RLSAS History – Extracts from Minutes

15 November 1949

[at the instigation of Bernard Lee and Bob and Hylda Parsons, the founder members] A group of people interested in archery met at the Warwick Restaurant, Castle Hill, at 8:00 for the pupose of forming a club.

… it was proposed & carried that the name should be "The Warwick Archery Club"…. the temporary annual subscription should be 10/= [50p] …. the Warwick Restaurant should be considered HQ and meeting place for the time being ….

The secretary [Bob Parsons] stated that he and the chairman [Bernard Lee] had examined the ground belonging to the Old Mill, Warwick New Road, and had come to a verbal agreement with the manager, Mr Simmonds, to have the use of the land adjacent to the river ….. it was finally agreed that the Club should take advantage of the offer but should be looked upon as Temporary. The use of the land would be free.

23 January 1950

The business opened by the motion that the Club shooting ground be moved from the Old Mill Club, Emscote, to the new site in Heathcote Lane, Warwick, which was unanimously adopted.

28 April 1950

It was agreed that the Club should be affiliated to the GNAS and the secretary should put the matter in hand.

28 June 1950

The matter of a change of Club shooting ground fromHeathcote Lane to Corner of Banbury Road & Bridge End was discussed and it was agreed that the change should be made. A charge to Mr Spencer of £5 per year, payable on June 24th in payment for the use thereof, was agreed to.

5 December 1950 (AGM)

Future activities was discussed and it was agreed that a better attendance at practice meetings during the forthcoming season was desirable. [some things never change!!] The Secretary reported that two fixtures had been fixed for 1951 with the Northampton Archery Club.

5 October 1951

The next item was the Club Trophy Shoot and Mr Burton offered a shield to be shot for and held by the Club Champion ….. the round shot would be a special one and named the "Burton Shield Round" consisting of 24 arrows at 80 yds and 24 arrows at 60 yds for men and a similar number of arrows at 60 yards and 50 yards for Ladies. The round to be shot 3 times between May 1st and Sept 30th each year. The highest score on the three rounds shot to classify for Club Champion, either Ladies or Gentlemen.

The Secretary was requested to open negotiations with the Secretary of the West Midlands Archery Society with a view to the affiliation of the Club with the WMAS.

19 December 1952

Mr L H Buckie raised the question of moving the Club to Leamington as it was felt that such an action would be beneficial as most members of the Club lived nearer to Leamington than Warwick.

15 May 1953

It was proposed by Mr Adkin and carried that the Club Colours be Light and Dark Magenta, the same colours to be embodied in the tassel in equal proportions, and that the Badge of the Club be changed and shall consist of Six Tied Arrows above a castellated Tower, the word "Warwick" below, and with bar.

19 March 1954 (AGM)

It was agreed after some discussion that the suggested change of name to read "Warwick & Leamington Archery Club" be left on the table.

15 October 1954

The meeting was reminded that an indoor range was now in operation at Nelson’s Gym, Warwick, and would be available to members on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

14 February 1955

It was agreed that the following be placed on a Coaching Rota to be present for this duty for 3 months commencing 10th April. Mr Parsons, Mr Letts, Mr Cooper, Mr Roseberry, Mr Lee & Mrs Parsons. The Rota would change each Sunday.

It was agreed that Mr Cooper & Mr Parsons organise a field shoot later in the year.

20 May 1955

The Secretary stated that he & Mr Cooper had interviewed Mr Spencer with a view to the Club taking the Warwick Ground as sole tenants so that the grass could be mowed, and that no cattle would be put on the field, at least during the summer season. But Mr Spencer did not appear to be very co-operative over these matters and said under the circumstances that it would be as well for the Club to find itself a new field.

The Secretary & Mr Cooper visited Mrs Butler later the same evening and after some conversation with her son it transpired that there was a sports field that had been used by the Gas Board Cricket Club and which was now vacant. This fiels is a river meadow and is approached from the Radford Road through St Marys Allotments and by crossing the River Leam. The field is part of Mrs Butler’s Farm. The committe agreed after a lengthy discussion to secure the field pro tem.

