The Reading Archers were founded in 1949 in Reading, Berkshire, England. During the interceding years the club has experienced many changes in fortune and has enjoyed some wonderful characters in the archers that have passed through its ranks.
In the formative years the club shot on the centre ground of the old Greyhound racing track off the Norcot Road in Tilehurst. Official meetings were held at the Lower Ship public house then in Duke Street, sadly it has since been demolished along with the dog track.
Though not thought to be one of the founders but probably the most widely known of the early members was Don Stamp. Not only did Don shoot, he taught the art to others, had books published on the subject and became an international judge.
In the mid 50’s the club moved to the grounds of the BBC at Caversham. It’s not clear how many of the members had cars back then but those who did were not allowed to take them into the BBC’s ground until they had been tested by BBC staff for emissions. Meetings then took place at the White Harte public house on the Oxford Road. Archers always seem to be thirsty. Unfortunately, there are no pints pulled at the White Harte now as it is also closed and looks likely to be demolished.
Reading archers moved to their current home at Crosfields School in south Reading in 1968. The field tops a hill with a spectacular view to the west. In recent years Reading Football club have built their Madejski stadium in the distance, and a more recent addition to the skyline is the wind turbine. These have proved to be very useful as a weather prediction tool. The archers will tell you that if you can’t see the stadium it’s raining and if you can see the stadium it will be raining shortly.
The club stands as strong today as at any time in it’s past. There is a large group of active members, a new crop of novices and juniors beginning in the sport and a number of ‘social’ archers, who participate purely for the pleasure, fresh air and camaraderie to be gained from loosing a few arrows in good company.
The Founding members
The following are the members deemed founding members and whom we thank for having brought our club to life:
- Mr. M. J. Atkins
- Mrs. B. J. Atkins
- Miss H. Burger
- Mr. K. N. Crowe
- Mr. P. V. Giles
- Mr. B. B. Higgs
- Mr. B. Phillips
- Mr. L. F. Sharman
- Mrs. J. Priestley