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Our thanks to Ian Johnston for a bit of well-needed smile & fun
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Photos from the 2020 Boreatton Rove
Report & Results further down the Noticeboard
BOREATTON PARK SHOOT at ROVE MARKS – 12th January 2020
REPORT & RESULTS
On Sunday 12th January, we hosted our annual shoot at roving marks at Boreatton Park near Baschurch. The day dawned dull and grey after much rain overnight and continuing into the early morning. By the time the working and catering party arrived at about 9 the rain had largely stopped and there were signs that better weather would be arriving from the West. In the end, the weather was very kind to us, with quite a lot of sun throughout the day.
The shoot has traditionally been a longbow shoot but in recent years it has also been opened up to other traditional wooden bows shooting wooden arrows. This allows a wider range of people to enjoy rove.
Publicity before the event had been very effective and we had early indication that we might have 70 archers, which would have been a record. However, for a variety of reasons numbers were slightly down on this but we still had an enthusiastic band of 53 archers arrive in time for breakfast before the shoot. This is one of our larger turn outs over the years. We had visitors from quite a wide area. The furthest travelled were a group from Cerne Abbas in Dorset. We had a mix of familiar faces and new friends who had not been to Boreatton before. Experience levels ranged from experienced to some trying rove for the first time.
This year we reverted to offering bacon butties for breakfast. This was obviously a welcome return as there wasn’t any bacon left at the end of the day.
The morning’s shooting consisted of the traditional mix of marks at varying ranges from “not too far” to distances designed to exercise those with more powerful bows. We started, as is tradition, with a fairly short mark but shot over the large oak tree in front of the hall at Boreatton, always an interesting test if you haven’t done anything like it before. The usual advice that “it’s just a little plink” is usually enough to stop the uninitiated going too far wrong.
We introduced a little variety in between traditional marks with a shot into a marked area intended to represent an advancing body of men at arms (some imagination required here) and a wild boar 3D field target from about 40 yards. Two people managed to get arrows into the compound kill zone on the boar, which was pretty impressive.
Lunch was taken at 12:00, consisting of an impressive collection of homemade soups with rolls, all very well received. As with breakfast, there was enough for 2nd and 3rd helpings for those that wanted. As with the bacon, there was none left at the end – which is always a good sign.
After everyone was refreshed, we started the afternoon’s proceedings with a wand shoot. As is sometimes the case, it was an object lesson in how many arrows can land in a relatively small area and yet most still miss the narrow stripe down the middle of the target area. Several of the war bows also showed what happens if a sturdy arrow travelling fast hits a substantial fence rail. Not quite the “going through a 6-inch oak door” of legend but still pretty impressive. We then followed up with a downhill shot of around 70-80 yards. A few of us (myself included) over-estimated the distance and ended up hitting the substantial Wellingtonia tree about 20 yards further on. Neil and I landed our arrows too far up the tree to retrieve them, but they felt like impressive shots. We were considering claiming it as another wand shot but decided not to.
Later in the afternoon, we took in a second go at the wild boar. Lunch had obviously improved people’s aim as the boar looked like a pin cushion second time around.
The afternoon was wrapped up with a flight competition while the scoring and admin was worked out – to allow the war bow guys to really give it some welly and anyone else to see just how far they could shoot. Phil Kearey took the honours with an impressive distance of 330 yards. Tea, coffee and cake were served to finish off the afternoon.
Chris Harrison - Organiser
End of an Era
After many years as Chairman of Bowbrook Archers, the 2019 AGM saw Sam Dixon retire from the role. Sam has been a stalwart of the club from the time there were only about 20 members - now it’s more like 200!
Gentleman Farmer Sam has seen many changes as a member and as chairman, and has many an interesting tale to tell about those times. He has given a lot to the club and over his tenure as chairman, has given it a respectability that has to be admired. Of course it takes more than one person to do this, and with a band of like-minded dedicated volunteers, he has made Bowbrook what it is today.
I call him ‘Gentle’man Farmer Sam, because that is what he is. His gentle and easy approach speaking to his reports at meetings and his thoughtful and sensible mediations concerning club matters are a testament to his character. Work on the farm is constant and always demanding, and, along with bringing up his family, his acts of selfless kindness of loaning his property, fields and time at Attingham’s Home Farm for the benefit of the club and its members were all given freely - without reward or praise expected.
I for one will miss those great shoots that were held on his field at Attingham Park and the interest taken by the visitors to our sport. I don’t suppose that many people realise what it took to get that field ready for, say, our Heritage Shoot, and then get it in a state ready for his cattle to use again after - certainly weeks either side of the shoot.
Along with the ‘Birthday’ bash shoot that Sam holds on Home Farm each year, the use of his various farm equipment, the use of Home Farm Cafe for meetings, to the delicious cakes his wife makes - it’s no wonder that a proposal from the floor at the AGM, that he was unanimously made an Honorary Member of Bowbrook Archers, and thankfully, voted onto the committee for the Club to still benefit from his wisdom, experience and contributions at future meetings.
Gentleman Farmer, Sam Dixon, Home Farm, Attingham Park, THANK YOU - a truly genuine person you are ever likely to meet - you will be an extremely hard act to follow. – D. Thornton
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