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Bristol Bowmen and
Golden Phoenix Archers

For news about competitions, please see the 2014 competitions page.

Happy Christmas to one and all.

26 December – for the third year running the weather has conspired to mean that we've missed our Boxing Day shoot. Two years ago we were still suffering the aftermath of flooding, last year we were flooded and this year torrential rain and high winds scuppered the event. This means that unfortunately those with archery presents from Santa will have to wait a bit longer before they can try them out.

27 December – happy birthday web site; eight years old today.

Congratulations go to:

  • John Chappell for setting new overall 2014 and club records (03/12). For setting new overall indoor 2014 and club records, reducing his handicap by one point and getting his first 'C' classification (05/12).
  • Jessica Furse for gaining her indoor starting handicap and classifying as 'H' (05/12).
  • Rod Luton for setting a new overall 2014 indoor record, reducing his handicap by three points and gaining his first E classification (12/12).
  • David Smith for setting new overall 2014 and club records (21/12).

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Four shooting longbow with the camera and camera-man in the background.

Close up of the battle standards used in the filming of Joan of Arc.

9 November – we stepped back in time nearly 600 years to provide longbow action for a BBC 2 documentary to be screened in Spring 2015. It is based on the eponymously titled book Joan of Arc by Cambridge University history lecturer, Dr Helen Castor, who also narrates the programme. With 2015 being the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, a victory we English so treasure, and with which Helen Castor opens Joanís tale, there is likely to be a lot of interest next year in archery in general and the longbow in particular.

In 1429 the crushing English humiliation at the relief of the city of Orlťans turned Joan forever into 'the Maid of Orlťans'. She was burnt at the stake as a heretic on 30 May 1431 at the age of just nineteen.

'Helen Castorís excellent retelling of the strange tale of the Maid from Domrťmy. It might have easily degenerated into bad melodrama: the illiterate but fearless teenager with her heavenly voices, her penchant for cross-dressing, and her dreadful death after a show trial by the wicked Bishop Cauchon. Castorís narrative is much more subtle. By leaving Joan in the wings for 90 pages, she has time to place her meteoric rise in context: French catastrophe at Agincourt, plus murderous dynastic rivalries that crippled the royal house of Valois, dividing it between Armagnac and Burgundian loyalties and giving the Plantagenet dynasty the chance to make its Anglo-Norman heritage once more a political reality.' From the Telegraph review: Joan of Arc: a History by Helen Castor, review: 'popular history at its best'.

The first photo shows the four of us involved in the filming (Tad Gunton, Sheena McCullagh, David Smith and Jerry Sly) being filmed. If you look closely at the left of the picture, level with the top of the embankment, you can just make out Tad's arrow in flight. The second photo shows the battle standards used throughout the filming of the documentary. Luckily today was the last day of filming, so in addition to a donation to club funds, we got to keep the standards, which should come in handy next year for the Agincourt celebrations.

Back of the target showing the arrow passed virtually through and supported on the double thickness centre block.

21 November – Question: What happens when it starts to rain and your arrow finds the join between the foam blocks of the target? For the answer see the third photo this month. Had the arrow found any join other than the one on the top of the centre block, it would have dropped to the ground and scored zero.

From the rules of shooting:

306 Scoring
(j) An arrow passing through a boss cannot be scored.
(k) An arrow passing through the target face, but remaining in the boss shall be withdrawn by the Target Captain or Lieutenant and shall be inserted from the back in the same place and at the assumed angle of original penetration until the pile is visible in the target face, when the score shall be determined.

The moral of this story is, don't shoot when it's raining.

Congratulations go to:

  • Ian Bolt for reducing his handicap by one point (21/11).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall indoor club record (07/11). For setting a new overall 2014 record (12/11). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (21/11).
  • Jessica Furse for setting new group 2014 and club records on her first ever indoor shoot, which was also her first 'H' classification score. For gaining her second 'H' classification score (28/11).
  • Tad Gunton for setting new overall 2014 and club records (09/11).
  • Jerry Sly for setting a new overall 2014 record (07/11). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (12/11).
  • David Smith for setting a new overall club record (09/11).

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1 October – the new archery membership year and we start it by welcoming two new members who both completed our autumn family and friends course, Nathan Apperley and Jessica Furse. Welcome to both of you and we hope that the weather will continue to be as kind to you as it was throughout your beginners' course, but just in case it isn't, the indoor sessions start this Friday, 3 October.

Sheena McCullagh as Badger Hood; a picture of Robin Hood, with Sheena's face Photo Shopped onto it and a badger 
peering over her right shoulder.

Earlier this year, on our main beginners' course, we taught two designers/illustrators, who both work in the same office as Sheena McCullagh. When she left work it seemed logical for her colleagues to ask the design department, who are all experts in using Photo Shop, to make her leaving card. Drawing on the experience of earlier this summer, and one of Sheena's other great loves, Badger Hood was born. We liked it so much we thought we'd share it with you (see photo).

2 October – The autumn 2014 edition of the Archery UK magazine has been popping through our letterboxes and we occupy nearly the whole of page 4. The editor of the magazine had spotted Ian Bolt's balloon photograph in the August section of this page and had contacted us to see if it could be used in the magazine. We were very happy with that and sent them some additional photos as well. For the article they have used Ian's photo and one taken by David Smith, which shows Ian collecting arrows, with the semi-deflated balloon in the background. Some 'editorial licence' has been used in the write-up, which is as follows:

Unexpected visitor drops in on shoot

Every club has to do a risk assessment... but how could anyone have predicted this? After all, it's not like the usual balloon shoot, is it?

