At the AGM on Monday November 26th, the members present voted unanimously to transfer all assets of St. Neots Bowmen to a newly formed company limited by guarantee called “St. Neots Bowmen Archery Club Limited”, and to adopt the company’s proposed Articles of Association (replacing the Club Constitution). This is called “incorporating the club”, and it means that the club is now a separate legal person from the members or the committee. Many other clubs have done this before us, it serves primarily to reduce the financial liability of members and officers in case something goes wrong (hence the “limited liability company”).
For the members, nothing much changes on a day-to-day basis. We will continue to shoot as we’ve done before, and the club is still run by the committee, a group of volunteer members endorsed by the AGM. Committee meetings are shown in the calendar, and all members are invited to attend and participate in discussions.
What this does mean is that all current members of the archery club (“St. Neots Bowmen”) will need to officially become members of the company (“St. Neots Bowmen Archery Club Limited”). For those of you who will be coming to the indoor range at Alconbury, I will put a “Member Register” on the main table. All you need to do to become a member of the company is to put your name down and sign. I will shortly also be sending out an email about the incorporation, with instructions on how to send in your membership confirmation via email. You can contact me via “secretary at stneotsbowmen dot club” if you have questions around the incorporation.
At the AGM the members endorsed a committee consisting of: Dan Wischhusen (chairman), Marc Bax (secretary), Adam Taylor (treasurer), Andy Blake (records officer), Sarah Cox (child protection officer), Roy Buck (equipment officer), Sunil Kalra and Stacey Taylor. You can reach the full committee via “committee at stneotsbowmen dot club”. For individual contact details see the “Contact & GDPR” page.
A special thank-you goes to Phil Sargeant, who stepped down as treasurer after more than 10 years in the role. We do sincerely hope to see Phil back on the shooting line sometime soon!
Dunstable Bowmen is again organising a special Agincourt shoot (on the 603rd anniversary of the battle). It takes place on Sunday October 14th, from 11am at their field at the London gliding club, Tring road, Dunstable. Targets are likely to be once again Frenchmen (well, shop dummies partially hiding behind a castle of bosses), and there will no doubt be a hostage or two in their midst (negative points).
Format is a bit fluid, but usually the distances are up to 120yds (which should be reachable with light arrows and a 24lb club bow – but there will also be targets at shorter distances if it turns out you can’t reach 120yds). Only for unsighted, non-compound bows. Show up and pay on the day (GBP 8), and a good soup and bread lunch is included. There’s usually also some home-brewed ale to be had…
Medieval dress optional. Let Marc Bax know if you fancy coming along.
Starting from Saturday June 2nd we will prioritise coaching, tuning, practice and other forms of archer development on our afternoon club sessions. On some of these Saturdays we may have visiting coaches from other clubs or from Archery GB. We’re doing this because we’ve heard from a number of members that they would appreciate such weekend sessions targeted at improving their shooting.
You can still shoot a scoring round but will have to fit in with the rhythm and range requirements of the other archers present.
The Saturday “archer development” sessions this outdoor season will be on June 2nd and 16th, July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th, and September 1st and 15th.
On Sunday June 3rd the annual SCAS/BCAA Clout archery championships will take place again at Manshead school in Caddington, near Dunstable. Last year four of us participated, with both Mary Louca and Marc Bax snatching the county barebow clout champion title.
In clout archery you don’t shoot at a paper face on a vertical straw boss; instead the target is a flag in the ground at a considerable distance (140yds for ladies, 180yds for gents), and your score is measured by how close your arrow lands to the flag. At our range in Offord we sometimes do a mini-clout using the very light jelly bows, as our field is not large enough to shoot a regular clout (NEVER try this with anything but the jelly bows).
The clout shoot is usually a good day of fun with most archers not being that serious (but you can be if you want to). If you’re interested please let Sunil Kalra or Marc Bax know – or put your name on the form on the notice board in the hut.
