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A review by Mark Davey
Firing an arrow from a longbow is nerve wracking but not as scary as it must have been to be on the receiving end at the battle of Agincourt.
Watching members of Kintyre Arrows Archery Club shooting at targets in Lorne and Lowland church hall, last Saturday, it appeared simple.
It also seemed not much different from the holly bough with nylon tent guy-rope string that my dad made.
Even a simple club bow costing about £100 exerts considerable force. The string is drawn back and it has to be held close to the cheek or corner of the mouth, by the lips, just before triggering.
My first arrow, a thin sliver of aluminium or carbon fibre composite, shot away at about 200mph and struck the floor, the second went high but the third was in the outer ring of the target – success.
The club has been running for about five years and currently has 15 members who must be aged 18 plus.
Chairman, Craig Scally said that the club developed after Argyll and Bute council offered archery classes on a pay-as-you-go basis in Victoria hall.
I asked apart from targets do you shoot at anything else and Stuart Jardine joked: ‘Can we give you an apple.’
He added: ‘If we want to increase the shooting abilities of members we have a ‘Tunnocks’ challenge.
‘A tea cake is eaten and the wrapper is placed on a target with another teacake as a prize – it is surprising how accurate archers become.’
Mr Scally said: ‘It is a sport of repetition and concentration. One fractional change, a millimetre off at the shooting line could translate to 25mm off at the target.
‘In the hall at 18m the targets are 4ocm diameter at the Olympic distance of 70m the target is 1200cm.’
A demonstration event at Kintyre Agricultural Show, last summer, was curtailed because of the wind and location in the field but did succeed in attracting at least one new member.
Iain Ronald said that at the show it was the first time he realised there was a club, chatted to members and soon joined.
The club meets on alternate Saturday mornings in Lorne and Lowland church hall from 10am to 12pm and, at the same venue, on alternate Friday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.
Potential members could attend a session. There are two levels of membership, part-time at £5 a session up to 18 times a year or full membership at £15 per month with unlimited access and initially all equipment can be borrowed from the club.
Member Tripti Samal said: ‘We are hoping to hold a fundraiser this year. Perhaps with RNLI members challenging the coastguards or the police against the firemen or any other group which might be interested.’
Kintyre Arrows members from left: Stuart Jardine, Iain Ronald, Craig Scally, Andrew Mitchell and Tripti Samal. 25_c23arrows02
An arrow in-flight, fired by Stuart Jardine on a compound bow, at about 300mph, just to the left of the main target. 25_c23arrows01
Stuart Jardine has just released his compound bow. The arrow can be seen, at 300mph, on the far right of the picture, crossing the green curtain. 25_c23arrows06
A set of modern arrows. 25_c23arrows03
A standard and right compound bow. 25_c23arrows04