Bristol Bowmen and Golden Phoenix Archers were making the most of the evening sunshine at their range at Keynsham Rugby Football Club when the unexpected visitor dropped in.

It was one of hundreds of balloons taking part in the Bristol International Balloon Festival mass flight – but things did not quite go to plan.

But it was a case of carry on regardless and, once the recovery team had done its work and moved the balloon to a safe distance, members got back to the serious business of shooting.

There was another bonus. One of the recovery team was a longbow archer and has been invited to shoot with the club.

3 October – our first indoor session of the 2014/15 season.

5 October – the seventh and final session of our autumn family and friends course. It started wonderfully warm, then after an hour or so the weather suddenly remembered that it is now actually autumn and the temperature dropped by quite a number of degrees; so much so that the arrows started flying considerably lower, causing problems for our newest archers.

We also welcomed two new members today Patrick Watkins who completed his course last week and joined at the start of today's session and Carter Warren who was our final beginner of the course and joined at the end of the session. Welcome to both of you.

There has been a tradition recently that new members have set records on their first shoot as members, unfortunately with the weather not being quite as good this week as last week, none of our new members beat their scores so no new records were set. Our youngest new member, however, did get her first third class score, well done Jessica Furse.

12 October – we have another two new members today, Jessica Zhang, who has recently moved to Bristol after previously being a member at Pastures Company of Archers in Derby and Iain Richards who completed the family and friends beginners' course at the end of September. You are both most welcome. Iain now makes it five out of five joining the club and the five who joined at the end of the main beginners' course have all rejoined.

We were beginning to think that the recent tradition of new members setting records on their first shoot had gone by the wayside; until Iain Richards and Carter Warren saved the day each setting new overall club records with Iain also setting an overall 2014 record and Carter setting a group 2014 record. Well done both of you.

Congratulations go to:

  • Nathan Apperley for setting a new overall 2014 record and getting his first third class score (12/10). For setting a new overall 2014 record, gaining his starting handicap and classifying as 'Archer' (22/10).
  • Bob Brooks for reducing his handicap by one point (01/10). For setting a new overall 2014 record (12/10). For doing the same again on a different round (17/10).
  • Philip Brown for reducing his handicap by one point (03/10).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall 2014 record (12/10). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (19/10). For setting a new overall club indoor record (24/10).
  • Jim Edmondson for setting a new overall 2014 record (12/10).
  • Jessica Furse for getting a third class score on her first shoot as a member (05/10). For setting a new overall 2014 and group club record and getting her second third class score (12/10). For beating those records, getting her starting handicap and her third third class score, so qualifying as third class, all on her third shoot as a member (26/10).
  • Tad Gunton for setting new overall 2014 and club records (12/10). For setting a new overall 2014 record, reducing his handicap by two points and getting his first second class score (26/10).
  • Rod Luton for setting a new overall 2014 indoor record (24/10).
  • Iain Richards for setting new overall 2014 and club records on his first shoot as a member (12/10).
  • Jerry Sly for setting a new overall club record (22/10).
  • David Smith for setting new overall 2014 and club records (17/10). For setting a new overall 2014 record (22/10).
  • Carter Warren for setting new group 2014 and overall club records on his first shoot as a member (12/10).
  • Clive Wilkins for setting a new overall 2014 record and reducing his handicap by one point (12/10).

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Nathan Apperley giving a thumbs up at his six gold end.

7 September – the fourth session of our autumn family and friends course and the weather continues to get better with each passing week; again we had glorious sunshine, hardly any breeze and it was significantly warmer than last week. For those on their fourth week we covered the first half of the advanced techniques, while our third week member was converted to bow sights. The good news is that all those on their second week of recurve shot better than last week, with one, Nathan Apperley, getting a six gold end (see first photo), so we gave him a club medal for his achievement. As Matt Warren, Carter's father, was present and we hadn't presented him with his medal for a six gold end during the main beginners' course earlier this year, we gave him his as well. And finally; our three record holders from last week all set new records this week. For the scores see the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

14 September – our annual club competition with wonderfully warm weather. Full results and photograph are in the Annual championship section of the 2014 competitions page. The records set and handicap reductions are in the various pages in the stats section and the congrats are below.

Jessica Furse smiling broadly, holding her medal standing in front of her six gold end.

21 September – the fifth session of our autumn family and friends course and the weather is still holding, although slightly cooler than last week. We were one beginner short today, but we now have three completed the five weeks of coaching, next week is for them to put all they've learnt into practice. We had a spectacular end to the day, our youngest beginner, Jessica Furse got a rather spectacular six gold end, so she, too, was presented with a medal for her achievement (see second photo). Her jumper rather summed it up: Purr-fect.

With two of the four reverting to barebow while the other two remained as recurve, they were shooting in four different groups and they all set 2014 records. For the scores see the various sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below. Well done to all of you.

23 September – we were contacted a couple of weeks ago by three ladies who wished to try archery as a birthday treat. We don't often do these due to difficulty in ground availability, but they were all free on a mid-week afternoon and we had two club members willing to run it, earning the club £50, so we agreed. Luckily the weather also cooperated and the three thoroughly enjoyed themselves, so much so that after two dozen arrows to get the hang of it, they shot and scored a Very Short Junior National. Birthday Girl came second, with one of her friends proving to be have a killer instinct and winning herself a medal. They also got to take the target face home with them.

