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   Old Thread  #1000  9 Dec 2009 at 9.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #384
Great thread and essential forum reading .I shall sticky the thread for a while,to encourage Pete to continue to add to the thread







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   Old Thread  #1258 21 Feb 2011 at 12.53pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #991
I was known in shropshire when it came to foxes even if we were shooting them, the keepers on most shoots would ask me to put the standing guns out but it was not always about killing i have respect for this rouge of the woods and the hedge row, he is a most beautiful animal a rouge yes but also a gentleman of the country side in his red coat, they do vary in size the biggest i have seen was absolutely huge he weighted in at 28 pounds and he was a hill fox from a shoot on the welsh border the average fox lets say male only weights around 6.7 kilograms and the female a bit smaller at 5.4 kilograms so the one from welsh border was big maybe an English record.
Photobucket The dog and the vixen
let me tell you a little more about this animal the selection of the earth is made in October and then the vixen takes up residence they do not provide bedding for the cubs to lie on unlike badgers that do, the cubs are usually born in february maybe even late January the vixen then suckles them for the first month under ground they are born with a woolly chocolate coat and are blind for the first ten days after the first twenty eight days the cubs start to emerge from below ground i have watched cubs of this size sitting in front of the earth as dark approaches looking for any movement that may be of interest to them, i have even seen a tractor coming down the field with his lights full on which did not seem to frighten them, but from my observations there is not much of a family life the dog rarely visits his off spring leaving most to the vixen you would think the vixen would protect her young if threatened but no they are away and leave them to it. but on one occasion i was proved wrong the vixen had been shot from this one earth leaving her cubs to fend for there selves, no way could they survive it was certain death, or was it i watched another vixen feed those cubs and even the dog gave a hand in feeding them he would bring a rabbit drop in the entrance to the earth and would be away over the fields i suspect the vixen that took over the feeding of these cubs was the litter sister of the vixen shot i really don't know but that's my theory but they survived it was wonderful to see if you read the books it says that does not happen well i can ensure the books they are wrong as i have seen it with my own eyes

Photobucket a cub at six weeks

I have spent some wonderful times watching these animals and i think i have learned a lot about there life stile i have took many others with me over the years to watch these lovely creatures some would never of seen a fox in the wild , it was away of life i still loved my fishing but i also loved nature its a pity these beautiful creatures do so much damage to the farmers, the country side would be a sad place without old charlie as he is known i hope i have a few years left to watch this splendid animal of our country side, as over the years he has given me great pleasure, i have watched him from the cover of ditches and he has passed me by i could of touched him and he never knew i was there, i have watched him from the cover of an hay field not once did he suspect my presense, well thats a bit more about my favorite animal i could tell you more but i dont want to bore you all with my tales of charlie . so a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #1163 28 Feb 2011 at 6.14pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1161
It is as cold as ever today when your younger you don't feel it as much a few years back i would fish in all weathers but not now it does me no good at all my mate the bailiff had another good day after the barbel once again he came up trumps doing a couple of hours at the weekend he caught 10 barbel the biggest going ten pounds four oz well done Rodger you deserve every one of those fish they were well earned.

Rodger is a very good fisherman and seems to sneak a few out where others fail but i have heard a few stories about others catching and having some really good sport i love to go but i am afraid to say its still a bit to cold for myself and graham never mind the weather will soon warm up and then we can try our hand i have in the past had some very good sport fishing in the evening until about midnight i have caught some real busting fish twenty in a session was not uncommon with a few chub thrown in we could have some hectic evening and would have to keep an eye on the rods or they might get pulled in and believe me i have seen a few pulled into the river some they got back others they did no, well graham lost one last season its not been seen since so easy he was sitting by me tying up a rig and away it went the river was in spat and i watched the rod handle disappear into the water you could see it was being towed by a fish it is a bit upsetting when it happens but as i said after the unfortunate incident you must keep your eye on the rods at all times it happens in seconds lucky it has never happened to me i hope it never does as rods and reels are not cheap to buy .

The daffodils are once again in bloom so spring must be on the way i have a few in the garden and they look well the snow drops are also up and in bloom it wont be long before the country side starts to awake and the buds unfold on the hedge rows and trees i notice there are buds already on some of the trees the mountain ash is one the sycamore although the tree is an alien not really English but i have one in my garden they are self setters so ,i have to continually pull any new shoots up if i did not i would have them all over the garden, i will maybe go down the woods this week and have a look around i notice some of the under growth is throwing a few shoots up so it wont be long before its impenetrable with the brambles nettles and such but it hides the wild life and keeps it safe from pr-editors the perquine buzzard sparrow hawk owls and such, but it does not stop the stoat and weasel they will find plenty in the form of young rabbits. well thats it for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #1162 28 Feb 2011 at 6.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1161
It is as cold as ever today when your younger you don't feel it as much a few years back i would fish in all weathers but not now it does me no good at all my mate the bailiff had another good day after the barbel once again he came up trumps doing a couple of hours at the weekend he caught 10 barbel the biggest going ten pounds four oz well done Rodger you deserve every one of those fish they were well earned.

Rodger is a very good fisherman and seems to sneak a few out where others fail but i have heard a few stories about others catching and having some really good sport i love to go but i am afraid to say its still a bit to cold for myself and graham never mind the weather will soon warm up and then we can try our hand i have in the past had some very good sport fishing in the evening until about midnight i have caught some real busting fish twenty in a session was not uncommon with a few chub thrown in we could have some hectic evening and would have to keep an eye on the rods or they might get pulled in and believe me i have seen a few pulled into the river some they got back others they did no, well graham lost one last season its not been seen since so easy he was sitting by me tying up a rig and away it went the river was in spat and i watched the rod handle disappear into the water you could see it was being towed by a fish it is a bit upsetting when it happens but as i said after the unfortunate incident you must keep your eye on the rods at all times it happens in seconds lucky it has never happened to me i hope it never does as rods and reels are not cheap to buy .

The daffodils are once again in bloom so spring must be on the way i have a few in the garden and they look well the snow drops are also up and in bloom it wont be long before the country side starts to awake and the buds unfold on the hedge rows and trees i notice there are buds already on some of the trees the mountain ash is one the sycamore although the tree is an alien not really English but i have one in my garden they are self setters so ,i have to continually pull any new shoots up if i did not i would have them all over the garden, i will maybe go down the woods this week and have a look around i notice some of the under growth is throwing a few shoots up so it wont be long before its impenetrable with the brambles nettles and such but it hides the wild life and keeps it safe from pr-editors the perquine buzzard sparrow hawk owls and such, but it does not stop the stoat and weasel they will find plenty in the form of young rabbits. well thats it for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #1161 26 Feb 2011 at 11.44am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
When i was young i would fish a lake not far from my home it was a mysterious place to us youngsters it was surrounded with firs and and old oak tree it was strictly private but the owner whose name i shall not put in print was a nice old boy who would turn a blind eye to us fishing there, in fact in think he really liked to see us and on occasions would come down for a chat you can fish when you like but please not on shoot days he would say don't come on Saturdays but your most welcome Sunday, we got on well with the old gentlemen at times he would bring his wife down to see us and she would bring a big bottle of home made ginger beer, us lads loved the place and we would do nothing to hurt the old boy in fact we helped if asked, we did do a bit of beating on shoot days SAM would turn up and soon take charge of us youngsters, they were really big days the lords and ladies would be all dressed up to the nines in there brogues and plus fours as i have said they were real posh and when they spoke it really sounded if they had a plum in there mouths, us lads would try and copy there speech but old SAM would say keep quite these people are our bread and butter. He always called the gents sir or the ladies mam but they were good days we were always given something to eat at the hall at dinner time and when the day was finished we were given a brace of pheasants each and three bob for beating, the old gent came to see my my mother to make sure it was OK to go beating on a Saturday at christmas we would all be invited up to the hall usually christmas eve they would have the local carol singers, stand around the christmas tree giving us a song, and the old gent dressed as father christmas would hand out presents to all us youngsters usually some sweets or nuts and if you were lucky a pair of long socks they were great days and will remain in my memory for ever.
Photobucket The wild pheasent down the woods
Now back to the pool the water was fairly covered in weed it looked just like cotton wool only coloured green you could see the fish in the holes between the weed at first we did not know what the fish were we asked the old gentleman and he said they were Rudd and his grandfather had caught them to three pound in weight, it also had a few carp in which his grandfather introduced to the lake many years ago, but he said he had never ever seen one caught i was standing there one day and saw this big long shape under the water it sliced through the shoal of Rudd throwing up a glistening spray of water, and then he was gone normality returned of course it was the pike i was absolutely fascinated i wanted to catch that fish above all others, we would float fish with big pieces of flake or bread paste we caught the most beautiful fish you could not get your hand around them. Then one day i was playing this fish and all went solid i thought i was hooked up in the weed, but it started to move away we had no landing net put i managed to get the fish into shallow water and literally pull it onto the grass i stood shaking it was a pike not big but a pike the old man came and had a look ill kill it for you he said no please don't said i it was so beautiful a lovely green colour so we ended up putting it back after the the old man had took some photos i think it only weighted about three pounds but to me it was enormous a little bit more latter

Photobucket The beautiful Rudd like the ones we caught all those years ago
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   Old Thread  #1160 25 Feb 2011 at 3.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
In the days when i was at school i would be up at six to go on my paper round , the days always seemed to be long we would come home from school and then go birds nesting or swimming in the river as long as you were home before dark nothing would be said. In the summer holidays us lads would set up camp beside the river onny and we would search the reeds beside the river for the moorhens nest, the eggs would boiled in an empty tin and we would eat them with bread and butter brought from home, they were hazy lazy days i would clime the old oak to the crows nest we would find the owls nest in some hole up in a tree clime the jackdaw rocks to see the blue speckled eggs or maybe take a youngster home to rear they made a lovely pet i have already told you about the one i had he would ,steal the spoons from within the house and hide them in his pen mother was none to pleased. He would meet me as i came from school he was a marvelous bird.
Photobucket The jackdaw like i had as a pet
Before myxomatosis reared its ugly head we depended on the humble rabbit for our meals when the farmers cut the corn us lads would always be there stick in hand as the rabbits bolted from the corn we would chase then across the field they could not run that fast in the stuble and we would hit them on the head not only the lads but adults as well they knew the farmer would give them one or two at the end of the day, it was another meal and free i wander how many rabbits were consumed in this country in the war years and after it must have been thousands we had rabbit pie most Sundays for dinner, and a pheasant or two we were quite lucky really as old SAM would always drop by and give us a brace in the shooting season, we also had the one or two i shot with my pellet gun but i never touched any of old Sam's in all the years i knew him, he would give me a cussing telling me if i got caught taking pheasants i may go to court or be given a clip around the ear from the keeper, or policeman, but he always had a smile on his face and would say i may as well talk to that old chicken because you take no notice, it goes in one and out the other but deep down i did take notice and i was always frightened, that i may be caught.
Photobucket The wild rabbit we lived on in the war years and after
poaching was a big offence in those days and you would end up in court i dont know about a youngster but adults did and they would have an example made of them you could even get put away for a few weeks but that was very rare thing to happen it was the gangs the keepers really looked out for who came from the towns looking to make a bob or two but even in my young life poaching was coming to an end as things started to improve, you would still get the poachers but not the big gangs another thing us boys loved was when the farmer got the thrashing box going threshing days were very hard and dusty and the men became very thirsty i can remember the farmers wife coming down to the stack yard with big jugs of cider or beer most of the men helping were from neighboring farms she would also bring down a big basket full of bread, and cheese, they would sit around the stack yard eating the food, their hands were as black as coal but you rarely saw them ill. The exiting part was nearly at the end the of the threshing hundreds of rats would hide until the last bit you could see the rats moving under the straw the men would hit the rats with a pikle or stick anything handy some even brought dogs along they would kill hundreds like this, as boys we only wore short trousers so we were always on the look out incase one ran up your leg but it never happened they would line up the dead rats after and they would be counted very few got away but i loved it that is how we lived in those days. well a bit more latter

Photobucket The brown rat
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   Old Thread  #1159 24 Feb 2011 at 8.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
Spring approaches fast it will not be long before the woods are ablaze with flowers and new growth, the snow drops are already out one small copies not far from my house is a sea of white the floor is covered with snow drops the blue bells will be next with the primroses i love to sit in the woods at this time of year just to sit and watch the wild life the birds are now paired up i have a black birds nest in the garden with eggs and a pigeon nesting in the ivy that has grown on the old plum tree, mind you pigeons will breed any time and long as conditions are right , the doves are also building nests they are back and forward carrying twigs my resident robins are also in and out of the hedge i suspect they will once again have there nest in the old teapot which i put in the hedge years ago that teapot as seen some action so many birds have had there nest in it over then years but the robins seem to have made it there own.
Photobucket The lovely robins nest
Photobucket A pair of robins
The resident buzzard did well last year rearing four chicks they have been hanging around the woods until lately but have now gone to pastures new. The old pair will have their nests high up in the old fir tree as they have done for generations they have used that tree as far as i can remember it has been known when i was a young man to clime the tree so i could look at the eggs the foxes should now have there earth sorted and maybe the vixen has got cubs it wont be long before they are sitting and playing out side the earth usually the end of march early April i will have to go and look in the adjoining hedge rows usually she will use a old rabbit hole making it bigger for her self and youngsters, the badgers are also moving around a bit more i have already had them in the garden ,the one old set i have been visiting for years has about forty holes to it. The other is massive last time i was down the farmer said he had counted 90 holes in this one set absolutely huge but he was having a few problems they had under mined the adjoining field and his tractor had got stuck a few times as the tunnels had collapsed under the weight of his machinery but i love to see old Brock and i really hope they don't kill all these beautiful animals with gas and such it has been temporally stopped for now so we will have to wait and see what the out come will be, the sets where i live are frequently visited by the badger conservation officer he is a great friend of mine and does a fantastic job checking on all the local sets .
Photobucket The common buzzard
The waters on the lakes will soon be warming up unfortunately some of the ones i fish are ssi so there is a close season and some have lost the stocks of fish in the bad weather we had over christmas so i really dont know what graham and i will do we have a few options so we will have to wait and see how things turn out well that's it for now. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #1158 23 Feb 2011 at 10.59am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
I hope you all liked my bit about foxes i could tell you so much more about this beautiful animal he really has been part of my life i have had the cubs in my garden a few times over the years my next door neighbour used to call me a hypocrite for not getting rid of them i would say why they are doing no damage, ill ring the vermin control he would say go a head they wont come on my property, but as neighbours we really got on together the trouble was he loved his garden and these little chaps could make quite a mess by rolling around and flattening his flowers etc but that's nature i would feed them chicken wings the vixen liked them also, i have one neighbour who is a police man and he said to me one morning i wandered what ever those things were walking down your drive then i realised they were fox cubs there are six pete. She has brought them back to my house for many years maybe not the same vixen but i would say one of the old litter from a couple of years back, i think she knows the cubs are safe here but up to now this year i have not seen her. Maybe she is dead i know the dog was a bit ruff looking i think he was in his last few years but hopefully they will be back they are quite safe and welcome here.
Photobucket Small cubs like i had in my garden
The badgers have been around digging holes all over the garden looking for worms they love peanut butter smear it on pieces of bread they will come for ever, my neighbors were asking what causes the holes in there garden i told them badgers. The people from house the other side have been watching the badgers form the bedroom window as the security lighting comes on when the badgers trigger it, but it does not seem to frighten the animals away the one old boar is a real big fellow all muscle he really looks big but they seem quite happy we just leave them alone. I told you i feed the birds well the badgers have been having there share of any seed or nuts that gets knocked to the ground by the birds they clean it all up they have been rooting around like little pigs under the feeder i suspect looking for the odd peanut that has got buried,
Photobucket The beautiful badger
A friend of mine has been braving the wet weather and chilly winds to fish for the barbel the water has been bank hight but he has managed to catch a few good specimens the biggest so far is Ten pounds fifteen oz a nice fish he caught six in one short afternoon session the other biggie was nine pounds five ozs the smallest was six pounds they were all caught on maggot but there is not much time left the season ends in march for another few months but it wont be long before graham and i grace the banks once again and try our luck for these hard fighting fish we caught some excellent chub last year the biggest falling to my rod a six pound five oz fish, very good for the severn. well that's a bit more . ill carry on latter

Photobucket My friend Rodger the bailiff with his 10- 15oz barbel
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   Old Thread  #991 20 Feb 2011 at 11.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #989
I suppose i was only about seven when i first fished acton burnell it was well before we moved to craven arms Bert owlet was the keeper and then a very young Peter jackson was the under keeper, i went with a lad called robert wilcox we really should not of been there in fact Bert owlet caught us but instead of telling us off he let us stay i only had an old bamboo cane rod not much good, in fact i think our next door neighbour Mr Jarvis gave it my mum for me to use mum bought the line and hooks but that's all she could afford as things were very hard the war had only just finished. I was not that good at fishing we really played about i did not know any one that fished who could show us how, so we struggled by. The only fish i caught at the burnell was a small pike it took a small roach i had on i was immensely proud of the fish and took it home with me i remember my mother cooking this pike all of two pounds , it really tasted muddy not really for me but in those days you would eat most things.
Photobucket The beautiful pike

Bert owlet was there when i caught that pike and really made a fuss of me, take it home for your mam he said funny really because this was not the last time i would see Bert and peter i became a good friend of Bert especially when i became older it was him who saw the owner and got me permission to fish the burnell i was issued with a permit well a bit of paper signed saying i could go at any time and take a friend but that's another story, in the mean time i fished the river Rea and i started to learn i loved to just sit beside the brook and listen to it babbling over the stones or just sit by the falls and listen to the water crashing down and watch the water foam and swirl, i was a learning i would see the king fisher and marvel at the dipper as he walked beneath the falls in fast water mum used to worry i would fall in i used to say don't worry ill be alright but i could not swim so i learned myself in the same brook the river rea i was not that good but i knew if i fell in i could get out i could only do the doggy paddle but it was enough to get me out of trouble, i could also swim out to the moorhens nest and get the eggs to take home for my mother as they were a good source of food we would have them boiled or fried the ducks eggs i really liked and i could always find a nest or two along the river bank.
Photobucket The lovely moorhens nest with eggs hatching
I would also walk down to bomere pool in those days you had trouble walking around the lake as it was very boggy the ground would move if you stood on it there were pheasants every where you looked it was keepered by Gerry haiz and a few under keepers there were signs every where keep out private property or you will be shot on sight i was a bit to young to poach the pheasants but i must admit it did cross my mind but how i did not know but over the coming years i soon learned, i would fish the pool without much success but i was learning i did manage a few small roach, i went to school with a lads called Gerald Harris we would go to Bomere fishing and birds nesting that's when we got chased and gerald fell into a hornets nest but that's another story. well a bit more latter

Photobucket The beautiful roach similar to what i caught at Bomere
Photobucket
The hornet gerald fell in a nest and ended up in hospital
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   Old Thread  #990 20 Feb 2011 at 11.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #989
I suppose i was only about seven when i first fished acton burnell it was well before we moved to craven arms Bert owlet was the keeper and then a very young Peter jackson was the under keeper, i went with a lad called robert wilcox we really should not of been there in fact Bert owlet caught us but instead of telling us off he let us stay i only had an old bamboo cane rod not much good, in fact i think our next door neighbour Mr Jarvis gave it my mum for me to use mum bought the line and hooks but that's all she could afford as things were very hard the war had only just finished. I was not that good at fishing we really played about i did not know any one that fished who could show us how, so we struggled by. The only fish i caught at the burnell was a small pike it took a small roach i had on i was immensely proud of the fish and took it home with me i remember my mother cooking this pike all of two pounds , it really tasted muddy not really for me but in those days you would eat most things.

Bert owlet was there when i caught that pike and really made a fuss of me, take it home for your mam he said funny really because this was not the last time i would see Bert and peter i became a good friend of Bert especially when i became older it was him who saw the owner and got me permission to fish the burnell i was issued with a permit well a bit of paper signed saying i could go at any time and take a friend but that's another story, in the mean time i fished the river Rea and i started to learn i loved to just sit beside the brook and listen to it bubbling over the stones b or sit by the falls and listen to the water crashing down and watch the water foam and swirl i was a learning i would see the king fisher and marvel at the dipper as he walked beneath the falls in fast water mum used to worry i would fall in i used to say don't worry ill be alright but i could not swim so i learned myself in the same brook the river rea i was not that good but i knew if i fell in i could get out i could only do the doggy paddle but it was enough to get me out of trouble, i could also swim out to the moorhens nest and get the eggs to take home for my mother as they were a good source of food we would have them boiled or fried the ducks eggs i really liked and i could always find a nest or two along the river bank.

I would also walk down to bomere pool in those days you had trouble walking around the lake as it was very boggy the ground would move if you stood on it there were pheasants every where you looked it was keepered by Gerry haiz and a few under keepers there were signs every where keep out private property or you will be shot on sight i was a bit to young to poach the pheasants but i must admit it did cross my mind but how i did not know but over the coming years i soon learned, i would fish the pool without much success but i was learning i did manage a few small roach, i went to school with a lads called Gerald Harris we would go to bomere fishing and birds nesting that when we got chased a and gerald fell into a hornets nest. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #989 19 Feb 2011 at 12.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #988
I have walked most of the hills in Shropshire and even wales when i was younger i would get invitations from all over to take part in fox shoots even over the border into wales. I have stood in some of the big forestry plantations in the welsh hills and felt how insignificant i was. It was so quite you could hear a pin drop some of these forests were absolutely huge you could easily get lost they were dark and awesome places, the canopy of trees never let any light in and you were in semi darkness you never saw much wild life, i would stand on the ride the only animal you may see is the old mountain hair but you would see foxes they would live up in the mountains amongst the trees and bracken it was nothing to see as many a ten or twelve foxes shot on one drive, you could be standing for hours as the beaters and dogs made there way across the mountains or hills and through the forests, some of those forests had not seen a soul walk through them for years, there could be as many as thirty beaters made up of hill farmers and dogs they knew the terrain well one of the locals would put the guns to stand , we had plenty of time i would find a bank to sit down on as you would see no action for at least three hours some times we would think they had forgotten us but then out of the stillness you would hear the unmistakable yak and whine of the dogs , they were on the scent of old foxy. you would stand still and shake with excitement you knew any minute a fox would show its self and the rest was up to you if you missed the farmers would be none to pleased as they had walked miles and expected to see some thing for there efforts in fact if you did miss you would not stand again you would be put in the walking line thank god that never happened to me but i understood the farmers needed to clear the foxes because they would take the young lambs.
Photobucket The big forests of wales where we used to go foxing
Photobucket The old hill fox

Over the years i got to know some of the farmers well i fact i still do we have all aged over the years, but they still keep going and some must be well into there seventies it must be the fresh air i am sure they had one leg shorter than the other as they were like mountain goats i could not keep up with them i would be out of breath whats up with you lad they would say, i have had it, and would lie down in the heather i would be giddy but they would only laugh and say come on your only young, bloody young i was in my late twenties and i always thought i was fit but those hills would test you to the limit those farmers were used to walking up hill or down dale it was their job and had done it all of their lives so it was no hard ship for them but they were a great bunch and really looked after you if you came along an offered your help on the fox shoot, ill tell you what the times we have driven home in those days a bit worse for ware from drinking the home made beer and cider, you could in those far off days, as there was not the traffic on the roads like there is today. The other thing was you can fish my stream or lake if you wish it was all good and i made many friends over the years by helping out. well that's a bit more ill tell some more latter
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   Old Thread  #988 18 Feb 2011 at 2.20pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #987
In my early days of fishing we had very few options on what to use as bait when i was very young all you really had was bread flake bread paste and worms and if you were really lucky maggots which i collected from the abitor a bit of a smelly job but they did the job my clothes would really niff a bit. And i had many a good telling off from my parents, but the maggots worked no one else where i lived would take the trouble and collect them, i would collect the brandlings from the farm, they were in the muck heap i would collect a big tin full in no time and they were really good for most fish the perch went mad for them and the brown trout, i could go to the lake up the road and float fish for the perch and could catch them one after the other, not huge but to us young lads they were good fish, probably the biggest i ever caught on that lake was a couple of pounds we had no scales to weight the fish so it was a matter of guessing the weight, i loved the perch with its vibrant colours but a good many people in those days would eat them, as food was in short supply food was still rationed i remember being sent to the grocery stores to get our butter cheese tea i would have to take the ration book with me you were only allowed so much.
Photobucket The brandlings i would collect from the farm in the late forties early fifties

