Still Carp­ing On

Mem­o­ries... Light the cor­ners of my mind, Misty wa­ter-coloured mem­o­ries, Of the way we were.

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - - Tim Paisley

Our long­est-serv­ing con­trib­u­tor takes a fond look back at the last 30 event­ful years from the time of the in­cep­tion of our favourite fish­ing mag­a­zine

Pub­lish­ers and ed­i­tors love land­mark oc­ca­sions; sig­nif­i­cant is­sues of the mag­a­zine, and an­niver­saries of the date on which it was first pub­lished. It turns out that Mick, Bev and Ru are no dif­fer­ent! “We could do with a piece from you look­ing back at the 30 years of the mag­a­zine’s life, if pos­si­ble.” I was rapidly di­gest­ing this un­wel­come blow to the so­lar plexus, when Bev fol­lowed through with a lady-like right up­per­cut. “Oh, and we could do with you to get to­gether with Hutchy to com­pile an in­ter­view look­ing back to 1988.” This dis­cus­sion took place be­fore Rod was torn from us, a tragedy which oc­curred while I was still try­ing to pluck up courage to tell him that we would have to do some work to­gether. In­ter­views might not sound like work, but they are, or were, es­pe­cially in Rod’s case. He loved to talk, but didn’t al­ways feel like ‘work’ if that meant a de­gree of self-dis­ci­pline in terms of or­der­ing his thoughts and co­her­ently com­mit­ting them to tape. He was on the cover of is­sue 1, con­trib­uted hand­somely to the suc­cess of the mag­a­zine through the years, and has to be in here, so I’ve com­piled a sep­a­rate trib­ute piece, based on as few high­lights of his body of work.

Re­al­is­ti­cally in­ter­views with Rod were a joy to tape, but a nec­es­sary labour of love in terms of con­vert­ing them to the PC, and find­ing enough pic­tures to il­lus­trate them mean­ing­fully. Sur­pris­ingly Rod’s back-cat­a­logue of pic­tures was not as pro­lific as an edi­tor would have liked it to be. And tak­ing any in­ter­view off tape can be a min­i­mum of two days’ of pretty bor­ing work, with con­stant rewinds, try­ing to de­ci­pher mut­tered in­ter­jec­tions, and check­ing the spell­ing of any names of peo­ple or places that ap­pear on the tape. No, it’s not like proper work, but how many coal min­ers are in their sev­en­ties and eight­ies?

Now you might think that sug­gest­ing that writ­ing this in­volves much ef­fort is a bit OTT, but I know what I am like when it comes to look­ing back at the past. I don’t know if it shows but I am big on re­search, and round­ing up the right pic­tures for any ar­ti­cle, and a 30-year look­back re­quires ex­tra-spe­cial at­ten­tion. If you have per­son­ally as­pired to the lofty age of 30 have a quick think about how you would de­scribe the events of your 30 years of life in a few thou­sand words, and il­lus­trate it mean­ing­fully. I know, your im­me­di­ate thought is about per­sonal best and land­mark fish, but I’ve been there, and done that, and this re­flec­tion has to be more com­pre­hen­sive than that. That is true of pub­lish­ing a look-back at any time, but on a land­mark oc­ca­sion when Carp-talk has just been laid to rest, Hutchy has died, and An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions is wind­ing down and no long pub­lishes Carp­world, you’re tread­ing through a mine­field in terms of try­ing to recog­nise those who have helped Carp­world achieve such a re­mark­able longevity for a monthly an­gling mag­a­zine.

For a long time I was edi­tor of Carp­world.

Did I no­tice an­niver­saries and land­mark is­sues? Too right I did! I was com­par­a­tively young (ha!), and keen, and noth­ing was too much trou­ble – and those around me who made the mag­a­zine pos­si­ble prob­a­bly told me that it was only right to cel­e­brate our tenth birth­day. So Mike Wil­son was on the cover of the tenth an­niver­sary is­sue and my Carp Leader bore the ti­tle ‘Ten Years On...’ Mary was still in charge, the girls still did as they were told (by Mary), and the piece ac­knowl­edged the con­tri­bu­tion of a num­ber of peo­ple who helped make it hap­pen in the first place, like Kevin Nash, San­dra Proc­tor (Proc, with us from day two), Pip and Jemima (who would not thank me for pro­duc­ing the pic­ture used then!), Tony Davies-pa­trick, a class act back then, and still one to­day, Fred J. Tay­lor and Dave Chilton, among oth­ers. Our tenth birth­day is­sue was num­ber 96, and the con­tents in­cluded the Hutchin­son Tapes, which I will re­turn to else­where. One land­mark con­tri­bu­tion to that is­sue was Fred Sykes’ ar­ti­cle ‘Carp and Ot­ters’, in­clud­ing graphic pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence of what we now know to be typ­i­cal ot­ter dam­age, and based on years of bit­ter ex­pe­ri­ence since ot­ters first vis­ited Fred’s wa­ter in Cum­bria, ten years pre­vi­ously. Fred’s is a very thor­ough, en­light­en­ing fea­ture. It in­cluded pic­tures of an ot­ter fence, and an il­lus­tra­tion show­ing its spec­i­fi­ca­tions. A new prob­lem back then? No! Fred draws at­ten­tion to Dick Walker and Mau­rice Ing­ham writ­ing about prob­lems with ot­ters in their 1950 book Drop Me a Line, an ex­tract I’ve quoted in a re­cent ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Walker for a new book which is in pro­duc­tion.

