Duston Bowmen began within the British Timken tapered roller bearing manufacturing company based in Duston, Northampton UK.  The inaugural meeting of the British Timken Bowmen, as they were then called, was held on Thursday December 9th 1954 in the works canteen at the Duston site of British Timken. 27 potential members attended, the Chairman for the meeting was Mr D. E. Holmes, British Timken’s Chief Product Engineer. The initial annual subscription was five shillings (25p). A caretaker committee was elected to function until the first Annual General Meeting with Mr Holmes as chairman.

At the first annual general meeting held on April 21st 1955 a committee of 10 members was elected. Doug Holmes was elected Chairman, Janet Tysoe agreed to act as Secretary and Cyril Hill was appointed club Treasurer.

During the 1950s the club thrived, reaching a peak membership of over 70 Timken employees and their families. In 1958 two members became Northamptonshire’s first ‘Master Bowmen’, Joanne Taunton and Norman Taylor, both of whom were invited to shoot in the GNAS International Trials, which were held in Chester. In 1959 Jo Taunton was selected to shoot for Great Britain at the World Championships in Stockholm.

In the '60s BTB were the premier club in Northamptonshire, providing most members of the County Team. During its first 15 years of history club member won no less than five National Championships, seven East Midland Championships and 29 County Championships. Additionally the club’s members were to the forefront of administration both in the Region and the County.

The '80s and '90s saw a continuation of the successes of the early years, more National, Regional and County titles. In 1988 David Clarke was appointed British Archery Team Manager. His 1988 team won the first Archery Olympic medals since 1902, when the men’s team won Olympic bronze. The British Team chose British Timken as its base for the final preparations for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. This team surpassed the performance of the 1988 team by winning individual and team medals. In 1991 Stuart Morris was selected to represent Great Britain in an International Field Archery event in Holland.

The club suffered a major blow at the turn of the millenium when the Timken corporation announced that it was closing down its manufacturing facility at Duston. The sudden loss of indoor and outdoor shooting facilities that the club had enjoyed for some forty five years forced the club to seek alternative shooting facilities. Initially indoor shooting was maintained at the Sixfields Stadium and the Scout Hut at Duston School. The playing fields at Duston School were also used for outdoor shooting. Eventually a bond was formed with the Long Buckby Scout Group from which the Long Buckby Archery Club (LBAC) was to evolve. We currently share facilities with our good friends at LBAC. Indoor and outdoor shooting is available at Long Buckby Scout Hut and Sports Field on Sunday afternoons.

The name of Duston Bowmen was formally adopted at the 2011 AGM as there is no longer any connection between the club and the Timken company.

The development of the land on which the former British Timken plant stood provided for a Sports and Leisure Centre which thanks to the efforts of our late President David Clarke was to include a dedicated indoor archery range and 100 yards outdoor practice facilities. Sadly we were informed early in 2012 that these dedicated facilities were no longer included in the final plan and the alternative options were economically unviable. This was another unexpected setback for which we had no immediate contingency plan.

Early in 2012, after making enquiries with several golf clubs around the town we formed a relationship with Brampton Heath Golf Centre. As a result we now have a secluded 100 yard outdoor range at Brampton and in May 2012 we moved in a container to house the bosses and stands. Club nights are Tuesday and Thursday evenings but it is possible to shoot at any time all year round provided that two adults are present. In September 2012 we negotiated indoor shooting in the Cranshaw Suite at Brampton and have been shooting indoors at 20 yards during the Autumn/Winter months on Thursday nights.

The club continues to play its full part in all aspects of the sport, both locally and nationally. Duston Bowmen remain an outstanding Archery Club.

Duston Bowmen Committee (2017/18)

Chairman: Rob Marshall chairman@duston-bowmen.org.uk
Vice-Chairman: Phil Linnell  
Secretary: David Sibley secretary@duston-bowmen.org.uk
Treasurer: Dave Birch treasurer@duston-bowmen.org.uk
Coaching Officer: Sylvia Underlin  
Equipment Officer: Malcolm Wright  
Tournament Organiser / Child Protection Officer: Graham Underlin  
NCAS Liaison Officer: Phil Linnell  
Records Officer: Peter Watson records@duston-bowmen.org.uk
Junior Representative: Ethan Tovey  

Web Site Administrator: Dave Birch admin@duston-bowmen.org.uk