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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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