Following the request for any old photographs in the last edition of our magazine, Ray Huskisson one of the stalwarts of the club sent me a copy of the ‘Freshwater Informer’ from November 2000 together with a couple of pictures of the official opening of Hurston Lane. This got me thinking that I had a few pictures tucked away somewhere. A look through my files and I found the one marked ‘Bognor Angling Various’ and in here I found all sorts of interesting stuff and some prints of pictures taken during the opening ceremony.
This was in the days of the Alliance and Bognor Regis and Petworth were separate clubs. There was quite a strong Alliance presence at the opening although I think it is fair to say that the Bognor Club had taken the bull by the horns to get the fishery completed and ready for its big day.I remember it quite well as we had Bob James coming along to perform the ceremony we decided that we would have to make and effort. We were unsure of the weather so had three temporary gazebos erected in the car park and I had (as normal) been given cooking duties on the barbecue in this area.
We probably had 50 – 60 people visit the fishery during the day and I found myself cooking for pretty much all the morning and into the afternoon with a constant stream of takers for a sausage roll or a burger. I seem to remember that we had tea and coffee on the go and we might even have opened the odd bottle of wine.
When everyone was assembled we had a few speeches from the Chairman of the Alliance and a representative from Sport England. Bob James performed the ribbon cutting and we then had some juniors fishing with whips in the tench pond as the first anglers to fish the water after the official opening.
Going back to the ‘Freshwater Informer’ I have reproduced the page HERE you will notice that we even took out an advert for the club, as far as I’m aware the only time that the club has advertised itself!
Having been given a fishing magazine, you just have to read it and even though it was getting on for 13 years old I soon found myself immersed in barbel fishing on the Avon and fishing the Pevensey sluice.
When I got to the match page two names jumped out at me; Tony Sammut who fished with us for quite a few years was listed as 4th in a match at Passies Pond and FX Arun a team sponsored by Arun Angling were listed as 4th in the West Sussex Winter league after a match on the Adur at Bramber.
I got a surprise when I turned to the back page and saw fellow Committee member Ray Newnham (recorded as being 70 even then) displaying a fine catch of chub from his favourite Shopham Bridge section of the Rother.
Ray, who has been a bailiff and a fine ambassadeur for the club for many years still enjoys his fishing on the Rother and manages to find a chub or two on most occasions.