The secretary raised the matter of Miss Dixon, a wheeled chair archeress. It was agreed that she would be able to shoot with assistance from members.

17 June 1955 (EGM)

It was proposed and seconded that the Club Venue be moved from Warwick to Leamington forthwith. ….. The proposal was carried.

A resolution was carried that the name "Warwick Archery Club" be changed to "Royal Leamington Spa Archery Society", the Society to be known by this name forthwith.

A proposal to change the Society colours fell.

It was agreed that a change of Badge be carried out and members were asked to submit designs.

11 November 1955

It was agreed that the hut still standing at Warwick should be moved over to the new field at Leamington. Mr Letts proposed that 6 oil drums be purchased to form a foundation for the hut on the new site.

23 March 1956 (1st AGM of new club)

Mr Leslie Buckie presented a very handsome shield to be presented to the winner of a Hereford round, men or ladies shot for on a handicap basis.

Mr P Cooper presented a cup to me presented to the member, lady or gentleman, who had shown the greatest progress during the season.

Mr Moir presented a trophy to be awarded as decided by the committee.

23 July 1956

The business opened with a resumé by Mr Barker of a previous meeting of Mr Lee, Mr Parsons & Mr Barker for the purpose of taking over the financial business due to the death of Mr Peter Cooper. [aged 30]

The next business to be discussed was the Peter Cooper Memorial Bowl which had been presented by Mr Cooper senior & the employees of the Triumph Engineering Co Ltd of Coventry. Shoot to take place as follows: Date Sept 16th. Entry Fee 7/6. Tea if required 1/6. Albion Round to be shot on a handicap basis. Ladies & Gentlemen. Four medals to be presented. Mr Lee – Field Captain. Mr Cooper to present the awards.

23 November 1956

The committee were unanimous in congratulating Mr Wm Letts on his work in connection with improvements to the Club Hut etc.

Members gave the Secretary approval to send a Club Badge to Mr Lenton for inclusion on the Warwickshire Association Gonfalon.

22 March 1957 (2nd AGM)

It was proposed by Mr Moir, seconded by Mr Allen & carried that the annual subscription be incresed to £1-10-0 for shooting members, £1 for non-shooting members and 12/6 for juniors. The entrance fee for adults to remain at 5/-.

26 September 1958

The committee agreed that the Society should introduce a new round to be known as the "Leamington Round" and to consist of 2 dozen arrows at 120, 100 & 80 yards for the Gentlemen, and 2 dozen at 100, 80 & 60 for the Ladies and Juniors. The inauguration to take place on the Society’s ground on 19th October 1958 at 2pm prompt. One lady and one gentleman to be invited from Midland clubs, own tea to be provided. The secretary was instructed to inform the GNAS, the British Archer and the Warwickshire Archer.

Mr Parsons congratulated Mrs Letts on her wonderful shoot at Warwick in the County Championships.

26 June 1959

The secretary was asked to write a letter of thanks to Lt Col Boehm for the beautiful arrow that he had presented to the club via Mr Matthews. It was decided that the arrow should be presented to a club member as a prize at the annual "Leamington Round"

16 October 1959

A vote of thanks was given to Mr Nash for the Cup that he was going to present to the club, to be competed for on a handicap basis.

26 March 1960 (5th AGM)

Mr Matthews agreed to be the club instructor, provided that archers requiring instruction specified a particular time for an agreed period, and did not abuse his services.

25 May 1961

The Chairman asked for congratulations to Mr W Letts for passing his Coaching Exam.

26 January 1962

Official Congratulations on behalf of all Club Members were given to Mr Matthews on his attaining a Grand Master Bowman Status.

It was reported that the high gale winds had blown the roof off the hut.

