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Presentation of Certificates 22nd September 2007

Forrest Hall

On Saturday 22nd September a small group of Bowyers met at Forest Hall, Meriden, the home of the Woodmen of Arden for the periodical presentation of bronze and silver certificates to working Bowyers and in particular to honour Alan Pritchard, a Freeman of the Company and the Bowmaker and Head Marker of the Woodmen of Arden with a Gold Certificate.

After coffee the examiners withdrew to a separate room where in the presence of the Master and Warden of the Craft Guild, Mr M Manns the examination of bows took place. The judges were Freeman Grady, Head, Pritchard and Rogers. Mr John Randall a Gold Certificate Holder was also present.

The Gathering

The Examination: Freemen Alan Rogers, Gold
Certificate Holder John Randall, Freeman Alan
Pritchard, Freeman Malcolm Grady, and Freeman
Richard Head

Mark Stretton giving his Talk

Mark Stretton Shooting the War Bow

The Warden of the Craft Guild making his speech

The Master presenting his speech

Whilst the examination was in progress Mr Mark Stretton gave a most interesting talk on medieval archery giving gruesome details on the results of various types of arrows and their devastating impact on hitting flesh and armour. At the end of his talk he demonstrated the use of a war bow, a replica of one found in the Mary Rose, which was made from Italian Yew grown at altitude.

These activities being completed the Company sat down lunch at the end of which the Warden of the Craft Guild welcomed everyone and invited the Master to present the certificates. The Master expressed his thanks to all those who had contributed to the success of the day and the Woodmen of Arden for allowing the use of Forest Hall and Field. Having presented the bronze and silver certificates he spoke at some length about Alan Pritchard who was to be awarded a gold certificate. He concluded with giving his congratulations to Mr and Mrs Pritchard who were celebrating their 56th Wedding Anniversary that day. Alan Pritchard then made a brief reply in which he regaled the company with storied from his past.

Despite the uncertainty of the weather it was an enjoyable occasion and it was a joy to meet old friends and other members of the Company including Lord Guernsey and Dr Powell-Brett who we have not seen for some time.

The Master Bowyer, Richard Model, with Alan Pritchard and his Gold Certificate

The Master with Mr Philip Head holder of both the Bronze and Silver Certificates

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