24 September – with glorious sunshine and a cool wind, we sneaked in an additional beginner's session for the one who missed last Sunday; that is now four out of the five who have completed the formal training. He was also game for a challenge and having reverted back to barebow, we pushed him out to 40 yards to target share with one of the people who joined after the main beginners' course earlier in the year.

28 September – the sixth session of our autumn family and friends course, which is the last session for three of the cohort, and the weather decided to see us out in style reverting to scorchingly hot and no wind. Three of those taking part elected to try 10 yards further than they've shot before and all acquitted themselves handsomely, despite a couple wilting with the heat part way through (not a usual experience for outdoor archery in the UK).

All four people who shot achieved 'something', including records, beginner's staring handicaps and new classification levels, the scores are in the various sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below. While you all achieved, the star of the show this week has to be Jessica Furse, who not only went out a distance, setting a new 2014 record in the process, but also reduced her beginner's starting handicap by two points and achieved a third class score. She was actually 75 points over third class and only four points short of second class. Well done Jessica, what a wonderful way to end your beginner's course.

Congratulations go to:

  • Nathan Apperley for beating his own overall 2014 record at his fourth beginner's session (07/09). For beating that same record on the fifth week of his beginner's course, getting his beginner's starting handicap and becoming a beginner 'Archer' (21/09). For moving out a distance on his final week as a beginner and setting a new overall 2014 record, beating the previous record, which had been set by a member, by exactly 100 points (28/09).
  • Bob Brooks for reducing his handicap by one point (10/09). For reducing it by another point (12/09). And yet again (14/09).
  • Philip Brown for reducing getting his starting handicap and qualifying as 'Archer' (26/09).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall club record (14/09). For setting a new overall 2014 record and beating his own club record by two points (28/09).
  • Jessica Furse for going out a distance and setting a new group 2014 record at her fourth beginner's session (07/09). For beating that same record by 43 points on the fifth week of her beginner's course, getting her beginner's starting handicap and becoming a beginner 'Archer' (21/09). For going out a distance, setting a new group 2014 record, reducing her beginner's starting handicap by two points and getting a third class score (28/09).
  • Tad Gunton for setting a new overall 2014 record and reducing his handicap by one point (14/09).
  • Ian Lassman for setting a new overall 2014 record (21/09). For beating that same record and reducing his handicap by one point (28/09).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new overall 2014 and club records (05/09). For setting a new group 2014 record (14/09).
  • David Smith for setting a new group club record and reducing his handicap by one point (10/09). For setting a new overall 2014 and club group record (19/09).
  • Bob Taylor for reducing his barebow handicap by three points and qualifying as third class (14/09). For reducing his barebow handicap by another three points (28/09).
  • Carter Warren for going out a distance and setting a new group 2014 record at his third beginner's session (07/09). For reverting back to barebow and setting a new overall 2014 record on his fourth beginner's session (21/09). For getting his beginner's starting handicap and becoming a beginner 'Archer' on the fifth week of his beginner's course (28/09).
  • Patrick Watkins for reverting back to barebow and setting a new overall 2014 record, beating the previous record by 30 points, on his fifth beginner's session (21/09). For getting his beginner's starting handicap and becoming a beginner 'Archer' on the sixth session of his beginner's course (28/09).

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Wooden longbow arrow where it came to rest between the prongs of a rake.

It's a long time since we've had a photo of a fluky shot. This one was taken at the end of July, but the photo wasn't processed in time, hence being in August's news: We'd been using rakes to find a downed longbow arrow. Unfortunately, and rather dangerously, one of the rakes got left under the target. When we came to collect the arrows after the next end we found one arrow had slotted itself exactly between the prongs of the rake and by sheer good fortune was undamaged (first photo).

6 August – Welcome to new member Bob Brooks who returns to the sport after a 30 year break. He came down this afternoon for an assessment and as with most returnees, had forgotten nothing. The only thing we had to cover were the new-fangled sights; when Bob last shot they were made from a piece of curtain track attached directly to the bow with a sight pin mounted on the track.

Hot air balloon coming into land over the top of the targets, dwarfing the targets in the process.

7 August – the first night of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and look what unexpectedly dropped in, literally. Luckily those shooting had just finished, but hadn't got as far as collecting their arrows. Ian Bolt wins the prize for being the first person to get their camera out and hence being the one to capture the balloon while it was still in the air. (The prize in question is having the photo added to the web site.) The balloon actually came to land behind the targets, despite appearing to be in front of them in the photo. The miniscule targets at the bottom of the picture give some idea of just how big a hot air balloon is when you're up close and personal (second August photo).

17 August – the first session of our autumn family and friends course. Always a much smaller course than the main beginners' course we had three adults and one junior. It was very windy, but they all enjoyed themselves and have said that they'll be back next week. There seem to be as many reasons for wanting to take up archery as there are archers, but we can honestly say that prior to today's beginners we have never had anyone want to do it so that they will be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse.

24 August – the second session of our autumn family and friends course and we were joined today by the final member of the group, another junior (he was on holiday last week). Slightly cooler than last week, but virtually no wind. For those on their second week they were taught how to score. No new records were set, but this far through the year, that is not surprising.

