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A Working Weekend to Treasure - 10/05/15

After Sandy jetted off for a break in Crete, I travelled on to see Peter Butler. Those of you who have reads previous diaries or listened to the audio archive interview on the Angling Heritage site, will remember that Peter was one of the foremost anglers of the 1960/70’s renowned for his expertise in catching big roach, many over 2 lbs from the London Reservoirs.


This time, Peter had sorted out the minute book for the London Specimen Hunters Club and old magazines.


As we talked about everything from old friends to tackle, he showed me some single-footed rings made by Sapphrite. The idea was to halve the whipping time and costs. They didn’t catch on then and were ahead of their time as this idea is widely used today. Peter was kind enough to ask me to stay over and I was even cooked an evening meal by his wife, Shirley.



They are excellent company and as ever when I meet anglers like Peter, I learned so much about the history of the sport which fascinates me.


The following morning I set off to see more friends, Fred and Margaret Buller. Fred is the Patron of Angling Heritage and I always come away in awe of his knowledge.


Fred took me into his inner sanctum, his study where he is working on what he says will be his last book “Domesday and Beyond; More Freshwater Fishing” which will be a compilation of articles, thoughts and experiences. The small picture shows Fred in front of his incredible work that he has produced over generations.


When I asked about his most memorable piece of work, he showed me the picture on his wall of a man catching a salmon. This is the oldest image of salmon fishing in the world and is detailed in his book “Angling, the Solitary Vice”.



Fred may be pushing 90 but he is still very lively minded so don’t expect the book in the immediate future as he is living his life to the full.  He is off to Wells where he drew an aerial map of the City as practice – he was a cartographer during the war – but he has never been there so Margaret is taking him there for a short break. I always have to drag myself away as Fred is such font of knowledge, I could stay there for hours.


Then it was on to East Anglia to acquire a library which I will be feeding into the shop stock in the coming weeks. One of the nice items is a privately leather-bound copy of “Casting at the Sun”, really nicely done.



Then it was a long trek home stopping off to see my friend Gary on the banks of the Kennet, but no fishing as the car was so stuffed to the gunnels with books, there was no space for rods!!