DAYS ON THE BANK WITH THE LEGENDS OF ANGLING
Martin M reacrotiunn Bowler Btso mwelemrorable recounts memorable meetings with the sport’s characters
SOONER or later we all become history – but a few great anglers leave a lasting legacy that becomes part of the fabric of our great sport, now and for the future.
I have been blessed to share not just days with some of these men but a lasting friendship too, and
as time passes I realise how lucky I’ve been.
Wilsh as Uncle John’ on‘ always been part of my angling life. There could be no better adventure for a fishing-mad boy than spending summer holidays fishing his lake in Norfolk.
John is, in fact, my second cousin who well before my time used to visit the River Lea with my grandparents Joe and Ethel. An early memory is being taught to tie a blood knot by John, as I found it impossible to land his carp on the grannies I favoured back then. Countless trips followed in pursuit of Wensum chub, Bedfordshire rudd, Wye barbel and even monsters in Thailand! Yet it would be hard to better the days we spent together on the Great Ouse, pulling out its huge perch.
Every 4lb fish that came over the net was greeted by that famous laugh, which sceptics believe to be forced but is as real and unaffected as his love of angling.
On and off camera, nothing was ever staged, and this is why John’s Go Fishing TV programme was so popular. When I was a child John helped me to become obsessed with angling, as he did thousands of others who enjoyed the Wilson magic on the telly.
B’so inbfl Cuheunrcceh on game fishing is unrivalled, and he was the first to offer me a job in the angling trade. In business our paths diverged, but our friendship continued to grow. Never have I met a man with a deeper love of angling. Bob ran a successful tackle company – who can forget those wax cotton one-piece suits? That, a glittering trout match career and an Angling Times column over a quarter of a century puts him among the greats.
On a personal note, Bob instilled in me a love of salmon fishing when I accepted his invitation to the River Ness in Scotland.
Ever since then, whenever a silver tourist safely makes it into my landing net, I say: “Cheers Churchy!”
BHeurgnhard Cribbins and M wiolerksed together to create A Passion for Angling. Hugh’s camera work and imagination, combined with Bernard’s instantly recognisable voice and presentation skills, made this an all-time TV classic never to be bettered. I worked with both men on Catching the Impossible and learnt that hard work and professionalism go a long way.
A favourite memory was the first time I met Bernard while trying to stalk a carp: “Don’t push!” was his reaction to me shoving him into
“When I was a child John helped me to become obsessed with angling, as he did thousands of others”
Cribbins Drennan Yates Church Miles Lampard Wilson Somanyprecious days with John Wilson.
Rainbow warrior – the wonderful Bob Church. I am so lucky to be able to count Bernard Cribbins as a friend. Salmon on the Spey with Bernard Cribbins.