Forthcoming Bowyer Events: (bookable now)  | Master's Day Ceremony & Lunch, Wed 11 July
Master's Livery Dinner, Wed 18 July  |  Bowyers' Longbow Day, Royal Tox, Sun 29 July

Forthcoming City Events:  |  'Election of Lord Mayor, Guildhall, Mon 1 Oct

Mark Stretton's New Book: Bowyer Freeman Mark Stretton's experiments on the penetrative power of the medieval warbow are well known
to Bowyer members. Mark has just published a new 50-page A5 book on his latest research results using 130/140lb bows; the price is £10, and for information
on how to order it, click on this link: https://konigbooks.uk/products/piercing-plate-armour-with-arrows-empirical-testing-at-bosworth-battlefield

HMS Northumberland Rededicated, and New Bowyers' Award Presented

With the enthusiastic encouragement of the Ship's Commanding Officer, Cdr Ally Pollard, on 6 July the Master presented the inaugural annual award of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy, to the junior rating who had made the best contribution to the life of the Ship in the preceding year. The happy and popular recipient, winning on behalf of her Mess Deck 2K, was Leading Chef Flo Maddock-Greene. Along with the trophy went a cheque for £500 for the Mess Deck to spend on its amenities, and a plaque for the 2K Mess Deck Door nominating it as the holder of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy for the year. Bowyer Liveryman and former CO of HMS Northumberland Capt Paddy Allen had kindly gifted the trophy, and the Bowyers' Company funded the plaque and the annual cheque.

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1,000 at Mercian Regiment Memorial

The first Sunday in July always sees the Mercian Regiment's memorial ceremony at the Crich memorial tower in Derbyshire, originally the Sherwood Foresters' memorial but nowadays encompassing the Mercian Regiment and all its antecedent regiments across the five counties. About 1,000 people were present on the very hot afternoon of 1 July, including 24 local Mayors from Mercian towns and cities, a number of serving soldiers and reservists, and of course many returning 'old soldiers' from the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters, Cheshires and North and South Staffordshires, all tirelessly organised and supervised by the Regimental HQ team under retired Lt Colonels Paul Woolnough and Bill Temminck.

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Tower of London Shoot

On the lovely sunny evening of Tuesday 26 June, the Bowyers' Company and the Fletchers' Company got together for their annual Joint Shoot in the East Moat of HM Tower of London, followed by Dinner in the Mess of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Fletchers' affiliated regiment. It's always an event in huge demand, and this year sold out within 24 hours of being bookable on our website.

Read the full article

HMS Northumberland Rededicated, and New Bowyers' Award Presented

With the enthusiastic encouragement of the Ship's Commanding Officer, Cdr Ally Pollard, on 6 July the Master presented the inaugural annual award of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy, to the junior rating who had made the best contribution to the life of the Ship in the preceding year. The happy and popular recipient, winning on behalf of her Mess Deck 2K, was Leading Chef Flo Maddock-Greene. Along with the trophy went a cheque for £500 for the Mess Deck to spend on its amenities, and a plaque for the 2K Mess Deck Door nominating it as the holder of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy for the year. Bowyer Liveryman and former CO of HMS Northumberland Capt Paddy Allen had kindly gifted the trophy, and the Bowyers' Company funded the plaque and the annual cheque.

John Dudley had become the first Duke of Northumberland in 1551, six years after being Lord Admiral of Henry VIII's fleet at the Battle of the Solent in 1545. That was the battle in which the 'Mary Rose' famously sank, and from which in the 1980s numerous longbows were recovered from the silt, giving us our best insight into just how big and powerful the medieval longbows were. Longbows were of course a shipboard weapon as well as an infantry weapon, and the Master portrayed the Battle of the Solent as the connecting link between longbows and Northumberland. His Grace the 12th Duke of Nortumberland was present for the ceremony and was visibly approving of the new John Dudley Trophy.

