1975 – the year of Geoffrey Howe and the archers

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Listing Sir Geoffrey Howe’s titles is a little like introducing one of the characters from Game of Thrones.

He was Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe – the first of his name – Baron Howe of Aberavon, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons, Deputy Prime Minister and Lord President of the Council.

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To a group of children in July 1975, though, he was simply the nice man who presented the prizes at the Copthorne Franciscan Friary School sports day.

The day was organised by headmistress Sister Bonaventure, supervised by sports mistress Eileen Chana, and included old favourites such as beanbag balancing and an obstacle race.

Does anyone recognise any of the children in the picture or know why Sir Geoffrey had been invited along to present the prizes?

One competition that was not included at Copthorne was archery – small children and bows and arrows are rarely a good mixture.

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Anyone interested in learning to emulate Robin Hood – or Arya Stark – could go along to the Crawley Archery Club, which celebrated its 20 anniversary in 1975.

The chief instructor was Ken Batchelor, who was delighted to see membership numbers soaring. He put the interest down to the opening of a new sports hall at the leisure centre in 1974 by town mayor Ben Clay and Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

The Crawley & District Observer reported the club had high hopes of success in Sussex County Championships in Horsham, with the best prospect being Nigel Boyling, who was hoping for a title.

Do you recognise any of the archers in these photos?

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