31 August – the third session of our autumn family and friends course. The weather seems to be going backwards, getting better as we move towards autumn; today was glorious sunshine, very warm and hardly any breeze. For those on their third week we converted them to bow sights, while our second week member was taught how to score. Our two juniors are very young, but we wanted them to shoot an actual round, one that we could work out the handicaps for, so four dozen at 15 yards followed by two dozen at 10 yards and the Ultra Short Junior National was born. This does mean that they both got overall 2014 records as one was shooting recurve while the other was barebow. The adults did rather splendidly as well with one setting another overall 2014 record. For the scores see the various sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

Comment of the day:

David: You need to draw to under your chin.
Beginner: Which chin?
David: I don't care as long as it's the same one each time!

Congratulations go to:

  • Nathan Apperley for setting a new overall 2014 record at his third beginner's session (31/08).
  • Ian Bolt for going out a distance, reducing his handicap by two points and getting his first second class score (07/08). For setting new overall 2014 and club records, reducing his handicap by another two points and getting his second second class score (14/08). For going out a distance and qualifying as second class (22/08). For getting his first first class score and reducing his handicap by two points (28/08).
  • Bob Brooks for getting his first third class score (15/08). For getting his starting handicap and classifying as 'Archer' (17/08). For reducing his handicap by two points and getting his second third class score (20/08). For reducing his handicap by another point and qualifying as third class (22/08).
  • John Chappell for setting new overall 2014 and club records (20/08). For beating those records and reducing his handicap by one point (31/08).
  • Richard Drissell for getting his starting handicap and qualifying as 'Archer' (31/08).
  • Rob Edwards for reducing his handicap by six points (07/08). For reducing his handicap by a further four points and getting his first third class score (08/08).
  • Jessica Furse for setting a new overall 2014 record at her third beginner's session (31/08).
  • Tad Gunton for setting a new overall 2014 record (03/08).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new overall 2014 and club group records (08/08). For going out two distances and setting a new group 2014 record (22/08).
  • Jerry Sly for setting a new overall 2014 record and reducing his handicap by one point (26/08).
  • David Smith for setting new overall 2014 and club records (03/08). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (15/08).
  • Bob Taylor for setting a new overall 2014 record, reducing his handicap by one point and qualifying as third class (03/08). For changing to barebow and with his second ever outdoor round getting his first third class score (24/08). For gaining his barebow starting handicap, qualifying as 'Archer' and getting his second third class score (31/08).
  • Carter Warren for setting a new overall 2014 record at his second beginner's session (31/08).

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1 July – what a nice way to start the month; four new members from our beginners' course; three who did the full course and one who was a returnee to the sport from 30 years ago, but had never shot with sights, so did three top-up sessions. We also have a new member who did his course with Cleve Archers, but during it realised that the travelling would be too much and so elected to join us. Welcome then to Ian Bolt, Philip Brown, Rob Edwards, Matt Warren and Lewis Watson.

3 July – good to see this year's new members are intent on keeping up the recently founded tradition of getting a record on either the day they join or at their first shoot: this time it was Ian Bolt, who set a new overall annual record.

25 July – and we have another new member setting a record with their first shoot: Philip Brown set a new overall annual record.

27 July – a somewhat different achievement from one of our new members: I'd happened to see on Facebook a poem he had written about last weekend's thunder storms and asked if he could write one about archery, so straight from the fingers of our own bard, Matt Warren, we have:

The Bowman's Ballad

The field is set, and all is calm, a gentle breeze across.
The temp is warm and heating up, for those not here (their loss).

We stand alone in deepest thought, and think this is the shot.
Arms are heavy but need the strength, each target has its spot.

The aim is true or so we think, a tester just to find,
If body posture was correct, or is it in our mind?

The strength to pull the archer's bow, makes everybody shake.
Each tiny inch till full extent, the bow now bends and quakes.

Itís then the arrow is released, and on the perfect line.
But mm not quite what we deserved; itís seven not a nine!

Your arrow line must be just off, reset and take your stance.
It flies and ends up in the gold, no need to second glance.

Your arrows true, they all group well, you tally up your score.
Itís 48 so not too bad, come on lets have some more.

Youíve shot real good your day was fab, you wait for scores to end.
The other archersí final cards, itís on that final end.

The scores are in youíve done your best, no one has shot your score.
In perfect bowman stance you stare, canít take it anymore.

Fantastic win for you today, youíre on the winnersí list.
Youíre aching from the effort felt, and a tiny archerís kiss.

Congratulations go to:

  • Ian Bolt for setting an overall 2014 record on his first shoot as a member (03/07). For beating that same record (13/07). For moving out a distance, getting his first third class score and gaining his starting handicap and classifying as Archer (17/07). For getting his second third class score (25/07). For reducing his handicap by three points and qualifying as third class (31/07).
  • Philip Brown for setting an overall 2014 record on his first shoot as a member (25/07).
  • John Chappell for setting overall 2014 and club records (20/07).
  • Rob Edwards for getting his starting handicap and classifying as Archer (17/07).
  • Tad Gunton for setting an overall 2014 record (03/07). For beating that same record (28/07).
  • Sheena McCullagh for shooting longbow for the first time in two years and setting new overall 2014 and club group records (25/07).
  • David Smith for setting an overall 2014 record (02/07). For setting a new group 2014 record (03/07). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (13/07). For setting new overall 2014 and club records on a different round and reducing his handicap by one point (17/07). For setting new overall 2014 and group club records (23/07). For beating those same records and reducing his handicap by another point (25/07). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (27/07). For going out a distance and setting a new club group record (30/07).
  • Bob Taylor for setting an overall 2014 record (13/07).

