This is what it looked like a short while before the shoot began, while there was still some light:
and an hour or so later:
A whistle blows. 84 archers start shooting at the targets, 30m away, each one lit by a single lightbulb.
You're at the Moonlight!
3 dozen arrows at 30m at an 80cm face may seem easy, but when the only light (apart from a little behind the line) comes from the lights above the targets, then all of a sudden knocking the arrow becomes a challenge, let alone seeing the string to line up properly! This was the first shoot for a number of years when a light was not shot out, despite the fact that re-organising the field layout meant that the shooting line was even darker than previous years. It'll be lighter next year, honest!
The Moonlight was initially developed by a number of members of the now defunct Damon Company of Archers, some 25 years ago. Always a well supported shoot, Malgrave took this over when Damon were unable to continue running it. Malgrave's faith in the archers of Essex to continue to support this shoot has not been in vain, and a good number come from a number of local clubs to support the shoot every year. Mike Bell has only missed the shoot once in all the years it's been going
Recent years have seen the biggest entries at the shoot, the size of which is limited by the number of lights which can be run before creating a National Grid crisis.
We hope to see you at the next Moonlight Shoot...................................