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The 'Old School' series has become one of our most popular sets of books we have ever published. It appears that, in this fast-moving society we find ourselves more and more anglers are keen to look back at how things used to be, where it all started, before the commercialism that now controls our angling, before the 'sponsored angler', before Facebook, the Internet, or even mobile phones!!
However, did we survive? It certainly was a very different sort of carp angling to today’s high pace, remote control, Snapchatting, wannabe blogger’s world we find ourselves in.
Our contributors to volume 3 are the anglers we aspired to, the heroes of that bygone age who were catching carp years ago before the hair rig when not everyone could catch them quite so easily. So, let's take a look at what Volume 3 has to offer, and why I consider it the best yet!
But who deserves first mention, that's the question? Well, let's start with the godfather of carping Pete Springate whose chapter 'Discovering Yeoveney' with those amazing brace shots still makes the hair stand on end when I look at them, they really don't make them like that anymore. Mile Wilson's chapter ' Dick Walker and Me' looks back to their meeting, an exchange of ideas. Savay Discovered by John Harry looks back to when Johm first set his eyes on the lake where he would end up spending most of his life.
My Time on Rodney by John Pope is the first of two chapters by Johm looking back to his time on this Boyer Leisure venue which was making headlines in the 1970's and 1960's before the fish were transferred to Harefield. His second capture deals with his affair at Walthamstow Reservoirs in the eighties. Frank Haskett may be remembered for his capture of a massive carp from the Yateley Copse Lake, fish which inspired both Ritchie McDonald and Terry Hearn to fish there. Sadly, the fish was never seen again.
Duncan Kay was king of the bait scene in the seventies and eighties, his chapter on bait advice still holds true to this day. Speaking of bait, yet another bait guru was John Baker, from the next decade to this day Johns love of bait has not only been a passion but a big part of his life, John's chapter makes interesting reading.
Two chapters from Kevin Maddocks in this volume, the first is on Ashlea Pool which Kevin and Vic Gillings dominated way back. I remember seeing the film they made at Ashlea at one or two of the shows back in the early eighties, awesome at the time and still well worth seeing if you get the chance. Kevins second chapter is a thought-provoking piece , so relevant in today's carp scene and asks the question " Are we just going through the motions".
Darenth The Early Years by Steve Briggs looks back to the days when Richworth Tutti's took this venue to town. It just proved what was possible with what was nothing special as far as bait goes but if everyone piled it in, the fish became obsessed. Jim Gibbinson was the top carp angler in the UK in his day, not only a great carper but an outstanding writer too, writing a host of best sellers. His chapter in this book looks at the carp scene at the time and dissects the best and the worst of carp angling.
Gerry Savage was another big name at the same time as Jim, he was the angler who brought the first high protein carp bait to the high street, HI-Pro was its name. Gerry's chapter epitomises the carp world as it was in the 70's. Staines in the Early Days by Ritchie McDonald tells the story of Longfield AKA Fox Pool before it was known and became a circuit water for carp hunters up and down the country. We have lost several well-known carp anglers in the last year and we honour two in this volume.
Roger Smith Remembered by Rob Maylin and Friends contains memories from Rob Maylin of their friendship plus farewell messages from dozens of Rogers friends. Len Arbury Passes by Derek Stritton was written just after Len left us with kind words from his good friend Derek. Laughing Waters 1964 by Bruce Ashby was written a couple of months before Bruce died of prostate cancer, some great memories and images from one of this country's greatest and well-loved anglers. The Start of Something by Wayne Grant takes a look back to what got Wayne started in this life changing hobby.
In Pursuit of a Twenty Pounder by Dave Lane is the story of a part of carp fishing that us old timers all went through, it seems unbelievable today but the hunt for tour first twenty pounder sometimes took years of hard work.
Andy Little's name came to the forefront when he joined the first ever syndicate at the famous Savay Lake. His long-range tactics earned him instant success, that combined with the first ever boillies and side hooking rig. Mike Oyez was yet another big name of the 70's and 80's not only a prolific catcher but a fishery owner too, his chapter looks back at these times with a sarcastic eye.
Finally, what has become a favourite section of these books our Old School Scrap Book, filled with images from a bygone age.
It seems unbelievable that so many icons can possibly appear in one volume! now perhaps you too will see why in my opening lines I described Volume 3 as the best yet! I hope you enjoy, and please let me know if you agree?
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