• Cakes & Coaches a-plenty.

    Well there they were….gone.

    They came, they saw, they ate our cake and left – and that was just the coaches.

    With the drawing in of the nights and the moistening of the….weather, it was time for the annual event that is the Tyndale Archers Beginners Course.

    Many a happy day, (well 4), was spent offering up the “Knowledge”, not to be confused with becoming a London taxi driver! With a plethora of new coaches, this year’s course was to be a joint affair with all the eager and willing level one coaches keen to show off what they had been learned to do proper.

    Day 1 - This year saw Team Tyndale play host to a mixed age group of expectant newbies all keen to learn the noble art of ….. well shooting sticks at straw. With 6 juniors in the ranks it was lining up to be an “Interesting” course, as the training of the yung ‘uns was a first for the team.

    Once the registration and signing in of each fresh faced newbie was complete, the combatants lined up like a lambs to the slaughter to be issued with their weapon of choice, and those who were good got bows and arrows as well.

    Some of the persons to be edumicated did look a little like startled rabbits as Cookie tried to attach the end of an arrow to the tip of their nose. However once it was explained to them that this is how we measure for arrow length they all seemed to relax a little. This explanation was also made to the Cookie, who, by all accounts, was just having fun and passing time whilst the bows were being dished out!

    Once kitted up and armed to the teeth they entered the arena…… correction, school hall. Here they were introduced to the coaching team by the formidable personage that is our new level 2 head coach, Mandy.

    Mandy then went into a lecture/speech that even Churchill would have been proud of, not to mention the Ramblers association! (Did I really just write that out loud??!!??), as she explained all that they would be subjected to over the coming days, along with some archery stuff too. This was followed by the customary warm up, a sight that this writer still has imprinted on the backs of his eyeballs. Ski-ing Mandy just cannot be un-seen! A warm up that even young Cookie should have paid more attention too, more on that later.

    The shooting demo was ably given by the 2nd in command for the day, the young and handsome Eric. I know it’s a blog, but I can’t tell fibs, it was Eric, nuff said.

    Our Eric stood astride the shooting line, bum tucked under, shoulders relaxed, like something from a GNAS “How To” booklet. He eyed the target like a hunter stalking his prey, he raised his bow, completed a a perfect draw and loosed his arrow…..and astounded the assembled coaches by actually hitting the intended target and making it look easy. Well done Eric.

    The shooting then started in earnest and it became apparent that the current club members may have to up their game a little so as not to be over shadowed by the novices, such was the standard of the shooting being shown. Even the juniors showed talent that some members could do with. So ended day one. A happy bunch of newbies did depart.

    Day 2 – This was the day for the svelte forms of Russ and Cookie to shine. To wow the masses with their wealth of style, flair and all round good looks. Archery know how, well maybe a little, but not much to write home about.

    First the warm up. Cookie volunteered for the task on this day, (Coz Russ said he would!!), a day it is thought will not leave his mind for a while to come. He stood, magnificent in his stature affront the class, arms folded waiting for the masses to be silent so he he could, unwavering and in an authoritative voice, deliver his warmy uppy routine. It was at this point that the Cookie realised, like a deer in head lights, that all his worthwhile level 1 coaching knowledge in the art of warm up exercising had decided that this was the moment it wanted to make like Elvis and leave the building. Had it not been for the concerted efforts of Anita and Mark, using the most unsubtle of prompts possible, a real train wreck of biblical proportions and one or two strained muscles was averted. However once up and running all went without too much of a hitch.

    Cookie needs to read the training manual more often and maybe, every now and then actually warm up before shooting!

    The education of the archer went on with great gusto for the remainder of the day with all the participants taking to the bow like a duck to a bicycle….no wait… water, yep that’s it. The session ended with a warm down, conducted by the Cookie, who had regained his composure and managed the excursions without incident.

    The day was rounded off when, after the participants had left, Mandy de-briefed the coaches. What she wanted with 1 pair Spiderman boxer shorts, 3 thongs and something with a padlock, is still a mystery to this day, but she appeared happy with the outcome and headed home with a cheery wave. (Wait by my maths, that’s only 5 items and 6 coaches…. Commando anyone??....Mark??)