1 February 1962 (7th AGM)

Mr Parsons reported that we had another old Arrow dated 1834 given to us by Mr Jack Flenton. This was to be the first ladies prize in the Leamington Round. Mr Jameson promised to mount it on a base the same as the Gentleman’s Arrow. He also promised to write to the BA to give Mr Flenton the Society’s official thanks.

3 December 1962

Mr Jameson said he was not at all satisfied with the Safety Precautions, either on the field or at the Indoor Gym. With regard to the field, it was suggested and carried that one shooting line be tried, at the 100 yard mark, and to move the targets to the various ranges needed. No-one was to fetch arrows until the temporary Field Captain, to be appointed on the day of shooting, blows the whistle. A temporary Field Captain with whistle would also be appointed for the indoor range, again, no-one will be allowed to fetch arrows until this whistle is blown. He will also have the authority to stop any lengthy talking both on the shooting line and also at the targets. With regard to the Lady member from Loxley shooting, who made rather a mess of the door behind the target, she has offered to pay for the damage, and due to the fact that she should not have shot at all, any member can stop anyone shooting if they are not up to 3rd Class standard.

The committee thought it would be rather a nice idea to present a Laminated Bow to Stoke Manderville Hospital Archery Section. Mr Jameson said he would make the bow with free labour, if the Society could pay for materials. A short note to members asking for donations for this was decided upon.

22 February 1963 (8th AGM)

It was decided unanimously that the ground layout be changed; that we keep the shooting line stable, and move the targets.

4 March 1963

Mr H L Johnson of Offchurch Bury had been approached and had offered the club a field for shooting purposes at the Radford Semele end of his estate. The nominal rent would be only £2 per annum …… It was unanimously agreed to accept this offer …… to terminate our agreement with the Newbold Terrace ground.

11 April 1963

Congratulations to Mrs B Letts on being among the top ten British Ladies for 1963.

9 July 1963

The meeting congratulated Beryl Letts on shooting so well at Oxford in the British Championships.

The meeting commiserated with Mr R H Parsons on injuring his toe while he was mowing the field with the rotary scythe.

20 February 1964 (9th AGM)

The Chairman [Bob Parsons] congratulated Mac Pritchard on being a member of the British Team to shoot in the World Championships at Helsinki.

18 April 1964

Three of the club’s members were on the list of top ten archers in the GNAS for 1963; Mrs B Letts, H M Pritchard & R D Matthews.

7 July 1965

The Chairman congratulated Mac Pritchard and Roy Matthews on being chosen as members of the British Team to shoot at the World Championships at Vesteras [Sweden].

13 January 1966 (11th AGM)

We had two members who held British Records for rounds shot; H M Pritchard and R D Matthews. Roy had also become the British Champion at Oxford.

12 January 1967 (12th AGM)

Roy Matthews voted chairman.

The secretary agreed to make further enquiries with regard to the reason why the club ground flooded so badly this year.

11 January 1968 (13th AGM)

The standard of shooting within the club and of members visiting other tournaments had remained high in spite of the hindrance to practice caused by flooding of the range. The national disaster of foot & mouth disease has had its repercussions within the club, causing a long winter spell when members couldn’t use the range and making us realise just how much members did want to use it in the winter.

Due to the recurrence of Foot & Mouth disease the secretary had to report that the Society was still not able to go on the range.

25 January 1968

Mrs Davy has presented the society with a silver cup. It has been unanimously decided to designate it the Davy Cup for FITA improvement so that it can be shot for by both ladies and gentlemen.

10 July 1968

Mr Matthews and Mr Gamble were both nominated among the national "top ten".

In the International Trials at Southport Mr Gamble came second with scores of 1138 and 1055, being edged into that position by only 1 point by a competitor from Belgium, after having a broken bow.

In the GNAM at Oxford Mr Matthews came first in the Double York with a World Record score of 1046 and 1092. Mr Gamble also did well, in spite of yet another broken bow!

15 August 1968

The team for the European Champs has been announced and contains both Mr Matthews and Mr Gamble – a fitting climax to their efforts this year.

