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October 2018 Newsletter

By dave, Oct 4 2018 07:55PM



Welcome to the Newton Abbot Fencing club (NAFC). I recently have been elected Chair of the NAFC, so below is little about me.


My name is William (Bill) Berkley and I have been employed by the National Health Service since 1980 (moving from a Qualified Operating Department Practitioner in theatres to a Specialist Paramedic in the Ambulance Service). I joined the Ambulance Service in 1987, Qualified in 1992 and became a Specialist Paramedic in 2003. I was presented with an award by the Association of Ambulance Chief Exetives in 2012 for ‘Outstanding Service’ and in 2016 was voted “Practice Placement Mentor of the Year’ by the Plymouth University.



I have been married for 34yrs to Debbie and have 2 children (Sophie 25yrs & Daniel 29yrs), I live in Plymouth and commute each Monday night to Newton Abbot for Fencing.

After 30 years in the Ambulance Service and a total of 37 years in the NHS, I decided in April, last year, to reduce my hours to part-time and needed a hobby/Interest to occupy my time. All my life I always had an incline to learn how to sword fence.

I set about finding out where you can learn this noble art. After much research I decided to join the ‘Salle Lawrence’ fencing club (Salle is French for room and most of the commands in fencing are French, e.g. En-guarde, Prêt, Allez meaning on-guard, ready, go respectively)but left it in favour of Newton Abbot Fencing club in January this year, which is a very warm and welcoming club and was very warmly welcomed by Jan, Bruce, Richard, Leo, Mike, Andy & John and I thank them very much.

Foil, epee and sabre are the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. While some fencers compete in all three events, fencers generally choose to focus their energies on mastering one weapon. The foil is a decendent of the light court sword used by nobility to train for duels. It has a flexible, rectangular blade about 35 inches in length, and weighing less than a pound.

The epee (pronounced “EPP-pay” - literally meaning "sword" in French) is the descendant of the dueling sword, but is heavier, weighing approximately 27 ounces, with a stiffer, thicker blade and a larger guard.

The sabre is the modern version of the slashing cavalry sword. As such, the major difference between sabre and the other two weapons is that sabreists can score with the edge of their blade as well as their point.


When I started I tried both disciplines of Foil and Epee but decided to persue Foil fencing.








I will post a newsletter each month and put it on our website and email it to members (if you would like me to email you a copy direct, please email me berkleybill@blueyonder.co.uk your email address and I will send a copy each month, no problems. I am currently in the process of organising a facebook account.


I welcome any news/ideas/topics that members would like to see in their montly newsletter.

Upcoming competions :


The Third Devon Open Foil 2018 on Sunday October 14th 2018 at Oakhampton


Parklands Leisure Centre,Simmons Park,Mill Road,Okehampton,EX20 1PR

Queries to Alex Scott: alexjmscott@hotmail.co.ukor 07899 953409

Contacts on the day: Alex Scott (07899 953409) or Jim Pilkington (07953 391751)

Standard entry fee £20

‘Early Bird’ discount fee £15 for entries received by 1st October

Final closing date for entries: Thursday 11th October 2018

Entries by the ‘Early Bird’ date will be entered into a prize draw





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