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Blackdown Hills pub to host traditional archery event

( Last Updated: 29-09-2009 )


Regulars and friends of Blackdown Hills pub, the Merry Harriers, are being invited to a unique traditional-archery "have-a-go" day.

The UK's Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery (SPTA) has agreed to arrange a "have-a-go" event at The Merry Harriers on Saturday, 3rd October.

The event will be staged by the SPTA in the field adjoining the Merry Harriers pub, providing tuition for beginners, and a range of traditional targets - including traditional butts, and shooting from a wooden horse.

The pub-event is aimed at providing an opportunity for would-be archers, of any age, to test their ability to shoot a traditional bow:  no sights and no technical aids.  It is also an opportunity for modern archers to sample traditional archery.

According to The Merry Harriers' owner, Peter Gatling:  "There is a world of archery out there, waiting for people to discover.  Most people have a ‘secret ambition' to have a go at shooting a traditional bow - this is an opportunity to realise that ambition.

"The SPTA promotes that world of traditional archery, spanning everything from the English longbow to the skills of horseback archers.  New-comers need to discover that world by taking part in the kind of ‘have-a-go-day" day that we are arranging with the SPTA on 3rd October", said Mr Gatling.

Participants will also get the chance of meeting Hilary Greenland, a locally-based professional bowmaker and fletcher, and author of "The traditional archer's handbook".

Anyone wanting to attend the SPTA "have-a-go-day" at the Merry Harriers will be charged £2 for their first five arrows, to cover insurance costs - and must abide by SPTA rule about no alcohol until after completing the archery event.

The Merry Harriers will provide tea and coffee throughout the morning of the archery event, which starts at 10am and runs until 1pm. In the afternoon at 2.30pm, there will also be a demonstration of horseback archery.

It promises to be a fun day out!

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