Times were very hard we used the books until the middle fifties when things started to pick up i did not know until i cleared my mother and fathers house out after they had died, that we all had identity cards i found mine it was in a grey card and stamped with an official stamp even saying where i lived i think i still have it somewhere i caught most of my carp on big chunks of bread they were not big most around three pounds but i did manage a few between eight and ten pounds these where actually weighted by the mysterious chaps that used to arrive to fish the lake they had the latest tackle and reels and some even used nylon line which was near impossible to get when i was a boy i used silk until the nylon line came on the market and became popular, i found it was not that good it was a bit thick and springy, but we got by and over the years it altered and was a lot better we really did not have that much at our disposal hooks were not that good and the shop i went to would only have those big old black jobs that looked like meat hooks but they caught with the right bait .
Photobucket The identity card used thought the war
Photobucket The ration books used in the forties and fifties
I well remember a chap called peter finch he lived our my small town he took me under his wing he was one of those mysterious chaps who crept round the lake with a big old hat on his head well in those day we called it a trilby i think it was peter that told me about using small part boiled potatoes by gum they worked where he had got it from i don't know maybe it was not him that told me as it is a long time ago and i cant really remember, but i got my mum to boil a few and would throw a few in every time we fished and we got runs using them the problem was you would not hook every one you would strike and then nothing, i found the old black hook although they looked big were not big enough and when i managed to get some bigger our success rate went up i could not get the hooks from our local shop so my dad would get them from shrewsbury or ludlow they were not that expensive i think you could get around four or five hooks for a few pence but we were learning and catching a few. well that's it for now more a little latter
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   Old Thread  #987 17 Feb 2011 at 12.21pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #986
When fishing i some times like to just sit and watch the wild life i was kept quite entertained last year by a couple of shrews, even the landowner when talking to me commented on them they were back and forth all day i had put my landing net down beside me and they kept vanishing under the net, on closer inspection i found there home it was a little hole in the weed strewn bank i left it well alone and practically every time i went i would see them they were always busy back and forth. I fished another lake nor far from my home its the only place i have seen water voles in quantity and they were quite tame did not worry about you at all. And they would eat your bait or ground bait if they had half the chance. i had a word with the owner and he said because of the big matches he held at the fishery the voles had become quite tame and were used to people being around. The owner had got English nature involved and they had been up doing a survey and taking photos. well ill tell you how bad it was i got home one night and was unloading my tackle looking into my bag there was one curled up in the bottom so it was back to the pool and i let the little chap go when we were kids we always called them, water rats and they were always shy little animals but not these i presume they are still there as i have not been lately and the owner past away a few years ago and his son took over from reports it is still being used for big matches i suppose if English nature is evolved they must be.
Photobucket The hole of the little shrew

Photobucket The lovely little water vole so scarse today

There is always so much to keep you entertained i was fishing a lake not to far from my home and saw a swift fall into the water he could not get out i watched amazed at two carrion crows swooped down a couple of times to investigate the swift struggling in the water, then all of a sudden the one grabbed the swift and was away to a tree just up the field on investigating the tree the crows had got there nest high up in the branches, this was not the last time i watched as they took the young ducklings, the same way in fact they had no fear of water the one family were nearly wiped out by these marauding crows the farmer said to me this one day have we got mink, why my ducklings keep vanishing , no said i its a pair of carrion crows and pointed the nest out well that was that the crows vanished i found out latter his son had shot them and blew the nest out of the tree they were not liked by sheep farmers. i only fished the lake to get a run or two and in one night caught 75 carp from six to 15 pounds in the end i had to pack up completly knakard and to be honest i have not been back since, i do know the place was deverstated by otters not long ago they found hundreds of carp dead on the small island , but i have since heard its being fished again and its back to its former glory i think the otters moved on.
Photobucket The greedy carrion crow
well a bit more latte
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   Old Thread  #986 16 Feb 2011 at 3.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #983
Davey asked me about the chicken of the woods it is a tree fungus or a tree parasite only the younger specimens taste good and that only really depends on how they are cooked it has slightly acidic taste and does not appeal to every one it is found in lowland woods likes fallen trees and deciduous trees none i have put up here will hurt you so happy forging

Photobucket Here you are davey the chicken of the woods grows on trees and such but is good eaten when younger
Photobucket jews ear can also be eaten found growing on old wood
Photobucket The puff ball can be sliced and fried i must say i have tasted this and it was very good

The chanterelle is one of the most popular edible mushrooms it has a very fruity odour smells a bit like apricots it has a mild peppery taste and is regarded as an excellent mushroom to eat this mushroom is common through out do not get it mixed up with jack o lantern which also grows in Europe as it is very poisonous and looks very similar and also grows on wood
Photobucket the chanterelle a very popular edible mushroom do not confuse with other varieties that look similar
Photobucket The penny bun another edible mushroom found under trees down the woods
Photobucket The shaggy ink cap can be eaten but if you drink alcohol it will make you very ill years ago it was used to make ink for writing

the horse mushroom is highly sought after do not get confused with the yellow stainer or even amanitas although similar they are poisonous and can make you very ill
Photobucket The Hoarse mushroom

Photobucket saint Georges mushroom another edible variety
You then have the field mushroom which grows in the meadows usually far away from trees but can be confused with other types i would pick a basket full of these when i was a youngster ill put a few photos up of edible mushrooms as it is not my strongest subject
Photobucket The field mushroom
Photobucket The oyster fungus is another you can eat
Photobucket This is another you can eat found down the woods

well that's all i am going to put up as you could fill a book on the subject so if you fancy picking a few when fishing you know what to pick some are most beautiful and i like to see them in the wild
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   Old Thread  #985 15 Feb 2011 at 1.54pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #982
A few years ago we got to know a farmer who had a small farm yard pool i was looking at it this one day when i saw what looked like a fair sized tench, so away to the house and a cup of tea latter we were given permission to fish it it was no more than a quarter of an acre and only about four feet deep we decided to float fish we were not expecting to much but how wrong can you be, we fished maggot and breads flake i really don't think anyone had ever fished this little pool they committed suicide it was a fish a cast it was quite comical as the road ran through the farm yard not a major road but a bit of local traffic they would toot there horn and wave in fact we were sitting beside the road we caught some lovely fish from that small pool i thing the biggest was around four pound plus but god did they fight the locals would stop there cars for a look are you going to eat them some would say . no i would answer but these tench were a shade of green beautiful fish really it was a fish a cast we caught a few small ones also no more than half a pound delightful little fish, we had some great days on this little pool but it came to a catastrophic end some silage got into the water course and killed the lot it was terrible to see tench dead every where you looked, the farmer picked them all up with the shovel on the front of his tractor, and buried them.
Photobucket The small tench similar to the ones we caught


Not long after he contacted me and told me to go and see a friend of his who had a similar pool it was a little bit bigger and covered in Lillie's the farmer said it was full of fish but he did not know what kind once again the road ran beside the pool but a hedge separated you from the road, we float fished once again same tactics what wonderful fishing we had you just did not know what you would catch we caught some beautiful orfe from this pool also big gold fish tench Rudd where the gold fish had come from is anybody's guess the farmer when asked said he did not know but the fish had been in for many years, they were in the pool when his father was a young man we also caught some miniature carp no more than a few ounces but they were quite beautiful, we would fish when we came home from work, and fish until darkness fell, we had some great fishing the tench went to round five pounds and would really fight but we lost a few in the extensive weed beds lilies etc but it was good fishing and cost us nothing, we fished there for many years until we lost touch with the farmer, in fact we passed it the other day i had a quick look it had not altered one bit and i wandered if the same family owned it but there were signs that it had not been fished i wandered if the fish were still there as it was in the late seventies we last fished, the water, it would be interesting to find out i may just call and see the owner it would be nice to be told the fish are still in the water after all those years . well a bit more latter

Photobucket lovely golden orfe
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   Old Thread  #984 15 Feb 2011 at 12.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #983
hi davey ill see what i can do in the next few days not one of my strongest subjects but ill have a go
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   Old Thread  #983 14 Feb 2011 at 7.08pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #982
Hi pete
thank you for sharing some of the stories with us, i will read the whole thread when i get chance... the mushrooms i was on about were infact the normal varieties, non haluciagenic,, lol,, so any info on chicken of the woods or edible mushrooms would be appreciated...
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   Old Thread  #982 14 Feb 2011 at 1.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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What a wonder full life i have had i suppose old SAM had really helped and showed me so many things how to catch the humble rabbit with a snare how to shoot the pheasant but not on his patch, how to poach the trout and generally look after myself, to listen to the wild life or sit in the wood as darkness fell and hear the noises of the night, nowt will hurt you young'un he would say only another human that's what e must keep your eyes open for they are around the woods at night poaching the pheasants you know, he would speak with his broad shropshire accent at first i had a job understanding what he said but after a time i soon got used to it he would come down to my home at craven arms he would always call my mum misses and my dad the word chap he would speak up hello misses wheres the word chap today she would look at him, and shake her head, he always brought a rabbit or a pheasant down with him when he visited which was always welcome by my parents as times were very hard.
Photobucket The humble rabbit sam taught me to snare

But he was a friend he taught me to stand up for myself he had a pair of boxing gloves and would prance around out side showing me how to box i don't think his wife approved very much she would shout don't you hurt that boy SAM no i wanna he would say i think the gloves belonged to his son i never talked about him or asked about the lad but there was a photo of him in the house which took pride an place on the old side board, sam's wife once told me he had died through injuries caused from wounds in the war and was buried abroad i never said any more about him as you could see the tears in her eyes i loved them both they had done so much for me and my parents i think they liked to see me around as it was like having there son back well that's the way i saw it.

When Sam died it left a big hole in my life i was only young and was at that impressionable age i loved my parents but it was not the same i had an interest shooting and fishing and old sam shared this with me now there was no one, they found him lying in the woods with his gun in his hands i suppose its the way he would of wanted to go he never returned up at home one day and his wife notified the owners who sent a party to look for him They buried old SAM at Halford over looking the water fall he lies in an unmarked grave even i found it hard to find but we had so many things to share in the short time we had together he was a wonderful man and a good tutor and i am very grateful for all he did for me he was from the old school a good keeper and loved nature. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #981 13 Feb 2011 at 11.41am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #980
In my younger days i would walk miles just my self and a friend called john guns in our hands and johns old dog to work the hedge rows we had no permission and even if we did, it usually ended with us taking a few pheasants it was not unusual for us to be out all day covering many miles i loved the way of life and would carry a little haversack with my sandwiches and a drink we would sit in the shade of some old tree or just sit in the woods and eat our sandwiches and chat about our lives about shooting and fishing and all thing good, i well remember this particular time ending up at a place called lyth hill it was only about three miles from my house it had a few small wooded coppice's on the hill and they were absolutely stuffed full of pheasants, they were put down by the condover shoot old bell, was the head keeper but he had loads of help with a number of under keepers well john and i got into these coverts oh what fun we had but in our excitement we forgot guns make a noise and john dog was not the best he would bark and whine and make one hell of a noise in his excitement to get at the birds.

Photobucket The beautiful pheasant like we poached all those years ago

We had shot quite a few and put them in the sack when we heard a whistle the police had arrived, i saw the one land rover coming across the track below us bloody hell john run they are on to us how many keepers i do not know but off we went through the adjacent hedge and ran down hill as fast as we could go we dumped the sack with the pheasants, hiding it in an old gorse bush. On looking back i saw old butch johns dog running after us way behind then there was a bang and i saw poor old butch lurch forward and lie still they had shot john dog Christ john what you going to tell your parents yer old man will go mad i dunno know he said with tears in his eyes, ill go back and get him john no they will catch you maybe, but i am not leaving your dog there so back up the hill i went and found old butch on his side but still breathing he was covered in blood i carried him the best way i could as it was very awkward walking and half running with a dog in your arms especially in the brambles and cover that was on that hill. I could still hear the shouting from the keepers and the police blowing there whistles, john was still crying when i arrived by his side, it looks bad john don't think he will make it home, i am afraid he did not and died in my arms, we hid the guns and pushed old butch under some under growth to fetch latter that evening, i went to johns home and helped him explain what had happened his father was none to please did we know who had shot butch i am afraid we did not but told him old bell was involved now john dad was from the old school a real wild fellow and would stand no messing ill go see him son he said, please don't dad we have been poaching the birds we have hidden them up the fields and old butch is there as well, we made our way back as dark approached johns dad came with us we buried poor old butch under this old holly tree every time i pass that tree by i think about poor old butch for he must still lie there, but that was years ago. when i arrived home that night mum said Sgt landers had been to the house and wanted to know where i was she said she did not know, he said he would be back latter and he did, and stood eying my gun standing in the corner of the room he said have you been up the lyth today young man no says i why well Mr bells been poached and we shot a dog that disappeared, and some thought it may have been you where have you been down town says i, who with a friend he could not prove a thing and when he left you could see he was none to pleased well that's another day from my life and all true, poor old john passed away a few years ago with that dreaded disease cancer,
but i still have memories of that day all those years ago the year was 1958 and its as clear today as it was then . well a bit more latter


Photobucket The shot bird in the back of my car
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   Old Thread  #980 12 Feb 2011 at 5.47pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #979
As i stood in the wood today the sun shone brightly and the clouds cast shadows, little pool gleamed and sparkled as i watched a fish broke surface at least the fish in here have not perished in the cold of winter we were there for our fox shoot i did explain that do gooders have let a lot of foxes go caught up in the cities, and we have got to clear them up poor little things can not even look after there selves, but i am afraid not enough of our syndicate turned up so it was trying to find a needle in a haystack but never the less we carried on the best we could but it was a disaster we did not shoot one but we did see three, and one even sat down in front of me he did not know i was there he was about 100 yds from me and looked in quite good nic
Photobucket a city fox

As i stood a wood pecker hammered away at the rotten tree behind me it certainly echoed in the quietness of the woods he carried on for about an hour i did catch sight of him banging away maybe trying to get the insects out or maybe making a hole for his nest but he certainly took no notice of me for i was not standing to far away he was a great spotted wood pecker, the birds are starting to pair up i saw a couple of crows carrying twigs for its nest the one thing i really enjoyed watching today was the peregrine falcon he was over the woods hunting and took a pigeon hitting and sending feathers floating down like snow from the sky they are incredible hunters and reach fantastic speeds when they swoop or should i say dive for there prey.

I was also pleased with the amount of wood cock we saw today i think we counted eleven all told lovely birds there were plenty of duck evident loads of teal and mallard nice to see now the ice has gone from the lakes, they are back in big style but they will live for another year as the shooting has finished for another year . one bird we are not seeing down our woods this year is the pigeon they would come in to roost in huge flocks and provided the guns with some testing shooting but not this year they have gone to pastures new where they can get better food to sustain there insatiable hunger, i did see some deer slots so they are still coming down to the lakes to drink and maybe keep to the cover of the woods at night its been an interesting day and a little bit tiring but at least we have been in the fresh air and there is always something to see. a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #979 11 Feb 2011 at 12.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #978
There was nothing nicer than to be beside a small river or stream early in a morning first light the times i have done that fishing for the trout it was a wonderful time of day you would see so much the kingfisher with his vibrant colours the little dipper even the sand martins the water vole which were quite common in my younger days and if you were really lucky you may catch sight of foxy or the badger they were great days always so much to do and see never a dull moment.

Photobucket The beautiful brown trout that i would poach in the days of my youth

I was up before the bailiffs and would start fishing at newing-ton bridge and slowly make my way upstream i used my one rod for most things in those days it was Hardy's combination rod so i could take a top for spinning which was about eight ft when made up. the other one i used for trundling a worm was 10 ft i always set the minnow trap the night before as in those days the rivers teamed with these small fish, i would catch twenty in the bottle they could not get back out when they had entered . I would kill one if spinning and mount it in a flight you put a spike through its mouth and clip the fins into the minnows body they were lethal and caught hundreds of trout using this method but i liked to use the worm either float fish or free lining. I loved free lining just a split shot on the line near the hook a couple of red worms from the farmers muck heap and you were in business i would drop it in the fast water beside the bank and let it make its own way down stream keeping in touch with my finger on the spool there was no mistaking a bite the rod would hoop over and you were in and with the light rod it gave you a good scrap this combination rod made so much difference to my fishing thinking back i don't know how my parents could afford to buy such a beautiful rod, as i have stated before when my parents died and we cleaned the house out i found a receipt for the actual rod it was 70 pounds from Mr forests fishing shop in shrews bury a lot of money in those days and combined with the Mitchell real i was certainly set up, i could fish for anything with this rod from trout to pike it had about five or six different tops including a fly rod.
Photobucket The lady of the river the gray-ling


But i had loving parents although they could be strict they always encouraged me to fish and i did even thought it meant me playing truant from school which got me into a fair bit of trouble i have already mentioned that in an earlier thread, i would carry on up the river a cast here a cast there i don't know there was so much more to being out on the river bank at this time in a morning the dew had covered the field the smell of the new mown grass cut the day before the smell of the river bank from the plants that adorned its bank it was pure magic one that is still ingrained in my memory from all those years ago, by the time i had got to the bridge that crossed the river i would maybe have caught five or six good trout, i would sit under the bridge and just listen to the sounds going on around me the water would babble as it glided over the stones beneath the bridge the dipper going back and forwards to her nest built high up in a hole in the brick work, the small wren with her shrill call and of course the robin. i would spin this section as the water ran very deep under the bridge at the far side, i would always catch a few under this old bridge before making my way back home for breakfast with a bag full of trout but i forgot to mention the lady of the river the gray-ling i would catch a great many of these beautiful fish mostly float fishing with maggot as bait which i collected from the abitor, they were great days days of my youth i would catch the trout to order for my family and friends and neighbors most of the locals were to afraid to fish the river in those days, as it was heavily bailiffs and if caught you would end up in court, but i could run and hide and i never rally gave it a second thought and believe me i have had to hide on a good many occasions even hiding in the undergrowth beside the river but that was years ago things have now changed they have recently stocked this river with salmon Parr its a good job it was not in the days of my youth

well a bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #978 10 Feb 2011 at 11.47am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #977
My greatest memory is definitely my friend ship with dick walker . he was my boy hood hero dick was born in Hitchin in may 1918 and i think if i remember right he first started fishing at the age of three and went with his grandfather for those that don't know in the second world war dick helped develop radar he then went to the family firm lloyds of London who made and repaired lawn mowers also making the big gang mowers they used at ascot and race courses all over Britain, when i first knew him he supplied Shropshire council with mowers.

He did not suffer fools gladly and was also a very educated gentleman as a youngster i worshiped the man and i was absolutely dumbstruck when i had a letter from the great man wanting to know how we caught the big Bream and what methods we used he also invited me down to fish his private stretch on the ouse and stay in his private fishing hut i snatched his hand off meet dick walker i could not believe my luck. So it was arranged graham myself Dennis Kelly and a lad called George Bebington would go down for a week end the tackle was piled into Dennis car and away we went eventually reaching our destination in the afternoon.
Photobucket my freind dick walker


after a snack we decided to try our luck before dark i choose a weedy section with a central channel and proceeded to trot a float down but it was not to last looking across the fields i see this big man heading my way i realized it was my hero, he wore his trade mark big hat, how you doing pete he said i was speechless i have brought you these if there any good to you, he had two rods in his hand and proceeded to take them out of the rod bags one was an 11ft palakona cane rod which dick had designed and was made for Fred j Taylor for bream fishing it was the first one made a demo rod, i think hardy had made it, the other was a 10 ft Avon palakona cane beautifully finished to say the least i was cob smacked have you caught anything pete not as yet dick lets forget the fishing he said and go back to the hut and put the fire on and have a drink and something to eat and that's exactly what we did he had brought a couple of bottles of whisky along and we ate and drunk the evening away until the great man departed around midnight as he went he said you will hear from me again pete . well he heard from me first the gas fire had a fault as it was frosty we left it on low and nearly gassed our selves we were all sick and had headaches he could not stop apologizing pete come down and see me at the factory next week i have a friend coming from Shropshire county council his name is Kieth Wilkinson ill tell him to give you a ring at work and that is what happened, i remained friends with dick until his death in 1985, i have already written a piece about dick at the beginning of my stories so really this is for the younger generation some may not even know his name but if it was not for dick and co, carp fishing would not be like it is today so long may his memory live on a little more latter pete
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   Old Thread  #977 9 Feb 2011 at 12.19pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #976
I was just thinking back to my time as a teenager i am afraid i was a bit of a rum one they still talk about me after all these years i would as you already know poach and fight, i am afraid the latter got me into lots of trouble i would have a go at anyone that threatened my way of life, i have a few scars to show for it i was a rebel i know my mother and father were really worried about the youth i had become, at times i really did not like myself i got mixed up with a gang of teddy boys and on a Friday and Saturday nights would see us at the local dances and we would take on all comers and i mean fight i have seen broken chairs tables turned over broken noses you name it.

But one night i was brought to my senses i had a fight with a local hard character and won, a week latter saw me at a local dance in shrews bury at the music hall i went to the gents and four youths were waiting for me behind the door it was gang warfare i got the biggest hiding and kicking i have ever had i awoke in hospital with a broken nose cracked ribs bruised all over never again would that happen, i must admit the four youths had there comeuppance but that was that i looked at myself and thought no more. And that's when i took fishing quite seriously being out and about down some lake or being down the woods, anybody's woods but beside fishing and shooting i loved wild life i loved to just sit and watch the birds and animals around me i would watch the fox the badger i had no camera then only an old Kodak box camera which was not up to the job of taking that sort of picture, i would go and find the birds nests not taking the eggs just looking i would clime the trees to the buzzards nest it was all part of my life which i loved i would poach the trout from the rivers and the eels from the honey meadow as it was known in the days of my youth. By using big bunches of lob worms mostly caught on night lines from right under the keepers nose, i would poach the local woods for pheasants or hide in the hedge row and feed the pheasant raisins and sultanas then catch them with a fishing hook and line it was a clean and easy way to get a few birds for friends and family it was a wonderful way of life i would ferret the hedge rows catch a couple and be away to the next Bury i spent all my spare time out in the country side at least my parents knew i was safe.
Photobucket The buzzards nest hight up in the tree



I would hide in the under growth and watch the big shoots on the estates, and i was never once caught i would watch the pheasant crash into cover being brought down by one of the posh guns and i would be away, and if i had half the chance i would collect the bird long before the dogs appeared, i can still hear the gun saying its over there keeper in a very posh voice and watch the keeper shake his head i never went home without a brace or two we still needed the food although things were now on a better footing it was still very hard and wages were not that much i would take my air rifle down the woods and shoot a pheasant or two i could make a few bob doing this as well as help feed the family , they were glorious days the days of my youth . well a bit more latter

Photobucket The pheasents in the snow i would have one or two away
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   Old Thread  #976 8 Feb 2011 at 5.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #971
Davey c asked me a question yesterday about foraging for mushrooms he mentioned it was very secretive i suppose he is talking about the magic mushroom, when i fished at Berrington years ago and the hippies came down to swim who i have mentioned in an earlier thread. They were always collecting the magic mushroom in those days it was legal but not any more there was a ban brought out a few years ago they showed me what to look for and what to avoid the real name for the magic mushroom is the liberty cap its found in cow pastures usually growing in the shorter grass it will not grow on cow pats but in the grass near by of course it causes hallucinations when eaten i once asked the one hippie what it was like she said like living in a dream i am afraid not for me, the hippie commune was at the old Berrington hall they ran a health shop, in Shrewsbury i am sure she told me they sold it in a dried up form from the shop, but that was years ago they would not be able to sell it now since the law was changed.

