The club was started in the Spring of 1963. – By Mrs. & Mr. R Hatcher and others + myself (Bert Cooper). Mrs. Hatcher became our first Hon Secretary. They became the founders of the club.
So as to have some idea of the sport the three of us went and practiced at a quiet hilly area in the country. Shooting into the banks hitting stones and breaking arrows, too many to think about.
The bows in those times at least for us were flat bows unlike bows of today (purchased from a local second hand shop) which were complete, not knowing better we were content.
By this time we had 12 members and our first venue in Yeovil was at Bucklers Mead school. All twelve of us, on one target. The target was at that time borrowed from the Methodist Church in Yeovil. We all shot like champions that night, then a gust of wind blew the target over face down – what a lesson.
Yeovil Show ground became our Club practice ground where we could shoot all day for a shilling (5p in today’s money), The Red House Pub became our watering hole, we would shoot a York round * have a drink and shoot again.
John Ewens was our first wheel chair member; he had been to Stoke Mandeville and had a good knowledge of archery – During 1964 John was able to go to the Disabled Olympics in Japan. Westland’s were good to him, they had a big ‘whip round’ and he was able to buy a new bow and arrows. He didn’t win but he did enjoy the experience.
About 1972 we moved from the Show ground and started shooting at Johnson Park, we had bought four targets by this time and stored them safely (we thought). Someone thought we must have been enjoying ourselves because they set fire to the lot. We started again from the ashes and had a bigger club.
It is John we must thank for producing our club badge.
From then we have had many members, some stayed, some long gone, also, we have had our good years and our not so good. At the moment we are a small but growing club with members all at different stages and styles.
Sadly Bert peacefully passed away on 23 December 2004 after a long illness. He will be sadly missed.
* York Round is 12 Dozen arrows 6 doz. @ 100 yards 4 doz. @ 80 yards 2 doz. @ 60 yards