Archers aim to find new home
Target range must move after 20 years as factory buyer raises safety concern
An archery group has been left without an outdoor space to practice after the site it has used for decades changed hands.
Target archery club Ashford Archers had used the field at the back of the former Headley Brothers print factory on Lower Queens Road for 20 years.
The Kentish Express reported last month that the struggling company had been bought by print firm Stones, in a rescue deal, and the new owners have now told the club its “informal arrangement” to use the land is ending.
The club, established for nearly 50 years, has been in similar circumstances over the years, meeting at various locations in the town after searching for new shooting venues because of a change in land ownership.
Ashford Archers chairman Tony Harris said: “For approximately the last 20 years we have been the guests of Headley Brothers, who kindly allowed us to meet, practice and compete, free of charge, on their field at the back of their factory.
“We have always known that this informal arrangement could end at any time.
“After the recent purchase of the site by Stones they have naturally been reviewing the operation of the site.
“Unfortunately the only access to the field is via the main factory site, a location where heavy equipment, including forklift trucks and HGVs, operate.
“After consultation with their insurers and because of the limited access they have regrettably informed us that we can no longer continue to access the field or the site in general.
“Stones have been very kind in allowing us to continue to store our equipment until such time we find a new home.
“This is a decision that Ashford Archers fully understands and accepts without question.”
The club was first formed in April 1969 and affiliated to Archery GB, the national governing body of Archery in the UK.
Indoor archery activities, which generally take place during the winter months, remain unaffected, and the indoor shooting venue is unrelated to the outdoor venue.
Stones Ashford was contacted, but had not responded to a request for comment before we went to print yesterday (Wednesday).
What do you think? Write to the Kentish Express, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashford Archers members must give up their outdoor target range at the Stones site