Obituary - Thelma Barber

Brian Barber [Tonbridge Archery Club].

Thelma Barber, who was Coaching Organiser and a founder member of Tonbridge Archery Club, sadly passed away on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 after a lengthy illness.

Thelma and her partner, Malcolm, competed at Dunster Archery Week in 1978, where they won a target boss as 1st. prize for a nominated pair of archers on the first day of the Grand Western Championships. After this they decided to form an archery club on a suitable piece of ground, known as Brightfriars Meadow, which was rented from a local hockey club near Tonbridge Castle. The fact that Thelma had been a very accomplished hockey player in her earlier years, before having to retire due to cartilage trouble, no doubt played an important part in being able to secure the use of this ground.

She was one of the first women in the country to qualify as a National Coach and the pinnacle of her coaching career was in the late 1970s, when she coached archers who were part of the National Squad.

She spent many years on the Kent Archery Association committee as County Coaching Organiser. During this time there were a couple of years when she shot in the county team, as she was capable of shooting to Master Bowman level.

Thelma was also county Chairman from 1977-1978.

In more recent years Thelma devoted her time to helping other club members improve their own shooting. Sadly she had been unable to peruse her own shooting for many years because of injury and in hindsight it seems particularly unfair that someone who gave so much for the benefit of her fellow archers, received so little in return.

She will be sadly missed by her club and all who knew her, but will always be remembered with affection.