Photobucket the magic mushroom the liberty cap


The one to avoid or so she said and i will have to look it up to be sure is the fly agaric which people do eat but can make you very sick but does cause hallucinations that's the one you associate fairies and elves with which you see in children's books it is a very nasty fungie and can make you very ill.
Photobucket The libery capes

Photobucket The fly agric that causes halucinations but makes you very sick a very nasty fungi


When i used to go and see the gypsies years ago they used to collect the mushrooms from the fields the buttons and the big horse mushrooms old jack lock always told me not to eat anything that does not look right and never eat a red one i never have, i don't pretend i know a lot about the fungi around our woods and fields but one thing i can say they look very pretty especially the ones that grow on fallen trees that are rotting away.

i know when i was a young boy my mother and myself would walk miles mushrooming she would make mushroom soup with them but you dont see many doing it today nothing nicer than fresh mushrooms with bacon and eggs but in the years following war you would eat most things and wild mushrooms were very sort after we would pick a basket full which would be shared out between the family and you neighbours. well a bit more latter
Photobucket The horse mushroom we would pick in the war years

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   Old Thread  #975 7 Feb 2011 at 10.52pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Davy when i fished on one lake in Shropshire a couple came around the surrounding land and woods collecting these mushrooms they were hippy type people but on asking him he said they were magic mushroom or for making the drug god its knowing which one to pick there are so many different types some are deadly and can kill They are still collecting them as we saw the same people last year they always stop for a chat i will put a bit on about fungi latter
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   Old Thread  #974 7 Feb 2011 at 10.36pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Pete

are you any good on foraging or wild mushrooms and fungi?? i'd love to learn more.... but people are so secretative about it..
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   Old Thread  #973 7 Feb 2011 at 6.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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cor brian i am showing my age but seriously where ever you looked they were burning cattle i have lived through three epidemics of foot and mouth i was 25 years old then it does not bare thinking about and it only seems like yesterday
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   Old Thread  #972 7 Feb 2011 at 5.58pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #971
One year i shall never forget was the year 1967 it was horrible ......

it was also the year i was born!
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   Old Thread  #971 7 Feb 2011 at 10.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #967
One year i shall never forget was the year 1967 it was horrible i remember walking down the fields to bomere hoping to have a few casts at the pike with a spinner. when i was met with a terrible sight at the farm belonging to mr adkins there were a number of cattle piled up dead, and they had been set on fire, the stench from burning flesh was unbearable of course it was the year of foot and mouth. I suppose on reflection i should not have been there but most of the farmers around here were arable and did not rear or keep cattle. But Mr Adkins did he owned a big dairy heard and quite a few bullocks and sheep knowing the man on a personal level i felt very sorry for him for on that day his world stopped. And it was some time before he got back on his feet only for it to happen once again but he came through it all, unfortunately he passed away a few years ago but i have many fond memories of the gentleman i always remember him inviting us in for a drink on christmas eve, it was his way of saying thank you for all we had done IE the rabbiting keeping his farm yard and sheds clear of rats etc. As we sat before the roaring fire with a glass of scotch in our hands , he blurted out don't you think you should come to church with me and the wife to thank god for what you have graham looked at me through the corner of his eye as if to say lets get out of here, then Bernard speaks up and says its not a matter of what we have got, but what we have not got, i nearly burst out laughing, but that was john Adkins he was the chairman of the parish church in condover and a very religious man and he thought every body should be the same.
Photobucket the terrible burning of the cattle in the out break of foot and mouth 1967

I got on well with the said gentlemen and really had the run of his land we did all the rabbit clearance and controlled most of his vermin he was a big shooting man and always had a few pheasants on his land he always had a couple of shoots every year for his pals and neighbouring farmers , being out at night with the rifles rabbiting graham and i would take the opportunity to have a few of Johns pheasants when they went up to roost at night, we never really over did it we would shoot just enough to make a shilling or two john said to me one day pete have you seen any body shooting my birds no says i . well says john they are not showing up on the shoot like they were, some one must be poaching us, i had a job to keep a straight face, times were still very hard and we needed the money i really liked the old man and stopped the pheasant poaching on his land well i suppose you don't bite the hand that feeds you. a little bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #970 6 Feb 2011 at 5.26pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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PM Reference book cost
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   Old Thread  #969 6 Feb 2011 at 5.19pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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mike thank your for your kind words some of my story will appear in milk proteins new book which i think will be launched at the brentwood show next year other than that its a bit expensive to have it made into a book unless it can be sponsored i keep hoping you never know some one may take it on thanks again mike pete
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   Old Thread  #968 6 Feb 2011 at 5.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #967
2 Questions Pete.

1. When are you going to put your memoires to print and make a book.

2. Can I have a signed copy.

Keep those storys coming Pete.

Tightlines mate
Mike

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   Old Thread  #967 6 Feb 2011 at 1.04pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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One extreme to the other bad floods have hit the upper reaches of the river severn loads of people rescued through the night it must be terrible to have your home flooded, the weather has now gone very mild but the winds are still quite bad and one or two trees have toppled over. But one thing that gives you hope that spring is around the corner, is the daffodils they are starting to bud in the garden and it wont be long before they are in flower snow drops are already up with a nice show i can not wait for the warmer weather when we can get out and do a bit of fishing.

As you get older the winters seem to effect you more, but when i was younger i never gave it a second thought i would be up the fields and through the woods to see old sam the keeper there was always a welcome fire in the grate a mug of tea or milk with a big slab of cake, then it was up the woods with old sam checking his line of traps he did this once a day he would catch rats and stoats and such but it was his job, he would take me out with his gun in the early spring and shoot the carrion crow, he had no time for this bird as it did untold damage to the young pheasants and the birds of our hedge rows, we would walk up to this tree where her nest, was she would be away before we even got there, the bird had really good eye sight, but one thing they cant do is count, so sam would say youngun walk away and leave me here Erl be back in a minute and she would bang and that was that another to hang on his gibbet he may even put a shot through the nest.

sam was a bit of a dab hand at fly fishing and would take me down the brook, i loved it in may when the may flies hatched out, he had this little six ft rod and a wooden reel he would put on a imitation fly and with a flick of his arm it would reach the other side and float on the swirling water and in a splash of spray it would be gone he would play the fish with a big smile on his face the misses will be pleased he would say and she always was, if any one comes he would say bloody run what sam, run he would say, i ain't got permission I'm poaching i could not believe SAM would poach but he did and was very skilfull at it, he gave me a go with his fly rod but i was hopeless it would land at my feet old sam would roar with laughter you will learn one day youngun, and i suppose i did but it was many years latter, some times i have been out using the fly rod, and i can still hear old sam whispering in my ear if any one comes run. Those memories from long ago remain with me they were wonderful days we would go back to that old cottage in the woods where his dear old wife would cook the fresh trout for dinner, as i have told you all i have been back to find the cottage but it is no longer there only a few stones and bricks that is all that is left of that happy home from long ago, where i spent most my childhood, and as we stood beside the pile of stones i am sure i could still hear old sam say if any one comes run. well a bit more latter

Photobucket the beautiful mayfly

Photobucket a spent may fly floating on the old trout stream


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   Old Thread  #966 5 Feb 2011 at 3.30pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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What a better way to spent my time than fishing , shooting, and general nature, fishing has always been my main hobby although i shoot i suppose i was brought up amid country pursuits it is a way of life and a very close knit community i have made many friends over the years some have been a big influence in my life some have been very rich others very poor but they all have one thing in common and thats the country side but even this is not what it was when i was a lad the wild life i took for granted is no longer here some seem to have disappeared, we do not see the lap wing in big numbers any more the curlew the chiffchaff the spotted flycatcher, the yellow hammer, that even seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate, these birds and many more were quite common when i was a lad the green finch seems to have disappeared completely in Shropshire i think habitat is something to do with it but not all, we can not afford to lose to much of our wild life, as i have stated once before we tread a very thin line and the country side is a very fragile place, and if we do not look after it there will be nothing for the future generations.

i have been down the woods this morning we are having a fox shoot next Saturday shame some would say yes it is i love old foxy but there are far to many running around i have had reports from other shoots who have been seeing great numbers of foxes in the last two weeks they have appeared from no where as if dropped from the sky sad really that we who live in the country side have got to clear this mess up the people that are letting these foxes go want prosecuting as i have stated before the poor little buggers can not look after there selves and have no idea how to hunt not only that but the country side can only support so many the ones we saw last week end were real tame and had no fear of man its a big shame that we as a shoot, we will have to eradicate them if we do not we will have complaints from the land owners and farmers.

Photobucket a most beautiful animal is old foxy and my favorite

In the spring i love to watch the young cubs i certainly do not want them all eradicated i take a few out with me most have never even seen a fox in the wild it is a good bit of education for them and they all go home happy, but the fox is also an old rogue i aways try and put this over to the people i take fox watching, he can and will if given the opportunity cause devastation in the farm yard killing just about any fowl ducks he can get hold of killing them by biting there heads of and maybe only taking one or two at the most for her cubs. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #965 4 Feb 2011 at 11.32am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #964
Some of the best times i had fishing was with Dennis Kelly myself graham fished together Dennis was from the potteries and was chairman of stoke angling society he was well known in my young days for his big bream exploits and would travel long distances to fish for them. we first met when we formed the three counties specimen group which i believe is still going today. We had great times fishing together and fished a great many of the big meres here in Shropshire and Cheshire graham and i both owned A 35 vans so there was no problem traveling the first mere we encountered was colmere it was big and hard but we had a huge success on there leading up to breaking the bream record by a man called will Collins, in fact it was broken three times but only claimed once whitemere was another interesting water which held some huge fish in fact the two other fish that broke the record came from there we also fished crows mere for the roach and tench the roach grew to a good size and you would find us there in the winter float fishing we never caught any huge fish but had great fun catching them to a pound or so.

Blake mere was another one we fished catching some nice bream we had one or two sessions there with angling times the fish were not that huge but we caught them to eight pounds plus they were good days why bream you may say well what we really wanted was to catch double figure Bream which were not that common in our younger days and to show other anglers it could be done and we really did it in style, we were really well known for our big bream stints, graham and myself had just managed to get the lease of Bomere so a few from the group joined our syndicate, Dennis absolutely loved the place and spent hours fishing for the big big roach it held, we would live bait for the pike when you had one on they would tail walk they would go mental we had a few good catches of pike especially in the summer, as the lake would come alive we had angling times there for a session after the pike and roach which lasted two days it was not to bad for myself and graham as we only lived up the road and if we got to tired we could nip home for a wash and kip there was no bite alarms in those days you had to keep awake i made some butt indicators for the roach fishing which proved a big success, and we used them for the Bream as well.
Photobucket the but indercaters i made all those years ago

We fished to together for a number of years we fished Acton burnell for the tench and roach there was no syndicate in those days and i really had the run of the place, when the syndicate took over i could still fish the place as a friend of the owner we had some great nights fishing there catching some really respectable bags of tench and roach they were hazy lazy days, we even fished in a couple of big matches on the canal, at ellesmere and i won both i had the pi took a bit because my weight was only around four oz but i won and got a bit of money which was very welcome at the time i shared it with graham as i always did we had been mates for years so it helped us both.
i won some big prizes in the seventies for my big bream exploits even holidays with angling times which was spent in ireland on the black water and in denmark fishing on the guden. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #964 3 Feb 2011 at 10.43am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #963
When i think back to the early sixties and seventies how on earth did we managed. all we had was the old garden bed chair a blanket and some canvas we have fished in mid winter and on more than one occasion we have woke up and found we were covered in hoar frost you would be that cold your teeth would chatter your whole body would be stiff and aching but we did it, we loved to be out and to catch a few we have been out in gales severe gales where trees were falling down but we stuck it out and caught fish, at times our lines have frozen in the ice i think it was then time to call it a day. I have trotted down a float on the river for the roach only to see the line freeze to the rod and rings and we have still caught but those days are now over i am at the age where i like my comfort more i now leave that to the younger generation but with the equipment to day they are better protected for the elements than we were in our days.

How wonderful it was to walk the tree lined river where the snow had piled up in large drifts beside the swirling water it almost looked black as over head the snow clouds formed once again threatens more snow ice had formed at the waters edge as i cast my spinner into the channel that was still open it was a little mepps spinner no sooner had it landed than my rod bent over to the satisfying take of my first fish, i had no landing net for it was 1959 but i managed to land this great creature from the depths, i held him in my trembling hand a stared in wonder at this striped beauty of course it was the perch i returned him to his home between the ice i could of killed him and took him home for tea but i thought i would give him a chance to live another day
Photobucket a nice perch from years ago

I walked on down the river side a cast here a cast there until i came to the falls the water ran faster here but icicles had formed under the sill they looked like daggers hanging there out i cast to the far side and slowly spun it back i hardly turned the handle of reel when i felt a savage take the rod bent over into a hoop this was no perch or chub away he went down the river i hung on and fought with all my might at last i played him to the bank and there he lay upon his side what a sight a pike, no more than a few pounds but what a fight he gave i cut my hand unhooking him on his wicked teeth, i returned him to his home beneath the falls maybe we will meet again another day. The wind got up and the snow began to fall as pulled my color around my neck it was time to head for home as i walked up the fields the snow swirled in circles in the wind, looking back my tracks had already vanished no sign of me would bailiffs find i would soon be home beside the fire reflecting on my day and maybe fall asleep and dream about things i had done or things to come another day. This is a true story around about 1959 i was seventeen years old and it was on the river rea the falls have now gone those days will never return but i have my memories of those days from long ago which only i can tell . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #963 2 Feb 2011 at 12.15pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #962
I have just been down the woods the lakes are still partly frozen after all the rain we have had i cant believe its now been two weeks of milder weather and we still have ice. The wind is blowing a north westerly a penetrating wind very cold i really went to help tony out with his young springer spaniel he took his four ten shot gun down and wanted myself or graham to put a couple of shots up in the air to see the dogs reaction, he sent him for a dummy and we fired at the same time no problem he did stop and look as if to say what was that about then he was OK no problem what so ever he should make a really good dog.

when i was younger this weather really never bothered me i would be out and about every bit of spare time was spent fishing or up the fields with the ferrets doing a bit of rabbiting we had some great days just netting up the holes in the big hedge rows i well remember netting two hedges rows on this one farm and catching sixty rabbits they were all netted none shot, and we got an excellent price from the dealers those were the days we would be out at every opportunity we were also giving a good service for the farmers , i am hoping to get a day or two next week as long as my health will let me, nothing nicer then being out in the fresh air catching a few rabbits it will probably be a week end so we can take young tom along to continue with his tuition about the ways of the country side
Photobucket another shot across the moors we lived not far from here the lake we fished was in the distance a rugged and remote place

If we were not ferreting we would be pike fishing on the river or one of the big lakes i loved the river we caught some big old pike on dead bait a totally different fish it would beautifully marked compared to the fish we caught in the lakes but i loved it all, there were hot spots on a river if you caught one it was usually followed by more and in a good morning we have caught ten or twelve fish some making height doubles i think we really caught the bigger pike from the lakes but i really did not mind what size they were as long as we caught and enjoyed what we were doing
Photobucket My beloved hills and valleys where i poached and shot the black rabbits when i got married in 1960

I am going to the hill country this after noon taking the wife to her parents grave then a ride on through the hills and dales wonderful country and so full of wild life it is our heritage a place of beauty and ruggedness i shall no doubt pass the old lake where we fished for the wild carp all those years ago, no one fishes it any more or so i am told to far to walk across the moor and valleys, of course we knew the owner well and he would take our tackle down on a tractor and trailer and pick us up three days latter its still the same farmer but the sons now run the place i think the lake is used for duck shooting, you can see it in the distance from your car it looks the same as it did all those years ago a beautiful place locked in time which never seems to alter well a bit more latter

Photobucket looking back to the old lake in hill country where we caught the wild carp from

Photobucket where i poached and shot the grouse and watched the fox cubs play

Photobucket another photo of the wonderfull hill country that i so love
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   Old Thread  #962 1 Feb 2011 at 11.33am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #961
I loved the piece and quite and have fished a few places where you would never see a soul other than the farmer checking on his sheep we have caught the true old carp torpedo shaped they never grew big i think the biggest we had was just over seven pounds but god could they scrap they would lead you a merry dance before getting them to the net i fished two lakes that held these fish there was no difference between either the fish looked the same and scraped the same how or when they were stocked into these lakes i do not know i would doubt for food as the one lake was to far away from civilization the other did have the farm and a few houses doted around i asked the one farmer he said they had been in the lake for generations. he allowed myself Bern graham to fish there and we had some great days catching the fish i don't think the one lake had ever seen a hook but the fish were catch-able all muscle and stream lined ill put some photos up latter
Photobucket bern and graham with the true wildies caught from hill country

Another lake graham and i fished or poached was absolutely beautiful it had a summer house and beautiful lawns that ran down to the waters edge we would park our car behind the big hedge and walk through the lush gardens to the lake we would cast our rods out and if we wished and sit in the summer house, all the time we fished the place we never saw a soul we could pick vast quantities of lob worms from the lawns and would fish for the big eels it held . it was covered in places by gorgeous lilies pinks whites we would float fish for the tench, we tried to find who owned the place, we even called at the hall that was in the grounds, but without much luck we asked the locals but they did not know but there must have been a Gardner as the lawns were well kept and cut, we fished that place for years and to this very day i do not, know who owns it. But it was a magical place to us and we had lots of good nights catching the eels and tench i think the biggest eel was only around three pounds but i know a friend who had a go and manged a six pounds plus specimen a lovely eel i saw the photo but we have not fished there for years but i imagine its still the same i must go and have a look some time it will bring back happy memories.
Photobucket seven wildies caught in one night from lake in hill country

Another lake we fished was above clun deep in the woods we poached it for some time it was a route march through ferns way over your head i knew the pool from years ago when i lived at craven arms it had a small boat house at the one end when looking at the water it looked blue asking around a few years latter some said it had been a marl pit we caught some big old Rudd from the pool we also saw some decent, carp the place had not been fished for years if ever but i never felt comfortable fishing the place. when we found the owner we asked permission but we were refused keep away from there he said, i don't want anyone near the place i do wander to this day if at some stage a tragedy had happened on that lake but he was a nice chap and gave us permision to fish his private stretch on the river severn but no way would he allow us into those woods to fish that old lake. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #961 31 Jan 2011 at 11.35pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I love my fishing its a few years since i fished the big meres of Cheshire and Shropshire there was always plenty to see the big skeins of geese and rafts of duck but most of all the beauty of the place i would lie on the old garden bed chair and watch the stars far above it always made me feel so insignificant i have heard the nightingale sing watched the planes over head there was never a dull moment. i would drift off to sleep and jump with a start as the fox, barked somewhere behind i would look at the trees and wandered how many years they had stood on that spot and if they could talk what wondrous things they may have seen, some of the oaks must have been four to five hundred years old nature is so wonderful . We would catch the big bream and at times the Tench or float fish for the big roach the big meres held, we caught the eels using big bunches of lobs . i liked the big winds on the meres, it would blow in your swim and the water would foam at your feet this was the night for the bream i would watch the doe bobbin hanging on the line between the reel and but ring away it would go an inch at a time before smoothly rising to the but ring you would sweep the rod up and feel the resistance of the fish, yet another bream you played it gently to the bank into the net you would steer your prize, and gently part the net and stare in wander at the big bronze flanks, it held no weighting the fish in the dark into the giant keep net he would go you had already pegged the net out before you started, you cast again to your chosen spot and put the bobbin on, before you even get it done the other rods away another bream hits the net what away to start you night you look within the net and lying there before you eyes is a lovely sight a huge bronze bream of double figures you tremble with delight as you gently put it in the big net . You feel so tired and yet you continue until your eyes can take no more so in the with the rods, and leave them on the rests, you cover your self with a blanket and canvas and sleep the the the night away when morning breaks you weight your fish and have your photos taken a nine pounder and a ten no more could i wish so we put the tackle in the van and away home we go still tired but feeling good about the night you have had, A night in my life fishing for the big bream on colmere year 1970 a little more latter


Photobucket A big bream fromk colmere 1970
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   Old Thread  #960 31 Jan 2011 at 11.07am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Another cold morning -7 the car is covered so i will get the scraper out once again one thing i have noticed the snow drops are out and the daffodil are starting to shoot a sure sign that spring is on the way a wonderful time of year the woods and hedge rows will team with new life, the vixen will soon be having her young, the foxes we saw Saturday were definitely let go, the shoot over the fields from us shot 3 and saw a few more the one had severe mange and was put out of its misery a most terrible disease and your dog or farm dogs can catch it from being in contact with animals that have it. The people that have let these foxes go think they are doing a favour for the city fox by giving him a chance to flourish in the country side but they are very foolish and do not understand the foxes way of life they do not survive very long as they can not hunt like a true fox that has been born in the English countryside, it is also very strange territory which they do not know or understand it is very cruel and irresponsible .

I think i mentioned once before about the time i was walking my dog SAM and came across this big white van with no number plate, as i approached the driver opened the back and out shot a number of foxes, he did not see me i went straight to the farm but by the time we got back the van had gone but the farmer had trouble for weeks with the foxes around the farm yard, he had one little vixen that was always trying to catch a chicken but had no idea how or what to do he eventually trapped her she was put into a bag and taken i think without having a look at my diary she was taken to the vet what happened then i don't know, but it was when hunting with hounds was legal and they were called in a good many were either shot or killed by the hounds, this should not happen.

i love the spring the new leaves start to appear on the trees and hedges the birds start to mate i love to listen to the bird song early in the morning or the black bird or thrush singing as the dark approaches, so much new life the lambs start to be born which keeps the farmers very busy, especially the hill farmers who manage to scrape a living from his sheep a most important time of year for him, the young rabbits start to appear scampering away as you approach, the lakes start to come alive, the weed beds start to revive the moorhens coots and ducks have one thing on their mind to lay there eggs a rear their brood, where ever you look you will see somthing new on most lakes that we fish still have the old close season, most are ssi, but there are a few we can fish and hopfully graham and i will be giving it a go ,as long as my health hold up. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #959 30 Jan 2011 at 10.28am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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When we first started carp fishing seriously it was hard as some of the lakes we fished had very low stocks we had no idea how to even start this would be in the middle sixties quite often when eel fishing we would hook a big carp on lob worm as it happened most that we hooked were lost in the big weed beds lilies and such. i know one lake we used to fish in the Telford area graham and i would ledger big bunches of worms we would catch a fish a cast not big but at least they were carp we were on a learning curve and catching any carp gave us a boost of confidence. I think it was in the mid sixties or early seventies we met a man who has been a good friend ever since a lad called Bern weaver he was mad to catch eels and carp we fished together at acton burnell betton really all over Shropshire's and some times over the border into wales he was dead keen his father Aubrey always came along and his brother charlie they were out most week ends and had caught some very impressive eels and the odd carp and some really good tench.

Photobucket

Bern with the first thirty from acton it weighted 33 pounds

Photobucket
Bern with his twenty seven pounds fish



Bern Graham and i were like the three musketeers never apart in fact Bern is a member of my shooting syndicate all three of us are now getting on a bit, but we can still remember the good times, when we fished in wales together i think in two days we caught over eighty fish the locals told us it was hard i was completely knackered from catching them we had fish to fifteen pounds, some of the nicest times together were at betton and acton burnell we would catch the tench in big numbers from acton and most fish averaged anything from five to seven pounds i well remember Bern catching a thirty three and a twenty seven pound carp on the same night i suppose that was the early seventies i think if a remember right it was the first thirty from acton but looking back she was severely spawn bound i had three the same night and i think graham had a number of tench some over seven pounds but they were great days we were still learning and were managing to catch a few.
Photobucket<
my self with a common from the same night

Photobucket
another from the same night


When i met lordy and he asked me if i would like to fish his private lake i really never looked back a few months went by and lordy asked if i would like to form a syndicate on the lake i snatched his hand off i had 14 in the syndicate and Bern was one of them we had some great times on that lake we caught chub big fish some going to seven pounds, graham caught seven in one morning, but it was the carp we wanted and managed to catch a few biggies it really changed in the eighties the Hair had arrived and i heard on the grape vine about using peanuts i would bait up often not to many at a time the fish went mad for them we absolutely slaughtered the place the other members could not believe how many we were catching or what we were using and i think to this very day they dont know. well ill tell you a bit more latter

Photobucket my rods out at acton early eighties
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   Old Thread  #958 29 Jan 2011 at 5.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Well its been the last day of shooting for my syndicate, the two lakes had once again frozen over we had a few pheasants but one thing we must sort out is the foxes i don't mind seeing one about the place but we saw six today a few to many i love old foxy but you must control them the farmers will be having a go next as it will soon be lambing time the one dog fox i saw was nearly black first time i have seen one so dark he looked a majestic animal and in really good nick its a shame we have to resort to such measures but needs must before we get complaints from the farmers, i really wandered if some had been let go as we have been in that position before its not only cruel but very foolish as they cannot look after them selves or hunt like the old country fox the one that came out in front of me did not have a care in the world he was in and out of the wood just like he was used to being around humans a wild fox would catch your scent and would of been away but not this one unfortunately he was dispatched cleanly and so was a vixen having a look at the vixen she was barren not carrying cubs but i still wander if some have been caught up in the city and have been let go on our patch how many more there is i dont know as we did not shoot all of the wood and land but on what we saw this morning i would think more its strange how they have turned up with a week we have always had the odd one which i like to see, i shall over the next week be having a look around as i feel something is not quite right.
Photobucket the lake frozen again

Photobucket my syndicat members another year over


Photobucket end of the second drive


i had an email from a friend who is a bailiff for the federation and he sent a nice picture of a roach caught at sydney avenue shrewsbury it was two pounds eleven oz a most beautiful specimen and what made it all the better was the chap that caught it has just started fishing and this was his first visit to the severn with rod and line i would be very proud if i was him its a fish of a life time most have never seen a two pounder never mind a bigger one well done him and i wish him all the luck and i hope he contiues to fish the river i have not heard of any barbel being caught in this cold weather only a few chub but at least some are catching a bit cold for me as yet but i shall be having a go as it warms up. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #957 28 Jan 2011 at 2.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket my mate graham with another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #956 28 Jan 2011 at 2.32pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket one from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #955 28 Jan 2011 at 2.27pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket one from whitchurch
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   Old Thread  #954 28 Jan 2011 at 11.28am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket my dog sam who i painted better poacher than me god could he catch fish
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   Old Thread  #953 28 Jan 2011 at 11.25am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another just landed a few years ago
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   Old Thread  #952 28 Jan 2011 at 11.18am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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When i first moved to craven arms i was about seven or eight years old we had no money as such so we scraped by i helped the best i could as i have said before i would bring the ducks eggs home and the moorhens, one egg i loved was the peewit i would lie down and watch her land then run to her nest i would traverse the field until i found the nest they were lovely to eat small but nice my mum would pickle them in vinegar the peewit was quite common when i was young of course its true name is the lapwing, but as lads we always knew them as peewits, i could always find half a dozen nests in one field i would only take two eggs from each nest, sad today they are not around in numbers like when i was a boy. the habitat has gone for a good many ground nesting birds, another i would watch and find was the curlews nest the big grass pastures are not here like they used to be i have not seen a curlew in my area for some time sad as they were quite common years ago,

Anything to survive but i suppose the rabbit was the main stay until myxomatosis appeared terrible disease as lads we would go up the fields there would be hundreds just sitting there heads like footballs we would put them out of there misery with a big stick, it was awful it made life easier for the farmers, but some estates lost revenue as they made money out of the rabbit it was some time before you saw a rabbit and then it was the odd one it nearly wiped them out a lot of people would not eat them after mixie, but over the years they made a steady come back some became immune to the disease and are now nearly back to pre war years . as i once said i had an air gun for christmas this one year, that really altered things i got quite good with it and would shoot a pheasant or two that really helped at home i got to know the woods fields and most of the shoots around the area i loved every minute it really gave me a big kick the adrenaline went sky high i loved to out fox the keepers but they really never gave a young lad like me a second look i think they thought we would never poach and were to scared .

