Roy­alty Days

Anglers Mail - - Anglers -

ANY­ONE with a fond­ness for step­ping back in time will en­joy Bob Bu­teux’s nos­tal­gic ac­count of his vis­its to the Hamp­shire Avon’s Roy­alty Fish­ery over 60 years.

It was in 1956 that Bob first made the 230-mile round trip from his home in Waltham­stow on a Tri­umph Tiger 110 mo­tor­bike, dressed in welling­tons and an ex-army tank suit.

One trip took six hours just to get there, to fish in gales and rain, be­fore a sim­i­lar jour­ney back.

Even in deep­est win­ter he made the trip, to use his Wal­lis Wizard rod and Am­bidex reel to leger bread flake or cheesep­a­ste, made from a whole loaf and a pack of Dairylea tri­an­gles.

Dou­ble-fig­ure bar­bel were a rar­ity, and a 5 lb chub was a spec­i­men, but the Roy­alty was fre­quented by fa­mous an­glers, such as the Tay­lor broth­ers, Peter Stone, Peter Dren­nan, Bill Quin­lan, Len Ar­bery, Jack Hil­ton and Fred Crouch, and was where in 1953 Dick Walker and Tom Sails fished the fi­nal round of their fa­mous chal­lenge.

Bill and Sonny War­ren spent much of their time on the banks, and this book came about to record some of the sto­ries about them and their re­mark­able catches, which in­cluded ten 2 lb roach in a day by Bill, who is fa­mous for his record chub of

7 lb 6 oz, and Sonny’s habit of re­turn­ing fish un­weighed, one a pos­si­ble record chub.

Bob charts the changes in the flow and clar­ity (and carp) of the river over the years as he tells his sto­ries, and the book is full of old pho­tos of Roy­alty high­lights from a pre­vi­ous era, com­ple­mented by colour il­lus­tra­tions by Mau­rice Pledger, with guest chap­ters by Roy­alty Mu­seum cu­ra­tor Tony Timms, and by an­gling friends Len Ar­bery and Pete Cranstoun.

(The Lit­tle Egret Press) £24.95 from www.lit­tlee­gret­press.com or

07909 090983.

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