    Day 3 – This day was brought to the newbies by the number Mark and the letter Anita. The team were without the prowess of Mandy and Cookie this day as they were otherwise engaged… but not to each other, that’s just weird! So without further ado here is what happened in the words of those who were in attendance…..

    The day started with the participants learning the delicate art of stringing their bow. The apparent lack of removed eyes and damage to bodily appendages would indicate this activity went without incident. Once stringing of the bows was complete the contestants were subjected to what has been described to this writer as a “Special Warm Up” and what was a warm up routine of a “jiggley!!” nature. Not being present one can only speculate as to the nature of the techniques employed by Coach Anita, however with small persons of the junior variety in attendance it is suspected that there was nothing that would make anyone blush too much. That said there were a few eager requests for a repeat on the following day, so creative imagination should be used…..then again…..maybe not!

    Following a recap of the previous day’s events, a shooting they did go until in true English style everything stopped for tea. Once the masses had finished trying to devour all the cakes in Christendom and taken tea by the gallon, it was time for some further edutainment. First off the blocks was our esteemed Chair Malcolm with a detailed and, abridged version of what it means to be a Judge and the tools needed to carry out said task. This was followed by a show and tell by various men at arms with all variety of bow types. Compound bows, recurves bow, recurve barebows, American Flatbows and English longbows were all in attendance. The information being given by each exhibitor being sucked up by the sponge like newbies with great enthusiasm.

    In addition to all the bow styles the learners were introduced to the concept of scoring as used in competition. This is something this writer cannot comment too much on as it is well known he is somewhat lacking when it comes to hitting gold, red, blue….the target in general, however it was soon part of the trainee collective consciousness and would be put to the test the following day.

    The day was rounded off with more in the way of shooting and coaching by the team until it was time to de-string the bows and warm down with more sedate undertakings, and not so much with the jiggles of earlier in the day.

    Day 4 – Come to the school they said. Finish the course you will. What failed to be disseminated to the few was the fact that the final day was to be outside. Let it not be said that we archers are not a hardy bunch. Come the final day of the course and we find ourselves steeped in the mysts of time. Well actually steeped in the mist of Cam, but you get the idea. “Reet foggy”, is how it was described, and indeed it was, and non-too warm either.

    Still, the keen and enthusiastic trainees’ arrived and braved the less than perfect conditions to do battle in the final show down. 36 arrows to see who would be crowned champion on the day. First up the sighters, a term used loosely given the targets were only just visible. Volley after volley were shot at the targets, most with the satisfying “thump” of dead straw being hit by pointy stick. The concept of shooting in details was proving to be a little on the confusing side for some, but before long all had mastered the alphabet and A,B,C,D - C,D, A,B was soon second nature. With a best gold, worst white and a group shooting measurement prize up for grabs the levels of concentration being shown were almost tangible.

    Finally the shooting concluded and more tea and cakes were consumed in a vain attempt to keep out the chill that was starting to set into the bones whilst the scores were tallied up. The prizes were handed out by Lady Paramount of the Day Anita to archers scoring way in excess of previous end of course tournaments.

    Well done to all those who attended and passed the course and it is hoped that this happy band of bowmen and women that is Tyndale Archers will see their ranks swell with the influx of new bodies.

    As with previous musings I leave you with my personal favourite archery quote:

    Archery enshrines the principles of human relationships. The Archer perfects his form within himself. If his form is perfect, yet when he releases he misses, there is no point in resenting those who have done better than him. The fault lies nowhere but within himself.” - Confucius

    So it's not the bows fault, or the arrows or the constant jovial banter from behind the shooting line.

    Confucius say "It’s yer own damn fault when you miss!!!”

    Laters People.

  • Jaffa Cakes, Twerkin' and Archery

    Welcome stick chuckers,

    Its Monday, Cookie is working hard at looking busy and taking a break from the world of stocks, shares and web software to thrust upon you more tales from the more competitive side of the club.

