Catch Up and Club Sessions

Dear Lovely Members,

Of late, I've been writing to you from MailChimp. Today, though, I'd like to get you to take a look at our website and get comfy wandering around there to find out what you need. You might need some slippers on and get comfortable before you begin ... this is a biggy.

Below are some links that take you to different parts of our site that help you get to know more about us and more about what's on offer. But first, the other offerings in our little blog. You'll get to see how busy we are and what's coming up with Membership News and the successful planning application made for a new toilet. For the observant you'll notice an odd looking fly that busy's itself around the field - it's quite large and odd looking - nothing to worry about though, it's not a biter. In other news it's been over a year since we've shared a Curry, so we're planning that for the months to come now our freedoms are increasing away from the chains of Covid.

The Website

Screen%20Shot%202021-05-19%20at%2011.21.52 Our website is a wonderful thing. It has grown from the slightly chaotic beginnings to what it is now. From here though, we are sure it will grow some more and we hope always for the use of our members. One thing you will note from our website in contrast to others that are part of a Club environment is that there is no Members Section. We operate on a KISS principle, "Keeping It Simply Simple"; there are other versions of that acronym; I'll leave them to you to figure out. With this in mind managing all your changing data proved way too difficult for us as a bunch of volunteers running the largest Archery Club in Norfolk. If we don't have your data, we can't lose your data and there are far better applications out there to manage staying in contact with you; as MailChimp has proven.

Here are some links that you might find useful.

Membership Grows as Members Return and Beginners Arrive

We now stand at close to 160 members and we continue to be popular with so many people. Here is where I introduce you to some of our data on the website. Please do take a look. Here, you will find a table showing our demographics and see that we have heaps of kids in our club now, many women with a healthy ladies membership of around 30%. Do you know how difficult it is to get women into sport. Read this report from Sport England as an example.

Happy Archers Writing to Us...

Returning to Archery. Inspirational Canonicals - part 1

an offering for Wymondham Archers FB page (But published on our Blog instead) by Hamsa - Wymondham Archers


It's been thirty four years since I held a bow, back then they were beautiful and mostly wooden objects of power; I returned last year (to England) after living in the Indian Himalayas where I am a founder Director of a Yoga facility overlooking the valley of Kangra, with HH Dali Lama as my neighbour. After being evacuated and rescued by the British High Commission, in what seemed to be a movie like escape, I find myself having to relocate, and transform my life once more, to life here in Norfolk's deepest Otter country. And although flat, it is as stunning as anywhere else in the world, when the wind stops and the open sky holds long warmth in the air, and all you can hear is the sway of long grass and bees buzzing.

I joined Wymondham Archers after being reintroduced to it, by Pete Hill who is an encouraging and very approachable Archery Coach. That was last week. Since then I have shot every day, each day holds a new set of feelings, and a new place for working through them, and I feel kind of porous to the weather conditions somehow... A long time ago I worked for the UN on the front line, as a Psychotherapist. After being the arms of hope, holding people through trauma. I find now that through this pandemic, that has challenged or crushed many peoples lives, in many ways, that the return to Archery has become the arms of hope for me. Being alone; the leaving my home in the mountain, and life I built single handedly. Tourism at a halt in India, and having no where to live during a lock-down. Relying on my wit and ability to transform my life, in a situation that has remained emotionally critical for me, for nearly a year, where most of my friends where older and shielding, and having money for once didn’t make a difference.

Teaching Mediation was no longer permitted my nerves way past breaking point, my life choice shattered. A real low on every level.

Archery has by its very nature given me focus, whist standing on the shifting sands of everything else. It is the one certain thing, it has offered me a chance, in one place, to try for gold standard and get it.. It has given me space to feel what my feelings are, and see immediate the results of my thoughts and emotions within each round of arrows. This has assisted me in finding the place of “No-Mind”. Emptiness of self, the relinquishing of personality just for a split second, becoming the avenue that the arrow flies upon, becoming the arrows curve, becoming the power and release, towards something that is permanent, solid and stable. Something possible, a metaphor for my future here in the Uk. A growing capability to move forward, where the only risk is a simple arrow in the grass.”