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4 June – what should have been the fifth night of our main beginners' course, scuppered by torrential rain. Ho hum, welcome to yet another glorious British summer.

11 June – the fifth night of our main beginners' course and what a difference in the weather to last week; glorious sunshine and high scores were the order of the evening. We also have a new member of the beginner's group, returning archer Rob Edwards, who last shot some 30 years ago at school. Archery is like riding a bike and it took him all of one dozen arrows to groove back in. Unfortunately, in those days, they didn't have proper sights, so he'll be with us for the last few sessions to get him up to speed with this 'new fangled' invention.

18 June – the sixth night of our main beginners' course and boy was it hot, temperature and score wise. Most of those shooting were on their fifth session and so had the choice to revert to barebow if they wished. The vast majority chose to do just that, five went back to barebow, with only two opting to stay on recurve, with our one week four and our returnee needing to do this week at recurve. A few special mentions: Jo Hamilton and Chris Weir scored to better handicaps at barebow than at recurve; Matt Warren not only scored to a better handicap at barebow than recurve, he was also the top score of the evening, beating all the recurves and Darren Hamilton had the only six gold end of the evening. We also had two new 2014 records set, see the barebow section of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

We've now offered membership to all those who have completed five weeks, although we've also offered them chance to have a sixth session this coming Wednesday when we will be very hands off and they get to shoot like they would as members.

25 June – the seventh and final night of our main beginner's course and it was once again a lovely evening. It was the fifth session for the one remaining beginner, who was also offered membership. With only one person to directly coach we did something we've never tried before, invited those that had finished the five compulsory weeks back for an optional sixth week and let them try it out as it would be if they were a member, choose their own round, set up their own targets etc. Two even turned up with their own bows (and completed membership forms post dated to 1 July). One of them really pushed himself and jumped out 20 yards to 50 yards, so a special congratulations goes to Matt Warren who becomes our first ever adult to gain a third class score while still on the beginner's course. All the others elected to try an extra 10 yards and went out to 40 yards.

There were several new 2014 records set, both recurve and barebow, see the various sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

Congratulations go to:

  • Gary Avery for setting a new overall 2014 record and reducing his barebow handicap by one point (01/06).
  • Ian Bolt for getting his beginner's recurve starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer (18/06). For going back to barebow, moving out 10 yards and setting a new overall 2014 record on the last night of his beginner's course (25/06).
  • Michelle Carey for setting a new overall 2014 record (01/06).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall 2014 record (16/06).
  • Rob Edwards for getting his beginner's recurve starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer and setting a new overall 2014 record on the last night of his beginner's course (25/06).
  • Tad Gunton for setting new overall 2014 and club records (25/06).
  • Darren Hamilton getting his beginner's barebow starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer (25/06).
  • Jo Hamilton for setting a new group 2014 record on the fifth session of her beginner's course (18/06). For doing the same again on the sixth session of her beginner's course on a different round and getting her beginner's barebow starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer (25/06).
  • Rod Luton for setting a new overall 2014 record (11/06). For reducing his handicap by one point (22/06).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new group 2014 and club records (11/06). For beating that same record (18/06).
  • Carl Raine for reducing his handicap by one point (11/06).
  • David Smith for setting a new group 2014 record (04/06). For setting a new overall 2014 record (25/06).
  • Bob Taylor for setting a new overall 2014 record, getting his first third class score and reducing his handicap by three points (15/06). For beating that same record, reducing his handicap by another point and getting his second third class score (22/06).
  • Matt Warren for setting a new overall 2014 record on the fifth session of his beginner's course (18/06). For getting his first beginner's third class score, beginner's barebow starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer (25/06).
  • Lewis Watson for setting a new overall 2014 record on the fifth session of his beginner's course (25/06).
  • Chris Weir getting his beginner's barebow starting handicap and becoming a beginner Archer (25/06).

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May

7 May – the first evening of our main beginners' course and eleven hardy souls turned up to shoot in very strong winds. Any stronger and we would have cancelled, but all coped admirably with the 20 yards we set them. Combined with the cold for May temperature and the glowering dark clouds, we were very impressed they all survived a less than ideal introduction to the sport and all seemed keen to come back next week.

Fletchings and damage to nock end of the arrow caused by David Smith's partial Robing Hood.

7 May – a tale of Robin Hood: once upon a time, a youngish archer called Frank Bath donated his old arrows to the local archery club, then moved away leaving the old arrows in the care of the club. Over time they were reduced and reduced in number, until, getting ready for the beginners' sessions 2014 there were only six left. They were neatly spruced up, new fletchings and such and generally made ready for another year's duty.

Now it came to pass that it was too windy this afternoon for Sheena McCullagh to shoot, so instead she shot in the new strings for use by that evening's beginners. David Smith told her to use a new set of arrows. At 20 yards she said this wasn't a good idea as even in that wind she was likely to get arrows hitting. So out came Frank's old ones. After five dozen (five new strings), said arrows were still intact. David then said that if he was going to do the barebow demonstration for the beginners he'd better get sight marks. "Use Frank's old arrows," Sheena commanded, "I don't want the new ones being put at risk." And so the new coach, David, obeyed his mentor and lo, he put one arrow in the gold and the next into the end of the first. The result can be seen in the photo.

