On target at tournament

Concentration at the Ponteland Archers' longbow tournament at Belsay.
Concentration at the Ponteland Archers' longbow tournament at Belsay.

IMPRESSIVE bow and arrow skills were on display when Ponteland Archers held its 17th annual Longbow Tournament on the Castle Field at Belsay over two days.

Over 30 competitors met each day to shoot three separate rounds – the Castle Round (shooting five dozen arrows the length of the castle), the Novelty Round (over three distances where speed and accuracy came into play) and The Wand (where archers shot at a pole measuring approximately two inches across).

Those taking part came from local clubs as well as from Cumbria and Yorkshire.

The weather over the two days was a mixture of cloud and drizzle or brilliant sunshine and heavy showers, none of which deterred the archers.

After watching from in front of the castle, members of the public were able to try their hand at shooting on the Sunday at a have-a-go session behind the castle.

On the Saturday, medals and prizes were presented to the winners by Laura de Wesselow of Belsay Estates, accompanied by her daughters Xanthe and Delilah. The following day, Blanche Johnson of English Heritage did the honours.

Sunday’s winner of The Wand contest was a junior, Freya Wise (Kendal Bowmen), who has been attending regularly since learning to shoot.

Her arrow was the second last to be shot that day and the first time a junior has won that round.

The award placings in the other events were as follows. Saturday – Castle round: Ladies 1 Chris Mernin (Riverside Archers), 2 Ann Conifey (Riverside Archers), 3 Alex Coggins (Cleadon Archers); Gentlemen 1 Trevor Cameron-Brown (Ponteland Archers), 2 Ken Turner (Cleadon Archers), 3 Philip Chaffer (Norton Bowmen); Juniors 1 Edward Pike (Kendal Bowmen). Novelty Round winner: Trevor Cameron-Brown. The Wand winner: Philip Chaffer. Most Greens: Mark Chaffer (Norton Bowmen).

Sunday – Castle round: Ladies 1 Ann Conifey, 2 Margaret Fittes (Killingworth Archers), 3 Chris Mernin; Gentlemen 1 Trevor Cameron-Brown, 2 Richard Marsden (Killingworth Archers), 3 Ken Turner; Juniors 1 Edward Pike. Novelty Round winner: Ken Turner. Most Greens: Joe Smith (GNAS).

Extra awards – Belsay Shield (Most Hits): Trevor Cameron-Brown. Peter Marshall Horn (Most Golds by a Ponteland Archers member): Trevor Cameron-Brown. Lost Arrow Trophy: Mark Chaffer.