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Bristol Bowmen and
Golden Phoenix Archers

For news about competitions, please see the 2009 competitions page.

Over the last few years we have had the pleasure of announcing on these news pages the birth of several of our member's children. This time it is our sad duty to announce a death.


We send our condolences to club member Hossein Tavakoli and his family on the death of his son Shahab Tavakoli, who died at 2.45 am on Saturday 12 December in the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Shahab had been diagnosed with cancer just 10 days prior to his death and at one point had been given a 90% chance of survival. He was 43 years old. His wife, Alison, had died of cancer in the summer of 2008 and he is survived by their three young daughters.

The name Shahab means 'meteorite'. Hossein has told us that on the night of Shahab's death there was a large meteor shower over the UK. Please see the BBC news report or the astronomy 2009 web site for more information.

Shahab Allesandro Tavakoli, 6 April 1966 to 12 December 2009. May his soul rest in peace in Paradise.


18 December – Indoor Christmas fun competition. Shooting at specially designed and printed target faces, nine adult and three junior members took to the line. Our thanks go to Tournament Organiser, Bob Taylor, for not only organising the whole event, designing and printing the target faces, but for then donning his own pointy hat to do duty as Santa Paramount. For full results and photos please see the 2009 competitions page.

27 December – Happy birthday web site – three years old today.

Congratulations go to:

  • Nick Griffin for setting new indoor overall 2009 and club records (04/12). Then beating those same records, reducing his indoor handicap by three points and classifying as F (11/12).
  • Paul Wilcox for getting his longbow indoor starting handicap and classifying as G (11/12).

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With such horrible weather outdoor shooting has been at the bare minimum. The wettest November for years. So much so that we even thought that we might flood and took the precaution of raising everything off the ground in the storage unit.

So such as they are:

Congratulations go to:

  • Harry Francis for getting his indoor starting handicap and classifying as E (13/11).
  • Tom Francis for getting his indoor starting handicap and classifying as F (13/11).
  • Nick Griffin for setting new 2009 and club group records (15/11).
  • Ian Lassman for finally submitting enough scores to regain an indoor classification, D (20/11).
  • Rodney Luton for reducing his indoor classification by one point and qualifying as F (06/11). For reducing his handicap by one point (08/11). For reducing it by a further two points and getting his second third class score (15/11). For reducing his indoor handicap by one point (20/11).

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2 October – Our first indoor shoot of the season and already handicaps and records are falling.

25 October – Welcome to our first, and considering the date, probably last, new member of the month. Pete John joins us after completing the club beginner's course.

25 October – Tom Francis has done it. He's qualified as Junior Bowman. The wind was dire this afternoon, so to have done it in such conditions is very impressive.

Congratulations go to:

  • Tom Francis for beating his own group 2009 record, reducing his handicap by a further two points and getting his second junior bowman score (04/10). For qualifying as Junior Bowman (25/10). For setting a new group 2009 indoor record (30/10).
  • Charlie Glavin for setting a new group 2009 record while on the beginner's course (04/10).
  • Steve Glavin for setting a new overall 2009 record while on the beginner's course (04/10).
  • Nick Griffin for setting a new 2009 overall indoor record with his longbow (23/10). Then beating that same record (30/10).
  • Melanie Hilton for setting a new overall indoor record (30/10).
  • Steve Ludwell for setting a new 2009 group record, reducing his barebow handicap by two points and getting his first first class score (13/10).
  • Rodney Luton for reducing his indoor handicap by three points (02/10). For setting a new overall 2009 record (04/10). For reducing his indoor handicap by one point (09/10). For gaining an indoor classification, G (16/10). For reducing his indoor handicap by two points (30/10).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new group 2009 indoor record (09/10).
  • Mark Pollard for reducing his indoor handicap by one point (02/10). For reducing it by a further point (09/10). And then reducing it by two points (30/10).
  • Paul Wilcox for reducing his indoor handicap by one point and setting a new overall 2009 record (02/10).

