The weather was less than kind to us, heavy rain in the morning, persistent drizzle in the afternoon but we had worked so hard to get the ground ready, nothing was going to stop us and like we always do – we delivered!
Due to the soft ground we could not use a ride on mower so had to cut an area 150m by 100m by hand, it took us a couple of days but we did it. Ground marked out, picnic tables in place, car park finished, everything generally ready. Late decision to protect the soft waiting line with a 2m wide role of heavy duty plastic webbing.
Steve Howse, our Chairman, opened the shoot with a big thank you for all the hard work and commitment that had made this day possible.
One remarkable fact is that from the decision that to survive we needed a ground of our own, to actually shooting on it had taken 18 months and cost £101.000 so far. This has been achieved by £49,000 from members fundraising and £52,000 grants.
Still a lot to do, so our efforts will continue, two key objectives this year:
To install essential drainage on the ground at a cost of over £30k and to install a 90ft long covered shooting and storage area and toilets with electricity and water at an estimated cost of £80k. We will continue to work hard to raise as much money ourselves as we can but of course will also need external grants to keep the challenges realistic.
Anyway, back to the day, despite being a bank holiday and miserable weather there were over 80 members present to enjoy shooting, refreshments and an Easter Egg Hunt. The Bambies Club took place in one of the tents.
To illustrate the detailed preparation we have got into, the picnic tables were branded with the club logo, along with other items to ensure all our equipment is clearly marked.
Saturday morning saw the start of a number of Improvers Courses running at the ground, with working parties on the field course and general club practice later in the day. Similar activities on Sunday and Monday and the weather was even better as the week progressed. Evening practice sessions continued on the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, with morning sessions running for members with flexible time, many members getting to shoot for the first time at the ground!
With the hedging and trees springing into life and new signs being installed, it is starting to look and feel like an archery ground!
Ontarget Inter Club Match – 26th April.
As previously mentioned we have been drawn away to Tindale Archers in the first round, level playing field this year as we are not allowed to field any of our International Archers. We need to select 2 male, 2 female to shoot a 50m round, 2 compounds, 2 recurves. So we will always have 50m targets in place at practice sessions as we need to select a team. Dave Sandles has been appointed Team Manager. As we are at Tindale and they have a lot of good longbow archers, they have challenged us to a parallel Longbow match using the same 50m round rules. John Craigie has agreed to manage the longbow team.
Cheltenham Archers Easter Bunny
Congratulations to Cheltenham for a well run and full event, they even organised great weather!
A few highlights from our entries with Ellie and Will Gore both winning and Will also recorded the highest scoring boy recurve of the day. Also wins for Molly Peters, Charlotte Lunt and John Craigie. John Dalton finished second, with Kevin Sutherland and Lynn Benfield in 3rd.
Website Update and online booking system
Work is progressing well on testing the online booking system and it certainly helped with planning the food for the Friday Shoot at the new ground. We will now be using the system to populate workshops, club competitions etc. in parallel with the booking system we are currently working on redesigning the website, so watch this space.