    Today I will bring forth stories of exploits undertaken in the face of adversity. In circumstances containing tumultuous natural forces. Well its about few windswept and damp archers on a Sunday in early February, but one does like a touch of the dramatic to bolster the enthusiasm of the masses. In fact a touch of any description is never a bad thing from time to time!

    Tockington 2014 Frostbite shoot was the order of the day. Well frostbite in name only, for there was little frost and most definitely no biting going on…… except of Jaffa cakes, for they were bitten with extreme prejudice most of the day. A hardy bunch from the Clan Tyndale descended to the small but perfectly formed, if muddy, field in Tockington to undertake the first outdoor tournament of the year, and in fact the first tournament ever for some.

    The elements were doing their best to dampen the spirits of the 40 or so combatants, but such is the resoluteness of the archer, a smattering of rain, a blustery of wind and even the glare of the sun could not stop the hurling of wood, carbon and aluminium at dead grass formed into circles. After 6 sighters at the targets some 30 meters away the competition was off and running. 36 arrows shot in ends of 3 arrows, over two details.

    By all accounts our Russ made a blistering start, with a 10 scored in the first three arrows. However, this was followed by a performance that can only be put down to his use of his indoor arrows getting scared at being shot so far in the rain and getting confused when finding themselves in unfamiliar territory – the gold. The rest of the Men of Wood, Cookie, Tim, Dave and Chris also shot what can only be called…. .. well they chucked a few pointy sticks in the general direction of the bosses and hoped for the best.

    The less than traditional archers who choose to use more modern equipment, with their shiny metal risers, bent the wrong way limbs and all sorts of paraphernalia bolted on and dangling off or just minimalistic bare bows did actually fair slightly better. That said, Mark Brown was seeing twerkin' after every shot….. sorry, correction….tweaking his gear after every shot, ( still not sure which is worse, twerkin' or tweaking his gear…. anyway) his sights went up, his sights went down…. Air temp was his reason for constant fiddling; this writer thinks he should stop fiddling and shoot… its most off putting! Having said that all the twerkin' did pay dividends for Mark, as he came in second overall.

    Note to self… Cookie needs to twerk with a blatant disregard for public safety...... coz when the medals are lurking the twerkin' is working,

    Oh no, he didn’t just go into rhyme…. Oh hell yesssss he did!!!!

    Now there is something once thought, cannot be un-thought.... Cookie twerkin'!!!!

    You are welcome.

    The new comers to the clan Tyndale, Bev Brown & Mark Bassington, both accounted themselves well and managed to come away with medals for 2nd and 3rd respectively in the novice section. Considering they only finished the beginners course a few months ago is no mean feat. Well done guys & gals. Now to the indoors with you, after the Frostbite it should be a breeze, well actually not, coz there is no wind indoors.

    In what can be called less than perfect conditions and plenty of tasty hot soup after the shooting, a good day was had by all. Much kudos has to go out to Tockington Archers for putting on the event and to all the 13 Tyndale Archers members that came out to support the club and show a reasonable show of force to the other clubs assembled.

    Roll on the next one.

    See y’all later


  • How we beat the French.......

    Fellow bow benders,

    I bid ye welcome to this fine and most excellent Friday morning.

    I thought it time to educate those lesser mortals who insist that archery is about aluminium risers, carbon limbs, long rods ...... (steady Cookie.... behave..), sights and pressure buttons.... and yes I know where it is before you ask!!! ( for those who have just gone..."what??" to have to ask is to not know!!)

    Cookie climbs onto a little dais here, hand on heart... its so moving... or something like that!!

    Archery is a noble undertaking, steeped in history. Because of the noble bow we live in a land free from Onions and berets. Free from snails, frogs legs and all other French stereotypes. For all this we can thank the humble bowyers, fletchers and archers of yesteryear.

    Agincourt was the famous battle where Longbow men showed the prowess we English had for the hurling of long sticks with bigger sticks and string.

    The following link shows the hardship those men faced. The overwhelming odds they were up against and how, on St. Crispens day, (October 25th), they defeated the evil Constable Charles d'Albret and the noblemen of the Armagnac party.