I was fourteen when i moved back to Bayston hill the village of my birth then my poaching really began i would walk for miles and at the age of sixteen had my first gun a webley and Scot four ten god did i shoot some birds with that and i did not wait for them to fly we needed food so it was bang and away to another spot i managed to acquire a high powered air rifle that was even better as i could go out at night with a torch strapped to the barrel or with a freind who would hold the torch but i prefered being by myself i woul;d shoot the pheasents out of the trees when at roost we were never whithout a dinner mum would worry sick you will get caught but i never did i loved the way of life i learned so much about the country side and its ways i think i walked every wood around condover bomere over to hanwood any where i coulsd get a free meal i fished the streams and rivers some stocked by the esatates for the owners and freinds to fish well i was a freind was i not i knew there woods and feilds back to front ha ha i have been chased a few times but i can honestly say i was never caught. well a bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #951 27 Jan 2011 at 11.21am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I have had a great life i have met many friends fished shot and i have loved the country side i taught my self to fish sometimes successful other times not but i persevered and eventually caught fish i cut my teeth fishing a river in south Shropshire the onny it was strictly private in those days and heavily baliffed but that did not stop me fishing the place i got chased on more than one occasion but i only got caught once and that was not my fault the lad i was with was petrified and i could not leave him they confiscated my tackle but i managed to get it back the policemen brought it to our house and said as long as i did not fish there again or along those lines i could have my tackle back i should coco I carried on fishing it until we left and came back to live in the village of my birth Bayston hill so i hold it in my heart and memory, craven arms is where i met old Sam the keeper he taught me so much about the country side and its inhabitants.

Sam taught me so many things i am eternally grateful to him and his wife he taught me how to eel fish at stretford all about nature in general what not to shoot, that nature was a gift from god and not to be abused well that's how SAM saw it he showed me how he reared pheasants in the big rearing field they sat broody hens on pheasant eggs in little coups it was a hard life and SAM at times lived with his birds he would protect them from any predators that would destroy his hard work it was his job to make sure the birds survived he would trap rats stoats weasels even shoot the odd fox. how things have now changed all rearing done with incubators if old SAM was around now his job would have been a lot easier but most of all he was a friend that will remain in my heart forever at times i go, back to the church at halford that stands by the old water fall, i used to fish, such a pretty place to lie in slumber, so many friends now lie within the old church yard old SAM his wife and many more i went to school with, its a place of piece and quite the only noise you hear is the bird song and the sound of the river down below ,i look and leave them to there slumber i hold them in my heart and will forever more.

I have vivid memories about fishing stokesay court it was strictly private but i had a wonderful time catching the big Rudd and roach it held i have even fished the place when they had a shooting party i hid in the bushes and reeds that surrounded the place. The style is till there today where i would get over and hide my bike things have changed very little over the years and i think it is still a private place strictly no fishing its still a very big shooting estate i remember that horrible keeper that gave me a clip while i was at sams and how i got my own back by poaching his trout from the brook i had a few of his pheasants to, he would brag to sam how no one poached his patch i would smile little did he know but they were hard but great days and would live it all again if given the chance. a little more latter

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   Old Thread  #950 26 Jan 2011 at 7.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket a very old warrior from betton
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   Old Thread  #949 26 Jan 2011 at 7.10pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket graham with a chub
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   Old Thread  #948 26 Jan 2011 at 7.05pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket tench bomere years ago
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   Old Thread  #947 26 Jan 2011 at 7.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from lordys
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   Old Thread  #946 26 Jan 2011 at 5.30pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I think we are going to struggle to find places to fish in Shropshire i hear about more fish loses every day some lakes have got away with it others have not it seems the deeper the water the better off you are terrible as some of the waters are steeped in history some i have fished all my life. The one lake has lost half a dozen fish over thirty pounds and loads of mid twenties and below are they worth restocking i doubt it very much as it could happen again, i was just sitting here thinking of days gone by the times we have had, good times by anyone's standards when graham and i were in our twenties we had the run off most lakes in and around shrews bury we could pick, an choose where we fished . we spent many hours fishing acton burnell we caught some lovely carp and tench they were lovely days no pressure you rolled up and fished when you liked, and you stayed as long as you wanted, no pressure to catch big fish you were pleased with whatever came your way of course it was nice if you caught a biggie but it was not all about fishing it was also being out and watching nature it was all part of our hobby.

When graham and i first fished nib's heath we were young and still learning we made most of our own tackle which added to our enjoyment we made our own floats, ledgers, rod rests and such things it was a long time before we met dick walker. We were two young men on a learning curve we experimented i well remember trying blood i would go to the local abitor and get a big bucket of blood straight from the tap god did the workers look at me strangely what on earth do you want blood for and by the time we went fishing it would stink to height heaven but it worked we tried mixing it with layers mash sausage rusk and maggots graham worked in telford at the time and on the way from work on a Friday he would call at the maggot farm and bring a gallon of maggots they only cost shillings, in those days, we would mix the maggots in the blood and mash and throw it in your chosen swim i think it attracted every fish in the lake we would float fish we caught perch two pounds plus every cast was a fish the biggest haul of tench was 134 pounds but would regularly catch eighty pounds plus we caught tench to five pounds a good fish for those years we found the blood would work on most lakes and really caught some great fish using it but other anglers were catching on to our big catches and it became more and more awkward to go fishing without being troubled by other anglers, i did not mind at first and we tried to help others but we found that we would not be able into our chosen swims as otheres would beat us to it, we would not take our keep nets out of the water with others present, as we would not get in that swim any more it got so bad that the police caught two anglers fishing at acton burnell and when asked there names they stated pete pemberton and graham wakley well the policmen knew me and the owners took them to court but it happened and nearly drove us to pack up fishing but i am glad we did not as i have met so many freinds over the years . well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #945 26 Jan 2011 at 2.11pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket a bream berrington years ago
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   Old Thread  #944 26 Jan 2011 at 2.09pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another nice carp
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   Old Thread  #943 26 Jan 2011 at 2.07pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket a good chub
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   Old Thread  #942 26 Jan 2011 at 2.05pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another good barbel
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   Old Thread  #941 26 Jan 2011 at 2.04pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another good barbel
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   Old Thread  #940 26 Jan 2011 at 2.02pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket big barbel shrewsbury weir
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   Old Thread  #939 26 Jan 2011 at 1.55pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket big barbel from the severn
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   Old Thread  #938 26 Jan 2011 at 10.47am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #937
I would walk the hill country and its valleys to watch the wild life so much to see i watched a goshawk for weeks up on the longmynd he took a good many rabbits and a few pheasants but he was a magnificent bird i would lie in the heather and watch him hunt he stayed for quite some time then disappeared gone to pastures new there was always something to see the common buzzard sparrow hawk kestrel then there were the hill ponies with there shaggy coats, the Hair and of course old foxy it could keep me busy for weeks i loved to be up on those hills with the wind on my face it was pure magic i would find the mountain stream fish for the small trout that inhabited the dark cold waters pick the win-berries in season what more could i ask. i would walk for miles box on my back gun in, hand and ferret the rabbits that infested the hill country we had some great days catching a couple here and a couple there we did not net the holes but shot them as they bolted for cover it was a fantastic way to spend your day.

I got to know a small lake down in the valley the farmer said it held fish and he thought they were carp he said if i wanted a go just call at the farm to let him know i was there, well we were soon beside this little lake or maybe i should call it a gem because that what it was where do you start well i float fished it with maggot sweet corn bread casters we caught some tremendous crucian carp every cast a fish all from a pound two two pounds but did the scrap every so often away the float would slide and you would be into a bigger fish we landed tench four, pounds was about the biggest, but great fishing how on earth these fish got into the lake the farmer said he had not stocked them we got broke on a number of occasions by bigger fish i presumed they were big carp the next time we went we took the carp rods i tried every thing but could only catch on maize they loved the stuff we never caught a carp over 18 pounds in all the time we fished the place they were mostly around twelve pounds plus but we did not care the fishing was free and the scenery was spectacular it had to happen over the years it had got quite well known, and now a local club controls the fishing. i have fished it since with young Andy who's in the club but its not what it was when i fished it all those years ago. the farmer died and his son took over like all farmers the revenue helps him out its becoming more difficult to find these waters but there are a few out there i have come across a few when shooting on some of the big estates, some i have fished and have had good sport. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #937 25 Jan 2011 at 8.59pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #936
Photobucket another big barbel
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   Old Thread  #936 25 Jan 2011 at 8.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another carp this one had a big sore on his shoulder
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   Old Thread  #935 25 Jan 2011 at 12.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #932
i have walked the roads and bye ways of Shropshire i have walked the tree lined lanes i have fished the streams and rivers i have watched the otter play i loved to fish the river and catch the barbel it held i suppose looking back we used to catch as many as 30 fish in a evening we usually went about five in the evening and fished until midnight or latter we fished two rods that's all you could handle, it was great fishing in the summer i have had chub to six pounds and i have hooked the occasional carp but i have managed to lose it because of the thick weed beds, but no more those days have gone you are now lucky to catch one barbel. Fish stocks are being depleted by to many predators that are now on our rivers, i have seen packs of goo-sanders fishing together the otter cormorants you name it we have got it on the severn. The days of my youth will never return we would catch huge bags of roach and dace,, the barbel had yet to arrive but they have been the main stay of our river the last few years i loved to dead bait for the pike i would always head for the deeper water where the shoals of roaPhotobucketch were you could always catch a few pike from these spots, but no more they have gone how sad.


Things are changing from my youth the wild life is also disappearing the water vole that was so common when i was young is now very rare due to the mink but also there habitat is disappearing , when i was young the water meadows by the streams and rivers were amazed with flowers of all varieties no more all ploughed to many mouths to feed. A lot of the country side i knew when i was young has gone new houses stand where i fished and poached the wild life has gone i could walk up the road from my house and i was in the fields or clime the fence at the bottom of our garden no more its now tarmac we still have the fields and lakes and the woods i loved but a lot has now gone for housing and such.

i really wander what old SAM would say about the way its going or my grandad it is so different i am sure some people think the mink is a furry little creature which should not be killed the goo sanders are lovely to see the general public, don't care a toss about our fishing only the wild life they can see on the river bank, fish don't matter because they cant see them the likes of otters matter because they are portrayed as lovable little creatures i don't think in my time any of these animals a birds will be controlled but they should be to protect our fish stocks and our voles and birds for the future generations to come, the environment agency are doing a survey at shrewsbury i shall be very interested in there finding and what they recommend we shall see but ill bet it wont be a cull . more latter
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   Old Thread  #934 24 Jan 2011 at 10.18am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #933 23 Jan 2011 at 3.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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i am very sorry something has deleted my one storey and most of my photos i have gone back to photo bucket they have all gone i had somthing called malware come up i then lost every thing help wanted pete
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   Old Thread  #932 23 Jan 2011 at 12.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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What a way to spend the day graham one side of the hedge me the other gun in hand ready to shoot the bolting rabbit Rodger would work the ferrets we would have netted most of the holes we could find ,but there was always a few that we missed. out from the hedge row would run the rabbit up with the gun bang and the rabbit would tumble down i have literally shot hundreds over the years we could end the day with a good many and we always made a bob or two, you would not get as much for a shot rabbit dealers liked the ferreted ones but we had a chap that would buy them shot or ferreted and always gave you the same price i think most went to france he would open his refrigerator door and there would be hundreds hung in t
Photobucket learning young tom the country way of life
Photobucket



Photobucket rodgers huge feeret run











Photobucket more of rodgers ferrets







I did not like digging but i did my fare share luckily we had the collar with the transmitter and the hand held receiver which made things a lot easier to locate the ferret and rabbit she may of killed, we have dug down to the ferret more than once and after removing her have found as many as seven rabbits backed up a dead end. When i was young i would not ferret the big burries but always liked the small ones usually in a hedge row with three or four holes they were not as deep as a rule and the digging not as hard, we had no transmitters then so i used an old hob ferret with a collar and a line attached you would follow the line by digging down usually the old hob would move the little gill ferret and she would come back to the entrance she would be put back in the box. and you would proceed to dig the hob out, he would not leave the kill and would be on the rabbit when you got down to him, as i have said some times he had backed up more than one it was a great way to spend a day the difference was when i was young we had to catch to survive today its a hobby to make a bit of money

Photobucket rodgers ferrets






we have also used the ferrets for flushing rats from the bales the farmer had stacked in the big indoor sheds they would bolt from everywhere we had some friends bring a couple of terroirs along they would catch the rat then toss them up and before they hit the floor they would be dead the farmers loved this and were always grateful this is how we gained much of our fishing, but the country way of life is no longer here the rats are now shot with an air rifle and torch i have a friend well distant relation, who shoots up to two hundred plus a night and gets paid for it when i lived at craven arms a chap there had a pack of terriers he would go around the farms when it was dark he would kill large numbers the farmers welcomed him with open arms as he did a very good job . well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #931 22 Jan 2011 at 2.40pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #929
I have been out with my syndicate this morning we only shot until dinner time one or two of the guns have other commitments. I am very sad and shocked about a lake i fish not far from my home which has lost 800 fish through the bad weather its part of shropshire's history gone in a matter of days, the bailiff has told me all about the sad loss via pm. some of the fish were very big how on earth they will replace them i don't know but its not just this one, other lakes have been severely hit maybe some wiped out for ever i have got a feeling anglers up here will be struggling to find places to fish even the river i think will suffered



Going back lets talk about nature not only have fish suffered in this weather but it has killed many owls the barn owl is the worst hit but a few Tawney's have also succumbed to the dreadful weather we have experienced this year, the barn owl has not been able to find the voles and mice, it hunts for. They have been there but deep below the snow so the owls could not get to them very sad such a beautiful bird I wonder how many more of our native birds have perished in this weather, the lakes were frozen once again my friend tony found a fox dead in the water looks like he drowned trying to catch some water hen or duck and fell through the ice and that was his end there were marks on the ice where he had been, very sad such a noble animal should meet his end like that.
Photobucket Bomere looking back from the keepers cottage which IS now flats i would fish the pool right under the keepers nose

Photobucket showing the extensive work done by english nature the keepers pens were just down the bank thats where i would have a few of his birds years ago


Photobucket the pool i poached years ago you can see it in the background



There were a few skeins of geese going over this morning very high going some where to feed and rest for the day they were mostly grey lags with a few Canada's flying with them, i love to watch them high above on a winters day the pools were deserted not a sign of fisherman here today although a bit of water seemed to be open at the far end of the twenty five acre lake, usually the pike fishermen are out but no one graced the banks it was a damp fogy and freezing and i for one was glad to be home i took a few photos of the wood and lakes to put up on here and i am now home in the warm i was surprised at the number of wood cock that were seen today the guns only shot a couple but it was nice to see them here. we had a good show of pheasants but lacked the guns as some had to work and could not make it so it was only the oldies that turned up but it was a good morning, it is the last shoot day next saturday and every one will turn up it will then be finished for another year how time flies it will soon be spring and the birds will sing a lovely time of year. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #930 21 Jan 2011 at 9.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks rob very grateful for your remarks very much apprecated
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   Old Thread  #929 21 Jan 2011 at 9.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #924
Now i am getting old and my old bones creak a lot all i have is my memories from long ago. Times of hard ship and lots more beside to stand upon the mountain side and walk the valleys far below to shoot the mountain hair and old foxy to, watch the buzzard soar above to see the grouse on the wing raise your gun but let him pass to live another day to see the snow drifts far above it all has made my day.
To fish the mountain streams the lakes and rivers, To catch the brown trout that swam in the mountain stream trousers rolled up to your knees then slide your hand underneath his belly and in one swift movement on the bank he went, it was all part of my life that i have loved. I have laid down in the heather and watched the fox cubs play I have watched the vixen bring them food a rabbit or a hair i have got so close i could of touched them all and they never knew i was there, i have climbed the tree to the kestrels nest and held the youngsters in my hand and stared in wander at the sight. I have poached the woods of Shropshire night and day i have watched the keeper feed the birds as i sat in his the coverts not to far away, soon he would be in the pub and i would have my way a few birds in my sack and i would be on my away no mess would i make no feathers left to give me myself away.

i would fish the old pool and hide within the reeds i have caught the Rudd and the bream i have heard old Gerry pass me by. With gun in his arm and dog behind and he never knew i was there i have sat beside the lake and watched the stars above and listened to the noises of the night i have heard the vixen, scream the bark of the dog and the screech of old olut as he searched for a vole or mouse what more could one want i have raised my gun with my torch strapped on and seen the pheasant up above i have pulled the trigger with trembling hands down he would come and flutter on the ground another for the bag a few more birds and i would be home and warm my feet by the fire and dream of things to come what a life i have had and i hope a bit more to come no more poaching like i did just my memories that i treasure from all those years long ago a bit more latter.
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   Old Thread  #928 21 Jan 2011 at 8.16pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #926
well done pete excellent write up with lovely pics as well
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   Old Thread  #927 21 Jan 2011 at 5.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #924
when will we learn the country side is a very fragile place, as a country we will have to change our ways or face a catastrophic,

Very true Pete, it seems to be disappearing at a rate of knots!

More good stuff from you mate, loving it
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   Old Thread  #926 21 Jan 2011 at 1.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks ken that means a lot
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   Old Thread  #925 21 Jan 2011 at 1.42pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Great stuff, Pete...Now even better with the pix

Keep 'em coming, mate.
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   Old Thread  #924 21 Jan 2011 at 11.24am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I look very young in some of those photos there is lots yet to put up. i have just read in the paper about the shortage of wild birds in our fields and woodland i have stated before the grey partridge is in decline corn buntings yellow wagtails plus turtle doves, bullfinches thrushes tree pipits and lots more when i was young we took these birds for granted you would collect the birds eggs it had no effect on the population i have not seen a bullfinches nest for years no doubt there are a few about, but not like when i was a boy they were quite common tree pipits were also seen in most woods the papers were even mentioning the lesser spotted wood pecker we are lucky here as we have one or two. There was great excitement on our patch a bittern as been spotted and photographed English nature are so exited or so i am told. well i have got news for them a pair have been here for few years i have spotted them several times over the years, and have seen the bird almost freeze in an upright position, when in flight there legs lie flat behind the body they look quite strange it is a difficult bird to see against the dead reeds but its nice to see, but the general bird decline is caused by man new agricultural methods sprays, have killed many of our native birds a few survived, when will we learn the country side is a very fragile place, as a country we will have to change our ways or face a catastrophic, disaster some might laugh but i have seen a great decline in our wild live over the last few years well moa
I was invited a few years ago to a lake in south Shropshire it was a most beautiful lake covered in lilies not big, maybe a couple of acres with a dam at one end but absolutely spectacular it was in the grounds of a big school i had been shown some photos of fish that had been caught a few years before but none had been out for at least five years i did see one or two showing in the extensive weed beds i really did not fancy my chances i chose my swim and got the bivi and the tackle sorted it was so weedy but there were a few holes in the weed which had been pulled out by the syndicate, in front was an island i was using triga so one rod went to the island in about four foot of water, one went out in front into a hole in the weeds the far side , the other one to the right into another hole in the weed i just left them were they were, i did not tighten,up or such just clipped on the indicators, there were some very big perch in the pool and it did not take a friend long to catch a couple ledgering worm they were spectacular fish and both were nearly three pounds in weight i think he caught around twelve through the night all very much the same they were wonderful deep boded fish. i never had a bleep until i was awoken at 3 am to a single bleep and noticed my rod had a distinct curve , no need to strike i had a fish on deep in the weed bed, i gave my mates a shout and they came running, i eventualy extracted the fish from the weed bed he came to the side in a big ball of the stuff when we parted the weed a lovely common lay whithen the folds of the net, the first out for five years the syndicate owner patted me on the back congrats he said feather in your cap no one else has done that photograhps done the fish was returned i was offered a place in the syndicate most said it was hard but i managed to catch a few over the next few months but nothing big . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #923 20 Jan 2011 at 7.42pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I loved bomere i knew every path it was a lot different than it is today there was pheasant every where the woods were full of wild life it was keeper-ed by old Gerry and bell from condover they were both head keepers and would have the help of the under keepers my mother would be frantic when i went there, you will be caught she would say no not me i would say I'm off to get a peasant or two and i would i had an old air gun i would lie in the bracken as they came near i would pull the trigger they would flutter and lie still, i would leave it where it was and repeat the exercise i would do this four or five times and put the birds in a sack and away to go it was a laugh really i was taking the birds from under old Gerry's nose .

I would poach the lake and cast a spinner for the pike i would keep my eyes on the keepers cottage to make sure Jerry was there i used big old kidney spoon spinners with a red tassel at the hook end i would whack it out and slowly wind back bang the rod would bend over as you felt the power of the fish it was great fishing and the adrenaline was sky high i was not only competing against the fish but the keeper as well no one on our village would go any where near the place but i loved the game because that was what it was i caught some really nice fish thinking back the biggest was only about ten pounds, i would always knock a couple on the head it was not frowned upon in those days and take them for a gentleman who lived on our village he absolutely loved cooked pike i did not fancy it at all but i made a couple of shillings out of it it all helped.

