Talking with Jackie Stanley (Secretary) & Harry Shaw(President), of Southend & District Archery Club that meet on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings at The King Edmund School
(7th March 2012)
Rochford Life: Jackie, there are a good number of people here.
Jackie: Yes, we’re not the biggest club in Essex, but we’ve got about sixty members.
RL: And the times when you meet?
Jackie: We meet on Wednesday nights from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and Sundays in the winter, 9.30am to 12.30pm.
In the summertime we’re outside on the school field and on Wednesdays in the summer we meet from 6.30pm to about 9.30pm when it starts getting darker, and on Sunday from about 1.00pm and start shooting about 2.00 and we’ll do a round or we might stay until it gets dark. Once a month in the summer we do an all-day shoot from about 10.00am, so we can shoot longer rounds then.
RL: You have a few young members?
Jackie: Yes, we haven’t got many Juniors because the majority of the people in our club are, shall we say, more mature, but we do have about 4 or 5 Juniors.
RL: How long have you been doing archery?
Jackie: Me personally, I’ve only been doing archery for about five years so I’m quite new to it. A lot of our members have been shooting a lot longer than me. For instance, Harry has been with the club almost from the beginning which was sixty one years ago. We are one of the oldest clubs in Essex.
RL: How much does it cost to be a member?
Jackie: Well this year we’ve managed to put our membership fees down so for adults it’s £24 a year (we’re probably one of the cheapest clubs in the area) and for Juniors it’s £12 and each week, when you shoot, there is a range fee of £2.
RL: Do you do special events?
Jackie: Well every year in September we have an open shoot, out on the school field, which is open to all-comers; it’s not a club shoot, but open to everybody, so that’s quite a big event in our calendar. Some of our members also go in for outside competitions and we run lots of competitions in the club as well for our members.
RL: Harry, you’ve been here for a long time?
Harry: Well I joined in 1956 when I was twelve years old and I’m now eighty this year.
RL: Wow! Well can I ask an obvious question? What is there in archery for a retired man?
Harry: It’s healthy! Having to stand up straight and all the walking, it does you good.
I then met Treasurer, Mickey Redman
RL: Mickey, how long have you been here?
Mickey: I’ve belonged to the club for twenty years. I’m not actually shooting tonight because we have a meeting tomorrow and I’m having to do the administration for that.
RL: Can I ask, what got you into archery?
Mickey: Well, my husband’s always been sports orientated and he encouraged me to have a sport and do something other than work and housework, and I tried to think of the most obscure thing I could think of and said, archery. When we checked, the Adult Learning Centre had archery on and so we went along for a laugh and we’ve been here ever since. It stuck with me, it’s good fun and I do the Recurve bow. I have got a Longbow but that’s a fun thing because you’re not the boss of that unless you really work at it. I have tried the compound bow but didn’t get on very well. I don’t shoot in competitions now; I just shoot for pleasure really and of course it keeps you a bit fit, especially when we’re able to be outside in the summer.
RL: Well thank you all very much. I think from what you’ve all said, it has been a great encouragement for older people particularly, who so often feel they can no longer do sports. You’ve shown that that is certainly not true. Thank you all again.