In 1928, an archery club named Moushill Archery Club was started at Milford, near Godalming in Surrey. The club was the forerunner of Farnham Archers and was formed by members of the old Mid-Surrey Archery Club (formed in 1870) which was dissolved in 1928 through lack of a ground.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Moushill Archery Club was left in abeyance, with targets left up for practice. It remained thus until 1945 when it was revived under the name of Farnham Archers at Farnham in Surrey. At the time, it was one of only four archery clubs in the County, the others being Reigate Priory, Royal Richmond and The Surrey Bowman (Epsom).

Farnham Archers' birthplace was a meadow at the back of the home of its founder, Major John Hayter. John Hayter was a major of the Sherwood Foresters and a Woodman of Arden. Members were taught to shoot with wooden bows (not always longbows) because Woodmen of Arden are not allowed to use other than wooden bows.

The club grew quickly under the watchful eye of its founder, despite the difficulties of a site that was far from ideal. The field in which they shot flooded regularly and was subject to the attentions of passers-by (a public footpath crossed part of the field). There were also cows, who had to be chased away during the day and who ate the straw targets at night!

By 1948, the membership had increased to 25 and the metal bow had appeared on the archery scene. Mrs. Elizabeth Marson, a member at that time and donator of the Cowtan Bowl trophy, wrote " With the advent of steel bows, Major Hayter gladly encouraged us to 'move over' and rejoiced in our assorted rise to fame thereby.

When the Meads flooded we moved to the Farnham Castle, perfect in every way except that the men had to hide in the bushes to shoot 100 yards and we proved far too interesting to those having a quiet time in the Retreat House! It was during that year that Mayor Hayter presented a trophy to the County of Surrey Archery Association. It was to be called the Hayter Trophy and was to be competed for annually by teams of four men from the Surrey clubs. It was the men's equivalent of the Trevor Lawrence Casket for women.

Nowadays, the club has a dedicated range and is based just outside the village of Elstead, near Farnham and the A3.



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Farnham Archers

Phone: 01428 68 25 61