14 May – the second evening of our main beginners' course and what a difference a week makes, bright sun and gentle breezes. They were taught to score tonight and oh boy, what scores they got shooting a Very Short Junior Warwick (two dozen at 20 yards and two dozen at 10 yards) . The two 2014 records can be found in the barebow section of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below. In addition several people got six gold ends, so a special congratulations go to Darren Hamilton (3), Ian Bolt (2), Matt Smith (1), Matthew Warren (1).

21 May – the third evening of our main beginners' course and another lovely warm evening. Illness, injury and previous commitments meant we were a small group, but that gave everyone chance to shoot a six dozen round, with over half now shooting 30 yards. No six gold ends tonight, but one 52 end and quite a few 50 ends. We taught them to shoot with sights tonight and with two different distances being shot, we had two overall 2014 records set. Their records are in the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

25 May – welcome to new member Richard Drissell, who is the first person from this year's beginners' courses to join. Richard is shooting longbow, a welcome addition to this discipline. In keeping with our long established (well for the last six years or so) tradition of shooting a record on the day of joining, he set an overall 2014 record. Well done.

Congratulations go to:

  • John Chappell for setting new overall 2014 and club records (04/05). For setting a new overall club record (25/05).
  • Richard Drissell for setting a new overall 2014 record on the day he joined (25/05).
  • Elizabeth Gray for setting a new overall 2014 record (25/05).
  • Tad Gunton for setting a new overall 2014 record (04/05). For setting new overall 2014 and club records (21/05).
  • Darren Hamilton for setting a new overall 2014 record on the second week of his beginner's course (14/05).
  • Jo Hamilton for setting a new 2014 group record on the second week of her beginner's course (14/05). For setting an overall 2014 record on the third week of her beginner's course (21/05).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new group 2014 record (14/05). For beating that same record (17/05).
  • David Smith for beating his own overall 2014 record (21/05). For setting a new overall 2014 and group club record (28/05).
  • Matt Smith for setting a new overall 2014 record on the third week of his beginner's course (21/05).

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6 April – we start the month with a very warm welcome back to returning member Elizabeth Gray, who last shot with us around four years ago.

11 April – our annual outdoor floodlit shoot, with seven hardy archers taking to the line. The results are in the Hot Cross Floodlit section of the Competitions 2014 page, the congratulations are below.

13 April – welcome to new member Simon Page. Simon has guest shot with us in the past, having previously been a member of a club in the Midlands, but has finally decided to join his local club. You are most welcome Simon.

Congratulations go to:

  • Gary Avery for setting a new overall 2014 record and reducing his handicap by one point (02/04). For setting a new overall 2014 indoor record, reducing his handicap by three points and classifying as 'C' (04/04). For setting a new overall outdoor 2014 record and reducing his handicap by two points (11/04). For going back to barebow, setting new overall 2014 and club records and reducing his handicap by four points (13/04).
  • Michelle Carey for setting a new overall 2014 record (09/04).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall 2014 record (06/04). For beating that record (09/04). For changing round and setting a new overall 2014 record (13/04). For changing round again, setting new overall 2014 and club records (27/04).
  • Jim Edmondson for setting a new overall 2014 record (16/04). For beating that same record (30/04).
  • Tad Gunton for setting a new overall 2014 record (11/04).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting 2014 and club group records (11/04). For setting a new group 2014 outdoor record (16/04).
  • Aidan Raine for setting 2014 and club group records (11/04).
  • David Smith for setting an overall 2014 record (02/04). Doing the same on another round (06/04). And the same again on yet another round (09/04).
  • Bob Taylor for setting a new overall 2014 record (11/04).

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7 March – the fifth night of our beginners' course. We had one person absent due to a work project over-running. Of the three attending two set new 2014 records (see the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page) and the third gained his beginner's starting handicap and classification, the first of the year. As usual, the congratulations are below.

10 to 12 March – our heartfelt thanks go to Rod Luton, Jerry Sly, David Smith and Peter White for their sterling work in clearing out the container, disposing of the rubbish and unsavable items and disinfecting the items to be kept. In addition David marked out the range, so we're ready to start shooting outdoor again, even though we have a vastly reduced number of bosses.

14 March – the sixth night of our beginners' course and again we down to three participants. Tomas Noga, becomes the first to complete the course and be offered membership. In addition he reduced his beginner's starting handicap and improved his classification. The other two both gained their beginner's starting handicap.

14 March – after taking names for our main beginners' course, due to start in May, we had to switch the day and time of the sessions. It turned out that the new schedule was better for most but unfortunately one person wouldn't be able to attend. Rather than disappoint, we're working around his availability and so he was invited tonight to attend to be measured for equipment. With only three of the existing group there we were able to offer an unexpected first lesson. Welcome then to Richard Drissell.

16 March – our first outdoor beginners' session of the year. Today Richard was the only beginner and as we taught him to score, he bagged himself an overall 2014 record, see the barebow section of the 2014 records page. His congratulations are below.

