Some people think their club is run by a load of old jobsworths. They should worry. I’ve been leafing through the rule book of the Old Farnworth and Royton Toxophily Society. (Stand to attention as you read this.)

Rule 15: Dress, Sub-section 9: The wearing of white Panama hat, dark green blazer with GNAS badge, white shirt with dark green cravat with archery motif, white cavalry twill trousers and brown brogues, is optional for Lady Members. (A limited supply of GNAS badges is still available following the Governing Body’s name-change.)

Rule 23: Behaviour and deportment, Sub-section 45: Junior Members up to the age of 25 shall require the prior permission of the Club Captain before speaking to Senior Members.

Rule 23: Behaviour and deportment, Sub-section 46: Junior Members up to the age of 35 shall salute all Senior Members on the shooting ground. At all other times a click of the heels followed by a curt nod shall suffice. For Junior Lady Members, a shallow curtsy shall suffice on all occasions.

Rule 23: Behaviour and deportment, Sub-section 933: Male and female junior members who wish to form a liaison must be chaperoned at all times while within the club boundary.

Rule 23: Behaviour and deportment, Sub-section 2595: Members wishing to marry must submit the relevant request form to the Committee. After due consideration, the Committee shall forward their decision to the Lord of the Manor for final endorsement.

Rule 23: Behaviour and deportment, Sub-section 2596: Wedding ceremonies must not coincide with club events. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a fine to be set by the Committee.

Rule 34: Compound bows shall be brought on to the shooting ground for display purposes only.

Rule 41: Dress, Sub-section 13: Trouser turn-ups shall be a regulation one inch in depth.

Rule 41: Dress, Sub-section 14: Trouser turn-ups shall be turned down and de-fluffed prior to the commencement of shooting.

Rule 41: Dress, Sub-section 15: The wearing of irregular-length turn-ups shall be reported to the Club Secretary and a fine may be imposed. This will be known as a Turn-up for the Book.

Rule 54: A Lady Member who submits a personal best score on a nominated shooting day will be allowed to serve tea in the Members’ Enclosure.

Rule 58: Foreign applicants will be allowed membership after a short test set by the Club Secretary. The test shall consist of three questions which may be: 1. Sing the second line of the third verse of God Save the Queen. 2. (Pencil and paper may be used) Convert 10 Euros to the equivalent in Guineas. 3. Calculate the compound interest of three Guineas from the year 1717, when its value was set, to the present date, without any artificial aids, including pencil and paper.

Rule 535: All metre distance posts shall be marked with the equivalent in yards to the nearest inch.

Rule 634: Accidents, Sub-section 54: If an archer accidentally wounds a passer-by with an arrow shot, the incident shall be reported to the Lord of the Manor. It will be at his Lordship’s discretion whether the matter is then reported to the local constabulary.

Rule 634: Accidents, Sub-section 55: Compensation for injuries caused by stray arrow shots shall be determined by the Committee on the basis of a) Class; b) Culpability e.g. that the injured person was within three hundred yards of the outer boundary fence; c) Criminal Intent, e.g. that the injured person was acting in such a way as would have invited a deliberate arrow shot, e.g. walking with an aggressive limp; staring intently at an archer; inappropriately dressed for the countryside, e.g. trainers, tracksuit, T-shirt, hooded top, stiletto heels, cheap jewellery, slacks, mini-skirt.

Rule 634: Accidents, Sub-section 56: If a member is injured within the club boundary, such as by a stray arrow shot, such incident shall be received with the utmost discretion, so as not to disturb other members. An injured member may be helped from the field in an upright position, without any outward displays of distress, such as groaning, screaming or other audible and physical displays. A muffled whimper may be allowed in the case of lady members. Gentleman members are expected to remain silent at all times. No crawling or dragging is to be allowed.

Rule 634: Accidents, Sub-section 57: An injured member can elect to be treated at the club’s field hospital situated in the east-side copse (note: under camouflage in case of enemy attack.) Medical staff cannot always be in attendance, so an injured member must be able to perform surgery on themselves, such as arrow removal, for which a mild sedative is available after payment into the medical honesty box. Please leave this facility in a tidy condition, eg. No blood trails, etc., no unconscious members.

INFORMATIONAL NOTE: (See Index for complete details and charges.) In addition to archery lessons and archery refresher courses, the club can now offer mixed classes in How-to Heraldry, Etiquette for Absolute Beginners, Ballroom Dancing for “The Young in Heart” and the “Cuisine of the Big House.” For Junior Members (Male) there are also courses in “Funky” Falconry, a “History of the Glorious Empire” as illustrated by the London Court News Junior Pages, and Recognising Military Cap Badges. For Senior and Junior Lady Members, there are short courses in “Cooking Hints from Below Stairs” and the newly-introduced Speed Tapestry.

ADDENDUM: Members can now purchase their own trolley and iron-ringed wooden carrying box for the easy transportation of the club rule book. (See Index for charges.) The trolley has a towing attachment for motorised vehicles of suitably large engine size. If members want to keep the rule book at home, a grant may be available for floor-strengthening. (See Index for more details and charges.)