I really loved it at night in the woods i would lie in the ferns and listen to the night noises it was a different world the screech of the owl or the scream of the vixen some where across the fields the bark of the dog fox the woods are a different place at night i have took mates with me and they have been scared to death but i usually went alone i would get into the coverts, i had straped a torch to my pellet gun and would look up the tree for the pheasants pick one out and aim bang down he would come the gun made very little noise i could move around quickly by my self, and would regularly shoot any thing between six and ten pheasants and away home i would go with the pheasants safely in my sack with my gun in hand i would skirt the village and arrive at my house from the fields the neighbors where always grateful for a peasant or two we always had meat and we always shared with the neighbours in those days . well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #922 20 Jan 2011 at 6.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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well thats it for tonight ill write a bit more tomorrow or later loads more photos to put up hope you like them some are years old thanks pete
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   Old Thread  #921 20 Jan 2011 at 6.30pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from lordys
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   Old Thread  #920 20 Jan 2011 at 6.23pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from lordys
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   Old Thread  #919 20 Jan 2011 at 6.19pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from lordys
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   Old Thread  #918 20 Jan 2011 at 5.59pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #917 20 Jan 2011 at 5.50pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket the ping pong balls hanging from the line between but ring and reel
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   Old Thread  #916 20 Jan 2011 at 12.41pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket andy with the beautiful coloured cross mirror
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   Old Thread  #915 20 Jan 2011 at 12.21pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket big mirror from lordys
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   Old Thread  #914 20 Jan 2011 at 12.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #913 20 Jan 2011 at 11.31am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I will put a write up latter going out for dinner today giving the wife a treat loads more photos for you all to see pete
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   Old Thread  #912 20 Jan 2011 at 11.28am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another big carp
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   Old Thread  #911 20 Jan 2011 at 11.21am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another carp from whitchurch
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   Old Thread  #910 20 Jan 2011 at 11.13am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from lordys
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   Old Thread  #909 20 Jan 2011 at 11.02am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket a bag of chub and roach on cheese paste from my beloved rea brook
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   Old Thread  #908 20 Jan 2011 at 10.41am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket maybe my first thirty from bomere years ago
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   Old Thread  #907 20 Jan 2011 at 10.35am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #906 20 Jan 2011 at 10.18am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks keith i have had a wonderful life although i am struggling a bit now with the arthritis but i could not of asked for more if i had wished, and i still enjoy what i do, i like to share my life and ways with others theres not many of us left Kieth, am just going to put some more photos up from years ago thanks m8 appreciate your remarks pete
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   Old Thread  #905 20 Jan 2011 at 8.39am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Brilliant writing Pete. It keeps bringing back many of my memories of my young life, especially catching the pheasants on sultanas etc and lifting the duck's [and larger fowl LOL] eggs and testing them to see if they sank or floated.
We "survived" for many a winter on "angled pheasant" and "snared rabit." LOL. Keep it up mate. Fantastic.
Keith
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   Old Thread  #904 19 Jan 2011 at 11.35am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket a carp from lordys
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   Old Thread  #903 19 Jan 2011 at 11.25am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket< a big pike dead bait on the severn
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   Old Thread  #902 19 Jan 2011 at 10.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I have fished Bomere and walked the woods for many years i loved the place when i first saw it with my grandfather it had so much wild life there were ducks geese some rare as well, to me it was a mystical place when i was only seven i would go down and sit beside the lake, and just listen to the wild life, at times you could hear a pin drop and the only sound you may hear was the rapping of a wood pecker deep in the woods behind where i sat you would see the little owl the barn owl the tawny also i have even seen the long eared owl the woods at the right time of year would be full of primroses and blue bells, i would hide and watch the locals sneak down and dig up the roots of a primrose plant to take home for there garden there were orchids as well some very rare i did not know how rare , until a nature warden told me latter on .

As you approached the lake from my village of Bayston hill you would see signs on trees saying private keep to the path do not wander off the path or you will be shot on sight you would not get away with that today but the keepers in those days would shoot if you wandered into cover maybe over your head they would have been done today in court, but every thing then was in there favour even the police helped them do there job, there were big release pens with thousands of pheasants that's were i would catch some of the mature birds with my fishing line and hooked raison or sultans but that's when i was a bit older, the woods were beautiful then i would lie down in the bracon and just listen to the bird song i learned when old foxy was around the call of the blackbird or the noise the magpie made even the smaller birds made a noise it was a warning that danger was around i have even seen magpies Harri's old foxy not one but four or five, i have watched as he passed me by he never even knew i was there, i learned to keep out of the keepers way i have hid by the pens and watched him feed and water the birds, i would find the pheasants nests and take them home to mum i would always break one to make sure they were ok my mother used them for baking and such i would find the wild ducks nest if i could not reach them would tie a spoon on the end of a long stick and spoon them out i would always leave a couple as she would then carry on laying you may be lucky and have a few more latter.

It was a wonderful life mum would worry about me going to bomere because of the reputation of the owners and keepers some of the locals would not go near the place but not me i learned the tracks of the fox there was not many badgers around in those days they were killed shot or poisoned but you would come across the occasional one i found the keepers gibbet it was massed with dead animals badgers foxes stoats rats magpies jays anything that interfered with his job was killed, but not all you would think there would be no wild life left but there was there seemed to be more around then than today the keeper had to protect the birds ei pheasants partridge or he would be sacked it was how things were in those days. So it was a surprise many years latter when i was asked by the owners wife if i would like to form a syndicate on the lake i snatched her hand off well graham and i did , old SAM her husband had passed away he was the last of the old school farmers but he did let graham and i fish the lake we were the only ones allowed to fish it but old SAM would keep an eye on us, so now i had the syndicate we soon found out what fish it held and saw the occasional carp and big tench show i was determined to have a go for the carp but that was put on hold for latter i did catch a few ill put some photos up they are a bit blurred but it was years ago colour photograpy had just appeared and we were still learning and did not have the best of cameras well thats all for now more latter

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   Old Thread  #901 18 Jan 2011 at 7.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Yes Kieth it was a lovely looking fish the colour was amazing the golden orfe grew to quite a big size first i have seen out of there i, have never seen kio in the place other than orf and commons and mirrors i suppose it is possible thanks Kieth
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   Old Thread  #900 18 Jan 2011 at 5.59pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Hi Pete.
I can't see the detail well enough but that looks like a cross between a mirror and a metallic Ohgon Koi mate. I used to cross them in our garden pond in UK and it is the spitting immage of a couple of ours.
Keith
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   Old Thread  #899 18 Jan 2011 at 4.50pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #898 18 Jan 2011 at 4.40pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #897 18 Jan 2011 at 4.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucketlass=inreply>In reply to Post #895
small pike with graham looking on
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   Old Thread  #896 18 Jan 2011 at 4.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another pike from marton
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   Old Thread  #895 18 Jan 2011 at 4.08pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket my old mate graham
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   Old Thread  #894 18 Jan 2011 at 1.36pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I had been fishing up in hill country on this small lake that held some big golden orfe and some reasonable carp when the farmer informed me his neighbouring farmer wanted to see me urgently so leaving the tackle made up i left them in care of a friend , what a mess he had, something was killing his chickens and always when it was dark it was killing at least one chicken a night a night. The chicken house was on wheels a foot or so off the ground having a look underneath i could see feathers what ever it was could be living under the chicken house the farmer was beside himself i wont mention names as i don't wont to embarrass his family as he passed on a few years ago. The chicken house was quite big and to move it you would need the tractor but you would defeat the object by moving it the predator would follow so i had a plan.


i carried on fishing for the rest of the day catching a few common carp i suppose the biggest was around eighteen pounds but nice fish my friend caught one of the prettiest fish i have ever seen a cross golden orfe mirror carp not big but beautiful it was only about seven pound i have a photo i will put up with Andy holding it the pool held two big shoals of orfe unfortunately the farmer had been poached and the lake netted at night, and a good many disappeared and some of the bigger carp, the poachers were seen with tanks on the back of a pick up pity they did not get the registration number i was asked if i could help him stop the poaching but it was ruff country and lots of ways they could get to the lake but thats another story


Getting home that night i went to see graham two days latter saw myself and graham, and his brother dick, arrive at the farm graham, had brought sue his terrier she went absolutely mad but could not get under the chicken house as it was a bit to low. whatever had killed the chickens was under that house the chickens,were going barmy so what i suggested was to fill all around the chicken house with earth and leave one entrance and in that entrance i placed a trap with a half chicken inside it was covered over with sods of grass i told the farmer not to kill whatever was caught but to leave it in the trap until we arrived.

I had a phone call next day to say he had got the animal in the trap and it was alive he had put it in the cow shed we went the following morning which was a Saturday what a sight greeted my eyes in the trap was the biggest pole cat i had ever seen he was beautiful, the farmer had got his gun out and wanted to shoot it but we would not let him, we took that pole cat and released him on the stiperstones i was a bit worried he may reappear but he did not the farmer was happy and offered us money we did not want that only the shooting and any fishing he may have. He agreed and we shot his land for many years we remained friends until his death a few years ago, but that's what can be got by helping the farmers out, i had so much shooting and fishing i could not get around it all. I have stood with graham on this farmers land and shot the duck as they came to feed on the stubble , with only the light of the full moon what else could we want nothing it was heaven and all free. tell you more latter
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   Old Thread  #893 18 Jan 2011 at 10.23am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket width = 500 another pike from marton
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   Old Thread  #892 18 Jan 2011 at 10.04am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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from priPhotobucket width = 500 private lake at ludlow shropshire
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   Old Thread  #891 17 Jan 2011 at 10.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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hi andy how many if you have buried eight hundred its absolutly terrible all those big fish gone in a few days give me a ring when you can pete
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   Old Thread  #890 17 Jan 2011 at 9.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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some left m8
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   Old Thread  #889 17 Jan 2011 at 11.11am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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The first time i went fishing for a three day session i was only about 12 or 13 years old it was such a long time ago i know my father dropped myself and and a friend off we had an old white tent and we decided to stay in that for the three days and nights we where there. Mr Evans that owned the lake had got to know me over the years so there was no charge he also gave us some hay to put in the tent, which was then covered with an old army ground sheet very comfortable indeed, we had no sleeping bags then so it was a couple of blankets each but we kept very warm. i loved every minute i would sit by that lake way into the night i learned to put a piece of silver paper over the line between but ring and reel you would hear it russell if you had a run i would put a big old worm or a piece of bread on the hook and cast it out using our home made ledgers then put our rod in the rest usually a stick cut out of the hedge row but we caught, our tackle and tactics were a bit crude but never the less we managed and caught fish not real biggies but to us young uns a three pounder was huge.

I remember waking up one morning the sun was up we had fished part of the night and had over slept the tent was full of wasps and when i mean full they were every where. while trying to get out we got stung all over Billie had been eating jam before we went to sleep and had not put the top back on properly he left one flap open on the door of the tent and in they came, god it still sticks in my mind i was stung on the face neck and arms and so was Billie there were a few tears i can tell you Mr Evans was very good and covered us in calamine lotion which eased the pain a bit we had to remove the tent and erect it else where what was left of the jam was thrown away never again did we take jam to eat while fishing, but they were great days no worries care free we fished when we wanted i remember one night there was a big storm and the tent started to leak god did it rain and blow we got up into Mr Evans hay barn and slept in the hay we were warm as toast covering our selves with blankets and hay.

I can still smell the bacon cooking on the open fire and frying the eggs Mr Evans had given us why it smelt better then i don't know maybe it was the open fire then for a wash we would swim in the lake as long as no one else was fishing they were good days you would see these strange chaps turn up to fish the place creeping around the lake watching where the carp were feeding and then throw bits of bread to the feeding fish they came on motor bikes and such i asked a couple where they lived Birmingham they would say how they found this little lake i don't know as it was way out in the country side, some would come in old vans and set up camp bringing the wife as well one or two tried to push Billi and i out of where we were fishing but Mr Evan's or Sid as he was known soon put them right and they were told in no uncertain manner that if they continued they could have there money back and clear off. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #888 16 Jan 2011 at 12.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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What a day i had yesterday it was windy cold and wet and i struggled to get about but one thing that pleased me i shot well and after the news i received on Friday from the specialist at the orthopedic it gave me a bit of a lift i have now been told my spine is buggered with arthritis i must admit it did not look to good on the x rays i have now got to have an MRI scan then see another's specialist but i was told they don't think anymore can be done but i will keep smiling and carry on fishing as best i can well that my smile for today every where is flooded up my way the river is just about to break its banks i loved it when i was younger i would fish the side of the river when it was bank height and would catch some lovely chub you don't see many today doing that today why i do not know as it can be quite productive.

most of the ducks on my syndicate seem to have left and will now be feeding on the little flashes caused by the flood water they absolutely love to grub around looking for the worms on the fields that have been flooded , i will be glad when this horrible weather goes and god willing will be able to get out with the rods it did not bother me years ago i would be fishing all weathers even in the snow, some was not strictly legal and i would poach the rivers far and wide i have even caught a salmon or two i must put some photos up of the fish i have caught, off course i have caught the rainbows winter and summer and loved to fish from a punt and cast a lure on a fast sinking line i have caught rainbows to 18 pounds plus but i did not really rate them as a hard fighting fish it was a different matter with the big brownies they would fight like there was no tomorrow and if landed would always put them back . The big rainbow i caught was killed we found that putting them back did not work and most would die of exhaustion, so we presented the biggie i caught to the Condover blind school where it was very much appreciated i knew the head cook well she lived on my village she made a tremendous job of that trout and the youngsters at the school absolutely loved it and i suppose it helped them out and gave the fishery a bit of publicity. I would be up most mornings early before any clients came to fish the place and graham and i would hide under the hawthorn hedge and wait for the cormorants to arrive for there morning meal they would come in great numbers but a few never made it to the pool we would shoot them stone dead SAM was beside me and would and bring them back to my feet, i had i good relation ship with defra i had a licence to kill two a month which defra, collected to find how much trout they were eating and the damage they were doing on the fishery, they would turn a blind eye if i shot more i would bury them out of the way i have had these birds regurgitate trout up to two pounds plus horrible things ,that really need controling. tell you more latter
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   Old Thread  #887 14 Jan 2011 at 5.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks ken its was quite easy when i looked i must of got a bit of grey matter under my hair some where
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   Old Thread  #886 14 Jan 2011 at 5.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Well that was quick, Pete. You sure did catch on fast!
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   Old Thread  #885 14 Jan 2011 at 5.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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The wrens nest behind my swim i told you all about she reared her young sucsessfully


Photobucket
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   Old Thread  #884 14 Jan 2011 at 5.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket the killer in the garden when i went to close he attacked me
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   Old Thread  #883 14 Jan 2011 at 4.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket caught from marton pool one of many
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   Old Thread  #882 14 Jan 2011 at 4.31pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I cant wait for the spring i love the time of the year you are out with the rods. years ago you could not do that as from the 16 march it was the close season now most lakes are open all year. when i was younger we would get all exited as the 16 of June a appeared all our preparation had been done which pool or lake we were going to fish what bait we would use and of course our reels were loaded with new line. Once the lake to fish was chosen we would start our baiting campaign we would bait up three times a week a little bit often we had watched the lake for weeks before starting our baiting campaign and was on the lake at first light we looked for showing fish where they were feeding and patrolling all fish have routes they favour, when you had a good idea as to where they were feeding you would chose your swim and cut the vegetation and branches that would obstruct your casting in my days you would bait up with sausage rusk bread crumbs soaked bread laced with maggots and maize if you could get it.

by the time the 15 of June came you would trembling with excitement i would arrive at the lake early i always tried to get time off from work for the first couple of days we could only fish with two rods and would have to purchase two licences i often said to graham no bailiff will visit this lake its to far out in the countryside but you would get a visit it maybe it would be in the middle of the night usually two would turn up i have been asleep and got a tap on the shoulder can i see your licence sir i remember the one year the chap i was fishing with had only got one licence the bailiff gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him off as long as he used one rod he waited until he went then reverted to fishing with two rods and got away with it the bailiffs seemed a lot more keener than today i have not been checked for years, but in my younger days the bailiffs worked night and day or appeared to.

i could not wait for midnight on the 15 June graham and i would both fish together two rods each we only had the old doe bobbins to use as indicators and if windy you could get a problem with undertow we used a night light in a jar hanging from a stick to illuminate our bobbins you would get clouds of mosquitoes around the light this one night i had a frog sit by the jar his tongue would shoot out and catch a mosquito after mosquito i watched fascinated i loved every moment and still cherish the memories another night we had a nightingale sing all night what a songster we would watch the geese come in to rest in the moonlight a lovely sight there would be hundreds mostly canada's on another occasion i had a water vole he would take the doe bobbins from our line he certainly kept me busy for most of the night but it was all part of our fishing and nature we would be tired out from watching our indicators and had no trouble sleeping when we reached home the next day. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #881 13 Jan 2011 at 8.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket    width another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #880 13 Jan 2011 at 8.35pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket
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   Old Thread  #879 13 Jan 2011 at 8.23pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #878 13 Jan 2011 at 8.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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pete insert the 'width=500' before the > at the end mate
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   Old Thread  #877 13 Jan 2011 at 8.11pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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please if any one can help me i would apprecate it ive put a few photos up i have littraly hundreds some in black and white but i keep getting them to large or to small help please i am not to good at this thanks pete
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   Old Thread  #876 13 Jan 2011 at 8.05pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another nice carp from bomere
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   Old Thread  #875 13 Jan 2011 at 7.58pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket the first fish caught from ludlow in five years
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   Old Thread  #874 13 Jan 2011 at 7.48pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #873 13 Jan 2011 at 6.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another pike in the net marton
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   Old Thread  #872 13 Jan 2011 at 6.41pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket my favorite swim at betton
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   Old Thread  #871 13 Jan 2011 at 6.36pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket width = 500 an ellesmere carp
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   Old Thread  #870 13 Jan 2011 at 6.14pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket my old poaching ground
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   Old Thread  #869 13 Jan 2011 at 6.08pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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i am not to good at puting photos up i have so many ill keep trying mods can delete any have made a mess of thanks pete the one below was from lordys a bit blured i am afraid
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   Old Thread  #868 13 Jan 2011 at 5.58pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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very pixelated blurry picture unfortunately
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   Old Thread  #867 13 Jan 2011 at 5.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #866 13 Jan 2011 at 5.49pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket caught at acton burnel years ago
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   Old Thread  #865 13 Jan 2011 at 4.02pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Photobucket another from ellesmere
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   Old Thread  #864 13 Jan 2011 at 11.11am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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When i was a small boy you saw little traffic on the road we did have the buses some of the farmers still used horses to plough you could walk miles without seeing a car there were a few lorries but most things went by british rail i was a completely different way of life, if you wanted to go fishing it was on your bike peddle power and that is how a lot got around. i suppose it was only the better off that could afford a car. our family managed to get a motor bike and side car i was about twelve years old then it took us every where to the sea in north wales all over but you could get rather wet and cold on some journeys even thought you were wrapped up warm .

my father would take me to where i wanted to go fishing leave me there and pick me up latter it was better than going on your push bike i would put my tackle in the side car and i would ride pillion passenger they were great days i would lie on the bank with the sun shinning over head and watch my float between the weed beds what a better way to spend your time the float would rise up and lie flat and slowly get pulled beneath the surface strike and you were in you would play the fish to the side we had no landing nets so into the water you would go and scoop the fish up with your hands they were not big by today's standard but to a young lad my age they were massive, i really did not know at first what fish they were until , some chap called peter finch told me they were carp, i got on well with peter and went with him on numerous occasions he was a mysterious chap and would stalk around the lake throwing pieces of crust into the holes between the weed beds you would see the carp sucking the bread in what a noise they made slurp, slurp, i can remember it well they would break that bread up until there was none left, but no one ever fished for them in the weeds, well another friend called chris dodd and myself did we decided to give it a go our line was quite heavy and we would coil it up on the ground behind us put a big piece of crust on the hook and give it the big heave ho we would watch that bread for hours the carp would break it up then the piece with your hook in would suddenly disappear up would come your rod and strike sometimes you would connect other times you would not, the ones you hooked you pulled through the weed, it was to thick to play the fish and they would arrive beside the bank covered in a big ball off the stuff, but you had caught looking back the biggest i had from there was ten pounds every one wanted to have a look at my prize i suppose it was big in those days, but mostly they were from three pounds to around five but we were on a learning curve the more we caught the easier it became it was a lovely way to fish in those far off hazy lazy days of summer. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #863 12 Jan 2011 at 11.46am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #862
This is the time to fish the rivers when i was a youngster i would be down the Rea brook or the severn roach fishing i loved to fish down at the grey friars bridge shrews bury the locals have fed the ducks and swans there for decades and those roach knew what a piece of bread or a bit of crust was, there were a couple of really old gentleman that always fished together and always fished for the roach at grey friars in those days the river was full of roach and they would ledger proping there rods against the old iron railings by the bridge, i learned so much talking to these oldies and watching them there tackle was not that good the rods were green heart they did have fixed spool reels but not Mitchell's but could they catch roach, after roach, they would sit on there little stools and watch that rod top for movement it had only got to flicker and they would sweep the rod back towards there shoulder some times they connected at times they did not they used bread paste what was mixed in i do not know no arsley bombs for ledgers just the old ball ledger or at times the coffin ledger but they certainly knew how to catch the roach i suppose they were both in there eighties and had fished the severn all there lives at times the pike would strike and break there line they would play hell they were there for the roach and nothing else i suppose this would be in the late fifties.

The rivers were full of fish in those days no dredging no cutting the bank-side vegetation you could trot for the dace and catch huge bags roach by the bucket full and of course chub pike and perch no barbel then, it was a paradise in its own rights i would ledger on a Sunday morning in the winter by the old shrews bury boat house the church bells would ring out behind me it was a fantastic time pure heaven i was only about 16 years old and would bike down the severn with my rod tied to the cross bar and my old wicker basket on my back i would catch anything up to twenty roach in a morning lucky if you catch one now, i always fished with a like minded youngster called Robert willox and we fished most of the town water we had great catches and if we got bothered with pike out would come the old pike rod or should i say built cane sea rod but it did the job we would use a big old cork float and live bait a roach through the swim it was not long before the float vanished under the water and we were in we caught pike mostly around ten pounds but huge to us younguns i would arrive home in the afternoon exhausted and tell my parents about our adventure and the fish we had caught i had no camera in those days but my step father did an old brownie box camera he went on in life to be a profesional photographer i still have some of his old cameras nickons and such and would not part with them they are not worth that much but they are to me well theres a bit more . ill carry on latter
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   Old Thread  #862 11 Jan 2011 at 8.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I loved to walk over the longmynd the stiperstones as well it was wonderful country i also loved the clee hills abdon Burke the highest point in Shropshire real wild country and so full of wild life i remember nearly getting caught up abdon burke one christmas i was cutting a Xmas tree or two i was working up there at the time and thought i would bring a few back in the big van i was driving for family and friends, i was up this tree and i saw four or five forestry workers coming my way we were into that van and away down that hill my mate suffered with asthma and it brought on a turn what a game i had, i dumped the trees over the hedge then had to attend to him he eventually came around and started breathing better with a few squirts of the inhaler it really frightened me i thought i had lost him a couple of years latter he died from a similar turn very sad i will always remember Alex he was a great work mate and friend to continue the story i went back after dark and picked the trees up in a friends pick up they were still where i had left them.

I can say it now its long ago we had a few pheasants from that estate they would roam every where i would lie in the undergrowth and shoot them with my rifle it was a big shooting estate and the owners were relations to the queen they lived in the hall way below you could see it from above, on the top of the hill i found the remains of two Lancaster bombers the wheels showed above the boggy terrain asking around they were all killed but that was many years before. there was another estate that had a big lake in front of the hall it was strictly private i would go on the big hair and fox drives the keeper told me it had some good carp in i asked permission but was refused it belonged to lord forester i was determined to have a go but it was so heavly keepered i was a bit scared about getting caught the lake was a bit open but i did manage one night on the said lake the only thing i caught was a tench which was around four pounds i never ever went again as it was to close to the hall but i did see a few decent carp showing as far as i know they are still in the water but i wont be trying again i am a bit to old . bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #861 11 Jan 2011 at 2.56pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #855
I watched a house sparrow carrying straw for its nest the other dayi think they have got there body clock wrong. i was lying in bed the other night and although i live on quite a big village i could distinctly heard a couple of foxes calling to one another the one was a dog but the other certainly was a vixen you can tell by the different, type of bark i would of thought they had mated as i have seen cubs as early as the end of february but i must admit that is exceptional it is usually march to April but i have watched young cubs playing out around the second week in April but with the weather we have experienced they maybe late mating this year.

I have known a few keepers in my life time some good some bad some loved nature but others went out of there way to destroy anything that got in the way of there work one thing i did not like and would not condone was the use of poisoned eggs i have found them on my travels left on some old path through the woods for some animal to come along and eat , usually it was injected with strychnine what a horrible death that poor animal suffered i have also seen them rolled into badger sets and they have exterminated the whole set that was the way of life for many keepers years ago thank god it does not happen like that today, i have seen all sort hanging on the keepers gibbet from badgers foxes squirrels poll cats you name it i have seen it even domestic dogs and cats in those days you dare not complain as you could end up in court for letting your dog stray so most said nothing.

my friend old SAM i never once saw him use poison he was a gentle man that really cared about nature yes he would kill the occasional fox that was causing a problem and he did snare a rabbit or two but never once did i see him use strychnine maybe he did but i never saw it while i was there and i never saw any tins with the name on the label but there was lots of different poisons used, one that caused hypothermia the keeper would inject a dead rabbit and leave it in the field or woods the crows would feed on the carcase and would die of cold but it killed a lot more than crows , Tawney owl barn owl little owl buzzard over the years things have improved but funny you saw more wild life in those days so they could not have killed all. well a bit more latter about the passed
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   Old Thread  #860 11 Jan 2011 at 9.24am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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hi Pete.

