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Peter Ryding

Peter joined the club in 2019 and shoots under the colours of the Most Houourable Guild of the Guardians of Ewelme - red, blue and yellow ( representing gold in medieval heraldry) as his cock feather.

During his first 3 months he shot with 4 different borrowed bows, whilst a brand new bow was being made for him. Predictably his scores remained stubbornly low. When his new bow arrived he consistently overshot, losing arrows in hedges and brambles keeping our clubs master arrow smith busy making replacements, until a hidden flaw in the grain resulted in the bow dramatically exploding. He then borrowed more bows with yet more consistently low scores. He now shoots a beautiful fine grained 60 pound yew selfbow and has no more excuses for his still consistently low scores ! His dream of becoming Master Bowman of England sadly seems a target too far.

He answers to two nicknames, “Prof” and “Merlin” and others far more derogatory terms, including “Whose getting the next round?”

He is fascinated with ancient and medieval history. He is the reigning national and world Wargaming Champion, Grand Master of the Most Honourable Guild of the Guardians of Ewelme, and Chair of Governors of Ewelme school which is the oldest primary school in the world having been founded by Geoffrey Chaucer’s granddaughter, who in turn had 3 husbands. The first died during the Azincourt campaign, the second at the Siege of Orleans killed by Joan of Arc’s monster cannon, and the third was beheaded in the English Channel for treason and appears in two of Shakespeare’s plays!

Peter has written 7 books, including the “Well I Never Knew That!” series of illustrated books about the origins of words and phrases in the English language. This includes chapters on archery including...

“An extra string to your bow”
“Keep it under your hat”
“Cock up”
“Shot your bolt”
And many more. He has been interviewed about these books by the BBC over 100 times and was voted BBC interviewee of the year.

Peter gives talks to schools to share his passion for history including being authentically dressed up and equipped as an archer at Azincourt including a portable water tap, a mobile sundial, and a bollocks dagger ( the children love to giggle at that one).

His enthusiasm, rather than his skill, led to him being asked to join the Societies Committee as Secretary. In that role he has found and championed the use of a new all weather shooting site in Ewelme, explored options for the club to shoot at major archery related battle fields including Azincourt, Crécy and Bosworth and prepared an exclusive tour of the fascinating school, church and almshouses built by Alice Chaucer at the time of Azincourt, to raise funds for the “Loving Learning” foundation.

Peter has introduced the use of shields with authentic coats of arms of French knights at Azincourt on poles to enhance the existing coloured flags. 

He has also led a campaign to raise the profile of the club to attract new members - to introduce more people to the history, sport and comradeship of shooting traditional medieval longbows. New members are always welcome to our drinking club with it’s traditional archery problem!



2019: Best Ten Shoots Average: 34.50 


2020: Best Ten Shoots Average: 49.20

Awarded 50+ Badge August

2nd Most improved Trophy - +20.5%

1st Crecy Plate Trophy -66/112


2021: Best 10 Shoots Average: did not qualify


2022: Best 10 Shoots Average: did not qualify

First twelve scored certificate - Wndsor Deer Park



2023: Best 10 Shoots Average:



Personel Best:66 Sept 2020