I really enjoyed receiving this email from H, touching a very personal space for her and I am humbled that our little Archery Range can mean so very much.

And more...

From a mindful place like H's to another letter, or series of letters from another new member of our little Archery Club; Giancarlo, has travelled many miles also to be here and brings with him his partner Caroline. When he and Caroline came to our club for a beginners course they arrived with two other people one from Canada and an English lady. Giancarlo, is from Italy, Caroline from Austria. "Suddenly it feels like United Nations Day", Peter Aldridge commented as we started the Course. It turns out that Giancarlo didn't need a beginners course, he needed a refresher course because he is a Returning Archer. He joined us the very next day, after completing our risk assessments online. He's written to me with his observations. Here is a taster below.

Hi Pete

Yesterday I booked another session and to my surprise despite decent weather I was alone again...without even rugby, it was peaceful and I deeply enjoyed it.

Later Writing...

I'm just curious to start from the 20 yards as yesterday I did another score before that was even better, so now is a challenge to try and see if I can endure that along the whole session :-)

And also the fact that when I'm alone there there's no one that can confirm it, that was one of the questions to Sarah in terms of how it works in pandemic.

I'll get there, thanks for reply, just loving every minute of it!

I responded with...

Hi Giancarlo

Keep on keeping on. You’re doing great. We trust our archers to be honest. The only person who loses is the cheater. So pleased you’re loving it.

Kind Regards


Giancarlo later said...

Hi Pete

thanks for this. I'll take a day of rest but I wanted to ask: for the progress can I ask for more info of Sarah? I see her address on the page about progress.

I see there is a novice progression scheme and then a 252 scheme, because during winter I'd definitely want to shoot indoors, should I start from Novice or should I go directly to 252?

Thanks again, the target dried up nicely and is ready for next session!

I find the joy in Giancarlo's emails very rewarding. As I said... Just keep on keeping on and let those Arrows fly...

Talking of which...

What is a St. Marks Fly

Screen%20Shot%202021-05-19%20at%2011.08.33 Image from Wildlife Trusts Website

fullsizeoutput_5573 I was teaching a beginner recently when a huge fly landed on him. "Ooh," I said, because, to be honest it looked like a bity, kind of a fly. One that we might be willing to swat at the drop of a hat. It turns out that the very Archer it landed on knew exactly what it was and wore the fly like a badge until it had had enough of his jersey and went somewhere else. The St. Marks Fly is a prolific little creature, spending most of its life as grub under ground eating the stuff that most of us refer to as yucky. When St. Mark's Day arrives, around the 25th April each year the grub decides it needs Mrs Right, or in the case of the St. Marks Fly a more general, Mrs Right Now. They are keen to get their business over with because in around 5-10 days it's all over and they pass away to pastures new. Some, probably ending up as grub food. What a life, one minute you're a tube-like creature (a grub), the next a huge flying thing and then, it's all over; must be like being an arrow. Here's a bit about the St. Mark's Fly from the Wildlife Trusts Website. Fascinating.

Watching the wildlife is always a pleasure when on the Archery Range.

Need Help - Ask!

I say this a lot. If you need help... Ask.

We are good at Wymondham Archers but we don't read minds very well. Please do ask for help, please let us know if we can do things better than we currently are. Write to me here.

Using the Shooting Shed

Many of you enjoy using the shooting shed. But, there are one or two elements of its use that need to be considered. Firstly, always, always, always, put out the sign when using the shooting shed. We know that it's easy to miss something out but don't miss this out. It's not for you, it's for everyone else.

The shooting shed means that when that strong Norfolk wind blows we can continue to enjoy our Archery Range.

Some Pointers...

ALWAYS put out the Safety Sign.

ALWAYS manage the shooting line as you would normally. A Range Captain Must Be Used at All Times.

ALWAYS use the lower distance markers. These are measured from inside the shooting shed.

