John O'Gaunt's Bowmen is one of the oldest archery clubs in the UK being reformed in 1788. In its first 100 years, it was very much a club for the wealthy of the county, but it now provides training and facilities for anyone who is intersted in the sport.
In its early years it produced British champions and in recent years it has kept this very high competitive standard by producing county champions, a Master and county team members. The club has been shooting at the Vale of Lune's Powerhouse Lane headquarters for the past 30 years. During this time it has organised and run championship competitions and inter-county matches.
Currently the club provides tuition, facilities and practice equipment for all age groups from the age of 10 onwards. They meet three times a week in summer, enabling members to shoot at whatever standard their abilitity will allow them. The club is particularly interested in young people believing the sport is both character and confidence building.
Membership is not limited to the able bodied, the club having taught members with all degrees of disability. These have included people with physical, mental and visual disabilities. A current visually impaired member held a national indoor record for blind archers. The club is now thriving with more than 40 members, all of whom are also full members of the rugby club.
The club meets:
- Winter - Middleton Village Hall - Wednesday evening 6.30-8.00pm beginners, 8.00-9.30pm experienced.
- Summer - Vale of Lune Rugby Club - Wednesday Evening 6.30pm till dark -Beginners
- Friday Evening 6.30pm till dark - Experienced Archers (and beginners if Wednesday cancelled)
- Sunday 1.30-4.30 - Experienced Archers
Club contacts: Chairman, Alma Gardner (tel: 01524 63896); Secretary, Les Perkins (tel: 01524 411330).