I see something I never seen before today at this time of year. 3 baby Moorhens. pretty sure they was Moorhens, they dived under water when i got close. like little Quails they was..

I've never seen nothing like it considering the weather we had.

The seagulls were still standing on ice on the lake beside where I see them.

I'm Really confused, does it happen?

Sorry to read of your fall. Bolt holes covered in leaves


hi pete i wander whats going on been watching the sparrows carrying grass also i told you about the magpie i have seen we had had a dove sitting on eggs last year in feb but got blown down in gales mind you i have seen doves and pigeon breed all year if the weather is ok. but not in the conditions we have just experienced the lakes are still frozen here and i see talk about the severe weather returning but its the first time i have heard about young moorhens this time of year how on earth did they survive in that cold, yes bolt hole covered in leaves still hurting but a bit better thanks pete
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   Old Thread  #859 10 Jan 2011 at 11.54pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #858
hi Pete.

I see something I never seen before today at this time of year. 3 baby Moorhens. pretty sure they was Moorhens, they dived under water when i got close. like little Quails they was..

I've never seen nothing like it considering the weather we had.

The seagulls were still standing on ice on the lake beside where I see them.

I'm Really confused, does it happen?

Sorry to read of your fall. Bolt holes covered in leaves.


hope your out an about soon Pete.

Peter
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   Old Thread  #858 10 Jan 2011 at 8.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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yes m8 no probs you will have to come up and help get the boat out with graham not had it running for at least two years your a mec but should have no probs ill let you know more latter give us a ring friday evening im in the orthapedic in the morning ill know whats going to happen in the next few months but always willing to help you know that and i think you will need a bit of help my m8 god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #857 10 Jan 2011 at 7.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #856 10 Jan 2011 at 7.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Good read. m8 ill let you know when i need the boat m8 . Are you coming down to help Are you still up for the bailff job
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   Old Thread  #855 10 Jan 2011 at 4.25pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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It wont be long before spring is upon us a beautiful time of year i loved the woodlands the lakes and streams at this time of year so much to see. The birds have paired and some have youngsters the blackbird thrush and many more the fox cubs have been born and some have been weened off there mothers milk. and are now eating meat anything the vixen brings will be devoured i have watched the cubs playing with a dead hedge hog the vixen had brought them and they had a grand old time to slinging it around just like a ball before ripping it apart to eat i had a couple of friends that had foxes for pets they had reared them from babies and had been found wandering in the fields probably the mother had been shot and killed Doug would bring the one to the pub he was very well behaved and would lie down under the seat but he did like a drop of ale and the landlord would pour him a pint into a big old china bowl and he would lap it up in seconds doug had that fox for many years but it always had that wildness in him it was inbreed he would stalk old Dougs chickens and on occasions would if left kill one the other friends fox had the run off the house and if he went rabbiting with nets and ferrets the fox always went along he was very tame and would not stray to far from old bill he had him until he died funny he would sleep with the dogs and i have seen him curled up next to the cat on more then one occasion.

There was lots to see, the first of the young rabbits would be seen running about and feeding on the new grass shoots, on the lakes when trout fishing i have seen the grass snake swimming across the lake i would catch her in my landing net and pick her up and admire this lovely creature she would spit a bit and they will bite but i have never had it happen to me, i would also catch the slow worm sadly not many seen today they are still about but not in the numbers they were when i was young i would worm the brook for the browns and if lucky would bring some home for tea, it was a wonderful life, and us young lads had the run of the country side we would be all off birds nesting or out with the catapult most carried one in those days and we did shot a few rabbits over the years, we would catch them lying down in the grass or nettles and shoot them with big lead slugs we had made from the seals of the pigeon baskets that held the pigeons they were let out in the thousands every Saturday they would come by train from all over the British isles to take part in the pigeon races the sky would be black until they found the right direction to take them home i would go up to the railway sidings and help with the pigeons release, then pick the lead seals up to take home not only did they make the ammo for the catapult but also ledgers for fishing what you could not buy you made. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #854 9 Jan 2011 at 1.25pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I am feeling a bit under the weather since falling yesterday but you must keep smiling and try and get on with life at least the snow has gone for now but reading the long range forecast it is to return with a vengeance, i really hope not as it has a big effect on our wild life but when i was younger it never really bothered me i would be away up the fields gun under my arm or rods in my hand, i was always out and about i would love to walk the hedge rows graham one side myself the other grahams terrier would work the hedge we would shoot the bolting rabbit or work the gorse and ferns that adorned the ruff ground up in hill country some times we could shoot dozens they were all welcome we would gut and clean them before reaching home and sell them to neighbours and friends we never had any trouble selling them the problem was not getting enough to fulfill our orders, they were great days we would sit and eat our sandwiches and drink our tea or coffee high up in those hills and never see a soul at times it was so quite you could hear a pin drop we could get lost in this magical land scape, you could watch the buzzard high above hunting for his meal maybe some unsuspecting rabbit. We were out one day and had shot this rabbit when there was a flash of feather nearly hitting me it was a peregrine and he was on the rabbit before i could get near enough to pick it up, what a wonderful sight and away he went rabbit and all, and perched in a nearby bush to eat his prey but we did not mind this is what made our day, it was about being out with nature not just the shooting that was a means to an end but a wonderful way to spend the day we did this many times and i never tired of the wonderful scenery and the wild life we saw.


It was the same with my fishing of course you wanted to catch but with me it was more than just fishing it was watching all that went on around you i even got pleasure watching the frogs in the old lake or the water vole going to his nest which was in a the hole under the bank. The lovely coloured dragon fly with there bulbous eyes the sand martins hunting the insects above the pool there was always so much to see, . you would find the robins nest tucked under the far, bank with its eggs the crows nest up in the old oak by the lake side i would clime and look into the nest and see and hold the eggs it all gave me pleasure. To watch the tench sending the bubbles up as it hunted the bottom of the old lake in search of food see the perch chasing its prey it was a great way to spend the day and i never tired of all these wondrous things. more latter





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   Old Thread  #853 8 Jan 2011 at 4.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #852
My god i fell down today put my foot in a rabbit hole while walking and fell backwards did it hurt then realized none of my syndicate were anywhere near so out came the radio and shouted for help. I could not get up due to my arthritis but no one heard my shout for assistance and i lay there staring up at the sky after a time i did manage to get up with some difficulty i made my way to the car and just sat there and waited until my syndicate returned from the woods, it was the last drive of the day, so i am home now a little bruised and aching all over what a liability i am lucky i had put my gun away, years ago if i had fell i would be up instantly who wants old age?

The old trout lake is still frozen over it was stocked with carp many years ago and on having a look you could see the carp dead below the ice it really is very sad that is four lakes that i know of years of work and dedication all gone in a couple of weeks it does make me very angry, but that's nature it will take years to get these lakes back to what they were while standing today i heard the geese calling in the distance and when they appeared i can quite honestly say i have never seen so many there was skein after skein and most passed over me literally hundreds to far up to shoot, they all landed on the old quarry pools mostly grey lag but a few canada's as well it was a great sight and i watched in awe as they circled around before they went to roost on the old pools for the night. A few years ago i would have been huddled under the far hedge row with my spaniel SAM trembling with anticipation hoping to get a shot or two.

Shooting and fishing have been like a bug to me although fishing has been my main love, but they both have one thing in common the country side and nature . i am no longer bothered about killing things and i am quite content to sit and watch others shoot or just watch the wild life i really have no need of a pheasant today, gone are the days of poaching to make a bob or two or a bird to feed the family but i will take the opportunity to shoot if a bird is presented over me, all the game we shoot is eaten by my members or friends of the syndicate and nothing is waisted while standing today i watched a big flock of long tailed tits flitting from tree to tree lovely little birds it makes you wander how such a small bird survives the cold weather we have just experienced i also saw two or three wrens and of course old cock robin none seemed worse for ware, old foxy was sighted once again theres always so much to see. well a bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #852 7 Jan 2011 at 11.29am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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My old springer SAM came every where with me in Shropshire, to most he was a star he was brought up fishing and would come on most sessions with me and he could catch fish he would spend hours standing in water nearly up to his neck with his paw stretched out in front as if he was ready to spring or jump on his prey, and he would his head would disappear under water next minute he would have a fish in his mouth he did this many times he was a better poacher than i. I have seen him catch trout over four pounds he would come trotting back as proud as punch with a big old trout in his mouth he would never bite them and you could always return them back to the water unharmed much to Sam's disgust.


i have stood with old SAM at my side in all weathers waiting for the geese or duck to appear on an evening flight and he would tell me the geese were on the way long before i had seen them it was his actions He would look up and get very exited he had some sort of sixth sense i think most dogs have this and in some cases can warn there owners of impending danger, he excelled as a shooting dog and at times i have had serious offers to buy him but i always refused not only was he a dog but a friend i have been on some big shoots with very posh guns lords and ladies and SAM never once let me down he found pheasants that other dogs could not, he had a very good nose and could find most wounded game, i have got sam's ashes still at home i just could not bury them he died from weil's disease from drinking infected water he had been injected but it made no difference the vets tried to save him but after six months treatment it was to much he collapsed and they operated on his liver but it was to late he died i have had many dogs but never one like my old SAM i have never had another since his death and i don't think i ever will so rest in piece my old friend maybe one day we will meet again.

its snowing here once again not nice weather i hope it soon goes the lakes are still frozen i have been approached by the bailiff well he is a friend to help remove the dead carp from one lake not far from my home, not a nice job as we ,have fished and caught some of these giants over the years and to see them like this will bring a tear to the eye but when that will happen i don't know as the lakes around here are still solid with ice and with more snow falling it could be some time before the weather allows us to remove the fish. i really do not understand why these fish have died when i was young the lakes would be frozen for weeks and we did not have any casualties could the farmers be spraying to much nitrate and getting into the water course and setting up a poison or is it as ken townly mentioned to me caused by a mixtiure of the salt and chemicals they put on the roads i really do wander or is it just to cold for the carp, to survive in these conditions it has also been killing barbel as well and when when chatting to dez taylor he said that barbel are not a cold water fish they come from warmer climes and i suppose he is right we have had mild weather for many winters and the fish were used to this, but the last three have been very cold and have killed fish in great numbers maybe there just not used to these tempretures. well a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #851 6 Jan 2011 at 2.10pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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One estate in Shropshire not far from shrewsbury was so private that if you were caught you were instantly in court there was so many keepers the estate stretched for miles just behind the big house or hall ran the river severn i managed to get a ticket to fish for the salmon it was a most beautiful stretch i would walk with my old spinning rod and fish the many pools i had some fantastic fish from that water pike to 21 pounds and salmon to 23 pounds in those days you could sell them to the local hotels which would make you a bit of money but those days have long gone the big runs of salmon don't materialize any more a sad really to many boats netting them before they reach our shores.

I was determined to poach that estate i am not going to mention names as it is still very private it also had a beautiful lake i expect some will know where i am talking about, friends would say don't go anywhere near the place as you will be caught well i nearly did this one night i got chased a fair way before losing the keepers by wading across the severn and lying down in the under growth on the far side i could hear them talking and stayed in that position for at least two hours i had been shooting a few pheasants with my rifle and lamp when i heard a shout saying stand where you are i said bugger off you, and made a run for it i hid my birds in a sack in some old rhododendron bushes i know there was at least three chasing me and i really thought i would be caught but i made it across the severn i waited a fair time before going back to collected the birds and my gun it put the fear of god into me and i was not that keen on going back, but i did on lots of occasions, I fished that old lake and would hide within the reeds beds making enough space to cast my rod and play the fish it was full of Tench all around four to five pounds i never weighted any i caught just put them in the keep-net, at times i would jump and hold my breath as i heard a noise behind me some where in the woods, you would hear Tawney owl and the screech of the barn owl that was bad enought but i was used to those noises what i did not like was the crack of a twig as if some one was walking about.

I caught some big eels from this lake i would leave a night line or two down and hide them in the mud between the reeds pegging them down before i left i would usually used big bunches of lob worms i would go back a couple of days latter usually about midnight and pull the lines in i have caught eels to 4pound plus from that lake using night lines, but i prefered the eels around two to three pounds to take home to eat i would have no trouble getting rid of them even the lanlord of the pub would buy them from me, i loved my way of live althought it did concern my parents but i would tell them not to worry as i could out run most keepers i was young and fit and had no fear. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #850 5 Jan 2011 at 10.15am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #849
I have been out in all weathers and climbed the rugged terrain of the mountains that bordered wales i have watched the brown hair scamper across this rugged country side i have stood on the black mountains above clun and felt very much alone as you waited maybe hours for the sound of the beaters as they drove the foxes towards the waiting guns but i always had plenty to see while i waited the buzzard would mew above as he glided on the thermal the old hair would pass you by as he made his get away the odd rabbit would scuttle away to his hole hidden in the fern and bracon we were not there to shoot the rabbits but the foxes for the hill farmers so there lambs and sheep would be safe ,it was there livelihood.

Some of these foxes were huge they lived on the best , we shot one that weighted 28 pounds now that is big he was like a lion not all are like that but a few are a lot bigger than the old country fox that prowls the low lands, in a day i have seen up to 15 foxes killed it was doing a good job for the local farmers but it always caused me a bit of sadness as they are such a beautiful animal but alas these things must be done its part of being in the country side but it was not all about killing foxes if the farmers thought you were doing a good job and they could trust you and believe me you had,to earn there trust you may come up trumps by being offered a bit of fishing on his private lake or permission to fish the brook or river that ran through his land.

The amount of fishing we have acquired through helping the farmers was quite substantial i have fished the clun brook many times spinning its depths for the old brown trout i have also wormed the pools coming home with half a dozen spotted trout a lovely way to spend the day, we have also fished the old estate lake hidden in some forgotten wood we would not have known it was there if it had not been for the fox drives we have caught the tench the carp as well not huge by today's standard but using light float tackle great fishing the carp only about five pounds but did they go. I wander who stocked these lakes that are hidden from the human eye was it the monks from long ago or was it the land owner maybe for food who knows . A bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #849 4 Jan 2011 at 10.09pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #848
How many have walked the woods fields and streams at night and watched the barn owl under the bright moon drift across the hedge rows like a a silent ghost or have free lined a worm down some forgotten stream and listened to the call off the tawny high up in some old tree in the woods the shriek of the vixen that would curdle the blood its all part of our heritge.


To sit on some old lake deep within the country side and listen to the call of the coot or the moorhen and hear the splash of the fish way out in the depths of this old lake, to cast the rods and watch the bobbins on the line while you lie on the old garden chair and listen to the noises of the night it was a wonderful feeling you would shake with anticipation awaiting that first bite and when it came and you hooked that fish and played it to the waiting net and looked within the folds and stare at the beauty that lay in the beam of the torch it was a magic that would remain with you for ever to lift the fish with trembling hands and place in the giant keep net to weight in the morning this was how we fished many years ago.

I have watched the stars over head the moon casting shadows on the lake the call of the cock pheasent that had gone to roost in the old oak tree that had stood for centuries in that old spot beside the lake, i would wander how many more had fished below that old oak its branches stretched out like gigantic arms as thought they were welcoming you, to hear the plop of the vole it was all part of fishing that i have loved all my life. To walk the fields on a windy night with your freinds for company to hold the rifle in the forked stick and take aim at the rabbit the lamp had lit up this was our way of life or watch the badger scamper to the safty of the hedge or the wood i am so lucky i have done it all, to lie in the grass above the old hedge row and watch the cubs at play watch the vixen bring them food what a wonderfull world we live in, nature is a marvalous thing i have seen it all, i have fished for eels in some old pool and have not made a noise incase the keeper caught us there but we were lucky and never caught but we have heard him walking by we would hide deep withen the reeds no alarms to sound that would give us away it was all part of my life all those years. A bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #848 4 Jan 2011 at 5.59pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #847
Its so sad i went to my old estate lake over the week end the one i told you about old lordys lake all the fish are belly up and still under thick ice years of fishing gone forever i am absolutely gutted a bailiff friend has also told me about another lake in Shropshire that has gone the same way very sad indeed as far as restocking if we still get these bad winters it would be useless even contemplating it.

I never saw this happen when i was a youngster the lakes and pools would be frozen for weeks and some were very shallow and the fish survived but we certainly have had some very low temperatures in the last three years but we had the same temperatures in 1982 we lost hundreds of wood pigeon frozen to the ground i have picked them up frozen on the tops of kale but this year they seem to have survived, i have not seen any water fowl frozen in the snow either but it seems to have hit the fish badly some of these lakes go back centuries and i really cant see them recovering.

My syndicate shot yesterday and had a good day it was the first time for at least three weeks as most have to travel and the snow has been very bad in some of the Shropshire villages so i felt we had to cancel as there were not enough of us to carry on., i was quite pleased we saw a good show few teal and pheasants old foxy showed up in his winter colours he really looked in good nick he was left to carry on his way and until he becomes a pest and does us some damage he will be OK i like to see the odd one about the two lakes were still frozen solid even after the rain we had i hope the fish survive in these i think they may as they have a better depth of water its been a hard year for the wild life the birds in my garden seem OK but how many have succumb down the woods to its penetrating cold i did see a couple of robins and Wrens but it must be very hard for them years ago i used to make feeding stations down the woods and i would like to think it saved lots of our feathered friends but with my arthritis i find it difficult to do the things i did, carry feed and such i now leave that to the younger members of my syndicate.

I struggled a bit yesterday we have both been ill over christmas and my wife's still the same i thought i was better but i have not felt to good today must be my age well with Xmas over for another year, i could not believe my eyes i watched a magpie building or should i say patching up her old nest today as i waited for my wife at the doctors surgery she was carrying sticks and such back to her nest bit early as its only January but i have seen the rooks also adding to there nests they are always early but not this early something is not quite right maybe they can sense spring is not that far away i think we could all do with a bit of sun on our backs it makes you feel a lot better i hope your lakes and fish turn out alright but i think this weather will effect our fishing country wide. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #847 2 Jan 2011 at 1.49pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #846
Pete tin of maggots has inspired me to write this but it was long ago without getting my diary and album out i would say around thirty seven years ago a it seems a life time ago i loved to fish my beloved Rea brook and one way i had lots of success in those days was on bread and cheese paste i would mix up the bread paste and add danish blue it would stink to high heaven but it caught me some fabulous chub and some lovely roach.

all i needed was rod and reel a couple of small ledgers or even a couple of swan shot a size eight hook landing net and rod rest and a small bag to carry you flask and sandwiches and a few odds and ends i would walk miles like this i loved the brook when it had a bit of colour in, i would fish all the pools and under overhanging banks i would stand well back from the bank cast into the pool put the rod on the rests and wait for the bang of the rod tip i did not have to wait long the tip would violently slam over and i would be in it was very exiting fishing you may if you were lucky catch two from a pool then it was time to move on to the next you would repeat it all over again and by the end of the day you could catch anything up to twenty chub and roach i think the biggest chub i ever caught on the Rea in those days was four and a half pounds but it was a massive fish for such a small brook mostly they would be between a couple of pounds and three pounds but it was great fun and i could easily loose myself it was pure magic .

In those far off days there always seemed to be a lot more wild life to be seen of course there were no mink and while you fished you could watch the timid water vole or water rat as we called it they were quite numerous in those days, i have had the kingfisher perched on the tip of my rod many times and he would dive below and catch the minnow i would stare in awe at his vibrant colour and would make no movement while he perched and fished from the tip of my rod, the little dipper was lot more common than it is today i would listen to the willow warbler and find her nest in the bushes the chiffchaff was another one you rarely see today or the spotted fly catcher she loved to nest in the ivy and creepers that grew on trees, the reed warbler was another who's nest i found in the dense
reed beds beside the river where have they all gone one thing i have noticed this year is the absence of the green finch i would get loads feeding in my garden i have only seen two this year are we destroying our nature and our selves ? you would also see the tracks of the otter they were still around but not in the numbers you see today just the odd pair.

Another method i used for catching the chub was floating bread i would feed a stretch of water with a few pieces and get the fish feeding, then drop a piece of crust in amongst the free offerings with my hook attached it was exiting fishing you would watch a big pair of lips break surface and suck in your crust in, i had loads doing this and even caught the odd trout they certainly were not returned i have caught chub after chub doing this once they got onto the bread nothing mattered and on the right day could have a bag full the Rea has still got the chub in but its now mostly trout and gray ling but i have a few friends that float fish for the dace and roach with maggot and caster and catch some respectable bags. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #846 1 Jan 2011 at 12.09pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #845
When i was a boy the hedge rows and the bank side would be ablaze with flowers primroses cowslips violets ragged robin the meadows were also covered in wild flowers yellow rattle blue milkweed purple orchids they were a haven for butterflies it was a common sight to see foxes and the occasional red squirrel sadly lacking in our country side today.

when not at school i would be down the river or some small brook fishing another thing i did was catch the grass snakes i took a couple home but my parents did not like them in the house so i would take them down the woods or fields and let them go again i told you the story about putting one in my school teachers desk he would cane us lads for hardly anything me included, i got my own back by putting this snake in his desk i can see it now he opened his desk and put his hand in and all hell was let loose but Ive told the story before.. i was happy just walking the woods looking for birds nests i had a old hob ferret and would love to be out with him and catch a couple of rabbits that's all we lived on for some time after the war we had rabbit pie roast rabbit and stewed rabbit and i never tired of eating it
Even thought we lived in the countryside we were given gas masks i hated them mother had lessons how to use them thank god they were never needed , what really sticks in my mind is the severe winters and walking through the snow to school at times it could be up to our knees but we went the only heating was an old stove that stood in the centre of the class room. but we had great summers there was not much traffic on the roads and us lads would play football on the main road or play marbles you could not do that today, or we would be down the brook jar and net in hand catching the stone loach bull heads or lampreys sadly most have now disappeared. i would also visit prices farm which was situated next to were we lived a youngan he would shout go see if you can find some chicken eggs for the misses they were free range chickens they would lay there eggs any where in the haystack in the buildings hedge rows but i would always find a few it would two to the farmer and one to me he did not know but at times would take home a dozen eggs by gum they were welcome at home.

What days they were i would be off up the river rod in hand and spin the falls at halford i caught trout and lovely perch just under the sill of the falls it was strictly private but as a young lad i had no fear the water bailiffs would patrol the water on a regular basis so you had to keep your eye open on old prices side he kept the fishing to himself he loved his fly fishing and i liked my spinning and worming so i would fish his side as it was a bit safer but he wised up he put an old bull i the field he had a nasty temperament and he chased me on a couple of occasions but i always made it across the brook, but he was not that bad as long as you kept your eye on him i think it was only when he had a few young heifers with him that made him temperamental.. i saw my first otters on mr prices and watched them playing rolling diving and catching the odd fish i suppose the year would be arround 1949 or there abouts . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #845 31 Dec 2010 at 3.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #844
When i was young and lived with my mother it was still in the war years we had a land army girl lodge with us well i say lodge she really became part of the family her name was Joan hay i am sure she will not mind me telling her story and the times we had together yes she is still alive and lives not to far from my village. when she arrived at our house she had already got about five years experience in the women's land army. she was transferred to jimmy locks farm at bomere her job was to milk the cows by hand and machines she also hearded goats and looked after the pigs. But her real love was horses she was very happy working at bomere and as a young boy at times i would accompany her down to the farm the farmer mr lock had a daughter called rosemary and she would take me for rides on her pony as i said she had lodgings with my mother who was a young widow and had me to support.

