This week I received some sad news from my old clubs (Black Arrow) chairman Kevin Bunting, concerning the passing of a well know archer and fellow club member Roy Bickerstaffe.
Kevin has put these words together and asked I share them with the wider archery community.
It is my sad duty to advise you of the death of Roy Bickerstaffe after a short period of rapidly declining health. Roy started the ‘Derby Carriage and Wagon Welfare Archery Section’ in March 1965 (was this the longest archery club name ever?)
Roy shot both target and field in those days and was very proficient in both, swapping with apparent ease between the classic target ‘Freestyle’ and ‘Heavy Tackle’ as Hunting Tackle was originally known.Roy involved himself in all aspects of the sport: administration, coaching and, of course, shooting.In 1970 the BFAA merged with the EFAA and soon Field Archery as we had known it was changing and not for the best. Roy with a few others decided that enough was enough and with the hindsight afforded by their experience of the BFAA and the benefits of a clean sheet of paper, founded the NFAS in 1973. This gave field archers the wonderful opportunity to again engage with the sport as they wanted. True, the NFAS migrated down a path they may have strayed somewhat from Roy’s vision but there is not a single true field archer that does not owe Roy and his band of merry men and women a debt of gratitude for what we all enjoy today.Roy could talk for hours on a wide range of subjects and frequently did and there are many who have missed appointments, meals, loved ones and sleep as they tried without success to prompt an end to the dialogue or rather, monologue. But one thing is for sure….that all who benefited from time with Roy was the richer for it.
I’d like to pass on my condolences to all the Bickerstaffe family. Though I only met Roy a couple of times when I first started shooting as Kevin says he had a wealth of experience that he was always willing to share.
Thank you, Roy for all the work and effort you made to a hobby I have the privilege to enjoy.
Thank you for reading.