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David Hall's "Snide Rumours and Dirty Lies" 1989-2002

Written by: David Hall and Friends

Published by: David Hall Publishing in 2016

Rating ***

This book is a compilation of Articles entitled “Snide Rumours and Dirty Lies” as a tribute to David Hall.  David grew the biggest angling publishing empire in the UK and was a keen match fisherman. The first “SR & DL” was written to fill a void in his Coarse Fishing magazine.  From then onwards the interest or outcry made sure that David kept a page in future magazines.

The articles were a compilation of stories and anecdotes about people mainly (but not exclusively) on the Match Fishing circuit that David met regularly.  Many stories arose from the gossip on the circuit, some of them were based on a grain of truth, but always written as a wind up. David wrote that in the early days, there was little point in suing him as he didn’t have any money, so didn’t really worry what he wrote.

The stories had me sniggering many times as I am of the age when I can remember many of the individuals, and wincing at others, especially when he insults anglers' wives which for me is a step too far.  However, David was nothing if not even handed as several items are also included about himself.  I guess you must have to be thick- skinned to work in that environment where taking the 'mickey' between individuals within the publishing business was the norm.

The book is great to dip into when you have a quiet few minutes, but I wonder how many anglers now would be able to appreciate the stories without knowledge of the individuals. It may not mean very much to them or be of interest. However, if you are nearing 60+ like me, there will be items which will raise a laugh as you remember reading about these characters in the Angling Press. It would be impossible to produce this type of article nowadays in a politically correct society for fear of litigation but it is worth a dip into the memory banks to recall what the sport was like when matches were made up from hundreds of anglers and when there was rivalry between teams which fuels these articles which were written over 13 years from 1989-2002.