As we drove towards Putley for our (postponed) 10th Anniversary shoot, a light drizzle began to descend and recent memories of the rain of last weekend began to surface. But thankfully it was not to be, although for the most part we had leaden skies (which only make it easier to see our clout arrows in flight) the rain kept off and we even had periods when the sun was trying to put in an appearance.
First up was the Apple and Grub shoot, a timed shooting event to test the mettle of any archer brave enough to try and work out how on earth the scoring system worked! Of course with the explanations of our Tabard-clad adjudicators (Andy, Steph and Joe) we all had a clear picture of what we were supposed to do – and when – and for how long…. It was very nice to be joined by Gordon (designer of the shoot and painter of the targets), fresh from his hospital bed to give encouragemernt and advice from the baseline.
After a succesful event (and a few lost arrows) we moved on to the Wand Shoot, the equally challenging scoring and shooting system was clearly and confidently explained by our next Field Captain, Robert. Quite a few archers appeared delighted to hit the wands and even more so when they scored highly upon hitting one of the coloured circles. Sadly more arrows were added to those already in the green.
Those who did not take part in our Clout Shoot (presided over by Peter and Martyn) were able to fire up the metal detectors and take the opportunity to retrieve any lost arrows at this point. For the benefit of those new to Clout shooting, Martyn gave some safety tips and advice and the assembled company all loosed at the 125m flag with varying degrees of success. It was entertaining to hear the old excuses start to come out (of course the wind is behind us, which is why I overshot so much; naturally these are not my normal clout arrows; I have the wrong glasses on so I can’t see where my arrows are landing, etc). It was great fun and very rewarding to see some of our new members posting a score after only having picked up a bow for the first time just over a month ago.
Following the Clout we retired over to Graham & Anne’s garden for a BBQ and refreshments. Whilst we had all been enjoying a fun mornings shoot Graham, Anne, Jan and their 1st assistant chef – Chris, had been slaving over hot coals to ensure our lunchtime repast was ready when the assembled company, weak with hunger, dragged themselves over from the ranges. After appetites had been fully sated it was time to attempt to rid the area of a flock of Pigeons that had alighted in a nearby tree. Sadly this was easier said than done, and they tended to cling on with a tenacity that belied the fact that they had no actual feet or claws… Some mutterings were heard about them being ‘nailed on’ when an arrow grazed a beak, but that was amply disproved when multiple birds were dispatched with one arrow, an even more remarkable shot as it was made under the duress of ‘advice’ from other competitors!
Congratulations to all our Winners! The awards were handed out in order they were shot and it was great to see several new winners ascend the virtual podium.
Thanks to Steph Barton, Graham Blandford, Gordon Woolley and Pat Beaumont for some photos of the days shooting, barbecue and awards.
Thanks to all those who ran the shoots, other helpers, bakers, babbling brooks (cooks), participants and guests who made the day a memorable 10th Anniversary Event. As always a special thanks to Graham and Anne for the use of their lovely facilities. See you all again in 2031!