Club History


PORTSDOWN ARCHERY CLUB began on Saturday 28th April 1945. Our archery club
was formed in the house of Mr and Mrs Pat Clover – 19 Military Road, Hilsea,
Portsmouth.


Well, it all began at that inaugural meeting. Mr. C. Powell was elected to the Chair. Mr. P. Clover put
before the meeting a draft selection of Rules for the good government and constitution of the Club, “A
BASIS ON WHICH TO BUILD”.


The first Offices filled were Secretary: Mr. Clover. Treasurer Mr. Powell. Captain Mr. Weston. Committee
Members were Mr. S. Titley and Miss C. Rogers.


The entrance fee for membership was established at 7/6d per person (Juniors 5/-). The Annual
Subscription was 15/- (7/6d for Juniors). (An annual subscription of 75pence !).
In August of the first year, Eng. Captain C.T.CLOVER R.N. (Retd.) accepted the Vice-Presidency of the
Club. At the same time, in August, it was decided that the Club Colours should be LINCOLN GREEN and
CHERRY RED.


The first Club Champion was Mr. F. STRONG


The next meeting, in January the following year, took place in the TUDOR DRILL HALL in Cosham. The
War had only just ended and this was the only WINTER INDOOR RANGE open in the whole of the
country.


The club grew rapidly during that first year and at the first AGM (11th April 1946) there were already 34
members.


At this AGM, Lieut. Col. Douglas Owen d’Elboux Miller, MC, MA, proprietor of Boundary Oak School,
accepted the office of President and Mr. W. Melville Foster (Secretary of the Royal Toxophilite Society)
was elected Vice-President – an auspicious start.


By 1949 P.A.C were shooting outdoors at St Helen’s Field and Boundary Oak School grounds. Indoor
shooting took place in the North End Indoor Bowling Club and the Tudor Hall.
In April 1950, a new 150-yard range on Eastern Parade was formally opened. The new turf and earth
BUTT was believed to be the only one in the country. It was 7 feet high, 40 feet long and the target faces
were pinned straight into the turf face.


In 1951, Mrs. Erna Simon (the wife of Mr Ingo Simon) was unanimously elected as President of the club.
It was to be a few more years before the election of PAC’s first Lady Chairperson – Mrs. Jessie Burton, in
April 1959.


After many years of shooting at the field and the school, it was in 1969 that arrangements were in hand
for moving to a new ground adjacent to allotments in Westover Road. The committee viewed the new
ground in June and by late October that year, the ground was levelled, topsoil laid and seed sown.
Everything was moving to an official opening in Portsdown’s Silver Jubilee Year – 1970.
However, it was later in 1971 that, on the 6th June, PAC moved to its new ground.


In April 1983, with the prospect of a long lease forthcoming, the membership was in favour of extending
the then-existing clubhouse to include two toilets and an equipment store.
Ground clearance and the foundations of the new building were started in March 1984 and the official
opening of the extended clubhouse took place on Saturday October 27th 1984.
Portsdown Archery Club has been thriving at Westover Road ever since.


In 1984, on the 19th August at the age of 71, Pat Clover died. Pat was the founder member of
Portsdown Archery Club. He put archery on the map in the post-war years. He was responsible for the
birth of the club magazine which led to the British Archer Magazine. He made Portsdown one of the
most respected Archery clubs in England.


A longer account of the club’s history, its members and competitions can be found here.


Have you wondered why the Club is Portsdown and not Portsmouth?
When formed, the club first shot at ‘East Court’ Cosham on the slopes of Portsdown and after a few
months they moved to the cricket field of Boundary Oak School also on Portsdown – that’s why we are
the Portsdown Archery Club.