This year we celebrate 60 years of The Nonsuch Bowmen! To celebrate it properly, our social secretary organised a brilliant luncheon. Below, is her account of the day:
26 members and 16 guests attended the King George’s Indoor Bowling Club, in Chessington, on what was the hottest day of the year so far. Thankfully the venue was spacious and cool. The tables numbered and named Worcester, Warwick, Bristol, York, Hereford and Windsor, all archery rounds and they were decked with balloons in club colours and a new 60th anniversary commemorative club badge. As the guests arrived, a convivial buzz could be heard around the room as people had a chat over a pre-dinner drink from the well-stocked, cheaper than pub prices bar. As the caterer “Love your Greens” had promised, the meal was ready to be served at 1pm on the dot and so we all sat down to what was an excellent meal (especially for the price). Guests had chosen in advance from a choice of three starters, three main courses, three desserts and tea or coffee and mints, all served by professional and friendly staff.
The conversation seemed to flow during the meal. Background music was archery themed, and included songs entitled “Gold”, “Perfect Ten” and “Hit Me with your Best Shot”. During courses the guests enjoyed looking at the photo albums that Beatriz had put together. Most included photographs of club events from the early 1980s to the mid -1990s. It was fun trying to spot some familiar faces of members that are still shooting 30 years on, and our table enjoyed lampooning the fashions likening them to “something straight out of Ashes to Ashes.” I for one am glad that I don’t have to shoot in plus fours and a knitted tam-o-shanter! It was noticeable that the equipment doesn’t seem to have changed much though.
Over coffee our Chairman, Andy Taylor delivered an informative and amusing speech about the history of the club which had started 60 years ago after a local female Ewell resident had attended an archery “have a go day” at Bourne Hall. She was gripped by the archery bug and rallied others to attend an open meeting; from this The Nonsuch Bowmen was born, the first shoot taking place on 24th May 1954.
Over the years there have been several notable members, particularly Leonie George a notable field archer, who helped to arrange the Surrey Field Archery championships and in whose name it is now shot, and Denys Slough a wheelchair archer who represented Great Britain in several Olympic Games in the 1960’s. Andy ended by asking those present to toast “The Nonsuch Bowmen and the continued prosperity of the club.” This was echoed by the assembled guests and was sincerely meant.
By Jane Hodgson, Social Secretary