Sam Fowler Memorial Shoot 2018

Sometimes, things just work out as you hoped they would. Last Sunday was one such occasion.

After a dire Saturday full of rain and cold winds, we were blessed with a rare October day on Sunday. The frost had long gone by the time we all started to gather at the field. A beautiful blue sky and no more than a zephyr of a breeze bade well for a perfect day. Even the setting out proved to be no problem at all, and that’s a first!

By necessity this shoot, the Pope and Young, can only accommodate a maximum of 25 archers, and 20 is a very manageable number, so I was delighted when the target list was full just before the start time. It was unfortunate that we had a couple of no-shows, but made up for it by late comers.

Soup and rolls were on offer before the start and tea and coffee on tap, so to speak. The assembly was opened by our Chairman, Chris Roberts, and, after a short introduction, he handed the proceedings over to the Tournament Officer. The ribald comments and banter started at that point and, as far as I remember, continued throughout the shoot. What better way to start.

The complexities of the shoot were explained and after only a couple of questions, everybody seemed to get the idea; in theory, anyway.

The first detail took their places and, on the whistle, shooting began. It might have taken a few ends to get the hang of things in practice, but soon we were romping along. A sure sign of the improved quality of the shooting was the reduction in the time taken looking for arrows after each end.

The first session (40 seconds) ended with a collective sigh of relief, coupled with a distinct feeling of anticipation. What we lost in time on the second session (35 seconds) we gained in experience. The lovely Jo was having to work quite hard on the scores, there being more hits than misses.

We had a very welcome lunch break at the end of the 35 second session and once more the soup and rolls were available. (Just enough Chicken and Mushroom….phew..)

The last and hardest session began, (30 seconds) and this really sorted us out. If you were lucky, you could get off all five arrows. If you were very good you could get three of them scoring.

I know I would have loved to have gone on to 25 seconds, but time was getting on and some of us had plans made for the evening.

The raffle was followed by the awards. This shoot was meant to be fun, and I’m pretty sure we all enjoyed it. I know I received many comments to that effect. I was a bit surprised, therefore, when the awards had been distributed, that a lot of the entrants asked to see their scores. Well, as promised, here they are in full:-

Chris Roberts 65 1st
Gary Martin 56 2nd
Adrian Powell 45 3rd
Peter King 41 4th
Barney King 36 5th
Ian Symonds 34 6th
Sue Cook 33 7th eq.
Eric Murrey 33 7th eq.
Val Davey 29 9th
John O’Keeffe 23 10th
Jan O’Keeffe 23 11th
Sue Crowe 22 12th eq.
Alan Crowe 22 12th eq.
Matthew Powell 21 14th
Rachel Dixon 20 15th
Alun Pugh 17 16th
Lesley Herriot 13 17th
Phyll Griffiths 8 18th
Neville Freedman 4 19th (retired)

Very special thanks to Jo for doing the timing and scoring, a mammoth task. Thanks also to the wonderful catering team, Carol and Pauline. Also the Whiteleaf ‘field party’ for want of a better word, who did all the hard graft. They all know who they are…

It was very nice to have Justin there as a spectator in the afternoon, our link to Sam.

Sam’s charity, Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, benefitted by £297, an increase of £26 on last year so a massive thank you to everyone who contributed by donations and raffle prizes. Swarovski, Quicks Archery and M&S also made generous contributions

Look forward to seeing you all again next year.