I’ve been a member of the club for many years but many of you will not have met me or know who I am, so here’s a potted history of me.

I’m Sheffield born and bred. I went to Sheffield City Grammar School. Since then I’ve had a number of careers. After leaving school I went to Sheffield City Polytechnic where I got a HND in Catering Management. After working as a Bar and Restaurant Manager in a Sheffield for a few months I was offered the chance to work in New Zealand helping to open a new restaurant. I loved New Zealand but when my contract expired I returned to the UK.

Catering pay at the time was pretty rubbish so I had a number of other jobs until I was made redundant from the Steel Industry. I decided to retrain and went to Sheffield Hallam University to study BEng Electronic Systems and Information Engineering. Whilst on this course I was recruited by the company that I work for now, I’ve been here about 20 years and am currently the Operational Information Security Manager supporting numerous Government Agencies and other large commercial organisations.

I first took up archery in about 1984 as a member of Firbeck Archers. We were predominantly a target archery club but with many longbow archers. One of our annual events was The Crecy Shoot, commemorating the Battle of Crecy in 1346, where a relatively small force of English and Welsh Archers help to defeat a much larger Army of French Soldiers and Genoese Crossbow men. In our shoot we shot volleys at full size 2D targets of Knights on Horseback at 120yds, Men at Arms at 80yds and Crossbow men behind shields at 60yds. It attracted archers from all over the UK. Unfortunately the club membership dwindled and it finally closed in 1998.

Firbeck Archers Last Crecy Open Shoot - 1998

After Firbeck Archers closed I gave up archery for a few years until around 2000 when the family went to a Have a Go day hosted by Pines Park Archers in Sherwood Pines Country Park. We really enjoyed it and liked the idea of Field Archery, it was so much more interesting and challenging than Target Archery. Not longer after this, we all i.e. my wife Diane, daughter Jenny (who was about 7 at the time) and me, all became members of Pines Park Archers, who were still based in Sherwood Pines at the time. Over the years since joining the club I’ve enjoyed shooting our own courses and attending a few shoots hosted by other clubs. We’ve all enjoyed our time in the club and during this time I’ve held the positions of Course Setter, Shoot Secretary and Webmaster.

Unfortunately Diane had a massive stroke in 2010, just after her 50th birthday, which has left her severely disabled and partially sighted. She now needs 24x7 care and can no longer take part in many activities. This is why many of you will not have met me because we can no longer take part in shooting days etc. However I still consider myself to be very much a club member and although I can’t take part in most of the activities I still support the club and continue to manage the club website. We actually managed to camp (caravan) with the club at the Robin Hood Show in Newark in 2013, so some of will have met us there. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and the welcome we received was fantastic – it really gave Diane a boost and I can’t thank the members enough for this.

Unfortunately Diane lost her fight for life in February 2015. It’s taken me a long time since then to pick up my bow again but I’ve finally made the push and am enjoying introducing the next generation to the joys of field archery, my grandkids are loving it.

If anyone has any ideas about things that they would like to see on the club website site or any articles that you want publishing please let me know. Your input would be very welcome and will help prevent the site from becoming stale.




Pines Park archers

Gary Swift’s Profile