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4 September – The AGM. Quite a few new faces and change of roles. For the full list, please see the Contact us page.

5 September – saw Harry Francis shooting for County for the first time, representing Gloucestershire Archery Society in the regional Inter Counties Competition. The team came second to Devon and Cornwall Archery Society, with Dorset and Wiltshire third and Somerset last.

6 September – Welcome to our first new member of the month Jack Bannell who is studying in Bristol for the year before moving to London. He completed his beginner's course in Oxford shortly before moving here.

6 September was also our club championship with the above mentioned Jack winning the Beginner Gents' barebow category, not bad on your first day as a member. Young Tom Francis also had a blistering day putting in his third first class score and he's only been a member for two weeks. Normally people have to wait until their next shoot before they are awarded their badges, but with one of our Records Officers present to ratify the score, we gave Tom all three classification badges today – one at a time. He also won the overall Junior Gents' recurve trophy.

The full write up, including all the results can be found on the 2009 competitions page. The congratulations are below.

12 September – Harry Francis our first county champion in years. Harry shot a Bristol III in very windy conditions to become the Gloucestershire gents under 14 county champion.

And in the afternoon, while the main competition was taking place, there was a six-dozen competition for those newer to the sport. Tom won the Short Junior National, to make it a Francis brothers’ double victory.

Meanwhile, back at the club, to be precise our indoor venue, Sheena McCullagh passed her external assessment to qualify as a level 1 coach. The first the club has had for years.

19 September – Following hot on Sheena's heels, Frank Bath and Trevor Lapham passed their external assessments to also become level 1 coaches.

Typical isn't it? You don't see a coach for years, then three come along together.

Congratulations go to:

  • Jack Bannell for setting new overall club and 2009 records and on the day he joined the club (06/09).
  • Frank Bath for setting a new overall 2009 record (09/09). For qualifying as a Level 1 Coach (19/09). For beating his own overall 2009 record (24/09).
  • Harry Francis for setting new club group and overall 2009 records (05/09). For becoming County Champion (12/09).
  • Tom Francis for beating his own 2009 group record, reducing his handicap by three points and qualifying as first class (06/09). For winning the afternoon competition at the County Championships and reducing his handicap by three points in the process (12/09). For going out another ten yards and setting a new group 2009 record (13/09). For adding 160 points to that record, reducing his handicap by another three points and getting his first junior bowman score (20/09).
  • Charlie Glavin for setting a new 2009 group record while on the beginner's course (20/09).
  • Louis Glavin for setting a new 2009 group record while on the beginner's course (20/09).
  • Elizabeth Gray for reducing her handicap by four points (06/09).
  • Melanie Hilton for setting a new 2009 group and overall club record (06/09).
  • Peter John for setting a new overall 2009 record while on the beginner's course (20/09).
  • Trevor Lapham for qualifying as a Level 1 Coach (19/09).
  • Steve Ludwell for deciding to go barebow and getting his first second class score – ever (10/09). For setting a new 2009 group record and getting his second second class score (15/09). For getting his barebow starting handicap and qualifying as second class (16/09). For moving out a distance and reducing his handicap by one point (24/09).
  • Rodney Luton for reducing his handicap by one point (06/09). For reducing his handicap by another two points and getting his first third class score (20/09).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new overall club and 2009 records (06/09). For qualifying as a Level 1 Coach (12/09). For shooting a different round and setting new overall club and 2009 records (24/09).
  • Pete Moore for reducing his handicap by one point (20/09).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new 2009 group record (06/09).
  • Aaron Nandi for setting a new overall 2009 record while on the beginner's course (20/09).
  • Hossein Tavakoli for setting a new overall 2009 record and reducing his handicap by one point (13/09).
  • Bob Taylor for reducing his handicap by one point (23/09).
  • Carolyn Twist for setting a new 2009 group record (06/09).
  • Paul West for reducing his handicap by two points (06/09).
  • Toby West for setting a new 2009 group record (06/09).
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his second first class score (18/09).