21 March – great news after the disastrous flood throughout the UK a special fund has been organised to help sports clubs without flood insurance get back on their feet. The money is being released in two tranches, the first for essential items and is limited in amount; the second larger amount, which will include improvements to help prevent similar damage in the future, has yet to open for application. Today we got the notification from Sport England's Emergency Flood Relief Fund that we have been awarded the maximum £2000 available in the first tranche. We will be issuing the £2000 to help Bristol Bowmen and Golden Phoenix Archers recover from flood damage press release to all three local newspapers on Sunday 23 March.

21 March – the seventh and final night of our indoor beginners' course. This week we were down to two participants, one having finished the week before and the other being detained at a preceding engagement. Joshua Coyle, becomes the second to complete the course and be offered membership. In addition he reduced his beginner's starting handicap and gained his beginner's classification. Lydia Bailey gained her beginner's starting handicap and classification and improved on her own group 2014 record (see the ladies' recurve sections of the 2014 records page). As usual, the congratulations are below.

David Smith being presented with a level 1 archery coach's badge by Sheen McCullagh.

30 March – massive congratulations to David Smith who passed his final assessment this morning and is now a qualified Level 1 archery coach. After four months of hard work, including leading a beginners' course to gain the required hours of 'supported practice' and putting together a portfolio detailing all his work and much more, it all hinged on today's assessment in Cheltenham. David sailed through with his assessor saying that he had the knowledge and skill to go an do the level 2 course.

The photo shows David being presented with an archery coach's badge by his very proud mentor, Sheena McCullagh, at the club shoot this afternoon. David has said he'd like to thank all the beginners who acted as his guinea pigs, umm students, during the indoor beginners' course.

Talking of the beginners' course, today was the eighth and final, 'catch-up', session for two of David's indoor students and it was the first time they had both shot outdoors and so was the first time they had shot two distances in a session. Trevor Aldous bagged himself an overall 2014 record (see the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below), while Lydia Bailey elected not to score. It was also the third lesson for Richard Drissell and the first time he's shot with sights.

Congratulations go to:

  • Gary Avery for setting a new overall indoor record, getting his second 'C' classification and reducing his handicap by four points (21/03). For setting a new overall outdoor 2014 record (26/03). For beating that record (30/03).
  • Trevor Aldous for setting a new overall 2014 recurve record on the fourth week of his beginner's course (07/03). For gaining his beginner's indoor starting handicap (14/03). For going outdoors for the final week of his beginner's course and setting a new overall 2014 record (30/03).
  • Lydia Bailey for beating her own group 2014 recurve record on the fourth week of her beginner's course (07/03). For beating her own group 2014 recurve record on the fifth week of her beginner's course, gaining her beginner's indoor starting handicap and G classification (21/03).
  • Joshua Coyle for gaining his beginner's indoor starting handicap (14/03). For reducing his beginner's handicap by four points and getting a third G qualifying score, so classifying as a beginner's G (21/03).
  • Richard Drissell for setting a new overall 2014 barebow record on the second week of his beginner's course (16/03).
  • Jim Edmondson for reducing his indoor handicap by one point (14/03).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting a new group 2014 outdoor record (18/03).
  • Tomas Noga for gaining his beginner's indoor starting handicap and H classification (07/03). For reducing his beginner's handicap by three points and getting a third G qualifying score, so classifying as a beginner's G (14/03).
  • Carl Raine for setting a new overall 2014 outdoor record and reducing his handicap by one point (06/03). For setting a new overall 2014 indoor record reducing his handicap by one point (07/03). For beating that same record and reducing his handicap by a further point (21/03). For setting a new overall outdoor record (23/03).
  • David Smith for setting a new overall 2014 outdoor record (16/03). For setting new overall 2014 and club outdoor records (18/03). For setting a new overall 2014 outdoor record (26/03).

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7 February – the first of our beginners' sessions for the year. This is a small group specifically started to provide the supported practice requirement of David Smith's Level 1 coaching course. Due to the state of our outdoor venue (it keeps flooding), we're running this course at our indoor venue alongside full club shoots. Welcome then to Trevor Aldous, Lydia Bailey, Joshua Coyle and Tomas Noga.

Tonight produced rather a spectacular, if accidental, trick shot: cartwheel off the top of the boss, over the top of the safety net, hit the back wall, turn 180 degrees, back over the top of the safety net, another cartwheel off the top of the boss, coming to rest around ten feet in front of the boss.

Lydia's spectacular last arrow in the centre of the gold.

14 February – second night of our beginners' course. No trick shots tonight, but one of our course, Lydia Bailey, did end the night on a high, her last arrow all but taking out the central cross (see photo). As this was their first week learning to score, it also means that Lydia has the honour of both the first ten and the first X of the course. Due to not wishing to move beginners onto a 40 cm face, we left them on a 60cm face at 20 yards for 2.5 dozen arrows (shot in ends of three) and called it a Half Portsmouth. Their records are in the barebow section of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

14 February – welcome to our first temporary member of the year, Carlos Trevizo, who hails from Mexico. Carlos is working in Bristol for a month and shoots compound. Having Carlos present tonight was also useful for our beginners' course, it allowed us to do the compound demonstration.

14 February – we've had some great news, we have been accepted for On target Archery GB's club development programme. We were rather impressed at the speed at which our application was processed; five days from submission to acceptance. We're now applying for the community specialism, which focuses on inclusion:

'Community specialism clubs seek to explore ways to allow the local community easy access to the sport, consistently working towards providing opportunities for as many people as possible and is aware of the barriers that exist but seeks out solutions to overcome them.'