Joan would cycle from our house every morning past the old quarry and would be at work by 7 am the farm stood next to bomere pool and it still does but in those days it was a beautiful wild place and when i was a child it was reputed to be bottomless the geese gathered in huge flocks. after a few months jimmy lock died joan was transferred once again to otley farm belonging farmer mottram he was not the easiest of men to get on with well he chased me a few times poaching his game but that was long after joan was there, she did the milking and looked after the heard she also worked in the fields old mottram found fault with most things and was disliked by most he employed he was a crusty old faggot, so Joan moved once again to Home farm condover she still lived with us and earned two pounds ten shillings a week she had to pay her keep out of that we had no running water and we got our water from the conduit outside the house this would freeze up, we would unfreeze it with boiling water.

home farm was run by Mr Cartwright and he had two sons who i am still friendly with today john and Jeff i would go down the farm and the three of us would go birds nesting or fishing in the brook Joan dug potatoes and cut beet it was a back breaking job they worked from 7am until 5 pm that was in the winter but she could be still working until dark in the summer old Cartwright so she told us once made her move 92 one hundredweight bags of corn from a lorry then carry up the steps to the granary. But as Joan once said they were happy days she loved the old shire horses and would walk them from the farm to our house at bayston hill she would tie them to an old mangle in the garden, the out side privy was next to the mangle and i would be frightened to death going past them but they were gentle animals she would also walk them to the black smith in abbey foregate shrews bury some times i would go along and ride on there backs she also worked for johnny crow another farmer . i have poached his farm many times in the past joan would always bring us some eggs home if the farmer had some to spare, they were always welcome at home, she also looked after the bull his name was bill he loved apples and she spent many hours looking after him she would cut the kale by hand and her hands would be raw, hoe the beet harvest the swedes and mangolds and pick the potatoes and she would also thresh the corn it was a hard life i feel privileged to know Joan and to have known her all those years ago she left the land army in 1948 after eight years of hard slog but we could not of got by without the land army. well there a bit more about my young life . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #844 31 Dec 2010 at 12.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #842
Its new years eve once again i have now seen sixty eight but one year to the other is always the same we do the same things we try to live a good life we go fishing and generally do the things we like to and believe me that gave me a lot of scope i loved to be out in all weather be it rain wind or snow there was always something to learn and see. how many of you on here have just sat in a wood or field and watched a pair of buzzards soar high up on the thermal a marvelous sight or sit and watch the tree creeper run up a tree around and around he would go looking for insects under the bark or watch the wood pecker drumming away with his beak on some old rotten tree i have and it all gave me pleasure.

Life is so wonderful and very precious i cant believe how fast life passes us by it seems the older you get the quicker it goes i remember when i did not have a care in the world and would walk the paths and wood land fish the streams rivers and lakes i would catch the crafty trout spin for the pike and perch or fish some forgotten lake it was my bit of paradise, i can say i have not been the best of blokes i have had my faults i would fight when i was young i loved the ring at the fair, i got knocked around a bit and still have the scares i know it worried my parents but i am still here gone are those days the teddy boy suit long gone. what i am trying to tell you all make the best off your life as it is so short when you are young you don't give old age a thought, i certainly did not but the chaps that were young when i was a kid and some i worked with have now passed on .

how things have changed over the years living is much easier no scrapping a couple of bob together for a smoke or a pint or poaching the woods for a pheasant or two no need any more but i loved those days and i still miss them, when i was young you could leave you back door open but not to today where has all the trust gone in our fellow man, you were respectful to your elders you learned respect at a young age mostly at school if you did wrong you were punished you would think twice the next time where have all the morals gone they do not seem to exist today.

I was lucky i had the run of the land i could go birds nesting not always to steal the eggs just to look i could go fishing poach the brown trout or catch the gray ling the world was your oyster as long as you did not get caught i fished the private lakes you would be out all day but you were safe from harm your parents knew you were safe. i would clime the trees up the woods and look with awe at the eggs whithen the nest. or take a rabbit from the keepers snare i did that so many times and soon learned to reset the snare the old keeper never knew i had been there they were great days we never wanted much only a full belly and a loving family thanks for reading my stories most are from an age long ago there is still more to come but that can wait in the mean time i would like to wish you all a very peacfull and happy new year to you and your familys god bless you all pete
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   Old Thread  #843 31 Dec 2010 at 12.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #842
Its new years eve once again i have now seen sixty eight but one year to the other is always the same we do the same things we try to live a good life we go fishing and generally do the things we like to and believe me that gave me a lot of scope i loved to be out in all weather be it rain wind or snow there was always something to learn and see. how many of you on here have just sat in a wood or field and watched a pair of buzzards soar high up on the thermal a marvelous sight or sit and watch the tree creeper run up a tree around and around he would go looking for insects under the bark or watch the wood pecker drumming away with his beak on some old rotten tree i have and it all gave me pleasure.

Life is so wonderful and very precious i cant believe how fast life passes us by it seems the older you get the quicker it goes i remember when i did not have a care in the world and would walk the paths and wood land fish the streams rivers and lakes i would catch the crafty trout spin for the pike and perch or fish some forgotten lake it was my bit of paradise, i can say i have not been the best of blokes i have had my faults i would fight when i was young i loved the ring at the fair, i got knocked around a bit and still have the scares i know it worried my parents but i am still here gone are those days the teddy boy suit long gone. what i am trying to tell you all make the best off your life as it is so short when you are young you don't give old age a thought, i certainly did not but the chaps that were young when i was a kid and some i worked with have now passed on .

how things have changed over the years living is much easier no scrapping a couple of bob together for a smoke or a pint or poaching the woods for a peasant or two no need any more but i loved those days and i still miss them, when i was young you could leave you back door open but not to today where has all the trust gone in our fellow man, you were respectful to your elders you learned respect at a young age mostly at school if you did wrong you were punished you would think twice the next time where have all the morals gone they do not seem to exist today.

I was lucky i had the run of the land i could go birds nesting not always to steal the eggs just to look i could go fishing poach the brown trout or catch the gray ling the world was your oyster as long as you did not get caught i fished the private lakes you would be out all day but you were safe from harm your parents knew you were safe. i would clime the trees up the woods and look with awe at the eggs whithen the nest. or take a rabbit from the keepers snare i did that so many times and soon learned to reset the snare the old keeper never knew i had been there they were great days we never wanted much only a full belly and a loving family thanks for reading my stories most are from an age long ago there is still more to come but that can wait in the mean time i would like to wish you all a very peacfull and happy new year to you and your familys god bless you all pete
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   Old Thread  #842 30 Dec 2010 at 6.05pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #841
The love of my life was fishing and the wild life although i have shot all my life my love for fishing came first i even played truant from school as i have already mentioned i taught my self although i went with my grandad he died in 1947 so i was left on my own with just mum , my father had got killed in the war i acquired an old bamboo rod where from i cant remember it came with an old wooden star back reel i think the next door neighbour gave it to mum for me it was better than having nothing i managed to get a few hooks and floats the hooks were nothing like you get today they were like Ruddy big meat hooks well that's all you could get the line was like string well i suppose it was silk but thick old stuff i would get a few worms from the garden and go down the Rea brook which ran down the fields from our house mum would worry in case i fell in, i would stand on the bridge and try and trot with a big plastic float and a worm for bait i certainly did not catch much but i was on my way i was proud of myself and the tackle i owned, then one day i was standing on the bridge and the float vanished out of sight i can still remember and thought i had lost it i started to reel in and felt a tug i could not believe my eyes i had a fish on was it big well it was to me all of half a pound but it was my first fish i was so proud i took it home to mum who said she would cook it i soon found out what it was as my next door neighbour Mr Jarvis did a bit off fishing himself it was a roach not very good for eating he told us we soon found out for our selves to many bones but i was well and truly hooked.

Not long after mother met a man called Albert pemberton and they got married in 1949 just after the war i was seven years old i took on his name pemberton he was a signal man on the railway and we soon moved to south Shropshire a place called Craven arms he knew i liked fishing and came home one night and gave me two rods i have had these made for you they were the old tank aerial jobs they altered my whole life i still had the wooden star backed reel i really only needed one but managed to acquire another from a friend of my dad a mr Bill jane i was over the moon just over the field from the house was the river onny only about 500 yds away i would be over the wall and down that river at every opportunity there were signs every where you looked private fishing it was stocked with brown trout thinking back shropshire fly fishing club owned the lease on much of the river, but not all, by gum they were posh and would fly fish for the trout i really did not understand what they were doing but by watching i soon cottoned on they were using artificial flies it did not take me long to learn to fish this river it also held grayling the lady of the river . a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #841 30 Dec 2010 at 12.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #840
Where do i start i got married in 1960 it certainly curtailed things like fishing i had very little money and i was made redundant the night before i got married i went to live with my in laws who lived up in hill country a place called the stiperstones it was very rough country we lived on the side of the hill a place called gorsty bank. my main priority was to get a job as things were still very hard i managed to get a job working for a building firm in Shrewsbury called Boswells they ran a works buss from a place called plox green i had top walk six miles to catch the buss every morning and walk back at night it was hard going then i had jobs to do when i got home like fetching water getting and cutting fire wood they were very hard times but i fell in love with the country side and its people.


As i have said before the place was steeped in folklore and in the evening my father in law would tell me stories that would make your hair curl he used to frighten me to death and when i had to walk any distance in the dark i was always looking over my shoulder, i did not know the country that well i had walked the woods and hedge rows in the dead of night when i was at home but this was different i think most of the older residents that lived there believed in the supernatural i tried to push it to the back of my mind but my father in law was a big believer .

my wife had four brothers all had left home except you youngest john who i got on really well with the oldest was called fred and lived at a place called Hinckley when he came home for a week end we would be out together he was a very hard character and stood no nonsense he lent me his gun a nice side by side it really opened things up for me i would be away over the hills the one estate was about six miles from our house the owner was a politician a man called jasper more they reared hundreds of pheasants i soon got to know the lay of the land and would shoot his property it was quite heavily keeper i suppose i was lucky i never got caught especially using a shot gun but i would have a couple of birds then i was away home, back over the hills, the birds were always welcome as i have stated before my father in law never worked because he had silicosis which was caused through mining Britte's so everything helped us get by, old jasper had a lake in front of his house surrounded with lovely lawns i would creep around the lake and fish through the reeds i caught some lovely tench when i first decided to have a go i thought it was stocked with trout but i soon found it was all course fish but he did have a few ducks on the water i would lie in the reeds and shoot them with my old air rifle which i had brought from mum and dads, they would flutter a bit then lie still some times i would have to get into the water to fetch them but after a bit of thought i cut a long stick and would fish them out from between the reeds when i had finished i would hide the stick until the next time i went, i had so many mallard over a peroid of time but they were a welcome change to our diet we never starved this is how we lived in my early married life it was hard but fun. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #840 29 Dec 2010 at 12.05pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #839
When i was a youngster just down the road was a wood called the berrys i loved to go down as the gypsies had an encampment there they were wonderful people and lived in the old Romania caravans the caravans were beautifully painted and i really got on well with them they made quite a fuss when i went down and would always give me an apple or a handful of sweets, they had half a dozen horses which were always quite tame and well behaved old jack lock would let me ride on the back of the one old horse no saddle bare back, i would ride him up and down the path through the wood they were marvelous days they had a few dogs as well mostly lurches and terriers which they used for doing a bit of poaching old mr lock would let me go along to watch and off down the fields we would go the terrier would put the rabbits up from the hedge rows and the lurches would run them down i had some wonderful days with him. I always remember them coming to see my mother to ask if it was alright for me to go with them rabbiting, hello misses he says to my mum you got a gooden there his been coming down to see us at the vans that alright with you he will be alright you know. she let me go i was fascinated i watched them for hours they would make cloths pegs for the washing line, and then sell them around the villages on there horse and cart. Mr's lock would make little posies out of the wild flowers and also sell them if some one bought a bunch she would wish them all the luck and read there palms i think she told every body the same thing bless her but they did have a certain some thing they lived as one with nature, old jack had a linnet in a cage and it hung from the caravan the bird would sing it was wonderful to hear i suppose i was only seven years old ,they showed me how to make a catapult and how to use it i think old jack made my first one. jack was a brother to old fiddler lock who i mentioned a few threads ago i can just remember him sitting around the open fire playing his fiddle and they were all singing and smoking there clay pipes the women as well . But those days have now gone old Dollie lock and her sisters have passed on many years ago so to has jack, the family still exist but now live in houses. the true shropshire Romany gypsys have now passed on they are now history, but i knew them all the locks, the stevens, they are just two of the clans, but there were many more some poeple were scared of them but they were gentle poeple who lived the life on the road, we will never see there likes again and i feel the world is a poorer place without them more latter
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   Old Thread  #839 28 Dec 2010 at 12.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #838
My old friend joe lived on my village all his live and i can honestly say he was one of the best poachers i have ever seen joe died two years ago and i am sure his family would not mind me telling you all about his escapades and believe me there was many. he like myself loved wild life especially birds he would be away across the fields with a sack full of traps i know i have been with him or he would use bird lime and catch the wild linnets gold finches even yellowhammers he would take them home to his aviary and breed with them after they had reared there chicks he would return the adults to the wild. He had a great understanding and compassion for all wild things. In his garden he had his pigeon loft he had breed and raced these birds all his life i used to go down and see him and he would pick these birds up and talk to them they loved him and would respond to his kindness

I remember going to see him this one day and he was not really interested and seemed a bit distant this was not the man i knew whats up joe, buggers have got my traps who joe the police some one has reported me i think others are involved, i was tipped off Im expecting the police any time you can help pete i have got to get rid of my birds the ones that have no rings and that's what happened he popped them in a sack and i let them go up the fields the police arrived next day poor old joe denied every thing they were not his traps and of course his birds in captivity were all legal but it certainly effected him in lots of ways he trusted no one from then on exept me we were the same breed loved the country way of life but this was years ago. we would be away at night he was a great shot with his old air rifle i think it came out of the ark the stock was held together with wire but could he use it my job was to use the lamp and he would do the shooting he killed hundreds of pheasants over the years with that old rifle but it always seemed more powerful than the normal air gun and it was he told me he had fitted a more powerful spring into it but he always shared the profits with me i got summat for you pete he would say and hand me a few notes i was grateful as times were hard, but not once did i see joe fishing over the years i asked him to come but he was just not interested but he loved to be out with his ferrets although the rabbit population was not what it was he loved to be out using them joe had kept ferrets all his life we could be out all day and only catch three or four as they were just making a come back from the terrible disease myxomatosis but i dont think joe would of minded if he had only caught one as he was out with his beloved ferrets and doing what he had done all his life. It was really an honour knowing joe and when he passed my life seemed a bit empty as he had been a great freind he was of the old school and he had lived throught some very hard times. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #838 27 Dec 2010 at 10.56pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #837
I have sat behind the rods so many times and faced the south westerly wind that made the water foam at your feet the stars shone over head and you could here the call of the coot in the distance the trees would sway over your head and you would worry that one would come crashing down we watched the planes pass way over head and you would wander where they were heading some foreign climes far away. all we had was the old garden lounger and if you were cold a blanket and a piece of canvas to cover your self up.

They were good days no pressure you were there to catch the fish that inhabited the ancient lake it was all that was left from the ice age i would wander what this place was really like so many centuries ago and what animals roamed its ancient banks . what fish had swam in its depths but we were here to catch the bream and roach our eyes would get tired watching the doe bobbins hanging from the line between the reel a but ring did it move or was was my eyes playing tricks, we could not sleep we watched the bobbin for any movement it made and when it came and slid towards the but ring you would strike with a swift movement what a satisfying feeling you got as you played that fish under the stars which you duly landed in your net no time to weight the bream you had caught back out went your bait into the darkness of the lake and into the giant keep net went your prize we did this so many times we caught the roach the Rudd the bream and carp they were lovely days. The Tawney owl would screech in the old oak over head and you would hear the fox give a sharp bark in the nearby field this was the way we fished so long ago, the water still foamed at our feet but the wind was warm you needed no heavy jackets on tonight we caught the roach then the bream and popped them in the net. the moon shone brighter it was a full moon and you watched the geese fly over head the ducks as well going to some stubble field to satisfy there hunger hundreds passed us by that night it would soon be September and we would be huddled under some hedge waiting for them to come to roost, the dog lying at your side shaking with anticipation but that would have to wait as we were fishing this ancient place tonight, when morning came you would be tired and weighed your fish what a night you had 100 pounds of roach and bream this is how we fished, then off home to a welcome bed and dream of things to come this was the late sixtys. more latter
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   Old Thread  #837 27 Dec 2010 at 3.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #834
Well its now melting raining here quite sharp and warmer than its been for days. hurry up the spring when the floor of the woods will be white with snow drops. From february we shoot the pigeon for the local farmers as they come into roost the one spinney we shoot gets absolutely covered in these lovely flowers from around the middle of march if not before , The brook i poached all those years ago runs through this little spinney so i know it very well years ago it was full of trout they had been stocked by the land owner for his friends and local gentry to fish although some were leased to tenant farmers, but it is all different now the tenant farmers have now bought the farms long ago the big estate that i remember are no more you could not walk on the property when i was young there were signes on trees telling you to keep out trespassers will be prosecuted or another that was a favorite keep out or you will be shot on sight there was about 16 keepers in all they had so much land to look after and two head keepers old bell was one and Gerry at bomere the other, i think there is still a sign the one end of bomere in an old oak tree saying you would be shot on sight they would not get away with it today they were a different breed of the keeper in those days.

I have had them chase me on more than one occasion and have hid up some old fir or oak tree and listened to them discussing who they thought it may be i have laid across a branch and watched and listened to the keepers telling PC Stan sharp and Sgt landers all about the incident and how they thought there may of been more than one taking the trout i could hardly contain my self from laughing more than one there was only me, i was on the village a few days after the incident and PC sharp called me over i saw you up that tree the other night pete i was cob smacked to say the least did the Sgt landers know, i did not tell him says old Stan i happened to look up and saw your face in the semi darkness it was you was it not i really did not know what to say no it wanna me Mr sharp i was no where near he just smiled and said let that be a lesson to you as i don't want to see you there again, funny really years after i was working at the local fire station fitting the radios in the appliances and old Stan was working there he had retired from the police and was now the handy man at the fire station every time i saw him he always reminded me of that night many years before and we would have a few laughs about it but i never really told him it was me he asked and i would say no but he would have none of it he was convinced it was me and i suppose he was right but stan has now gone like many before him god rest his soul but i will always remember that night many years before . more latter
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   Old Thread  #836 26 Dec 2010 at 9.16pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #835
hi James i have had some put on already a few threads back about my fishing days ill see whats in the album i have some going back years when i was eleven or twelve i have some of foxes also but not appropriate to put on here and albums of fish and general nature, problem is i am not to good at putting them up i emailed them to big dave in cumbria last time and he put them up. there will be some appearing in jasons new book which is being launched latter next year thanks james i am glad you like my stories happy new year to your self and family god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #835 26 Dec 2010 at 6.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #834
pete
Ive enjoyed your writings of days gone by as much as anybody. You have mentioned photos acouple of times,if you have any old ones to share on here thatwould be great.
happy new year to you
james
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   Old Thread  #834 26 Dec 2010 at 6.09pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #831
i have walked the lanes of Shropshire and traversed hill and vales Ive climbed the trees to the crows nest, and looked upon its eggs , i have seen the young buzzards and held them in my hand, i have stood on wen-lock edge and watched the rolling Shropshire planes and thought what a lucky man i have been, i have walked one end to the other meeting many on the way most i met were simple men that would not hurt a fly but one thing bound us together was nature and her ways. My friends and i have shot the pheasant and the woodcock to we have watched the humble fox cross the rolling hills and vales, and shot the rabbit as he bolts from his hole within the hedge i have fished the streams and rivers catching the gray-ling and the trout Ive cast a fly in the twilight for that wily trout and held him in my hand and admired his lovely colour and returned that handsome fellow to fight another day, i have seen the streak of blue as it passes me in flight looking for his evening meal i have watched the dipper walk under water by the water fall, i have found the nest of the fly catcher with her eggs in the tree above the falls what more could i ask i have shot the duck on a moonlight night waiting on the stuble seen the geese come on high the grey lags and the Canada's going to there place of roost and have shed a tear at this wonderful sight, i am but a simple man that does not ask for much only to fish and shoot and watch the nature and her ways. to pick the mushrooms in season and blackberries to to dig a few potatoes from the farmers field poach the pheasents and the rabbits. To also fish the streams owned by the the big estates, be by the river in the night free line the worm towards the pool under neath the over hanging trees under the far bank and feel the vicous take and bring another trout to hand we will not starve, another four or five and ill be home. To listen to the nosies of the night they all ment so much to me the scream of the vixen or the bark of the dog fox were noises that i loved and i knew i was not alone no need to run and hide tonight the keepers were not around just a bit about my life and i hope you have all enjoyed it as much as i have over all the years, i can not run anymore my legs are buggered and my old bones creak with age, no poaching any more but i have my memories of those times long ago and the woods i used to walk and take the pheasents, most still stand but are not the same the keepers have now all gone so long ago and rest in slumber in the old church yard, maybe there ghosts still haunt the rides of these ancient woods on certain nights i dont know as im not there no need to poach anymore those days have gone long ago never to return. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #833 26 Dec 2010 at 2.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #832
Thanks ash i really appreciate your remarks a happy new year to you and your family god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #832 26 Dec 2010 at 1.15pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #831
so i think a bit off magic helps them along the way.

and your certainly providing that for us all here as well Pete
Your a lovely bloke and providing some real 'hairs stand up on the back of my neck' moments with this thread!
I wish you good health and happiness for the new year Pete
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   Old Thread  #831 26 Dec 2010 at 12.58pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #826
I am not feeling to good today full up with a cold and a bit of man flue so i really am feeling a bit sorry for myself i should really of stayed in bed and wrote this on the lap top but i have so much to do i hope you all had what you wanted i certainly did no fishing tackle as i have loads and really did not want any but i have received a new printer a three in one job that scans prints and does the photos i have already got one but that's up stairs, but i have the new one with my computer in the living room and also one of those photo frames you can load all your photos to and play them back so i have done rather well good old Santa.

i can remember all those years ago when i was a youngster when your mum and dad would say if you don't go to bed and sleep Santa wont come well i tried to stay awake and would look out of my bedroom window hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer and sleigh i was lucky to have had loving parents as they always provided us with a christmas. my cousin jean would always stay over festive period and we would get that exited on Xmas eve looking back i think mum and dad must of had quite a time trying to quieten us down, But it is a magical time of year i have played father christmas a number of times over the years for the children of our village and the look on there young faces always fills me with pleasure and brings a tear to my eyes, i have also done, it for the old folk at the home and i really feel that some who have lost there capability to remember still believe in Santa its what i call there second child hood, bless them every one as they have lived through difficult times with war and food rationing and most had very little money so i think a bit off magic helps them along the way.

some times i wandered where my parents got the money as in those days my step father was only a signal man on the railway but they certainly looked after us as children i have told you all about the one christmas i woke up to a find new split cane rod made by hardy it could be used for fly fishing spinning and float fishing a combination rod we found the receipt when clearing my parents house out when they both died, 70, pounds he paid for that from Gordon forests fishing shop in shrews bury good god that was an enormous amount of money in those days i also had my first Michell reel with the rod i was only about twelve years old they always encouraged me top fish well i suppose shoot as well as i awoke one christmas morning to a brand new air gun and pellets that gun became my second arm and although not that powerful would bring the dinner home i soon learned to stalk the rabbit and get close enough for a head shot it was around the time of the big myxomatosis kill which really decimated the rabbits for some years you would still see isolated pockets of rabbits but they were left alone to survive i soon learned to shoot the pheasants and i got quite accurate with it so we did not starve i know this is not about fishing but about a time when people really struggled to survive and live but they were good times where every one pulled together but sadly that does not happen any more some don't even know there next door neighbour, very sad really but i suppose that's progress more latter
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   Old Thread  #830 26 Dec 2010 at 11.53am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thank you so much for those kind words fred very much appreciate them hope you had a great day yesterday so may i will wish you and your family a very happy and peaceful new year thanks again god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #829 25 Dec 2010 at 4.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #828
Pete your way with words is so accurate in describing past events that you give the reader a real feeling for what you have seen through your eyes, i read a lot of books by famous profesional authors and beleive me you have a talent just keep writing as you have untold fans on this forum , and you are giving a lot of pleasure with your stories of old.
May you have many years to come and merry christmas to you and your family
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   Old Thread  #828 24 Dec 2010 at 7.35pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks taffi me old mate the same to you and your family have a great time and piece to you all
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   Old Thread  #827 24 Dec 2010 at 6.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #826
Merry Christmas Pete. Always love reading your bio my friend.
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   Old Thread  #826 24 Dec 2010 at 6.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #822
it was christmas eve as i walked the path that went through the wood the snow was falling like feathers from the sky the pool was frozen , but all was well i was fourteen years old i was there to hear the haunted bells that was reputed to sound from the depths of the old 25 acre lake i would laught at such statements but as we stopped you could hear the unmistakable peel of church bells bloody hell said my mate Gerald I'm going he was as white as the snow lets go pete, no says i its no ghostly bells, there was a slight breeze and the lake was in a hollow below where we were standing the church at condover was only two miles away and it was their evening service the bells were really from the church but carried on the breeze and sounded like they were coming from the lake, but i must admit for a minute i thought we had heard the hunted bells of bomere pool, it goes to show how rumors start although i have fished the place many times and have been told it is hunted i am yet to be convinced i have seen nowt worse than my self i really think it was put about to stop the poachers from long ago, but it never stopped me from fishing the place or taking a few pheasants the only Person i was frightened of was the keeper and his assistants . i had poached this old place many times over the years and i knew it back to front i knew where to run if i was chased and which was the best place to hide. Just over the field from bomere lived old mr mc cartney he was a terrible man and ran his farm with an iron rod putting the fear of Christ into his labourers and he really frightened the locals he was a bully and to some a very bad man he had a small pool on his land no one would chance thier arm and fish it but i was not going to be put off by him or his attitude towards others he had caught on his land. I would be on that pool before he had even got from his bed i would float fish the place and caught some very nice Rudd and tench, after a time i went and asked him if i could fish his lake he told me to bugger off, and if he caught me he would stick his boot up my bum . By the time i was sixteen i owned my first gun he had a strip of woodland with mixed trees of oak birch and a few conifers i poached that woodland many times and shot the pheasants with my old webley four ten, one day i heard this shout he had discovered i was there come out yer bugger he shouted i was out the other side and away up the bank behind the house stop he shouted or ill fire and he did ,i heard the pellets hit the tree over my head, on i went and managed to make the main road. After hiding my gun and pheasants under some briers by the railway bridge i managed to get home i said to my parents the police may call and told them the farmer had shot at me wheres your gun dad said under some brambles they will not find it i was right half an hour latter, old Sgt landers arrived on our door step could he see me yes said mum, have you been out shooting today no , where have you been then he says, down town says i, why some one was out poaching mr mc cartnys ground he thought it was you, he could not prove a thing if only he had asked to see my gun i would have been in big trouble so i got away once again, i recovered the gun latter that evening and six pheasants and i never went near that old buggers land for some time . well a bit more latter a merry christmas to you all
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   Old Thread  #825 24 Dec 2010 at 10.23am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #823
A big thank you Pete for all your stories, always a must read thread for me and I really hope you can get the book sorted next year. Seasons greetings to you and your family and I hope your wife gets better soon.
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   Old Thread  #824 23 Dec 2010 at 9.51pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Hi Pete.

