The Thoresby Trophy Tournament was first shot in 1958, in the grounds of Thoresby Hall Nottinghamshire.
The Tournament was started at the request of ‘The Countess Manvers’ the owner of Thoresby Hall She approached Reg Duckitt, EMAS Chairman with a view to her sponsoring an Archery Event to provide a ‘genteel’ attraction at Thoresby. The EMAS Committee agreed that an ‘Inter-County Tournament would be a suitable event.

Originally 4 Ladies and 6 Gentlemen from each of the 5 counties were invited to shoot. (Reserves were added later).
The Rounds were set as York and Hereford.

The first Tournament was shot on the 18th of May 1958, as S remember it was a wet and windy day! Nottinghamshire were the winning Team with a total score of 5145, Northamptonshire were 2nd with 4,760.

We shot across the cricket field, which was a flat manicured area with the Hall as a backdrop. Most of the Archers shot steel bows although there were some long and flat bow archers shooting, I shot a 50lb Slazenger Flat Bow, aiming 3ft above the Target at 100 yards. It was 6 days before my 21st birthday. In those days sighter’s were usually at 11-oclock. After the Tournament we were invited into the Hall for a conducted tour by the Countess, and ‘tea’ including a glass of sherry.

The Countess had commissioned a Trophy to be made, this was a small replica of the Statue that stands at the entrance to the hall, the mould for the Trophy was sculptured by Les Higgins a Northamptonshire Archer, (sadly now passed away), it was cast and finished by Vaughtons of Birmingham, I don’t know how much it cost.

The only ‘rules’ were that it was to be competed for by the best archers from the 5 counties of the EMAS, of course then there was no conflict regarding ‘bow types’, archers were archers.

The Trophy itself was not ready for the first Tournament so an Illuminated scroll was created with the names of the winning team on it, the intention was to keep this going as well, but so far as I know only the first two years winners were on it. I think this is still in existence.

Because of the ‘damage’ to the cricket square, in subsequent years we shot on the car-park. Thoresby also hosted the EMAS Championships, and the Martini International.

Some years later, I can’t remember when exactly, the management of the Hall changed, and they wanted to charge for the hire of the ground etc, at this stage we left Thoresby. I think that this was when we started to move around the Counties, but! am not totally certain of that.

David Clarke Feb-2002.