The occasion was the formal rededication of HMS Northumberland after its recent refit, a ceremony which Cdr Pollard had insisted be held in Newcastle, in the presence of the Duke of Northumberland. The day had started at 13.30 with a formal parade on shore alongside the Ship, with Commodore Robert Bellfield, Commander Devonport Flotilla as Reviewing Officer together with His Grace the Duke, and a short rededication service conducted by the Chaplain of the Fleet. This was followed by the presentation of the Bowyers' award for junior ratings and a new award for senior ratings presented by Lady Anne Kerr. Later, at 19.00, there followed a civic reception on board for all the Mayors of Northumberland towns and cities, with tours of the Ship, and ending in a delightful Sunset Ceremony. The Master was accompanied for the day by his wife Enid and the Upper Warden Elect, David Laxton.

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1,000 at Mercian Regiment Memorial

The first Sunday in July always sees the Mercian Regiment's memorial ceremony at the Crich memorial tower in Derbyshire, originally the Sherwood Foresters' memorial but nowadays encompassing the Mercian Regiment and all its antecedent regiments across the five counties. About 1,000 people were present on the very hot afternoon of 1 July, including 24 local Mayors from Mercian towns and cities, a number of serving soldiers and reservists, and of course many returning 'old soldiers' from the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters, Cheshires and North and South Staffordshires, all tirelessly organised and supervised by the Regimental HQ team under retired Lt Colonels Paul Woolnough and Bill Temminck.

The Bowyers' Master is invited as one of the VIP guests, and Tony Kench was delighted to be able to attend this most moving ceremony, at the top of the Crich hill, and to join in the placing of memorial wreaths. The 'Last Post' is sounded, everone sings 'O God Our Help in Ages Past', and the ceremony ends with a resounding, forward-looking 'Reveille'. During the relaxed socialising afterwards, there was the opportunity to meet (as photographed) the new Commanding Officer of 4 Mercian, Lt Col Fraser Cuttle, and the new Commanding Officer of 2 Mercian, Lt Col Mark Davis. And indeed to meet the Regiment's latest Derbyshire Ram official Mascot, Private Derby XXXII.

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Tower of London Shoot

On the lovely sunny evening of Tuesday 26 June, the Bowyers' Company and the Fletchers' Company got together for their annual Joint Shoot in the East Moat of HM Tower of London, followed by Dinner in the Mess of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Fletchers' affiliated regiment. It's always an event in huge demand, and this year sold out within 24 hours of being bookable on our website.

Our usual gentle modern-bow archery competition (3 sighters and 3 scoring arrows each, at 20 yards) was expertly supervised by the London Archers, kindly arranged by Ben Glazier. The competition was shot in good humour, and won this year by the Fletchers, by a pretty close 157 to 146 for the top ten scores.

Great interest was generated by the couple of full-size longbows brought along by the Bowyers for people to try. They proved not only very popular but also remarkably manageable, and there was some speculation as to whether we should consider evolving the event to longbows in the future, as would befit two medieval livery companies.

Our principal guest for the evening was the Constable of the Tower, General the Lord Houghton of Richmond, formerly General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff before his retirement in 2016. He entered into the spirit of the evening by having a go with both types of bow, and was one of several who actually found it easier to be accurate with the longbow (see photo).

Before dinner, the Bowyers' Master, Tony Kench, welcomed all our guests, also including Lady Maggie Houghton and, from the Fusiliers, Colonel James Denny, Regimental Secretary, and Major Mick McCarthy, London Area Secretary. After dinner, the Fletchers' Master, Roger Watson, thanked all our hosts at the Tower for the great privilege of the event, the caterers for our usual excellent meal, and also the London Archers and all other helpers on the evening, before finally calling upon the General to announce the results and present the trophy. Once again we were all grateful to Fletchers' Clerk Kate Pink for organising this happy event.

To round off the evening we had the annual privilege of witnessing the Ceremony of the Keys, on this occasion carried out superbly by the Irish Guards, before a number of us adjourned to the nearby Hung, Drawn & Quartered for a nightcap pint.

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About the Bowyers

The Worshipful Company of Bowyers is one of the older and smaller of the City of London's livery companies. We celebrate our piece of history, we work hard at our charitable activity, and we provide a convivial sociable environment that keeps our members engaged... Find out more

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