Rushgreen Bowmen Archery Club
Back in the beginning ...
Our club was founded in 1985 when a local councillor allowed two archers free use of his field in Rushgreen, Clacton. During the winter months, the local sea-scouts homed us in their scout hut in Great Clacton. A beginner’s class was put on with a view to encouraging family and junior membership.
In those days, we were affiliated to the National Field Archery Society. We had some great competitive meets with Colchester and District Archery Club (CADAC) and the Tudor Field Archers. The latter were especially famous for their all-weekend events, which included a night shoot in the woods.
The club’s founder members, Pete and Chris, put on an open tournament in the first year. We didn't really know what we were doing, but fortunately the local clubs were generous in their support, even lending precious equipment into our inexpert hands. In the second year we put on two shoots, the first being a 'Double American', early on in the season and it snowed!
After two years, our landlord started building houses on our field and so we had to seek pastures new. All the members actively sought suitable locations for field archery and when we couldn't stage our next scheduled outdoor tournament, we looked for an indoor venue. That was when we made contact with Bramston Sports Centre.
The move to Bramston Sports Centre
The centre manager was quite sympathetic and even had a list of people who had expressed an interest in learning archery. We ran a beginners course, and were lucky enough to find we had an apt and enthusiastic bunch of budding bowmen.
In all the years since, the club (and many of its members!) have matured somewhat. We've continued to encourage family membership, and like to think that we're less formal than most other clubs.
We have been affiliated now for many years to the Grand National Archery Society, the governing body for target archery. Despite the relaxed and informal feel to the club, we have had great successes at competition level. Three juniors have represented Great Britain on the international circuit and we have also won the county league.
On the move again...
We now find ourselves having to relocate again; the Bramston Sports Centre is closing, to be replaced by the new Witham Leisure Centre in 2014. Our clubhouse and equipment storage are on a strip of land that is earmarked for demolition.
After finding this out, we had a very bleak few months in which the whole club pulled together. We seriously considered some really wacky solutions to our dilemma. We got onto the local radio and into the local press, resulting in receiving offers of help from other local organisations to see if they could help.
After several tense months where the club closing seemed a real possibility, we are now well into negotiations with some of the lovely local councillors to re-home us to the adjacent playing fields. The move should hopefully take place by the summer.
Our summer outdoor venue is relocating! Watch this space for updates!
Bramston Sports Centre
The Maltings Acadamy