I first discovered my enjoyment of archery at school when a 'have a go' was organised and a few follow ups were carried out by my old sports teacher Mr Morgan at Forches Cross playing fields near Newton Abbot. I didn't pick up a bow again for nearly ten years when I was working in Newton Abbot and driving home one evening spotted a group of archers at the same place so I went along a few times to learn a little more. Well, jobs changed soon after and other things took over as is so often the way and I didn't dabble again until the late 1990's when I got bitten by the bug so to speak and joined the East Dartmoor Archery Club at Moretonhampstead. This was run by Dave Howell (also known as 'foul bowel Howell' for reasons that probably don't need explaining). Well Dave was a very good teacher and an outstanding archer and taught me everything I know to make hitting the centre of the target something more than luck by explaining a little of the science and a lot of the technique behind successful 'toxophily'. I have never been a particularly competitive sportsman though, spending a day getting cold/warm/wet/dry/cold/wet again whilst losing arrows and not having the time to eat properly didn't excite me so the sport has tended to stay on a low key and spare time basis.
I learned a lot at EDAC and obtained all of my equipment through them becoming the proud owner of one of the last Marksman Portland 2000 recurve bows. Again jobs changed taking me away from that area and things moved on once more. I had a relatively short break of only a year or so this time before joining a club near Ivybridge. There were some good archers there but very little tutilage and even less supervision which could be quite hair-raising at times (being stood on the firing line next to a compound shooter whose arrow has just dropped off the rest and he attempting to 'flick' it back onto the rest while at full draw!).
Various life changing events resulted in little active participation for a time, a very brief attempt in Jersey has not so far developed (though I think Mike at the Trinity club was hoping I'd join him on the team for the island games last year - cheers Mike but I don't think I have the time or the skill set!).
So thats where things are at currently, my son Daniel has turned out to be quite a keen archer and has his own recurve bow (just upgraded) but we only tend to shoot periodically at the moment at my folks home in Cornwall (with a convenient 25 metre long garden).
The dark side!
Uh-oh - 2010 and it seems I have gone to the 'dark side' and bought myself a compound bow. In fact it was just too good a deal to miss (good old ebay!!). Its a 10 year or so old PSE Millenium complete with 'soft cams', Toxonics telescopic sight, thumb activated release aid, long rod and a selection of X7 aluminiums and A/C/C arrows. I have elected to re-string and renew the cables but it should prove to be a fun bit of kit. As you may gather the set up, handing, draw length, arrow spine rating etc. all suit my shooting so looking forward to trying it all out. By the look of it some practice needed though (straighten up, right shoulder down, left elbow up!!)