On Sunday June 24th our club will host the annual BCAA “Presidents & Pairs” shoot at our field. This is an informal shoot organised on behalf of the Bedfordshire County Archery Association, of which St. Neots Bowmen is a member. The round shot is a Western round (4 dozen arrows at 60yds followed by 4 dozen arrows at 50yds) – with shorter distances for juniors or novice archers who can’t reach 60yds. The main “pair” awards are decided on handicap-adjusted scores, so novice archers have a good chance of doing well! read more…
Over a number of Thursdays between now and December 7th will be holding open club coaching sessions. These will be opportunities to improve your shooting under the guidance of our coaches and experienced archers without the pressure of keeping score. You’ll have the freedom to experiment a bit, work on your form, and sort out tuning of your equipment.
Coaching is available for all members.
In the light of changes to the Archery GB Rules-of-Shooting (RoS) earlier this year, and discussions the committee has had with judges on how to interpret the rules surrounding sighters when shooting at a club, we are changing our interpretation: read more…
From September 1st our Wednesday evening shoots will move back to a 6pm start (5:30pm assembly). With daylight starting to fade during our Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 6pm shoots we’re giving the following guidelines/options in order for everyone to be able to finish their shoots while they can still see the target… read more…
On Sunday August 27th we’ll be shooting our outdoor club championships. This will be shot over a Windsor round (3 dozen each at 60yds, 50yds and 40yds). As last year we make it a bit more of an event by arranging for some nibbles and drinks to make a picnic out of it in the breaks when moving distances.
The toilets in the church rooms across the street will be accessible for comfort breaks.
What is a jelly bow? A small, simple and low-poundage bow—we’ve bought 12 for our club. The blue ones we have are 36 inch long (compared to 68 inch for an average recurve), and have a draw weight of a maximum of 12 pounds when drawn to their full 20 inches (by which time they stack like hell). They are not toys though: we’ve shot club arrows to 80 yards with them! So all safety precautions you take for regular recurve bows must also be taken when shooting jelly bows!
How do you shoot them? Up to you. Because of their short draw length you can’t anchor them on your face the same way as a regular bow. And because of the very steep string angle it is best to only use one finger above and one finger below the arrow. You can adjust the grip up and down to set nocking point height, or to change from right to left-handed use. They shoot best if you don’t draw them to maximum, just to the point where they begin to seriously stack (giving a usable draw length of maybe 17-18 inches).
Jelly bows are great equalisers. When we have jelly bow events, everybody shoots with a club jelly bow. You can use your own arrows or club arrows but you cannot modify the bow other than moving the grip up/down. You might have to share your jelly bow with others.
What is a clout shoot? In clout shooting the target is a flag in the ground, and archers try to get their arrows in the ground close to the flag. A regular clout is shot at distances of 140yds or 180yds, so most arrows have to be shot with a fairly high trajectory and land quite steeply—they won’t be hidden in the grass. Regular clout shoots require a field of at least 300yds long to get a safe overshoot (and even then it is entirely possible to reach much further with a high-poundage recurve or compound bow).
How do we shoot a Mini Jelly Bow Clout?
A (St. Neots flavoured) Mini Jelly Bow Clout (MJBC) is shot with the clout (a target flag) at 60yds from the shooting line. The target area itself is half the size of a regular imperial clout target and is 24 feet in diameter, with 5 scoring zones (scoring 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). I’ve made two mini clout measuring tapes, their use will be demonstrated at our first MJBC.
As the target distance is not that far of the maximum distance that can be reached with the jelly bows you’ll need to shoot with the bows pointing quite high (see the picture). Remember that aiming too high will actually reduce the distance you’ll reach. Like longbows they do not have centre-shot so you’ll be aiming off left/right as well.
We’ve done a test, and concluded that the MJBC is great fun (especially Felicity as she beat us all by a wide margin)! We will announce one on a Saturday shortly (once I’ve finished re-serving the strings on the other 7 jelly bows).