It is with great sadness that we announce that Den Smith, Honorary Life President of Jolly Archers of Houghton & Wyton, has passed away. He was 92.
Den was one of the founder members of Jolly Archers back in 1962 and remained a mainstay of the club throughout his life. As well as the many roles he undertook within Jollies, he was also President of the Cambridgeshire Archery Association. He began his participation in archery shooting steel bows and later shot recurve, longbow and compound for the county. He always enjoyed competitions, shooting them well into his 90's although in his later years he concentrated on compound and longbow. His last formal shoot was in the 2012 Jolly Archers Open Portsmouth/Cambridgeshire County Indoor Championships where he finished with a very creditable score of 529, shooting compound.
Archery became a major part of Den's life and he was never happier than when going to archery with his wife, sons and grandchildren. Den was interested in all aspects of archery and amassed a huge store of knowledge and experience which he was always happy to share. In his earlier years he particularly enjoyed taking archery to the general public with Have-a-go's and displays which he ran with his wife Joan, also a county archer. He developed a particular interest in longbow archery which led him to qualify as a bowyer within The Craft Guild of Bowyers and Fletchers. He was also a member of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries.
Den took great pleasure in maintaining the club's first ground behind the Jolly Butchers public house and was a meticulous Records Officer for many years. In more recent years Den took a back seat in the running of the club but remained an enthusiastic supporter, whether by his attendance at our shoots, his generous donations to the club or his continuing passion for archery and for Jolly Archers. One of the highlights of the club year has been the "Den Smith Birthday Shoot" where the number of arrows shot corresponds to Den's age. This will now become the "Den Smith Memorial Shoot".
Den will be remembered with affection by club members and by his many friends and acquaintances in the wider archery world.