The new mower has been sent back to Atco because of the damage sustained in the recent floods.

21 November 1968

The committee was very pleased to hear that the mowers had been removed from the shed before the recent flood.

The Chairman read a copy of a letter which he had sent to Mr Johnson commenting on our reluctance to leave the ground but asking if any land less likely to flood is available. Mr Johnson replied to the effect that he realised how we had been inconvenienced this year but thought the same thing was unlikely to happen again for many years. However he would bear our problem in mind and be on the look-out for another suitable area.

Congratulations were extended to Mr Matthews and Mr Gamble on their achievements in the European Championships and to Mrs Matthews on her subsequent appointment as [British] team manager.

Mr Parsons reported that he had been approached by a Dutch Archery Official re accepting a party of Dutch archers next year, July 13/20. They would be accomodated in Leamington and use the Society’s range for practice while recieving coaching from Mr Parsons & Mr Lenton. He felt it was an honour for the Society to be singled out in this way, as well as providing some extra income, & had indicated that they would be welcome.

15 January 1970 (15th AGM)

Mr Matthews had achieved GMB status and Mrs Pritchard, Mr Gamble, Mr Pritchard and Mr Pennington-West were now MBs. Mr Gamble now holds the British Record for the FITA (1212) and Mr Gamble & Mr Matthews have been selected to join the Olympic training squad.

Mr Matthews expressed the Society’s indebtedness to the Club Instructor [Les Lenton] saying that here was indeed an ideal example of how effective coaching should be carried out at club level, and that he himself often cited Mr Lenton as an example of a club coach when talking on this subject elsewhere.

28 January 1970

The Pavillion had again been broken into but as far as was known only the African bow was missing. The lock was still intact but the hinges had been unscrewed. It was suggested that we bolt the hinges.

15 April 1970

Mr Matthews and Mr Gamble feature high in the placings of the Top Ten archers again.

Roy and Ted were also members of the winning British Men’s Team in the FITA Mail Match.

15 January 1971 (16th AGM)

… there are now 5 Master Bowman amongst the membership – Messrs. Matthews, Gamble, Pritchard, and Pennington-West and Mrs Pritchard. Both Mr Matthews and Mrs Pritchard hold 5 records, Mr Matthews including the British FITA and the British Albion records.

Mr Frank Rawlings presented the Society with an engraved cup "The Rawlings Bros. Cup" to be an extra award for the Peter Cooper Tournament.

3 August 1971

The Chairman tabled a Victorian Silver Quiver which had been presented to the Club by Fred Spoor. It was to be known as the "Fred Spoor Silver Quiver" and it was agreed that it should be awarded as the First Ladies prize for a Leamington archer at the Peter Cooper Shoot.

14 January 1972 (17th AGM)

Achievements of the year included: GMB, T Gamble & R Matthews; MB, Mr & Mrs Pritchard. National Records: R Matthews – Double FITA 2323; T Gamble Single FITA 1224. National Team: R Matthews (3) T Gamble (1).

22 March 1972

Following the news that Roy & Mary Matthews would be leaving the county during the summer it was proposed by Mrs Parsons, a Life Membership of the Club be offered to Roy.

10 May 1972

A letter has been recieved from Mr Johnson explaining his wish to return the present club ground to grazing land and a notice of termination of lease in the Autumn of 1972.

13 September 1972

The Peter Cooper Bowl has been poorly treated by the previous holders. A reconditioning programme is being investigated.

19 January 1973 (AGM)

The Rawlings Bros & The Cooper Bowl trophies will in future remain within the club to prevent the damage which regretably happens to trophies given to visitors. The Cooper bowl has been restored from its damaged condition.

27 February 1973

Planning permission had been applied for in respect of the erection of the club pavilion at Bishops Tachbrook. It had been ascertained that the ground would be ready for use by the beginning of April.

4 December 1973

[following the loss of indoor shooting venue] The Indoor range at Courtaulds Matlock Road Rifle Range was available for archery on Wednesday evenings.

