury themselves into the roots of the grass and hide. I still have 2 bright orange arrows lost for over 6 weeks which seem really determined to exasperate me.
I still have have 10 others in reserve so it's not a severe inconvenience but I still would like them back at some point!.
My advice to anyone new to the sport, ensure you have a means of locating them with the club metal detector. I have marked my remaining arrows with some metal tape – it's very thin but very sticky and adds virtually no weight to the arrow. At only £5 for a 50 metre roll it's a very sound investment.
Don’t let the possibility of losing arrows put you off archery – we at the Bridlington Bay Archers club are very friendly and helpful and any novice is given helpful advice. We also help you look for your “green” arrows! - Chris Langley.