Andover Archers were founded in 1976 by Brian Slayford, Stan Hawkins and Lorna and Raph Tucker. The club used the Sports Centre initially, until June 1976 when the school ground at Whitchurch was used, and the first lot of archery equipment was bought. G.N.A.S. fees were £2.50 and Club fees were £3.50. How times have changed.
By 1979 the club had grown to 30 members and the club used Chilbolton Playing Field, Wallop Airfield, Harrow Way School and the Walled Meadow as venues...so it was time to look for a suitable permanent place to lay down some roots.
In 1981,with the co-operation of Test Valley Borough Council, the Sports Council, The Hampshire Playing Fields Association and club cash, the club acquired a 21 year lease on a two acre field on Walworth Industrial Estate.
The ground was cleared of stones by the club members and grass seed hand sown. Trees and shrubs were planted around the perimeter and the shed was built.
The club prospered and soon it built a small brick building to replace the wooden 'shed', and the membership soared to 41!
In June 1993, however, Andover Archers and Andover Rugby Club were left thunderstruck when they were told that they would have to lose the ground at Walworth as it was needed for industrial building land, and the bombshell was..... they had to be off by August!
Reg Press and Frank Harper were put in place as a committee to liaise with Test Valley Council in the hopes of finding a suitable replacement ground.
Their requirements weren't too outrageous - a flat field, already stone- picked, nicely screened off from the wind, enough ground to shoot 100 yards (plus a little bit for good measure!), oh, and a brick building to replace the one they had just built. Maybe they could have one big enough to shoot indoors, as they had been rather inconvenienced.
After several months of meetings it was finally agreed that they would accept a piece of ground in Charlton. Test Valley would prepare all the ground, plant the trees, sift the soil and make things pretty. Reg Press took on the task of building the superb indoor range we have now.
The indoor range provides shooting facilities in any conditions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The club house is long enough for the members to shoot from fixed shooting lines of 20 yards, 18 and 25 metres. The shooting wall is floor to ceiling foam and allows for eight archers to shoot on the line at a time.
The building has separate toilet facilities for both male and female, a kitchen area that includes cooking facilities for members use. Disabled facilities are also provided. During the winter months the building is centrally heated for the members comfort day and night.
Andover Archers provide the very best overall facilities at club level in the County and Region, for all levels of archer. If you are just starting out in archery, or you shoot for your country, you will find some of the best facilities around.
The Club have outdoor shooting facilities oriented along a South West to North East bearing, allowing archers to shoot without having the sun in their eyes, no matter what the time of the year.
The outdoor range allows for shooting the maximum distance of 100yds (providing an overshoot in excess of the required amount). The field has mature trees on three sides that screens it from the prevailing winds. The range also features a 1.7m high embankment across the entire width on the rear boundary. The range is wide enough take up to 33 bosses across the width. Ample parking is provided adjacent the grounds.