A Short History of Long Eaton Field Archers
22 Sep 1994
The club was founded by Pete and Cherrie Peabody, John and Angela Hammond, Claire Hammond and Adrian Hayhoe at the inaugural meeting in Long Eaton, Derbyshire. The agreed fee for joining the club was £1 per person.
06 Oct 1994
By now the committee had found a hall to shoot in, approached the local authority for a grant and opened a club bank account. A dining hall at Wilsthorpe School, Long Eaton was booked for shooting practice. Club Secretary Doug Hart recalls: “I well remember shooting in the school. The bosses were very basic, no back nets and at times shooting over desks. It was a start and it was fun. However, one or two of the archers did miss once or twice but the holes were filled in with chewing gum.”
The first club shoot took place at Drum Hill, Derby and was a total success. Erewash Council made a grant of £50 towards equipment and the committee discovered that a sports hall at Long Eaton Community School was available.
In February, members began making their own bosses at Draycott Scout Hut. They were made of cardboard – in the early days quite a number of clubs made bosses this way. They were initially covered in cling film to protect them from rain. Make a big one and you needed some strong people to carry them. Compacted cardboard it heavy. Our main man for cardboard donation was Bob Grey. Hence the name that has stuck to this day as ‘Cardboard Bob’.
In July 1995 a shoot was held in Quarry Wood at Castle Donington. Former national champion Roy Scrimshaw set the course and provided the target faces. This was another success which allowed the club to purchase some foam bosses. Another shoot at Quarry Wood followed in September.
At the first AGM on 14th October 1995 Pete Peabody was elected the first Club Chairman, having been equipment officer up to this time.
This year saw the introduction of club badges, regular club shoots and shooting at the Baptist Church Hall next to Long Eaton railway station. It was also the first year that Treetops Hospice was used for practice in the summer from the first Thursday in May to the last one in August.
In April a stalwart of the club, Michael Johnson, died from cancer. Every October since then a memorial shoot has been held, on the closest Sunday to the 6th October, which was Michael’s birthday.
At the October 1996 AGM the club membership stood at 49.
On the 17th February 1997 secretary Cherrie announced that after exchanging correspondence with John Blunt we could now use Lount Wood. The initial charge was £1 per person for each shoot, although later in the year it rose to £400 per year.
Doug Hart recalls “At this time club shoots in the wood had names. The Bluebell Shoot was obviously a May time shoot. We also held a goose shoot but I am not sure if that had anything to do with Christmas or was to do with some other activity”.
In February 1998 ‘Cardboard Bob’ was presented with a plaque and a bottle of whisky as a thank you from a grateful committee for all the cardboard he had donated to the club.
In September 1999 the committee secured the use of the lovely High Wood near to Belper. The club did hold a shoot there but local people were determined that we should not continue to use it. Bosses were sabotaged, pegs pulled up. We had a turkey shoot just before Christmas that year but we had to leave the wood because of local people. In April 2000 we abandoned High Wood altogether.
In September 2000 Long Eaton Field Archers put a course out for the National Champs at Belvoir Castle.
At the 2000 AGM, Pete, Cherrie and Mike Godbert stood down from the committee. Pete and Mike are now life members of the club; Cherrie should have been. This committee had worked hard, setting the foundation blocks for what is an excellent club. The new committee were: Alan Matthews, Chairman; Doug Hart, Secretary; John Glenn, Treasurer; Ian Foster, committee member.
In July 2001 the country was hit by foot and mouth disease. Following the outbreak the club arranged for two storage containers to put in the wood. Previously we used tents to store equipment, but frequently they would be found blown down, weekly during the winter.
Also in 2001 LEFA put on the first of its Spice UK events. To recruit members we put on demonstrations at Decathlons and Ilkeston Rugby club, advertised in Yellow Pages & Thompson Local and put articles in newspapers on a regular basis.
By 2006 the club had eight on the committee and were putting on four open shoots a year, eight to ten club shoots, five monthly coaching sessions. The club male champion was Cardboard Bob and the ladies champion was Frances Blackman.
In 2011 LEFA continues to flourish and has approximately 200 members.
Original article by Doug Hart, Coach and former Secretary, Long Eaton Field Archers
Edited by Tony Pearson
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 23:00