Wednesday, 7 October 2020

The Widow Maker

Excuse the quality of the rendition

O, great joy, for yesterday I was the recipient of an English longbow. This bow is not a strict rendition of the medieval bow but lends its design to the Victorian interpretation.

In the 19th century, there was a strong revival of archery in England, an art that had remained dormant, nay moribund, and almost forgotten after centuries of neglect. Typically the bows were made from a variety of woods to form a laminate. A handle wrap of leather was included together with an arrow pass of mother of pearl inset into the handle. Those of an ostentatious bent replaced the pearl with a sliver of silver. Other than these additions, the bow resembled the medieval bow except that draw weights were modest and in the order of 20lb to 50lbs at a standard draw length of 28 inches.

The resurgent/resplendent sport was very popular amongst the noble and monied classes. The great ladies of the time, in between bouts of the vapours and hysterical interludes, would take up the stave (it did resemble a broom) and release shafts of ash with vigour that belied their gentile status. How they managed to partake when encumbered with bustles and wide flouncy bonnets is a mystery of epic proportions.

O fuck Mildred, I've shot Lord Salisbury in the bollocks
My new bow is trilaminate with osage orange, hickory, and a core of wood of unknown provenance- I think it is called tickety boo. It draws 43lbs at 28 inches and on occasion will perform a light doodle in sepia. Do not be led astray, deceived, or beguiled: this is not a light bow and is capable of taking down hind or swine when coupled with a stout shaft wickedly appointed with a barb of iron. My other English longbow is a self bow carved from a majestic stave of osage orange. This bow pulls 66lbs at 28 inches. These days I can play sport with this stout bow for no longer than an hour, to do otherwise is to risk utter prostration. 

I shot the bow for the first time today and found it to be a consistent and accurate shooter after a little practice. The draw experience was pleasant and devoid of stacking. Hand shock was minimal when the bow was matched with a suitably weighted arrow. The meld of woods ameliorates any negative properties inherent in many self bows. 

Anyway, take stock of my shooting prowess. This was taken after a shoot of 30 yards and after a couple of hours of usage. Perhaps not Robin Hood or the lady on the tele surnamed, Catpiss, but none too bad regardless. Crunchy arse cakes.   

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