Edinburgh archery club gets surprise present that helps to renovate venue

The lights in use during the London Olympics
The lights in use during the London Olympics
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LIGHTS from the London Olympics water polo venue have been gifted to an Edinburgh archery club.

Drum Field Archers put out a request to help do up their dilapidated new base – and members were amazed when they got the generous offer from Olympic legacy officials.

A Drum archer in the new venue

A Drum archer in the new venue

They quickly accepted and the lights are now set to be installed in their new venue, to the delight of members.

One said: “It’s a really welcome boost and we’re just absolutely delighted to be receiving them.”

The organisation, which had been meeting at Gilmerton Community Centre for a couple of hours a week, was recently donated a clubhouse of its own.

But although the building – known as the Tattie Shed – was welcome, it had no toilets, lights or heating and an appeal was made for help do it up.

Incredibly a random e-mail appeal to the London Legacy Development Corporation prompted a response – and the lights from the dismantled water polo venue were sent to the Edinburgh archers.

Archer Bill Marr, 46, who works for Balfour Beattie, who were involved in construction work for the Olympics, said: “It was all a bit out of the blue.

“I had sent round a blanket e-mail asking for help fixing up the shed and I was pretty surprised when I got an e-mail back from the project manager at the Olympics asking what we wanted.

“The light fittings are quite special. Because they were used at the water polo events they are watertight. We’ve calculated the market value of them to be around £7500.”

The clubhouse, built in the 1950s is a former potato merchants, hence “Tattie Shed”.

The building was donated by Flogas, which has along with Balfour Beattie and Bernard Hunter helped upgrade it. And the Olympic donation was another welcome addition.

Mr Marr said: “The donation of the lights is going to accelerate us being able to move in to the new shed. Before the club would just get a couple of hours in the hall.

Mr Marr, who lives in Gilmerton with wife Julie, has six children – ­Daniel, 25, Connar, 23, Teegan, 21, Natasha 19, Liam, 16 and Keela, 14.

And the sport has proved a family affair for the Marrs with Connar, Teegan, Liam and Keela all members.

Drum Field, which says it caters for anyone interested in archery from those aged nine to 90, has around 35 members and its numbers are increasing.

“One of the reasons we had to think about moving in to a new premises is because we have had much more interest in the club.

“The sport has had a lot of publicity with the Olympic Games and with the Disney Pixar firm Brave and the ­Hunger Games coming out – it seems like every second film at the cinema has a bow in it.”

The water polo pool and three 50-metre swimming pools used in the Games are being disassembled and rebuilt in other parts of the UK.

All the sports equipment used will be donated to UK sports clubs and charities.

The London Legacy Development Corporation has been put in charge of the Olympic site’s future.

Last summer the venue in the east end of London played host to one of the most successful games of modern times.