The Memory Bank
The page from yesteryear where memories are stored for others to enjoy.
Received from Dave Park, of Crowborough - 14/11/2015
The Medway just below Tonbridge has gravelly undercut banks. CDAA fished matches there, way way back in the 1950’s.
At one match, on a February morning there was this angler (not a regular, dunno his name, so let's call him "Harve") trying to push his front rod-rest into the gravel. One hand - no good. Both hands - still the damn thing wouldn't go in. He put all his weight on it, and suddenly the tip got through the gravel, out into the fresh air of the undercut, and he did a forward one-and-a-half somersault (no twist) over the top of the rod-rest into the Medway.
"Sherb", our worthy 16 stone Club Chairman, rolled about laughing, so much so, that he was in danger of falling in himself. The rest of us managed to contain our mirth sufficiently to rescue "Harve". He stripped and dried himself on an assortment of fishing rags and towels. It was as cold and raw a February morning as ever you would wish to experience. Sensing what was coming I hastily donated my jacket to this heap of shivering misery, leaving others to supply shoes, shirt and trousers!
Give Harve his due, he recovered, dressed in a motley assortment of clothing, set up and fished on until we packed up at teatime.
Received from Duncan Garratt - 16/12/2013
After viewing your website, I would just like to say how much I enjoyed seeing the Club that I was once a member of, around thirty-five years ago, going from strength to strength with a good portfolio of waters that members can fish. I particularly enjoyed the interviews with Peter Boorman and Cris Millis, who I knew well and are a safe pair of hands, at the helm of the Club. I look back with fondness on some of the stalwart members of the club, Keith Wilson, John Fieldbuss and his friend Wally Turner, Mr Palmer and of course Peter Boorman and Cris Millis and apologies to others whose names elude me at this current time. Many a time my father would be working on the farm and I was without transport, but somehow these good people and others came to the rescue and provided transport - Thank you. It is nice to know that although I live in Plymouth these days, the Club I left behind is thriving and this is a heartening thought. May I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and good fishing.
Received from Aidan Griffin, once of Athlone - 10/02/2014
I recently came across your website showing a photograph of some of your old members fishing the river Shannon in my hometown of Athlone. I lived in Athlone during the 1940's and 50's and will always remember the anglers from England who frequented the town each Summer. As young boys, we were always fascinated by the modern angling equipment they possessed and their use of bread to bait the river for Bream, a fish we had never been aware of. Indeed, my mother was shocked one day when I told her of the sixpence I had received from an angler when asked to run up to the local bakery to purchase a large loaf of bread. She just didn't believe me when I told her the angler was tossing large pieces of the loaf into the river to encourage the fish. Our fishing experience was confined to fishing for Perch with our homemade rods and the odd sortie with our fathers to Lough Ree on Sundays during the Pike fishing competitions. We fished of the weir in the centre of the town but never below, so the discovery of this 'new' Bream fish was indeed a revelation.
Received from Dave Perrett - 21/10/2012
Having just read "It was Once Upon a Line... A Potted History" it brings back many memories. I was a junior member in the late 1960's and was a junior member of the Committee in the early 1970's, once Keith Wilson and Peter Boorman had instigated the return of juniors to the Committee. I can remember the night of the AGM in 1970 when Keith Wilson was elected Honorary Secretary "in error."
I won the Buckhurst Cup in 1971 with a catch that included a Pike of 7lb 8oz, which I believe is still a record for a junior - and I still have a picture of the cup somewhere. I can also remember fishing the Eden Brook in the old days, as well as a couple of ponds near Hartfield - I remember those especially because one time my bike got a puncture and I had to walk all the way home.
I used to fish with Bert Taylor because he lived two doors away from us in Elim Court Gardens, and would give me a lift. I was interested to see that Pete Boorman is still a member. I can recall competitions at Buckhurst Park, The Half Moon Stream, Fourth Mill and the Brickyard. It's good to see the club has gone from strength to strength - I still visit Crowborough to see my parents but don't have the time to go fishing anymore.
Received from Mick Loates - 01/08/2011
I came across your website recently with many pangs of nostalgia. It's been a quarter of a century since I left Crowborough for the West Country yet well I recall my years and fishing as a member of the club.
My initiation into the club, whilst on a train in to London was by Keith Wilson and Don Plummer in 1975 but I recall with similar affections John Field-Buss, Peter Boorman (and his delightful Mum who served me many times in the Tunbridge Wells art shop) and Cris Millis. It's good to know you're all still there.
The club appears to have gone from strength to strength. For me it was everything an angling club should be. Welcoming and friendly, with no class distinctions, well-attended working parties on beautiful waters and interesting social evenings. I call to mind one or two risque evenings at the Beacon Hotel.
My love affairs were with Hamsell Farm, the Half Moon Stream, Buckhurst Park Lake (I never did fish a finer, more beautiful stillwater) and the dear old Medway at Ashurst. Ironically, the year I left for South Devon, the Upper Medway began to produce some remarkable Barbel catches. I manage to take the odd specimen on the Lower Exe but they are elusive and possibly few in number.
Despite some of my finest fishing being down here in South Devon, my memory of those wonderful days on Crowborough and District Anglers' Association's waters remain sweet and unclouded.
Received from John Manktelow - 23/01/2010
This was our skipper’s first wrecking trip of the year, his first three bookings had all been cancelled due to a run of bad weather - so we did not know what to expect. We boarded our boat, Aladard, in Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour at 7.45am and steamed out to a mid-channel wreck that took and hour and a half. The sea was slight with a gentle north-north-easterly breeze. As we approached our chosen wreck we found Brian Joslin from Rye with another party of anglers aboard his boat Christie Ann.
Phil Batt our skipper positioned us on a drift and soon it was lines down in anticipation of a bite. For bait we used a mixture of shads, sand eels and pirks, giving a good range of colours and methods. Within seconds of our lures reaching the bottom some 50 metres below us, rods arched over and shouts of ‘fish on’ were heard all around the boat. Mark Lovell boated the first Cod, a nice fish of 15lbs with others fish of 8 - 14lbs also being boarded. Once everybody had landed their fish they dropped down again and within minutes shouts of ‘fish on’ were heard once again. The size of fish this time was similar and all within the 8 - 14lb range. Our skipper shouted ‘lines up’ so he could set the next drift. The Cod kept coming, but this time Mark Lovell fishing a pirk hooked a nice fish of 23lbs. We continued catching fish every drift, in fact sport was so hectic we stopped fishing to allow us time for lunch break and a welcome hot drink which Phil our skipper had made. We started fishing again after lunch, but by now the flood tide had started and this seemed to bring even bigger fish on the feed. Several 20lb Cod were boated with the smaller fish being between 14 and18lbs. Mark Lovell lost two big fish but still managed 24 Cod by the time we headed back to the harbour, with three over 20lbs. In total, seven anglers boated 126 Cod and a new Club Record of 1650lbs of fish boated in a single day.