First indoor archery centre to be launched in Burnley

Mark Duerden, Louise Cousins and Lilly Cousins
Mark Duerden, Louise Cousins and Lilly Cousins

A Pendle couple are on target to welcome the area’s first indoor archery centre to Burnley – with a little help from the USA.

Archery enthusiast Mark Duerden and his partner Louise Cousins, who has settled back in England after 25 years in Texas, have set up Phoenix Archery in Coal Clough Lane, Burnley.

It has a humongous space and will be the biggest centre in the region

Louise Cousins

The couple, who live in Roughlee, saw a gap in the market for an indoor archery centre and found the perfect premises in the empty Habergham Mill.

Louise said: “Mark is a very talented archer who is well-known on the circuit. He wants to encourage more people of all ages to get involved in the sport.

“We chose Burnley because it is fairly central and has good motorway links. We just had to find the right property but when we saw the top floor of Habergham Mill it was perfect.

“It has a humongous space and will be the biggest centre in the region. It is big enough to incorporate a 25m. advanced range and a 10m. beginners’ range. We feel that in this part of the world, where we have a lot of wet weather, an indoor range is really needed.

“We are dedicated to promoting the sport in a fun and comfortable environment. All equipment will be available at the centre including specialist bows imported from America.”

The couple hope to also hire the centre out for parties and functions.

Mark has been active in competitions for more than 20 years, and has won several competitions including the Scottish Championships.

The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Lilly has now also taken up the sport.

Louise, who grew up in Barrowford, moved to Texas where she opened a hair salon and lived for 25 years. She still travels back to the US state once a month to work at the salon.

And in true American style, the centre will open on Independence Day, July 4th.

Archery: the facts

Archery has a long tradition in England, stretching back centuries, with the prowess of English archers cited as the reason behind many famous battle victories including Crécy (1346) and Agincourt (1415).

Medieval kings, at various times, banned games such as football and bowls asmen everywhere were playing those sports rather than practicing archery.

The power of the longbow was superseded by the advent of gunpowder and the firearm, but the practice remained a popular sport.

Today, archery has become a very modern sport with high-tech equipment and is an Olympic sport.