    So once watched I hope you are all enthused to come over to the dark side and join,as Shakespeare once said "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers" The Tyndale "proper" archers.

    And shout from the top of your voices

    "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

    Or close the wall up with our English dead!

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man

    As modest stillness and humility:

    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

    Then imitate the action of the tiger;

    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

    Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage;

    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect. "

    (Henry V - 3.1.1 by William Shakespeare)

    Or maybe just stand in a line and shoot at paper targets in a school hall, tiz probably safer and warmer!!!!!


    Have a good day people

  • Ding Dong...

    Good morrows eve,

    News, of great joy does I bestow upon thee this day.

    But first a song.....

    meee mememememe..... can I get a dead flat and c sharp please. hmmmmmm

    an a 1, 2, 3 and a 1,2,3, 4....

    With gusto people......

    "Oooooh ---Jingle Bells batman smells Robin flew

    away in a manger no crib for a bed the little,

    holly and the ivy rockin' around the Christmas tree

    because Santa Claus is coming too town.

    Frosty the snowman has

    Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and

    triumphant, oh come ye mistletoe and wine

    children singing hark the herald angels

    sing Rudolf the red nose reindeer had a very shiny

    chestnuts roasting on an open fire

    It was Christmas eve babe, in the drunk tank

    I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the

    Christmas tree oh Christmas tree

    do they know its Christmas time at all

    acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind

    so here it is merry christmas everybody's having fun

    coz I believe in Father Christmas I look to the sky"

    I could go on, but I think you get the gist of the idea.

    Christmas is here folks.........

  • I'm Back with Archery stuff for you....

    Friends , Romans, Toxophilites lend me your talent.....

    ..... a bow, maybe some arrows. I’ll try anything and apparently every little helps, according to a well known blue and white grocer with delusions of grandeur. (lets face it Tesco Finest ‘aint no Fortnum & Masons), except maybe their bacon!!!!

    For those that missed it or might not have noticed in the excitement that is the arrival of an archery related email....

    ....The Lovable.... The Huggable.... The slightly maniacal, (or throttleable, depending on your point of veiw), but truly a friend to all, Cookie, is back.

    I thank you!

    Did ya miss me?

    Anyone answering “no” that question.... well, you have been warned!

    For those who did, apologies, this mmwhaahahahaha...ing and world domination is a little time consuming.

    “So whats on the menu for this evening oh Oracle of The Asylum?” I hear you ask.

    Well my little pointy stick chucking chums, apart from a fabulous bottle of Italian red, tonights menu contains a lesson from the mountain of wisdom that is Fair Maiden Smudge.

    Following another day as part of the team delivering what is turning out to be a rather excellent newbie course, Fair Maiden Smudge did pass onto your humble servant a mystical document.

    Judging by its faded appearance and ancient looking text, plus a couple of marks that are questionable to say the least, I am under the impression said parchment contains certain archery dark arts passed down from mentor to apprentice for many a year.

    “What did it say Cookie?” I hear you cry.

    “Spout forth with said knowledge of which you speak”

    Nay, Nay and thrice Nay ....this bad boy is not going to impart this knowledge upon you. This my dear friends, enemies, gypsies, tramps and thieves, (I feel a song coming on, ala Cher), is a self help lesson.

    The document contains the whys and wherefores of why some of us may, just once in a while, fail to actually get an arrow onto a target. Or those who tend to find them darned arrows flying off in a haphazard style, be it up, down, left, right or simply all over the face. Be it close, be it far, there are reasons that once learnt and accounted for will enable better shooting & scoring and less mocking & taunting.

    Cookie has taken it upon himself, and rather like its there too!!!!, to digitize the aforementioned parchment and spread the wealth throughout the community that the Cookie calls home. (That means you lot!). Anyone unable to see, open or read the attached document please let me know and I will break out my quill from the finest quacky bird, and ink, milked from the finest tentacled octosquid, and make a copy for you.

    Please read and inwardly digest. Fair maiden Smudge may ask questions at any point in the future.

    Here endeth todays lesson.

    Enjoy what is left of the weekend one and all and see you on the range in the near future.

    Yours Truly, madly, insanely



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