NEVER shoot from in front of the shooting shed when there are Archers shooting from inside it. All Archers Must Shoot from the Same Shooting Line position; whether inside or outside the shed.

Remember our Club mantra... We Say 'YES' To Archery. We want you to enjoy your experience and sometimes that means supporting Archers who aren't as.... well, let's call it 'weathered', as some, taking the time to be kind and enabling Archery to continue. In other words, if some of our Archers are struggling with the weather, the rain, the wind, the cold; please support them by using the Shooting Shed with them, standing beside each other.

More on The Shooting Shed

It's growing. You will have seen that the shooting shed has a friend; another 40' container positioned next door to it. Soon our wonderful structural engineer Chris P, will be Cutting Out, Fitting In and Putting Up, (with me mostly), as he creates the addition to our existing shooting shed. This is a noisy process and we ask that you take extra care in and around the workings as they proceed. This work isn't the only effort that is going on at the Range. We also have a brand new toilet being fitted.

The New Toilet is More than a Plan

Screenshot%202021-06-24%2011.21.37From early July our brand new toilet will be fitted on our Archery Range. During this time there may be some disruption to the Car Park but not to the Archery Range. There may, however, be some building noises. Please be patient with the team working on site. Once the toilet becomes more than the plans we submitted to South Norfolk District Council, we'll want to name it. I was thinking something like... "The Quiet Place" or "The Cludgy" or something else that sums it all up. I'll be asking one or two of you as you come along to the Range what you might call it. We won't be asking for suggestions as that could get messy.

Our toilet has been purchased from Natsol. Natsol are a leading Eco-Toilet provider and have provided two other toilets in this area. Ours is all access, meaning we now have a toilet for wheelchair users who visit our Range. Once installed a ramp will be provided and a little fencing around the outside will be added later, once funds allow.

Who would have thought that so much excitement could be generated from a little toilet. Not me!

Holiday Ventures up North

As we are fast approaching holiday times, I thought it prudent to share with you a recent holiday experience; Visiting another Archery Club. As some of you know, I have a long suffering partner who puts up with being partnered to Wymondham Archers by default. She didn't know that was to happen when we met, but happen it did. She also didn't know that when we go on holiday, there is often a space reserved for a bow case and peripheral equipment in the car.


On a recent jaunt up the A1M Scotland hosted us and Balbardie Archers hosted me. A most charming and friendly Archery Club with their own sole for Archery space adjacent to the Xcite Centre in Bathgate, Scotland. They have a most agreeable website name... would you believe it... (I'm so jealous).

We arrived on the Saturday evening in Scotland but I'd emailed ahead and was at their Range on Sunday morning. Having shot for 2.5 hours, they informed me that they also have a session on Wednesday evening; 6:30pm until Dark. Great I thought, but didn't realise that it doesn't get dark until a long way past my bed time. Needless to say, I had a very late bed time on the following Wednesday; we began shooting right on time and didn't finish until 22:30 hours. Boy was I tired.


IMG_1601~2Archery Clubs welcome visiting Archers all the time. If you want to make a date to visit other Clubs you'll get an opportunity to see how other people run things and experience shooting with new people, within the ambience of the familiar noises, hustle and bustle and range rules; it's a lovely place to seek out the new whilst all at once having the regularity of how we do things at home.

It wasn't all Archery, here's a view of Linlithgow Palace (not a castle). They've been renovating it for a few years now. I think they need a double glazing bod to give them some advice though; anyone with that experience?

If you find yourself needing a break, why not take one and visit another Archery Club or two. Stay on holiday in the UK, be away from home, take a rest and do that thing you love; Saying 'Yes' to Archery.

Curry-Tastic Times are Coming Back

As we are eased out of lockdown, We will be planning more Curry-Tastic-Nights. As soon as we can we will be inviting our members once more to taste the wonders of a Curry. Please hold on to your horses for now, stay ready and wait for the call. It'll not be long.

Keep the Faith and Keep Shooting


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