Re­mark­ably, I have been able to un­earth our twen­ti­eth birth­day is­sue (CW 216); ‘re­mark­ably’ be­cause it wasn’t in a binder. Martin Ford was edi­tor at the time, and as far as I can see there was no recog­ni­tion of the fact that it was a birth­day is­sue, ei­ther on the cover or in Martin’s Carp Leader. On the other hand that was com­pen­sated for by the fact that there was a pic­ture of Scott

The range of sub­ject the Tapes cov­ered over a two and half year pe­riod through the mid-90s was quite re­mark­able, and even now I’m amazed at Rod’s grasp of all things carpy

Maslen in the leader, and a plug for Sonik Rods, both of which her­alded the shape of things to come. Hav­ing said which, Martin was big­ger on sig­nif­i­cant land­mark num­bers than birth­days, and had al­ready pushed the boat out for the 200th is­sue, pub­lished in May 2007. My con­tri­bu­tion to the joint-leader with Martin in that is­sue was ‘The Long and Wind­ing Road (When Dreams Be­come Re­al­ity)’ and high­lighted the roles of those who had made the jour­ney down the long and wind­ing road pos­si­ble. Sadly Mary had been taken from us by that time, the girls were in charge, and I looked a lot older than I do now. (I think I look ex­actly the same, ac­tu­ally.) Is it re­ally ten years since Martin and I posed in front of the pic­ture of Mary in the An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions’ vestibule?

By some strange quirk of fate (not that strange: Fordy had left for pas­tures new) I was edi­tor again by is­sue 250. We duly pushed the boat out, and I see that my Carp Leader was again on the dreams theme, this time us­ing Hutchy’s quote, which I had by then be­come se­ri­ously en­am­oured of, ‘Where Dreams are Still Alive...’ There were the usual trib­utes, and the leader in­cluded my favourite An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions’ staff pic­ture, re­pro­duced with this piece. Is­sue 250, July 2011, and we had all those peo­ple on the pay­roll! A num­ber of them are cur­rently gain­fully em­ployed by some ma­jor play­ers in the carp mar­ket­place, and power to their el­bow! The cover was a nice one pay­ing re­spects to many of the carpers who had helped make Carp­world a suc­cess through­out its life.

Re­mark­ably is­sue 300 co­in­cided with the mag­a­zine’s 27th birth­day, and edi­tor Broady and the girls duly pushed the boat out. For me a joy­ful as­pect of this is­sue was that, at Broady’s re­quest, I took a look back at some of the high­lights of the Hutchin­son Tapes. Their sig­nif­i­cance was starting to grow on me by then, and I have been re­vis­it­ing them since his death as a pre­lude to in­clud­ing some­thing from him in this is­sue. The range of sub­ject the Tapes cov­ered over a two and half year pe­riod through the mid-90s was quite re­mark­able, and even now I’m amazed at Rod’s grasp of all things carpy. A spe­cial fea­ture in­cluded trib­utes from Carp­world con­trib­u­tors Ali Hamidi, Si­mon Crow, Bill Cot­tam, Chris Ball, Ar­jen Uit­bei­jerse, Iain Macmil­lan, Frank War­wick, Ian Chill­cott, Jim Gib­bin­son, Ju­lian Cundiff, Shaun Har­ri­son, Mike Ka­vanagh, Mark Wals­ing­ham, Lee Jack­son, Ken Town­ley, Steve Briggs, and Keith Jenk­ins. Brig­gsy’s com­ment summed up the con­trib­u­tors’ con­sen­sus: “It’s amaz­ing re­ally that Carp­world has been head and shoul­ders above other mags right from the start, and con­tin­ues to lead the way.”

