The 2019 Shropshire County and open Clout competition was held at Longford Hall (near Newport, Shropshire) on Sunday 27th October. Despite the rain of the previous 48 hours the field had drained well, the sun was out, the wind was light and in general, everything was near perfect for clout shooting. 43 archers took part, about 50% of them being Shropshire archers and of those only 14 were adults, which is disappointing from a county with over 700 archers. Clout shooting (at distances up to 180 yards) is a simulation of the medieval longbow battles where you lob arrows over your own army and try to decimate the opposition. Needless to say, these days the opposing army has been replaced by a small flag! Because of the distances involved, most archery clubs do not have the facility to practice this form of our sport. However, clout archery is very popular in the UK and there are many competitive clout shoots, involving all bow types, around the country – most listed at the back of Archery UK. Most archers never try clout archery, possibly because, like the old Guinness advert, “I don’t like it because I’ve never tried it”.
There is in Shropshire, approximately once each month, an open Clout practice session at Bowbrook Archers’ range between Shrewsbury and Wellington (SY4 4PS). Most of the sessions are held on Saturday mornings, starting at 10 or 11am. These sessions are open to all ArcheryGB affiliated archers. Each session is led by an experienced clout archer who can offer clout specific coaching. Because of the size of the field we regret that compound bows cannot be used for clout shooting on this range. Below is a list of dates when Clout practices are to be held over the next 12 months. All are welcome. These sessions are all listed on the “diary of events” on www.bowbrook-archers.co.uk. Non-Bowbrook archers are requested to pay a small visitors fee.
All sessions are Saturdays unless otherwise indicated. The start time is shown for each date – each session lasts up to 2 hours. 16th November(11am), 4 January(11am), 1 February 2020 10am), 29 February (10am), 28 March (10am), 25th April (10am), Weds 20 May (6pm), 20th June (11am), Weds 15 July (6pm), 15th August (10am), 5 September (10am). PLEASE CHECK ON BOWBROOK’S DIARY BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR PLANS, JUST IN CASE THE BOOKING HAS BEEN CHANGED, ALTHOUGH THIS IS UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN.
Let’s hope that the Shropshire 2020 Clout competition will see lots more of our county archers taking part. ACCURATE CLOUT SHOOTING IS HARD – BUT IT IS ALSO A LOT OF FUN!!
- Jonathon Walton