Clive Agran meets a craftsman who has added a new string to his bow...
TWENTY FIVE years ago there was an archery shop in Hawkhurst that Dudley Garrett used to drive past. It intrigued him and so when work as a carpenter became increasingly difficult to find during yet another cyclical downturn in the building industry, he popped in for a chat with the owner. Then, rather than sit around doing nothing, he started making bows that were sold by the archery shop. Although that outlet has long since gone, he is still crafting superb bows to this day. Born in Hurst Green and a member of the 'Craft Guild of Bowyers and Fletchers,' Dudley was also one of the founders of Rye Archery Club. His workshop in Flimwell, which he moved to in the late Eighties, is scattered with a bewildering variety of bows based on designs from as far apart as China and the USA. Using a rich mix of woods from ash and elm to yew, lemonwood and even more exotic species such as hickory and ipe - imported respectively from North and South America - Dudley crafts bows that are as beautiful as they are accurate. Custom built to such exact specification as the draw weight (eg 50lbs) and full draw length, which is the distance from the forward extended hand to the other hand by the chin (eg 25 inches), they are precision instruments that sell from anywhere between £200 and £1,000. Although that might seem like a lot, you have to bear in mind that making bows is very labour intensive and the materials are surprisingly expensive... READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE IN THE MAY ISSUE OF SUSSEX LIFE- OUT NOW!Clubs near youFor club contact details please contact the County Secretary:Mrs D Cannon27 Northbrook Road, Broadwater, WORTHING, Sussex, BN14 8PS or call 01903-238975
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