Archery club for Colchester & north-east Essex
The raven is the badge of the Portreeve of Colchester and when a new archery field badge was suggested it was included in the design because field shooting implied shooting “animals and birds”, and this bird was linked to the town.
It has been included in a formal heraldic design in the club’s 40th anniversary badge. The history of the raven is that it was originally a seal emblem and only later used as a badge. The raven seal dates from the late 13th century and was the common seal of the borough used in the 14th. A survived illustration has the inscription “Sigill custodies Port Colchestrie.” Port can be taken as either portus or porte. The first would make it the keeper of the market town of Colchester; the second the keeper of the gate of Colchester. In the 19th century portus was taken to mean port and the title of Port Reeve was put on to the chairman of the town’s Harbour Board.
Colchester and District Archery Club 1954 - 1994 Foreword
This booklet is to commemorate 40 years of post-war Colchester and District Archery Club. The club hopes there will be a degree of enjoyment reading its colourful story but also wishes to indicate here problems in the recording. Losing our original minutes book the first few years of history have been compiled from its journalist founder who early on got report in the local Press, B.A. magazine and encouraged Press pictures to be taken (or took them himself) so that there was early media coverage which replaced the minutes as a source of record. The clubs founder, still with the club, also called on his earliest memories. Compiling the history the telling led to a bias towards its founder in particular and early members. To include so many of the incidents in which our founder and president was involved smacks of self publicity. To leave out his activities was to leave out many instances over a wide field that profiled the club. So they have been included with the hope that the mentions are seen in the larger perspective of a club history.
There was also concern as to the form of the history. Should it be statistical list of club champions and their scores or a history which in effect was more like a story interspersed with archers’ names with some club results to illustrate how scores have improved – how yew and lemonwood bows changed to steel and then early composites and on modern reflex bows and compounds seen in today’s tournaments. Costs and lack of space precluded deserved personal mentions of everyone involved with the club.
We believe our club has made a good history, but much of its persona has developed from the many friends of Essex beyond the town so we have here and there included them because they supported our tournaments or officiated at them. We have tried to make the club history palatable and have been conscious of the need to make our particularly active 40 years a proper record. After all that officially recognised international learned body The Society of Archer – Antiquaries originated from the backroom in Colchester.