The old "All England Championship" match

silvers

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Just watched the archive film. ..... How fabulous! With all those suits and ties I was expecting to see Ray (Mumford) any moment!
Also a reminder of how tiny keep nets were.
 

backhand

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Groomy was a hell of an angler too ... fished a few matches with him for "Leighton Rovers" in the late 80s.
So did I Silvers, I co founded Leighton Rovers with David so we could fish in the Luton league, Northampton league and Angling times winter league. Which matches did you fish in, I still have all the old results.
 

xenon

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in conversation with my dad, it seems that at least up until the early sixties fish where weighed in at the local pub-by which time they were very dead indeed
 

silvers

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Hi Backhand. It would have been around 1990. I was fishing Chiltern winter leagues for Vauxhall and Mick Wilkins fished a few with us and asked me to fill in on a team match in the Fens (16 foot I think) along with a couple of Luton leagu events. I was always more of a river angler though. I seem to remember Paul Abbott fishing for Leighton back then, also Gareth Kilty. I still see Abbo on the Great Ouse, last time just a week ago.
 

bracket

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Jack,
I,m sure you'll be right with the venue you mention.I was thinking of the year but I thought the venue was the Witham and the winner was a chap from Derby who had been drawn at Landgrick or therabouts.
Stange how the years play tricks like that.
I was only speaking of the match the other day and names like Dave Parkes, Mick peverly and the likes from the Rotherham squad cropped up. Top men on fenland in the day.
Flightliner. Alan Wright, fishing for Derby Railway, won that match on the Witham in 1973. He was drawn at Langrick, which was the furthest section away from the HQ at Woodall Spa. I was fishing that day for Long Eaton Fed. I drew the Tattershall Bridge section and my mate Langrick. A few things I well remember, the coaches taking anglers to their venues were escorted off the HQ by police motorcyclists. Much to the amusement of the company, an over zealous rider dropped his machine smashing all the fairing, causing one angler to remark "You'll not get that out we TeCut". Being drawn at Tattershall, my coach was one of the first back and a fellow member of LE Fed, not fishing, had turned up with his caravan and his Lady was doing us all hot dogs and coffee so we LE lads and the Leicester Likely Lads, who were standing with us, had a bite to eat and took note of the results as the coaches returned. The front runner was Dave Downs, he had weighed 41lb 7oz of bream on the swingtip (not too sure about the ozs). He was the front runner and was being interviewed by the ITV News Team. It was a stinking hot day and not being a fan of coffee, when Ale is available, I legged it to the beer tent and slaked my thirst. I then got two pints on a tray and made my way to the Coach Park to meet my mate coming back from Langrick, as I knew he would be gagging. I asked how he'd gone and he said "OK, but Alan Wright in my section has had 41lbs 12oz of bream on stick float. When this news filtered back, one of the LE Team, Frank Barlow, ever the diplomat, went up to Dave and said words to the effect " Downsy you Pr*tt . You fished it all wrong, should have used the stick float" But Frank being Frank, he was a tad more explicit than that. Pete.
 

flightliner

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Bracket (pete) so many thanks for that post, so nice to get info not reported, it was the tiny details you mention that made big match fishing back then so memorable, you brought it all back.
I had a stint fishing for the old Sheffield amalgamated anglers outfit in the old angling times eastern counties winter league which I enjoyed tremendously--- happy memories!!.
 

ravey

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I was fishing the Erewash Canal at Trent Lock near Long Eaton a few weeks ago, and Alan Wright happened along (not fishing, just out for a walk). I had read about the 1973 National many years ago, but am too young to have been part of that scene. I recognised him as he is a local angler, and mentined that National to him. He said that Dave Downes wasn't best pleased at having been beaten by so small a margin (it happens to us all at some time...!). Funnily enough, I also saw Wayne Swinscoe out for a walk along the towpath on the same day.

A few years or so ago, I went as couple of times to the Witham to try and catch bream on the swingtip, just to see what it was like. Enjoyable both times, more so as the floods at the time had scoured away the weed which had been a real problem.
 

flightliner

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Ravey, if that had been me bumping into AW he would have been late for his tea :D!
I would have asked him to retell his match -- every minute of it!.
A big pleasure to meet an individual winner of an old " All England" .
 

silvers

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except by 73 it would have been a "Division 1" rather than an all England :wh
 

silvers

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In terms of Kudos I don't differentiate - and anyway it was firmly embedded with 4 or 5 divisions by the time I was competing so I don't know any better. 80 teams of 12 was still a pretty huge match compared to these days.:(

I'm lucky to have known a lot of "national" winners over the years. All very good anglers but I don't think any of them were absolutely top drawer in the way that the likes of John Dean, Dave Harrell or Mark Pollard were.

My own best results were in division 3 events on Leeds-Liverpool canal and the Trent - one or two places outside the individual medals. It's 20 years since I've fished a National and I really ought to get back on them.
 

bracket

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I have fished the National in both it's formats and for me the original one match won on a weight setup was the best. There was always a buzz at the draw and a sense of anticipation. During the match there was hardly any preconceived plan for a team win, well not with the teams I fished for, it was all about pounds and ounces and a dream draw. Generally the first and last team talk was at breakfast in the cafe, two hours before the draw, where all team members nodded their agreement to the "Plan" and walked back to their cars thinking "Well b*ll*cks to all that, I've got a chance here to win the All England. One big weight would win the match and almost win the team prize. The new format did favour a team approach and the selection of "horses for courses" plus detailed preparation paid dividends, all of which could be conceived as being a fairer approach. For me however most of the inherent "Magic of the All England" was lost forever, salad days never to return. Pete.
 

flightliner

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. For me however most of the inherent "Magic of the All England" was lost forever, salad days never to return. Pete.
Bracket, as a young match angler It was a dream of mine to fish for one of the two Sheffield squads in that match---- sadly not.
Only fished two matches in the last thirty years, both on the Trent, won one, came second in the other - one more ounce for joint first - ouch !!!! Lol.:)
 

Mark Wintle

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John Essex has spent the last few years researching the All-England and has almost completed a book on the subject - I keep pushing him to finish the job! He tells me that since the use of coaches stopped and competitors get to their pegs by car there are very few anglers left at the end to witness the prize giving, the atmosphere has truly gone. The last one I fished was 1990 Div 1 on the Witham with 89 teams, lots of fish, and a truly great atmosphere.
 
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