21 February – third night of our beginners' course. We taught them to shoot with sights tonight. We kept them on the Half Portsmouth and as this was a new bow type it also meant new 2014 records. Their records are in the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page, the congratulations are below.

28 February – the fourth night of our beginners' course. Two were absent, one through prior commitment and the other through illness, so the two who were there got one-to-one tuition. We're now in to the more advanced techniques and one of the records set last week was beaten tonight, see the two recurve sections of the 2014 records page. That means all four have now set 2014 records. As usual, the congratulations are below.

28 February – welcome to two more temporary members, Lam Chan and Jonathan Stacey, who are both studying at Bristol University and are members of the university club.

Congratulations go to:

  • Trevor Aldous for setting a new overall 2014 record on the second week of his beginner's course (14/02).
  • Lydia Bailey for setting a new group 2014 record on the second week of her beginner's course (14/02). For converting to recurve and setting a group 2014 record on the third week of her beginner's course (21/02).
  • Joshua Coyle for setting a new overall 2014 recurve record on the fourth week of his beginner's course (28/02).
  • Tomas Noga for setting a new overall 2014 recurve record on the third week of his beginner's course (21/02).
  • Carl Raine for reducing his indoor handicap by one point (21/02).

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1 January – happy New Year everyone. May all your arrows fly straight (into the gold) and may all the longbow (and barebow) archers miss the woodwork.

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 2013 those were:

  • Being a club member by 1 July 2012 and still being a member on 31 December 2013, and
  • Holding a starting handicap in the relevant bow type on 1 January 2013, and
  • Having submitted a minimum of eight scores during 2013.

And the winners were:

  • Bristol Bowmen Juniors – no one eligible.
  • Bristol Bowmen – joint winners with a handicap reduction of two points Jerry Sly (barebow) and Joedy Taylor (barebow).
  • Golden Phoenix Archers – winner with a handicap reduction of eleven points John Chappell (recurve).

Bob and Ann Taylor, holding hands, leaving church on their wedding day, 4 January 1964.

4 January – a seriously special congratulations to one of our 'old and ancient archers' (to quote him), Bob Taylor and his wife Ann for surviving, umm sorry, celebrating, 50 years of marriage today. Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary to you both. The photo shows them on their big day back in 1964 leaving St Martins, Church of England, Dorking, Surrey after their 2pm ceremony.

Bob had moved to Bristol in November 1963 and was employed by ES&A Robinson, East Street, Bedminster, (where Cameron Balloons are now made) as a Letter Press printer. Ann joined him directly after their wedding. Since then the Taylor clan has grown by two daughters, Susan and Gillian; one son, their youngest, Andrew; one granddaughter, now aged 21, Elizabeth; 2 grandsons, both 18, George and Luke; one great-granddaughter, two-year old Amelia; and counting.

10 January – welcome back to returning member Christopher Jones who rejoins us after a two and a half year gap.

We also welcome a guest shooter, Lai Haddon, from Gorgano Valley Archers. She has a competition coming up and wanted some extra practice. She also managed to bag herself an overall 2014 record. Well done young lady.

17 January – another county record to claim. Sheena McCullagh hasn't shot indoors for years, but last Saturday she and David went for a training session at Wincanton. We still can't shoot outdoors, so Sheena bit the bullet and turned up indoors. Electing to shoot a rarely shot round, so she could take time concentrating putting theory into practice, she knew she'd have a new group club record. When she checked the county records to see how much she needed to improve by, she found it vacant, so we're claiming it for her.

Lai came and guest shot with us again tonight, this time pinching David Smith's overall 2014 record of him. She getting a bit too good is Lai.

18 January – county have updated their records. They have confirmed that the 60m distance and the FITA 50m that David Smith shot on 1 and 11 December 2013 respectively are county records. Well done David.

24 January – Sheena McCullagh has beaten her score from a week ago, so this will now be submitted to county at the end of the month as a potential record claim.

26 January – David Smith travelled to Balcarras Sports Centre in Cheltenham today for the third day of his level 1 coaching course. He now has to get his 12 hours of supported practice in before his assessment at the end of March.

Congratulations go to:

  • Gary Avery for setting new overall indoor 2014 and club group records, reducing his handicap by six points and gaining his first 'C' classification (17/01).
  • John Chappell for setting a new overall indoor 2014 record (17/01).
  • Jim Edmondson for getting his indoor starting handicap and classifying as 'F'.
  • Lai Haddon for setting a new overall indoor 2014 record on her first guest shoot with us (10/01). For setting another overall indoor 2014 record (17/01).
  • Rod Luton for setting a new overall indoor 2014 record (03/01). For beating that same record (10/01). And again (17/01). And yet again (24/01).
  • Sheena McCullagh for setting new overall 2014 and club group indoor records and what is hopefully a county record and gaining her first barebow 'F' classification (17/01). For beating that same record and gaining her second 'F' classification (24/01). For gaining her indoor barebow starting handicap and classifying as 'F' (31/01).
  • David Smith for setting a new overall 2014 indoor score and gaining his first recurve 'E' classification (03/01). For setting a new overall outdoor 2014 record, the first of the year (12/01). For gaining his indoor recurve starting handicap and classifying as 'F' (17/01).

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Created: 1 January 2014
Updated: 31 December 2016

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