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16 August – Welcome to our first new member of the month Steve Ramkaran who joins us after completing the beginner's course.

22 August – We were contacted some time ago by Phil and Sandie Warnes of Rivernook Bowmen who are shooting their way around the country, a Warwick in Warwick, that kind of thing. Today was the day they came to us to shoot a Bristol in Bristol and both set new overall 2009 records in the process. Apparently next year they're off to America to shoot, well, an American and also a Vegas in Vegas and for good measure, a Western as well. When they retire they plan to shoot their way around Australia.

23 August – Welcome to our second new member of the month Tom Francis who also joins us after completing the beginner's course. And what a start to his membership it was, a first class score with his first round and a new 2009 record to boot. It looks like he could be taking after his elder brother, Harry.

Congratulations go to:

  • Frank Bath for setting a new overall 2009 record (25/08). For beating that same record (27/08).
  • Tom Francis for setting a new overall 2009 record while still on the beginner's course (16/08). For setting a new group 2009 record and getting his first first class score on the day he joined (23/08). For having equipment failure and still managing to put in a third class score (24/08). For beating the record he set on the day he joined, getting his starting handicap and putting in his second first class score which was also qualified him as third class (30/08).
  • Nick Griffin for setting new overall club and 2009 records (22/08).
  • Rodney Luton for reducing his handicap by two points (02/08). For reducing it by another point (30/08).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new overall 2009 record (08/08). For beating that same record by 68 points (22/08).
  • Rob Morgan for reducing his handicap by one point (02/08).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new 2009 group record (03/08).
  • Carolyn Twist for setting a new 2009 group record (03/08). For beating that same record (07/08).
  • Nic Vangorph for setting a new group 2009 record (22/08).
  • Phil Warnes for setting a new overall 2009 record (22/08).
  • Sandie Warnes for setting a new overall 2009 record (22/08).
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new club group record and getting his first first class score (14/08).

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It is with great regret that we announce the death of former member John McCullagh. He had returned to the UK at the start of 2009 after living in France with his family for three years and died from a massive heart attack during a cycle ride near his home in Exeter.

John Paul McCullagh, 14 April 1943 to 28 April 2009. RIP John.


1 July – Welcome to our first new member of the month Matthew Bellamy. Matthew had done many taster sessions, so had lots of practice, but needed the rest of the theory we teach on the beginner's course, so we organised a one day intensive session for him and he joined at the end of it.

12 July – Two new members today, father and son combo Mike and James Wilkins, who join after completing our beginners' course.

Congratulations go to:

  • Harry Francis for setting new club group and overall 2009 records and reducing his handicap by one point (12/07).
  • Tom Francis for setting a new overall 2009 record on the third week of his beginner's course (12/07).
  • Nick Griffin for setting a new overall 2009 record, gaining his starting handicap with the longbow and qualifying as second class at the same time (12/07). Barebow again, setting a new overall 2009 record, reducing his handicap by one point and getting his first first class score (26/07).
  • Carolyn Twist for setting a new group 2009 record and reducing her handicap by one point (02/07).

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21 June – Midsummer club competition day, featuring the Andy Friend Challenge Trophy for the highest handicap adjusted score. The results can be found on the 2009 competitions page, the congratulations are below.

Congratulations go to:

