I think I’ve found my calling!
You may have read my previous postings about my self-made bow that I built with Andy Miles. Well, I thought I’d go along to the PAAS Weekend get-together that included the first ever National Primitive Archery champs. The event was hosted by Magna Carta (mainly organised by Wally!) and consisted of one day of demonstrations and events followed by a 30 target archery comp the next day. People could camp from the Friday night and take part in whatever they wanted. My journal of events follows:
After taking 1hr to get to Lyne (and another 45mins just to find the site!) I pulled up at Magna Carta’s site with my little pop-up tent and a car full of pot-noodles and booze. As soon as I got there I saw some familiar faces of archers who I know from NFAS shoots – Brenda & Ian Boulton, Sheila Dash, Mark, Lucy and Bex Jones. In under 15 mins I had pitched my tent, made my bed and settled down for an evening in front of the campfire meeting others who had travelled to take part in the weekend’s activities. Roger Collis from Green Meadow was there to help out and introduced me to Wally – the organiser!
A few ales and ciders later I eventually made it back to my tent around 1:30am and eagerly awaited the next day.
There wasn’t any real order to the day; just loads of stuff going on including: axe throwing, atlatl, flintknapping, log splitting, fire starting, rock slinging and primitive darts:
There were also opportunities to show off your skills and wares:
There was a practice course available for those who wanted to use it – as I’ve never shot my bow before, I thought I’d better have a go! The first time round I had the pleasure of Bob Miles and Martin Ward’s company – they looked after me well! Plus I wasn’t that bad either!
After my first go round I was keen to do it again! This time I went round with Karen Freeman, Stan Baxter and an Italian guy called Greg – I still wasn’t too shabby
Saturday night we were all treated to a hog roast and another sit-down around the fire! It was just divine!
Sunday was the day of the archery comp – shot to SPTA rules. I was a bit disappointed to see people shooting plastic nocks – but I guess there was nothing stopping me from doing the same – I just wanted to be in the spirit of things and shoot self-nocked arrows. Well, it was 9:45 and Wally mustered us up with his horn:
The format of the day was to shoot 20 targets to Big Game scoring (no 24s) followed by a 10 target 1 arrow round where only the kill zone counted!
I was to shoot with Martin Young (see his website http://www.longbowlegacy.co.uk/) – a guy who I’ve seen at shoots but had never spoken to. Bob Miles gave him the instruction that he had to look after me as it was my first time shooting primitive at a competition! I also shot with Andrew – a member of PAAS who had to shoot non-competitively.
Anyway, the end drew a close and I thought I did very well for myself – only blanked 4 of the first 20 targets and scored 4 kills in the 10-1 arrow only course. As all gents and ladies were in it together, I was pleased to see that Brenda Boulton came Second after Ian Watkins and before Bob McGregor (who actually made his bow the day before!) My target was achieved – I didn’t come last AND I beat some of the guys!
Thanks to Wally, SPTA, PAAS and Magna Carta for a fabulous weekend. I feel really inspired and hope to get more involved with primitive crafts in the future!