29 October 1974

Mr Adkins reported that Mr Rawlings would no longer be able to take part in active archery following his eye operation and it was unanimously agreed that we should make Mr Rawlings a life member of the Society.

17 January 1975 (AGM)

Greville Adkins finished in 12th place in the [National] Trials and qualified for the Mini-Trials where he finished in 6th place. He also won the Nettleton Cup for the 50 metres distance at the Trials. At the beginning of the season Greville and Catherine [Pritchard] won the West Midlands and Warwickshire Clout Championships. Catherine establishing a new County Open record for the Double Clout. Greville became the West Midlands Champion and also won the Warwickshire FITA Championships.

18 February 1975

The secretary gave a brief outline of the discussion she had had with Mr P Hastings of Bishop Bright School regarding the use of the ground by the club and the coaching arrangements for the pupils.

30 September 1975

Mr Lenton expressed his thanks to everyone who had helped to put the roof back on to the pavilion after the gales during the previous weekend.

7 January 1976

The roof had blown off the pavilion again in early January but thanks to a splendid response from members it had been replaced and secured to the rooftrusses with the minimum delay.

16 January 1976 (AGM)

Mrs Pritchard and Mr Adkins had both made MB during the year and Mr Adkins had been selected for Olympic Squad training. Mr M Ellis had made field MB and also held the National record for the Hunter round. Mrs Pritchard had won the National, Regional and County Clout titles and held county records.

18 January 1977 (AGM)

Some members had made their mark in Clout shooting; Mrs Pritchard had won the West Midlands and County titles and also made a new National record for the Single Clout round; Mr H M Pritchard wsa second in the West Midlands and County events. At the national Clout Championships Mrs Pritchard and Mrs Boden came 2nd and 3rd respectively and Mr Adkins was 2nd. Mr Adkins attained MB status.

18 January 1978 (AGM)

Mr Hewitt had passed the Instructor’s exam and Mrs Boden was now taking the Instructor’s course.

The News Letter had been introduced during the year and it was agreed by the meeting that this was of great value to members and should continue.

18 April 1978

Mrs Quinn had presented two trophies to the club (originally won by her father for bowling and suitably altered for archery presentation); both would be called the ‘H S Hall’ trophy. One would be awarded for the Frostbite round and the other for the Juniors.

11 July 1978

Mr M Ellis had been selected to shoot in the Field team in Sweden and the World and European Field Championships in Switzerland.

5 June 1979

Due to a new recommendation regarding overshoot on clout distances it might become necessary to re-site our clout area.

The secretary reported that a gold brooch had been purchased [by the County] with money donated to the Jean Truslove Memorial Fund and this was being presented at the Midland Counties Tournament for the Highest Hereford over the two days. Mrs June Farndon had won the award this year.

4 January 1980

Mr G Adkins had been invited to join the GNAS Pre-Olympic Squad.

19 August 1980

Congratulations were extended to Mr C Howes on making Master Bowman for the first time.

14 July 1981

RLSAS came second in the Warwickshire Olympics held at Bedworth AC on 8th July. The team comprised Mr G Adkins, Mr M Ellis, Mr H M Pritchard, Mr M Quinn, Miss M Hogan, Mrs C M Pritchard, Mrs F Hill and N Quinn.

19 October 1982

A letter had been recieved from the Old Leamingtonians RFC offering the use of their ground for archery

18 January 1983 (AGM)

In July we hosted the Junior National for their FITA and championships.

17 January 1984 (AGM)

Mr R H Parsons was given Honorary Life Membership of the Society in view of his long connection with, and work for, the Society.

17 January 1985 (AGM)

Mr Lenton had presented the club with three items that could be used as awards – a tankard, a horn and a glass arrow, the latter would be awarded for the highest lady in the Portsmouth round.

Warwickshire Olympics: Leamington were to be the hosts for the archery event this year.

17 January 1986 (AGM)

David Stranks had won the County Championship in September and also achieved MB status.