The Early Years 1857 – 1920s
Formed by Lady Curtis of Caynham Court Autumn 1857 shooting commenced the following summer. Membership was limited to 80, increased to 120, then finally 150. Original members were taken from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and British Bowman.
Six meetings were held each year in the court of Ludlow Castle – two in May and in June, July and August. These were called prize meetings. The entrance fee was five shillings. At the last meeting of each season strangers were allowed to participate and the event was followed by a ball in the Assembly Rooms.
In 1860 the income of the Society was recorded as £53 10s 6d expenses at £47 11s 4d giving a balance of £5 19s 2d. At the first meeting of the year competitors were handicapped according to their average scores at three or more of the previous meetings. Winners of First Score prizes were handicapped according to their winnings at previous meetings.
A Silver Challenge Quiver and a Silver Challenge Cup were awarded to the lady and gentleman obtaining the highest score during the season at not less than four meetings. Various extra prizes were awarded throughout each season for example a gold badge, silver teapot, new bow given by a tradesman of Ludlow.
In 1861 on the 22nd August a Tournament was held between 'The Archers of Teme' and the 'Royal British Bowman'. The records state that the 'R.B.B.' won with 1576 points, the A.O.T. scoring 1354.
In 1862 a new tent had to be bought at a cost of £10 10s 0d plunging the Society into debt but this was liquidated in 1863. In 1864 the Society presented two special prizes, a Silver quiver which was won by Miss Evans with 1747 points, and a Silver Bugle which Captain Corbett won with 2325 points.
In 1867 Lady Curtis was expecting to stay longer abroad than usual for her winter holiday in Nice and she asked Mrs Bailey of Easton Court to take her place in 1868 as Patroness of the Archers of Teme. Now seeing that Lady Curtis had so ably filled the office for ten years Mrs Bailey felt very incompetent to succeed her. Knowing nought of the mysteries of handicapping and the science of archery, but upon kind friends seconding the proposal by Lady Curtis, and Mr Hanbury being appointed Treasurer (which office Lady Curtis had also filled) she consented to take it for one year only. Everyone was so kind to her excusing her blunders and she found the tasks so pleasant she continued with the office when at the end of the year Lady Curtis married Mr Harry Davenport.
In 1868 the Grand National Archer Meeting was held in Hereford. Unfortunately the longest distance was 80 yards and the longest distance possible at Ludlow was 60 yards. So the club members had no success. Other shoots at Raglan and Ross in 1870 were at the longer distance and again the club scored little success.
In 'Archers Register' 1910 the Hon. Sec. was recorded as Capt Hill-Lowe, RN, Court of Hill, Tenbury, and the Ass. Hon. Sec. Mr W D Hall, Highmeadow, Ashford, Ludlow. Captain Hill-Lowe RN JP was the secretary from 1891 till he died in 1910.
Mr W D Hall then took over as Hon. Secretary. Capt. Hill-Lowe and his wife helped to make the society a flourishing one. Mrs Hill-Lowe competed in the Hereford Meeting for a number of years taking Third Prize, Best Score at 80 yards, best Gold, and Most Gold awards on numerous occasions.
The exact date of the closing of the original club is not known but was in the late 1920s.
On deciding to form the present day club, the founder members decided to build on this local history and began an archery club in the April of 1984, thus re-forming the 'Archers of Teme'.
Carrying on with tradition, the home shooting ground is at Easton Court by kind permission of Mrs Cardiff, the home of Mrs Bailey who was Lady Patroness of the club in 1868.
The first President and a founder member was Roy Derek Matthews MBE until his death in 1992. The current president is Mr J R Bartlett.