There’s one other is­sue to men­tion, which I’m re­call­ing out of se­quence be­cause I loved the cover so much. Broady was big on land­mark num­bers and birth­days, so we had a 25th birth­day is­sue be­tween the twen­ti­eth and thir­ti­eth birth­days. This is is­sue 276, the one with the ‘Sgt. Pep­per’s al­bum’ cover, which I must mod­estly ad­mit was my idea. Broady, Gary Hood and the pro­duc­tion depart­ment did us proud with the end prod­uct, and this is far and away my favourite Carp­world cover of all time, not least be­cause it is a trib­ute cover em­brac­ing many names past and present, in ad­di­tion to be­ing an eye-catcher. Right up to the last minute we were go­ing to run with the Bea­tles’ uni­forms from the orig­i­nal cover, but bot­tled it at the eleventh hour. We didn’t know if we would be in­fring­ing copy­right in any way, which we just couldn’t risk. Imag­ine go­ing to all that trou­ble and then have all the copies im­pounded, or re­called. In­cluded on the cover of is­sue 276 are four Carp­world ed­i­tors: yours truly, Si­mon Crow, Martin Ford, and Steve Broad. Ru­pert has joined that au­gust list this year, but it is a re­mark­able re­flec­tion of loy­alty to the ti­tle that there were so few ed­i­tors dur­ing a 30-year pe­riod.

But a life of a mag­a­zine isn’t just about the run­ning of the com­pany that pub­lishes it, and the end prod­ucts. There are the shows, and the books, the get-to­geth­ers, and the par­ties, and the mem­o­ries of some of those, are as great as the of­fice mem­o­ries. Self-in­dul­gently, per­haps, I’ve in­cluded a few pic­tures of these oc­ca­sions, be­cause they pre­sented some ‘hair down’ mo­ments made pos­si­ble by the hard work through the rest of the year.

There is one trip in par­tic­u­lar which sticks in my mind, our trip to Mick Paine’s Zwolle show in Hol­land for the launch of Monster Carp. Get­ting ready for and go­ing to Zwolle made for a long hard day. Up in the early hours, load the trailer at AP, pick up Thomas (Dun­can-dun­lop) en route, ferry, over­land to Zwolle via Bel­gium, then un­load and set up the stand. By the time you have found the ho­tel and booked in that evening you are whacked, so you have a quick drink, get in­stalled in your room, and crash out. That was the the­ory, but that first drink of the evening al­ways seemed to give us sec­ond wind, and cer­tainly did so on that oc­ca­sion. The bar was next to re­cep­tion so our travel bags were kicked un­der the ta­ble and the only com­pro­mise to the drink­ing ses­sion in the hours that fol­lowed was a break for din­ner. Silly re­ally, but that was the hard-earned so­cial event

Right up to the last minute we were go­ing to run with the Bea­tles’ uni­forms from the orig­i­nal cover, but bot­tled it at the eleventh hour. We didn’t know if we would be in­fring­ing copy­right in any way, which we just couldn’t risk

you felt you’d earned af­ter a long, hard day, and a week­end on your feet still to come. This was the first time the girls had met Tom, and they were en­chanted. Tom has that ef­fect on the op­po­site sex. From the age of five on­wards they all want to mother him.

One more Zwolle trip, and that was for the launch of Hutchy’s Carp Along the Way – Vol­ume Two. Now if you want a drink at these shows you un­der­take a five mile hike to the bar, and then queue for­ever be­cause bars tend to be pop­u­lar spots for carp an­glers (in case the fact had been lost on you). I warned Pip in ad­vance that Rod might want a drink at some point in the day, so we made sure we had a cou­ple of bot­tles of whisky, and glasses on the stand. Fair do’s, he showed up for 10am, but had the shakes. “I could do with a drink,” was his pre­lude, even be­fore say­ing “guten mor­gen”. “Cof­fee or tea?” I asked naively. “No, a drink!” was the sharp re­sponse. The whisky came into play a few hours ear­lier than I had an­tic­i­pated. Rod was adored in Europe.

For some years our Christ­mas do was a day at the races at Southall all-weather race track near Ne­wark. We had a box level with the win­ning post, with the book­ies a few paces down the hall, and food and drink served all day. I loved those oc­ca­sions, and we even as­pired to spon­sor­ing one of the races one year. And then at the end of all that the younger el­e­ment had the stamina to go on a pub/night­club crawl when they got back to Sh­effield. I was never that silly! For­tu­nately, I live be­tween Sh­effield and Ne­wark and was able to es­cape the rev­el­ries early evening while the oth­ers were just warm­ing to the day and evening’s cel­e­bra­tions.

