A TARGET has been set for the return of an historic archery competition to the Scottish Borders for the first time in eight years.

The Royal Company of Archers has submitted a request for approval to run a contest for the ‘Peebles Arrow’ in Haylodge Park on July 19.

Much mystery surrounds the history of the 17-inch silver arrow, which was first shot for in the early-to-mid 17th century.

During religious troubles which swept through much of Scotland, the arrow was concealed in the wall of a building, which was a former chapel, used by the Peebles Town Council. It was only discovered around a century later in 1780.

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Its first mention in the records of the Royal Company came four years later, when Mr Alexander, the Provost of Peebles, dined with the archers, and he brought with him the old silver arrow.

Shoots for the Peebles Arrow have taken place on and off ever since, with Peebles welcoming the Royal Company of Archers to the town every few years.

The event was last staged in 2016 and when members of Peebles Common Good Fund Sub Committee meet next week they will be asked to give the go-ahead for its return this summer.

The plan is that after the event the competitors and guests will attend a private dinner at the town’s Tontine Hotel.

The National: Archery

The shoot involves archers shooting at a target from 180 yards away using only traditional wooden long bows and wooden arrows. It has a maximum of 12 ends and if at the end of the competition there is a tie one more end is shot to decide the outright winner.

The archers shoot in pairs, each shooting two arrows at an end, alternating with their partner.

The event is set to incorporate a parade from the Tontine Hotel to Haylodge Park and a return march back. In previous years this parade has had a mobile police front and rear escort on the A72.

The new application states: “The Peebles Arrow has been competed for since 1628. We would very much like to parade again on July 19 in order to maintain the historic traditions of the Peebles Arrow.”