  • Harry Francis for setting new group club and overall 2009 records (21/06). For setting new group club and overall 2009 records and reducing his handicap by one point (28/06).
  • Elizabeth Gray for gaining her starting handicap and classifying as Archer (21/06).
  • Nick Griffin for changing to longbow, setting a new 2009 overall record and getting his first second class score, all with his first submitted round (07/06). For going back to barebow and beating his own 2009 group record (21/06). For jumping back to longbow, beating the record he set on 7 June and getting his second second class score (27/06).
  • Melanie Hilton for reducing her handicap by one point (06/06).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new overall 2009 record (13/06). For doing the same again with a different round (21/06).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new 2009 group record (21/06).
  • Sinclair Parkinson for setting a new overall club record (15/06). For setting a new overall club record with a different round and reducing his handicap by one point (21/06).
  • Bill Parry for setting a new 2009 group record (21/06).
  • Ben Price for setting a new group 2009 record while on the beginners' course (07/06).
  • Jeff Price for setting a new group 2009 record while on the beginners' course (07/06). For doing the same again with a different round (14/06).
  • Greg Smith for getting his second third class score (14/06). For getting his second second class score, which also qualified him as third class (21/06).
  • Hossein Tavakoli for setting a new overall 2009 record, getting his starting handicap and his second first class score, which also qualified him as second class (12/06). For going out a distance, setting a new overall 2009 score, reducing his handicap by one point and qualifying as first class (14/06). For setting a new overall 2009 record (21/06).
  • Carolyn Twist for getting her second third class score (14/06). For qualifying as third class (21/06). For setting a new 2009 group record (28/06).
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new overall 2009 record and reducing his handicap by one point (21/06).
  • Clive Wilkins for setting a new overall 2009 record (15/06). For doing the same again and classifying as Bowman (28/06).
  • Helen Wilson for setting a new group 2009 record while on the beginners' course (07/06).

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May

10 May – Welcome to our first new member of the month Bill Parry who we have inherited from Bowmen of Mendip after a couple of years break.

17 May – Another new member. Welcome to Scott Hilton. If the surname seems familiar, that's because he's Melanie's son.

25 May – Our third new member this month. Welcome to Elizabeth Gray.

Congratulations go to:

  • Joe Dicker for setting a new 2009 group record while on the beginner's course (31/05).
  • Nell O'Hara for setting a new 2009 group record while on the beginner's course (03/05).
  • Melanie Hilton for setting new overall 2009 and club records, reducing her handicap by one point and qualifying as third class (03/05).
  • Rodney Luton for reducing his handicap by two points (03/05). For reducing it by another two points (10/05).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new overall 2009 record (30/05).
  • Greg Smith for setting new group club and 2009 records and getting his first second class score, which was also his first third class score (10/05/09). The group record that Greg beat was only ten months younger than he is.
  • Hossein Tavakoli for setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his first second class score (30/05). For beating that same record and getting his first first class score, which was also his second second class score (31/05).
  • Bob Taylor for setting a new group record (03/05). For reducing his handicap by one point (25/05).
  • Carolyn Twist for setting new group club and overall 2009 records and reducing her handicap by five points (03/05). For beating those same records and reducing her handicap by a further five points (25/05). For moving out a distance and again setting new group club and overall 2009 records, reducing her handicap by another two points and getting her first third class score (31/05). Incidentally the two group club records that Carolyn beat had stood since 1991.
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his second second class score (05/05). For beating that same record, getting his starting handicap and qualifying as second class, completely bypassing third (22/05).
  • Clive Wilkins for setting a new overall 2009 record (24/05). For setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his first bowman score (29/05). For doing the same again and getting his second bowman score (30/05).

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10 April, newborn Breeze Stradling.

10 April – We start the month with a very special congratulations Graham and Julie Stradling have once again become parents (see photo), providing a baby sister for Alexandria and Tristan. Little Breeze Stradling arrived at 1.35 pm, weighing a healthy 8 lbs 13 oz, not quite so little after all.

12 April – Our Easter Day competition. A small group, but with the beautiful weather everyone enjoyed themselves (Easter Eggs for all participants probably helped.) The results can be found on the 2009 competitions page.

