Trentham Camp Archery Club began its life in November 1950 at the Trentham Army Camp in Upper Hutt. The
Club was originally comprised of servicemen and their families. The Club became affiliated to the
Archery Association of New Zealand in July 1950.
The Club shot on an indoor range in a long army hut, which it shared with a smallbore rifle club. It also had an outdoor range on army land and a field course among the pine trees surrounding a nearby water reservoir.
The Club's membership was subsequently boosted by a number of civilians from the building firm of W M Angus, which had its premises nearby.
The Club had it's heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. During this time the popularity of archery was at its peak, there being at least seven clubs in the greater Wellington area. Trentham was one of the larger clubs with a membership of 35 to 40. During this period of time the Club produced a number of Junior and Senior National Champions.
The decline of the Club began on 10 April 1968, when the Wahine Storm destroyed all the club's equipment on the outdoor range. The indoor range was subsequently demolished and the Club was given storage space on the mezzanine floor of the "clock tower" for its equipment. This meant that all the heavy target butts had to be man-handled down before a shoot, and man-handled back up again when the shoot finished. Membership declined rapidly.
To add to the Club's woes the nearby golf course was extended onto where the outdoor range used to be, and houses were built on the field course. Trentham became a club without facilities, but the core of the club stayed together and got their shooting by competing at tournaments that were held by other clubs in the area.
We later joined the Hutt Valley Sports Centre and set up an indoor range in an old factory building in Naenae, sharing the premises with cycling, judo and wrestling clubs. This arrangement worked well until the City Council realised that the premises were zoned industrial, but were being used for recreation purposes at a peppercorn rental, and closed the operation down.
The next venue for the Club was the Stokes Valley Rugby Club, which was not totally satisfactory, as equipment had to be carried down from an upstairs storeroom and returned at the end of a shoot. Around this time the Club set up a field course on a property off Moonshine Road, high up on the Western Hills with views of the Trentham/Silverstream areas of Upper Hutt.
In 1991 the Rugby Club needed the space occupied by the club for another dressing room and we were on the move again. The Club came to an agreement with Randwick Archery Club for the use of their grounds and facilities and that is where we have remained to this day. This period saw the sale of the property on which the field course was situated and the Club lost the use of this facility.
Around the time that Trentham went into the agreement with Randwick, Club membership was fluctuating at between 3 and 6. The Club embarked on a "continuous coaching" programme and steadily built its membership to around 12.
Around October 2004 the club became aware of the possibility of moving back to Trentham, to a presently dis-used rifle range. Negotiations continued over the next few months and in September 2005 everything started to come together. Agreements and paperwork were dealt with and on 1 October 2005 a team of club members moved onto the range to start building the range (see New Range for details) and by the beginning of November 2005 the target range was in use and beginners' courses had re-commenced.
2005 has been a momentous year for the club. Its 55th birthday was on November 5th and it has returned to where it all began. Two of our present club members are founding members of the club and have many tales to tell about the early years and the triumphs and disappointments of the intervening years.