Bowmen of Backworth

About Us

The Bowmen of Backworth is a section of Backworth Miners Welfare, at Backworth Hall. Today there is not a “geet big pair of Byeuts (Great-big pair of boots) or a Whippet to be seen, but we do see the odd cloth cap. We are situated in the grounds of the Hall set amongst a stunning backdrop of 85 acres of land, with a rich history dating back to late 18th Century, Backworth Hall was once the home of Ralph William Grey, a wealthy landowner and gentleman. Backworth Hall is unique, set up as the welfare and recreational centre for the whole of the Backworth coalmining district, which had over 3,000 employees. The miners used to pay sixpence (old pennies, 2 1/2p today) out of their wages to the Social Fund to keep the place going.  The mission was and is to provide Welfare and Sporting facilities to the local community. The hall is a registered charity dedicated to providing a unique environment for your chosen sport, wedding or social function. Whether you would like to participate in Golf, Cricket, Bowls, Archery or Croquet or you wish to book the hall for a wedding or a function, you are assured a warm welcome at Backworth Hall.


Why Archery?

Archery offers a popular, flexible, low-impact sport, which gives moderate low-key exercise with a chance to mix with a friendly bunch of people of all ages and backgrounds, making it a truly inclusive sport. It does not require high levels of fitness to simply have a go and enjoy.
We have had Archers from eight to over eighty years old and from 4’ 3” (1.3m) to 6’ 3”+ (1.9m+) and in all shapes and sizes. The able bodied or not so able bodied, including Visually Impaired and Wheelchair users, can all learn to shoot and enjoy it either recreationally or competitively alongside each other. It is an ideal sport for families, and we have several family groups and other Archers who are supported by non-shooting family members.


Archery Coaching


Our Nationally recognised Beginners’ Courses run throughout the summer months (May to October) and consist of two full consecutive Saturdays, depending on the candidates and the weather.  During your course we will give you with a basic knowledge and understanding of safe shooting techniques to allow you to progress to a full club member of our or another club. We will be given guidance and knowledge of the various bow types and shooting disciplines available to you. During your course you will be taught by Archery GB qualified coaches assisted by Senior Archers. All the necessary archery equipment that you will require to successfully complete the course will be provide along with a number of “free” Archery related items to help you achieve your goals. If, and we hope you do, decide to join us we have a very reasonably priced bow hire scheme to allow you to progress before purchasing your own equipment.

Because of Covid-19, we offer a ONE DAY basic course that will give you the basics to join our club and continue progression from there.

We advise that a “new Archer” does not rush out and buy their own equipment and we understand the urge as we have all been there. Our coaches will measure you and advise the type, size and power of the equipment that is best for you. The club normally has several “pre-loved” bows available for sale which can be tailored to your requirements. We are also able to “hire” you a club bow, for up to 12 weeks to see if you wish to progress and buy your own,

Please read our FAQ’s for some common questions relating to beginners. The course organiser is Keith Ritson


As a Novice archer, we will encourage you to meet your goals, be it competitive shooting or a good recreational shoot with good laughs and fun. We have various schemes both national (Archery GB) and International (World Archery) to encourage and improve your shooting. We also have in-house achievement awards including the “252” scheme, where an archer should score 252 points (twice) at each distance to qualify for a badge for that distance.


We encourage our members to become more competitive and to this end our Senior coaches are always willing to assist. We also have other resources and coaches that can be called on to advise when required. We are always on the lookout for Archers who can be “passed up the chain” to higher and higher achievements.

If you do not feel competitive don’t worry. We, as a Club, will do our utmost to ensure that you enjoy your Archery.


Apart from our Target shooting we also have fun shoots, including a special Christmas shoot and Mini-Clout, where everyone can have a good laugh and safe “carry-on”.