Congratulations go to:

  • Liz Gray for setting jointly with Tasha Reeves an overall 2009 record while on the beginners' course (19/04).
  • Melanie Hilton for beating her own overall club and 2009 records (05/04). For getting her starting handicap and classifying as Archer (12/04). For setting new overall club and 2009 records on a different round, reducing her handicap by six point and getting her first third class score (19/04). For reducing her handicap by a further two points and getting her second third class score (26/04).
  • Scott Hilton for setting an overall 2009 record while on the beginner's course (26/04).
  • Rodney Luton for setting a new overall club and 2009 records (12/04). For setting a new overall 2009 record (19/04). For getting his starting handicap and classifying as Archer (26/04).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new overall 2009 and club records (03/04). For setting a new 2009 group record (12/04).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new overall 2009 record (12/04).
  • Arthur O'Hara for setting an overall 2009 record while on the beginner's course (26/04).
  • Nell O'Hara for setting a 2009 group record while on the beginner's course (26/04).
  • Tasha Reeves for setting jointly with Liz Gray an overall 2009 record while on the beginners' course (19/04).
  • Bob Taylor for setting a new overall 2009 record and reducing his handicap by four points (26/04).
  • Carolyn Twist for beating her own overall 2009 record (12/04). Then beating it again and getting her starting handicap (19/04).
  • Sinclair Parkinson for setting new overall club and 2009 records (04/04). For setting new overall double round club and 2009 records (04 and 05/04).
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his first second class score (26/04).

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1 March – It's actually reasonably warm, warm enough anyway to tempt eight archers to the line, including two new members. Welcome to Carolyn Twist, who had been taught by someone Sheena had taught in her previous club, and Colin Crowder, who had been taught by his brother-in-law in France. A big welcome to both of you.

It looks like Carolyn is intent on maintaining the tradition started last year – on the day she joined she set a new overall annual record. Well done Carolyn.

8 March – Howling gales, so no shooting outdoors. However, Harry took part in his first competition of the year, shot indoors at Cheltenham. He won his age group and his score was higher than several of the adult gents taking part. Well done H.

15 March – We have restarted our beginners' lessons. And we couldn't have had more perfect weather, bright sun and just a gentle breeze. What a start for one young man, Arthur O'Hara picked up the bow and put his first six arrows cleanly in the gold. Well done Arthur, no-one can ever take that achievement away from you.

22 March – All junior archers are eligible to take part in JAWS (Junior Awards Scheme). They are awarded points for reducing handicaps, entering competitions and so on. At the end of the year all the points are added up and eventually, ie yesterday, certificates are sent to club secretaries. So today we presented Harry with his certificate. He came 72 overall and as he was in the top 100, he also received a metal pin badge. Yet again, well done H.

Congratulations go to:

  • Harry Francis for setting a new 2009 indoor group record (08/03). For setting new overall 2009 and group records. The latter is one point higher than the current adult gents record set in October 1991 (15/03). For setting new overall 2009 and club group records (21/03). Then doing the same again with a different round (22/03).
  • Nick Griffin for setting new overall and 2009 records and reducing his handicap by one point (18/03).
  • Melanie Hilton for setting new overall club and 2009 records (15/03).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new overall 2009 record (18/03).
  • Rob Morgan for setting a new overall 2009 record (29/03).
  • Sinclair Parkinson for setting a new overall outdoor record (01/03).
  • Graham Stradling for setting a new overall 2009 record and getting his first third class score (15/03).
  • Carolyn Twist for setting a new overall 2009 record on the day (01/03).
  • Nic Vangorph for reducing his indoor handicap by two points (06/03).
  • Paul Wilcox for reducing his indoor handicap by one point and setting a new overall 2009 record (13/03).

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Oh dear, what a month, the coldest winter for 13 years, snow, wind and rain. The weather was so bad that we even had to cancel the indoor shoot on 6 February. There is a slight rise into the entrance and the ice was such that cars couldn't get up it.

And then of course it thawed, so we flooded.

All in all, a very lean month in terms of archery. So such as they are:

Congratulations go to:

  • Bob Taylor for reducing his indoor handicap by three points and gaining his first F classification (13/02). For reducing his handicap by a further point and getting his second F classification (20/02). For reducing his handicap by three points and classifying as F (27/02).

