We are sad to announce that Tony Farrell passed away in his sleep on Monday night this week. Tony has been involved in archery for about 25 years, and was a founder member of this club. I have known Tony for most of that time, and first met him, I think, at a local field archery club, Muscovy Archers. Tony had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, where the immune system attacks the insulation around nerve fibres, leading to loss of sensation and muscle control. It was the initial diagnosis that led him into archery, as I believe a doctor encouraged him to go out and do some sort of coordinated physical activity as he thought it might help slow down the progression of the illness. When I first met Tony he was noticeably a bit wobbly on his feet, and over the years I have seen him progress to occasionally needing a wheelchair, to being confined to the chair, to needing a powered chair, to being left with only the use of his right arm and having difficulty speaking. MS can be very variable in its effect on people, and Tony was particularly hard hit.
It is no exaggeration to say that archery was Tony’s life. He put a lot into it, always keen to experiment with different bits and bobs for his compound bow, and joining in with many local competitions. He trained as a coach some years ago, and has given a lot to the club while he could, especially having a rapport with the juniors. We did our best to help Tony to keep him involved in the archery that he loved, from a sponsored 24-hour shoot in the early days to raise money for a car with hand controls, to more recent devices clamped onto his wheelchair to support his arm. Huge recognition has to go to Paul Phillips in particular as he has gone above and beyond to help with driving him around, sorting out carers and other domestic issues and even physically helping him shoot.
Throughout all his Tony never once complained, and maintained his sharp sense of humour and his determination to keep as active as he could, despite what must have been great discomfort and frustration at not being able to do what he used to. His condition had noticeably deteriorated in recent months, but it is still a shock to hear of his passing.
He will be greatly missed.
Hot on the heels of Newquay’s Double Portsmouth we held our own annual two-round shoot on Sunday 12th February. This was a Worcester round in the morning followed by a Vegas in the afternoon.
We normally set up into the evening on the day before. As there was no shooting session on Saturday we were able to get set up that bit earlier, which made everything a bit more civilised. First was trip to the field to pick up the trailer and load up with all the bosses, stands, nets and other paraphernalia. We had to contend with a seized wheel on the trailer, and by the time we sorted that out the rest of the gang were already at Pool Academy and making a start. We were also faced with an emergency repair to a broken stand for one of the foam bosses, but we got all the bosses set up along with the nets, chairs and Bob’s impeccable range markings. First thing Sunday morning saw us back at the school putting the faces up for the Worcester, and we were ready in plenty of time.
Although we try to make our shoots friendly and fairly informal, Worcester and Vegas rounds are not easy, particularly the Vegas as each target face is so small, and you have to get each arrow in order in the correct face. It is a brave longbow or barebow archer that takes them on.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day, and three of the gold medals went to club members – well done Paul, Dave and Ashley! Here is the results list.
On Sunday 5th February Newquay Bowmen hosted their Double Portsmouth competition at Newquay Sports Centre, and five of us went along to have a go. A few days before they found out the road to the sports centre was being closed for a running event at 9am, so we all had to be there an hour early, but, hey, who doesn’t want to get up early on a Sunday morning? 🙂
I went having not shot much over the winter due to having damaged something in my shoulder (was it through archery? no idea!) so wasn’t convinced I would be able to complete two Portsmouth rounds in a row. For Gina and Andy it was their first competition shoot. Despite that, we actually did quite well. Paul won a silver medal in the Gents Longbow, Gina and Andy both shot personal bests and even I managed a silver!
Thanks to all at Newquay Bowmen for making it an enjoyable event.