Established in 1974, Forest of Bere Bowmen has grown to be one of the largest target archery clubs in Hampshire. We are based in Horndean, near Portsmouth, just off the A3(M).
We have access to our own sheltered outdoor shooting ground that is available seven days a week. Also, during the winter, we meet once a week on Monday evenings at a local community sports centre in Clanfield.
Our archers have the support of a qualified coaching team and the club has many experienced archers including those that have shot at national levels. We have both senior members and an active junior section.
The Forest of Bere Bowmen was formed in 1974 from a group of seven novice archers who had nowhere to shoot. One of these members, Alan Stroud, owned a field in Worlds End, near Waterlooville, near the Chairmakers Arms. The club moved in and turned part of it into our first range, albeit shared with a number of the local cows. As the club was new and needed to attract members, two of our founders attended an Instructor's course, which they successfully passed. Now, with members qualified to teach, the club steadily began to grow.
The range was a very pleasant place to be so initially most members were quite content to shoot within the Club environment and not venture out to tournaments. However, as numbers grew and abilities improved, we were able to form a team and in the early eighties won the Hampshire County Championship.
There was also early success with FoBB member, Iris Stroud, taking second place at the Hampshire Indoor Championship, held at Calshot.
Unfortunately, we eventually had to move from our range and started shooting at Inmans Lane in Denmead. Later still, we left this site and began shooting at Fort Widley, near Portsmouth, shooting on the parade ground. However during this time our membership went into decline.
In (year) we moved to our present range at Horndean and the then Chairman, Dr Peter Spreadbury, supported by some keen members built up the club's membership and renewed the enthusiasm.
It hasn't all been plain sailing as the club was hit by the hurricane of 1996 and all the equipment was destroyed. However, in 1998 we opened a new clubhouse. The membership of the club today, is about 150 and we look forward to a prosperous future.
FoBB Committee 2022 / 23
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Outdoor shooting 365 days a year
Indoor shooting during winter at The Clanfield Centre
Clubhouse with refreshment making facilities
20 Target lanes
Equipment for running beginners courses
The Club offers round the year shooting at the range in Horndean. All facilities are accessible every day of the year. There are 20 targets left out on the shooting range for Club members to use and also access to the Clubhouse at all times.
The range currently caters for twenty lanes and has sufficient overshoot for all targets to be uesd at 100 yards. The grass is cut regularly, and the field is well maintained. The distances are permanently marked out in both yards and meters. Car parking is near the shooting line.
The Club does not have sufficient facilities for Clout, Field or any other form of shooting, other than Target Archery.
Indoor facilities are provided in the winter months using a community sports centre in Clanfield. The Club has for many years hosted a major indoor shoot each year. This is an open tournament, called 'The Crookhorn', held at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth. Outdoor events are now being hosted up to World Record Status and are proving to be very popular.
The Club finances are sound and there is a policy to maintain a low membership subscription. We also support funds with money raising activities, such as running beginners courses.
We shoot indoors at The Clanfield Centre, Endal Way, PO8 0YF.
This is a much bigger and better site than our previous hall, allowing us to accommodate more members, as well as guest archers. This venue will also allow us to offer beginners courses during the winter, taster sessions for the public and perhaps even indoor competition. There is a café at the centre giving us the opportunity to have refreshments.
During the winter we shoot on Monday evenings for 3 hours, from late September until late March. Our sessions are from 18:00 until 21:00 and shooting commences at approximately 18:30. Members do not need to book and we can take guests, although preference will be given to members. If you wish to shoot as a guest, it would be preferable to contact the Club Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of running our indoor venue unfortunately means that an additional charge has to be made for indoor shooting during the winter.
FoBB target fees for indoor shooting are:
£5.00 - Adults (Members)
£4.00 - Juniors (Members)
£6.00 - Guests
FoBB New members, first session is free of charge following our beginners course.