I have had a love hate relationship with Hampton Ferry over the years, meeting at the cafe for brekkie full of anticipation, a meeting place for hundreds of thousands maybe even millions of anglers and a place to return to in the hope that you have won something. The trip over on the ferry if you had drawn the opposite bank with anglers laughing and joking only to return about six hours later with faces as long as fourpence after struggling for a bite, any bite. Sometimes it fished its head off but usually just for one or maybe two anglers with the rest struggling yet there were some nice fish to be caught for all its moods.
I well remember weighing in four or five pounds in one match and thinking it might just get me in the money because it was a blazing hot summers day and the Avon was low without a trace of colour only to get hammered by two anglers, one weighing in about eight pounds the other just over ten pounds and both had just two fish, both tench?????
One day the Avon will make a come back and once again we might see the whole of the Evesham stretch from the town water right through to Huxley's full of eager anglers just itching to fill their nets. A dream? Maybe, but a very nice dream.
I matched fished the venue many times in its heyday mainly in club matches that had a bigger attendance than many present day opens ,It could be a little "peggy" but on the right draw at the right time it was suberb on the stick inside for Roach or far bank waggler for the Chub ,I have not been there for years and from what I have read over the years I doubt I will ..as they say "never go back".
A great story of old fashioned "making the most of what you have got"....................days of charabancs and whicker baskets, not being able to sleep, at least if you were a 12 yr old being allowed a place on the chara that left on a Sunday morning from the working mens club.
I never had enough money for the bacon and sausage sarnies........but i had my own and the trip to such a place of legends was enough.
You know what Graham......i think this day was won with a couple of Tench too!