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1 January – Happy New Year everyone. With the car thermometers showing temperatures ranging from -1.5 C up to 0 C and snow flurries in the air, three hardy souls took to the line. Congratulations to Nick Griffin, Steve Ludwell and Sheena McCullagh for braving the elements, although Sheena retired after the first two dozen as her hands were so cold that she could not control her release and felt she was becoming unsafe. Rob Morgan came and supported and ran the line. By the time they finished the temperature had risen to a balmy 1 C.

Steve Ludwell won the New Year best gold trophy donated by the Child Protection Officers. Rather fitting as he was the only CPO shooting today. Steve was the one who'd ordered it on behalf of the two CPOs, so he was the one who'd been storing it and we wondered what his wife would say when he took it back home with him. Apparently Jan said, "Well done. Where are we going to put it and who is go in to clean it?" Oh the joys of married life.

Handicap Improvement Medal – this is awarded annually to the club member who has achieved the highest handicap reduction in the previous year. There are very strict eligibility criteria set by the GNAS, so for 2008 those were:

  • Being a club member by 1 July 2007 and still being a member on 31 December 2008, and
  • Holding a starting handicap in the relevant bow type on 1 January 2008, and
  • Having submitted a minimum of eight scores during 2008.

And the winners were:

  • Bristol Bowmen Juniors – in joint first place, both shooting recurve, with a handicap reduction of eight points, Harry Francis and Mark Lapham.
  • Bristol Bowmen – winner with a handicap reduction of three points Nic Vangorph (recurve). Runner-up with a handicap reduction of two points Andrew Francis (recurve).
  • Golden Phoenix Archers – winner with a handicap reduction of seven points Sheena McCullagh (barebow). Runner-up with a handicap reduction of six points Sheena McCullagh (recurve).

Congratulations go to:

  • Nick Griffin for setting a new overall 2009 record and being the first person in either club to put in a reclassification score equal to his current classification (01/01). Then doing the same again, beating the record he set on 1 January (02/01). For setting new indoor 2009 and overall club records (16/01/09). For beating those same records (23/01).
  • Trevor Lapham for reducing his indoor handicap by one point (16/01). For reducing his indoor handicap by a further two points (23/01).
  • Steve Ludwell for setting a new overall 2009 record (01/01).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new 2009 and club indoor group records (09/01). For beating those same records (16/01). For doing the same again and reducing her handicap by three points and classifying as E (23/01).
  • Rob Morgan for setting a new 2009 indoor group record (16/01).
  • Tim Morgan for setting a new 2009 indoor group record (23/01).
  • Sinclair Parkinson for setting a new overall 2009 record, reducing his handicap by one point (the first person in either club to do so in 2009) and gaining his first second class score of the year (02/01). For beating that same record and setting a new overall club record, reducing his handicap by a further three and getting his second second class score in the process (04/01). For qualifying as second class (18/01). For changing rounds, setting a new overall 2009 record, reducing his handicap by one point and getting his first ever first class score (25/01).
  • Mark Pollard for setting new a new 2009 overall indoor record (09/01). For reducing his indoor handicap by two points (16/01).
  • Greg Smith for setting a new 2009 indoor group record (16/01). For beating that record by 140 points, gaining his indoor starting handicap and classifying as G (31/01).
  • Alexandria Stradling for setting a new 2009 indoor group record and an overall club record (09/01).
  • Bob Taylor for reducing his indoor handicap by one point (16/01).
  • Craig Thompson for reducing his indoor handicap by two points (23/01). For reducing his indoor handicap by a further point (30/01).
  • Nic Vangorph for getting his indoor starting handicap and classifying as E (23/01). For reducing that handicap by one point (30/01).
  • Paul Wilcox for setting a new 2009 overall indoor record (16/01).

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Created: 31 December 2008
Updated: 15 March 2013

© Bristol Bowmen and Golden Phoenix Archers