Mem­o­ries... at the end of it all you can only look back at the 30-year life of Carp­world in grat­i­tude, and won­der. I caught a carp by ac­ci­dent, was for­tu­nate enough to be able to throw a few words onto pa­per now and then, man­aged to launch a mag­a­zine, and our mod­est pub­lish­ing em­pire be­came a re­al­ity, made pos­si­ble through Mary’s drive and busi­ness sense. It wasn’t pos­si­ble, but it hap­pened. Sadly Mary is no longer with us, and the girls have gone their sep­a­rate ways, or are in the process of do­ing so. For­tu­nately, we have the mag­a­zines and books as a re­minder of the pub­lish­ing years at An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions – and the sense of

achieve­ment, and the mem­o­ries. And to nick part of one more verse from the Bar­bra Streisand song quoted in the lead-in:

If we had the chance to do it all again – Tell me, would we...?

Could we...?

Well, yes! Look­ing back the tim­ing of Carp­world was serendip­i­tous. It was the first news­stand carp mag­a­zine, was launched on the strength of the carp-fish­ing boom, and was well es­tab­lished by the time the elec­tronic me­dia age started to make in­roads into pa­per pub­li­ca­tions. It was a first, the tim­ing was right, and it has stayed strong enough, and pop­u­lar enough, to with­stand the chang­ing face of pub­lish­ing. Trends sug­gest Carp­world won’t be here for­ever, but look­ing back 30 years is a long, long time for a news­stand an­gling mag­a­zine to sur­vive, and thrive.

As we have said many, many times over the years, thanks to all our con­trib­u­tors, ad­ver­tis­ers and readers for their sup­port. Carp­world is in new, good hands now, passed on from one fam­ily busi­ness to an­other. Long may it con­tinue to be ‘head and shoul­ders above the other mags, and con­tinue to lead the way’, as my good friend Brig­gsy so suc­cinctly put it in Carp­world 300. This is is­sue 335. Nu­mer­i­cally the next land­mark is is­sue 350, which, ac­cord­ing to my cal­cu­la­tions, is the De­cem­ber 2019 is­sue. Too soon for an­other cel­e­bra­tion, surely? Is there enough life in a news­stand carp mag­a­zine to carry Carp­world through to its thirty-fifth birth­day in 2023? Only the mag­a­zine-buy­ing carp fra­ter­nity can make that pos­si­ble so the ball is back in your court. Thanks again for mak­ing it all pos­si­ble for the last thirty years.

RIGHT One land­mark con­tri­bu­tion to that is­sue was Fred Sykes’ ar­ti­cle ‘Carp and Ot­ters’

RIGHT Re­mark­ably I have been able to un­earth our twen­ti­eth birth­day is­sue

LEFT Mike Wil­son was on the cover and my Carp Leader bore the ti­tle ‘Ten Years On...’

LEFT Mr F on the cover of the 200th is­sue, pub­lished in May 2007

ABOVE There were the usual trib­utes, and the leader in­cluded my favourite An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions’ staff pic­ture, re­pro­duced with this piece. Is­sue 250, July 2011: Back: James Turner, Yas­min Hutchin­son, Kris Bell, Dan Proc­tor, Nigel Banks, Jerry Bridger, Andy Gas­goine, Gary Hood, me, Pip, Adam Firth. Mid­dle: Tim Jnr, Jemima, San­dra Proc­tor, Lynda Glover, Julie Beer. Bot­tom: Sally Es­court, Rebecca Ak­ers, Rachel Bell

LEFT Is it re­ally ten years since Martin and I posed in front of the pic­ture of Mary in the An­gling Pub­li­ca­tions vestibule?

LEFT Re­mark­ably is­sue 300 co­in­cided with the mag­a­zine’s 27th birth­day

RIGHT We had a 25th birth­day is­sue be­tween the twen­ti­eth and thir­ti­eth birth­days. This is is­sue 276, the one with the ‘Sgt. Pep­per’s al­bum’ cover: The gnomes may be lost on fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, and try as I may, I can’t find Cap­tain Kev on here! Oth­er­wise it is very spe­cial

BE­LOW Ru­pert has joined that au­gust list this year

MID­DLE Zwolle and a gath­er­ing of stars on the stand at Zwolle: yours truly, Eric Smith (of Eric’s Com­mon fame) Ar­jen Uit­bei­jerse, Lucky Lockey and Tom

LEFT At the Zwolle show for the launch of Hutchy’s Carp Along the Way Vol­ume Two

TOP An­other trip, and an­other book launch. Un­mis­tak­ably Frank War­wick pre­sent­ing a slide show in Bel­gium at the launch of his book Ev­ery Bit of Blue

LEFT ONE OF OUR LAST COL­LEC­TIVE STAND OC­CA­SIONS, LAUNCH­ING CHILLY’S BOOK AT THE CARP SO­CI­ETY SANDOWN SHOW IN 2016

ABOVE We had a box level with THE FIN­ISH­ING LINE, WITH THE BOOK­IES JUST DOWN THE HALL, AND FOOD AND DRINK SERVED ALL DAY. I LOVED THOSE OC­CA­SIONS

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