Thank you for your inspiring an vivid images you have envoked in me again over the last twelve months.

You are a kick up the arse for me at least to enjoy what I do.

I hope your Santa brings warmth and love and good health to you an your family..

Best Wishes Pete.

Peter.
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   Old Thread  #823 23 Dec 2010 at 7.47pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Its Christmas eve tomorrow and i may not be able to put a story on owing to family commitment it will be a busy day and they must come first. So i would like to wish those who have read my stories and have asked and encouraged me to continue . A very happy christmas and a prosperous new year and may i wish you piece and happiness for the coming year god bless you all pete thanks again for your support plenty more to come



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   Old Thread  #822 23 Dec 2010 at 4.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #821
I have been up in hill country this morning i was asked by the family i would put a wreath on my in laws grave no problems i managed to get to the church there had been about a ft or more of snow it really brought back some happy memories the snow looked absolutely beautiful on the fir woods high up on the mountains, i took my camera with me and managed a few shots it is the most beautiful country and it is known locally as gods own country the whole place is full of mystery and legends, of ghosts and such that abound around the place i have personally never seen a thing, but i know of others that have, one such man was my father in law, legend has it if England go to war on are threatened in any way the Anglo Saxon chief wild edric is seen to ride with his clan across the mountain tops of the stiperstones well just before the second world war my father in law was returning from his day shift at the habberley mines and was crossing the hills on his way home it was a moonlight night and he was surprised to see horse men coming towards him especially at this time and in the dark, but he was more surprised when they reached him he shouted out to them but they failed to stop the one was covered in golden armour and it shone in the moonlight he had a great sword strapped to his side the other horse men where dressed similar and the moon shone on there golden hair with blew in the breeze as they past,him by and at the rear were three or four big wolf hounds as they disappeared, from sight he distinctly heard the sound of a horn blowing this was the account he told me he had kept it in his memory and it was still as clear and fresh as when he had the experience, i do not doubt that he saw something i asked if it frightened him he said no he got a distinct feeling of peacefulness but the funny thing is one month after the encounter Germany declared war on Britain so was it wild edric riding across those hills on his way to warn people of the impending danger i keep an open mind my father inlaw was an honest chap and i truly believe he saw something that was not of this world.

but i have talked to other locals who have had funny experiences i have walked those hills all hours and have never seen a thing only foxes rabbits and such but i do believe that some can see things that others cant, i have had the odd feeling that i should not be there and some one was watching me my dog has growled at nothing and i was glad when i moved on but i have never seen a ghost , i don't ask you to believe me but this was as far as i am concerned a true account of what my father in law saw that moonlight night it has been seen by others over the centuries, i think there is more to heaven and earth than we will ever realize. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #821 22 Dec 2010 at 6.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #817
Snow can be very frightening depending where you are i was once up in the hill country driving a land rover and i got lost you could not tell the sky from the snow on the ground it was a complete wipe out so i can understand how people get lost lucky i knew my way around and managed to back down the hill but one chap i knew did get lost and the rescue team could not find him .They had all the equipment but he had literally vanished it was a similar thing that i had experienced a complete wipe out. he turned up 12 hours latter he could not find his way off the hills and had been walking around in circles he was a very lucky man he survived when he was found he was minus his boots and his over coat what he had done with them i really don't know but i would think he had been hallucinating caused by the cold but quite a few have perished on the shropshire hills old fiddler lock the gypsy was one unfortunate man to loose his life to the elements and he knew his way around and had passed that way many times on his way back home but he perished in those high hills and he was not found for some days after nature can be so cruel but it does happen.

But i loved those hills and i was never happier as when i was up there i loved the different seasons the spring summer autumn i loved to see the hills amazed with the purple heather a wonderful sight to behold to pick the wimberries by the basket and take them home to my mother in law ,who would sell them at the market to look for the foxes earth high up on the side of the hill, to watch her feed the cubs she would never know i had been there she would bring the rabbit and the hair and at times a lamb as well , i would fish the mountain stream that ran through the valley i would trundle the worm through the fast water and under the far bank the rod tip would bend under a violent take and i would land another little brownie a jewel in this small stream, i would only take the largest that i caught the rest were returned to catch another day. i would love to stand in the tumbling water and cast a fly as it drifted in the current you would see the splash of the taking fish most pleasing to my eye what better way to spend an hour of two on this summers day. , i wandered the hills far and wide with a box upon my back it held the ferrets that i would use to catch the rabbit i never bothered with the nets i would quietly slip the ferrets in the bury and stand back with the gun out they would bolt make for the cover of the heather but they were dead before they made that cover what a way to spend a day only myself for company and the ferrets on my back well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #820 22 Dec 2010 at 6.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #819
self publish quote
might be worth an enquiry

Keep it coming Pete
Martin
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   Old Thread  #819 21 Dec 2010 at 11.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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love this thread,
it would make a good book Pete, every thought of it ??
similar ones have been done, some from years back, might be easier now with pc's etc to get a draft and publish


hi martin yes i have thought of a book its a bit expensive to get it published lots of members on here have suggested the same ken townley x pat in Poland and many more some of the stories are going to appear in print in jason's new book who is known on here as milk protein A1 baits his book should be launched latter this next year i think i at the bentwood show he even says himself its worthy of a book in its own rights i am now an old age pensioner and really cant afford it unless i could get sponsers which has been mentioned thanks for reading my stories and i am glad you have enjoyed them there is more to come the problem is rembering every thing that has happened over the years i have had a most enjoyable life and would not of missed it for the world i hope i can continue for some time to come thanks again god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #818 21 Dec 2010 at 10.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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love this thread,
it would make a good book Pete, every thought of it ??
similar ones have been done, some from years back, might be easier now with pc's etc to get a draft and publish
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   Old Thread  #817 21 Dec 2010 at 8.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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snow and more snow ive seen it all before when i first got married and lived with my in laws in the hill country you could expect big snows nearly every year it was a hard life living up there . you would stock up most years with the basics matches tins of beans peas anything to keep you going in case you got snowed in one thing you got was bread flour a valuable commodity if you could not get to the village shop for bread you made your own nothing nicer than fresh bread baking in the oven beside the fire then eating it smeared with fresh home made butter. On the ceiling of the house would hang home cured bacon and hams from the pig you had reared a few months before nothing nicer than a couple of slices of home cured bacon with two eggs and home made bread and butter as long as you had a full belly and warm cloths you would be alright.

it was nineteen sixty when i got married and moved in with my in laws and young brother in law, times were hard and my father in law was a very ill man suffering from a disease from working down the local pits i found it quite hard as i was only 18 years old one of my jobs was to fetch fresh water from the well sometimes with snow up to my knees i would drop the bucket down the well on the end of a rope and when full wind it back up with a handle i would carry back two buckets at a time the well was a good quarter of a mile from the house i would do this before i went to work and when i came home in the evening in the winter it was dark, it was about 16 feet deep and the water was very cold it never froze up because of the depth, after we had got enought water we would put the top back on to stop anything falling into the water. another job was making sure there was enought fire wood to keep the house warm and to do the cooking there was no elecricity only oil lamps and candles it was certainly a different life than what i was used to, i have gone to bed and it had froze that much that the frost would glisen on the walls it was very cold and at times we would throw an old army coat on the bed for exrta warmth.

but i loved these people they did not have much but gave you unlimited love i would do anything for them i soon got to know the woods and would borrow the old chaps gun i managed a few pheasent and rabbits which was always exepted with gratitude, so we did not starve i managed to get a few snares and would set them for the rabbits the hills were over run with hairs and i manged to shoot one or two but as i said once before they were a bit to strong in taste for me some of the woods were heavely keepered the hills were also used for grouse shoots i would go and watch them shooting the grouse the guns all dressed up in there plus fours i would lie in the heather and watch from afar the guns would stand in the butts made especaliy for shooting the grouse, i kept my distance as it could be quite dangerous but this was my way of life, i loved the hills and the valleys i got to know the wild life, and would walk for miles i would also find the curlews nest the lapwing i would find the grouse and her nest, lie in the heather and listen to the sky lark way above watch the buzzard drifting on the thermal i loved it all.. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #816 20 Dec 2010 at 1.07pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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How wonderful nature is a spiders web built so intricately they now stand out with the white of the hoar frost. its now time to get the camera out so much to see on a winters day, i was watching the birds feeding on the feeder hung on the shed it is full of sunflower seed and i caught glimpse of a little head appear from under the shed it was a field mouse which has come into the garden in search of shelter and food as long as he does not get into the shed he will be OK the ones i don't want are rats we had a couple last year but they did not last very long out with the rifle both head shots dead instantly best Way to deal with the furry critters, since then i have not seen one the problem is just below my house is a bakery and he throws most of the stale bread into a horse box to take to the tip and the bread really encourages the rats we have the council vermin officer down he has killed a number of over the years but they soon come back as the bread attracts them from far and wide its like any animal when there habitat becomes cold and water logged they move from the fields to a warmer place and where food is more accessible.

Reading the thread about otters this morning will they starve through lack of food fish because the rivers and lakes freeze over no they wont otters are predators and will eat most things rabbit pheasant partridge duck and it is not past there predatory skills to take the farmers chickens they have no enemies and are not really afraid of man they are top of the food chain as they have no predators to keep them in check, the difference between the fox and otter is the fox will kill for pleasure killing everything in a pen and will only take one, but the otter will only take what it needs usualy one but if he finds it easy will return for more another day. but they are like any animal they only kill to survive i think most animals will be finding it difficult in this weather the poor old kingfisher a most beautiful bird will really struggle the weather in 1982 nearly wiped them out and i really have not seen the dipper in quality since that winter.

i was going down the woods today but my wife has some sort of virus so she must come first, i like to take the camera and take a few shots as the woods are very pretty with the hoar frost really standing out on the tree branches. I love to track the animals in these conditions and it is surprising what you may come across i came from a family who loved photography my father was professional for most of his life and when i was a youngster i was encouraged to spend hours in the dark room but i really did not like it very much and would rather of been out fishing. i prefer the digital camera but my father was one of the old school and stuck by the old film cameras i have his old Nikons and would never part with them i really must get them out and give them an airing, i have just bought a new camera and cant wait to get out and use, its a sony Hd with ditachable lenses so i really want to try it out down the woods and fields well i hope im have not bored you to much with my rambling on about cameras. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #815 19 Dec 2010 at 8.59pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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reply to Post #800
more classics to come pete i hope kep m coming.


thanks arfer i am glad you still like the stories
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   Old Thread  #814 19 Dec 2010 at 8.45pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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more classics to come pete i hope kep m coming.
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   Old Thread  #813 19 Dec 2010 at 2.10pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks i hope you enjoy my stories
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   Old Thread  #812 19 Dec 2010 at 1.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I did not know about this thread, crikey its brilliant, very good work Pete this is going to take some reading
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   Old Thread  #811 19 Dec 2010 at 12.34pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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- 11 here today really cold icicles under the car it was very much the same in 1962 terrible winter i was living up in hill country then there was so much snow i never got out to work properly for at least three months, we lived on the side of the stiperstones the snow was that deep it covered five bar gates and then it froze from then on you walked over the top of the gates we had no money i did manage to get out as a drivers mate picking milk up for the local creamery we had very little fuel for the fires in the house and had to resort to cutting trees down which were full of ice the sap had frozen but the logs we cut kept us going i can remember another very similar winter that was 1947 it was very cold and i can remember picking the poor pigeon off the Brussels sprouts they had literally frozen to the sprouts i think it was one of the worst i can remember i was only five years old and my grandad would carry me down the garden to feed the pigs and hens. Another was 1982 that was bitter but did not last as long but did severe damage to the wild life killing many small birds and it really decimating the big flocks of pigeon it was a cruel few weeks that did untold damage to the country side.

it really looks as thought this may be a bad one i notice the rea brook has partly frozen over and parts of the severn has also started to freeze over i think it was 1982 i saw some idiot drive a car down the centre of the river on the ice i think he went all the way to the weir and back not somthing i would do i can remeber it being in the local paper mind you the ice was very thick at that time but i dont think i would of chanced it we did no shooting or fishing for some time the poor rabbits had nowt to eat only the bark from young saplings they could not get at the grass as it was deep below the frozen snow even if you could have caught a few there was no meat on them the amount of water fowl i picked up was emence they were frozen to the ground poor things when you look back you really wander how they survived at all but they did.


When you live in the countryside in those conditions it can be really hard we had no central heating in those days only coal and log fires and our main priorty was to keep warm and keep those fires burning night and day most people also did there cooking on the range which was part of the fire grate so we had to make sure that at all times we had enought fuel . if you ran out you would get no more coal as they could not get through to yo, so as i have already stated you had to cut trees down and saw into logs to help out the washing was also done in a bolier which was fired by wood and in an out house. so you can see most of our time was spent looking for and cutting wood for fuel it was a hard time i was then 20 years old and was married with a young child to look after so they were my priorty. well a little bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #810 18 Dec 2010 at 1.40pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Well i had to cancel the shoot this morning no way could we go i have one or two elderly gentleman in the shoot who are in there late seventies and early eights some are not to good on there feet, and with the snow and ice it is very dangerous so i discussed it with my mate Tony who helps run the shoot and he thought that some would not be able to make it through the snow so we decided on a big no for today. It has just started to snow again and the weather forecast suggests we could have another 8 inches before tonight i hope not but we can not control the weather.

I think if SAM was here today he would of been proud of what i have achieved i think most came from him how to stalk the fox and watch her cubs without being discovered to watch the wild life birds and the badger. when i was young and went to sam's he was not allowed to shoot or snare a fox they were for hunting and the gentry but he would have the odd one if it was causing him some damage, but he preferred to snare them it caused no damage to the pelt and he could skin it out and sell it to Horace friend the dealer i think he made a few shillings out of a fox skins. i remember going with him one day and he had caught a badger in the snare it had flattened every thing in sight the brambles nettles all flat stay back young un he will bite i don't want to kill her, no more to do he grabbed the badger by the neck and cut the snare with a pair of cutters which he always carried with him, he quietened that animal down just by talking to him he had a away with animals i don't think i would have the courage to handle a badger like that the snare had cut into his neck making it very sore get me that sack young he said ill take him home to the misses , her will no what to do into the sack he went and we took him home. He got the badger out in the front room his wife got a jar from the shelf full of thick green cream it smelt a bit. she smeared it all over the wound put him in the shed tonight sam he should be better by tomorrow he had so much passion for wild things i thought you would have killed that badger Sam i wanna kill anything that does me no damage. when i went the next day we took the badger up the fields and let him go, through the hedge he went no worse for wear he will be alright said Sam. when the estate had the big shoots all the guns would wear plus fours and tweed jackets the ladys usualy dressed in tweed skirts and boots and tweed jackets it was a posh do usualy there were about twelve to forteen guns and would draw for there pegs before they started, you had to call them sir or mam and be respectfull i said to sam what a load of tosers they pais my wages youngun i usualy got two shillings at the end of the day not much but it was then, and maybe a couple of brace off pheasent or duck, the guns had a brace a piece the rest were sold on to the markets and made revenue for the estate but i loved every minute and i supose as a family we always had somthing to eat it all helped as we lived in hard times. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #809 17 Dec 2010 at 8.25pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks very much apprecated i think bob will put it right when he sees what you have put thanks again pete
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   Old Thread  #808 17 Dec 2010 at 6.45pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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ęBob an Pete. to type the copy write sign

put your numbers lock on. then using the numeric keypad hold down ALT as you type numbers 0169 ę
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   Old Thread  #807 17 Dec 2010 at 2.37pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I spent most of my time at old sam's house especially in the winter i would go along to most shoots and really enjoyed his company, on shoot days the guns would shoot a few hundred birds, he would have me working tying the birds in twos by the neck then i would then hang them across the side of the game cart, the cart was pulled by a big old cart horse i loved him and he would let me sit on his back and away we would go but i had a job getting down as he was a big animal and i fell off on a few occasions, but it did me no harm only a few bruises. keepers would come come from far and wide the one was right old bugger and even SAM was not to keen on him. well he gave me a clip across the ear what for i don't know well SAM went mad and told him in no uncertain words touch that young UN again you will answer to me. i hated that keeper and i was really frightened of him he was even cruel to his dogs, i would try and keep well away from him . But i vowed i would one day have him away he lived at onny berry court i think at the time he worked for Mr magnuson i was determined i would have some of his pheasants ill teach him it was only four miles from my home ,i cut my self a long piece of fishing line and attached a size eight hook one of those awful black things i used for my fishing in those early years. i raided my mothers sultana and current jars. I watched that cruel keeper feed his birds so i new exactly where, i could catch his pheasant from, and i did i would pop a few currants on the hook leave it in the open so the birds could see it along they would come pick up the hook bang i was in pull it into the hedge where i was hiding, wring its neck and into the bag with it, i i think i caught twenty the first time using this method but it was to many i had a job carrying them home and i had to hide some to fetch latter. Our neighbors were over the moon as we shared them out between every one that lived in the railway terrace, i really did give that place some stick, i caught hundreds from there over the years, i used to smile he would tell Sam he had no poachers on his estate, well that's what he thought funny it was Sam that showed me how easy it was to catch the birds using a hook and a few currants, i put it in to practice on a good many shoots when i was a young man and i never failed to catch a few birds , That old keeper also had a brook to look after that ran through the estate it was stocked full of trout for all the toffs and friends of the owner well did i hit that brook i would spin with a Devon minnow i would catch ten or so and would be away he never knew i had been there they were lovely to eat mum would cook them in the oven beside the fire they tasted great we never starved and always had plenty to eat and it was all free . well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #806 16 Dec 2010 at 6.13pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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You remember i told about the parcel Sam gave me for Christmas it was all wrapped in brown paper well when i opened it on Christmas morning it was a new pair of brown boots he knew i walked a lot and said wellingtons were no good i needed a proper pair of leather boots, looking back they must of cost him a mint how he did it i don't know as his wages were not that much he also gave me another present in that box one i still have today volume one and volume two British birds of today. the photos of birds are in black and white i have treasured those books all my life, what kindness Sam and his wife showed me looking back it was pure love i think i took the place of there son who i think got killed in the war

Not far from sam's house stood some big cherry trees when they became laden with fruit off we would go we could fill a basket in no time we would take them back to his wife if i remember right she used to bottle them and then store them in the pantry to make delicious pies in the winter and believe me her fruit pies were something else but that's how they lived i never saw them waste anything. Sam liked a bit of poaching himself and poached a few of his own birds to eat . or give to friends when i asked him about his little forays he would say perks of the job young UN who's gonna catch me I'm the keeper here and it was true he was a single handed keeper the only time he saw other keepers was on shoot days when they came to help beat the woods.

he said to me one day are e taking some of my birds on shoot days, i told you before i would watch were the shot birds fell and would pick them before the dogs got anywhere near no Sam not yours but i know you did he said in his broad Shropshire voice, saw e once or twice yes but that was before i got to know you, why did you not catch me then he just smiled i did not want to i thought maybe you needed the food as times are hard yes Sam i took them for mum and dad and the neighbours he never mentioned it ever again but would always give me a brace every time i visited give these to mum and dad he would say there be half a dozen eggs in the house take them as well i went every where with him i have told you before how we both poached the trout from the local brook and rivers ,he was very partial to eel so in early summer i would be away with him he would put a couple of eel traps down baited with some stinking meat or fish if he caught a couple he was happy and would be away home to his misses. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #805 15 Dec 2010 at 9.11pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks for reading the stories i am glad you like them plenty more to come yet but i have to get the old head round it as most happened many years ago thanks again pete
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   Old Thread  #804 15 Dec 2010 at 8.16pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Amazing read Pete I've copied every thread written and will put into a word document to read on my iPad for when I'm at work
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   Old Thread  #803 15 Dec 2010 at 5.44pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks mark i have lived a very interesting life and have loved every minute of it thanks again for reading my stories and i am glad you enjoyed them
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   Old Thread  #802 15 Dec 2010 at 5.39pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
wow this is the first time i have looked at this thread and cant beleive what i have been missing BRILLIANT peter some great reading
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   Old Thread  #801 15 Dec 2010 at 5.32pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Its been a happy life i have been on a journey i have fished shot watched wild life what more could i ask i am content and along the way i have met some great friends but the one that i learned most from was my old friend SAM the keeper, he knew the wild life inside out he could track any animal and tell you what it was he would take me birds nesting dunna take the eggs young he would say you, have seen the nest the eggs and the bird so that's enough hold it in your memory but he had a big collection himself it was huge he had collected since he was a youngster but not any more he just liked to watch and look when he died i think the collection must have gone to a museum it was so vast but he was in a job that allowed him to collect such things another thing he used to collect was bugs and butterflies hundreds all under glass and in draws he had collected since he was a young boy he really was a fascinating man. i would be out with him in the woods he would say young un you have three things that are important to you in your life your eyes ears and nose, and in his profession it certainly was im sure he heard thing i did not most keepers have a good eye sight and SAM would sit hours alone in the dark watching for poachers no torches he knew those woods back to front in fact they could be dangerous times as the poachers some times worked in gangs especially around Christmas time.

Although Sam was an old man to me he was only probably in his fifties but i think he was quite capable and could look after him self he had a couple of scars down his face i asked him one day what had caused them he did not want to talk about it but after some time he said fighting, its part of the job y knows not as bad to today as when i was a young man i got slashed with a chain catching some poachers, then i knew he could look after himself it was a lonely job out all hours and the pay was not that much but at least he had a cottage to live in. I loved to sit in that house in the evenings with a roaring fire in the grate and oil lamps for lights they would cast shadows on the walls and would make you feel all warm inside and out, he had some stuffed animals foxes owls hawks and such, all in glass cases i was not to keen on the foxes, as i was only a youngster and in the poor light they looked quite fearsome but Sam would reassure me and say its all in yer head youngan they wunner hurt e they be dead, and he was right no animal will hurt e in my woods or any woods its only a human y has to look out for, and that was good information as he was right. I have been out with him and he has said listen, listen to what Sam do e hear that, what that be a deer , and we would lie down and out of the trees a big old deer would appear with a big head of ankle-rs, his an owd un he would say, He was amazing but what he taught me has helped me through my life. i loved to listen to his tales of long ago when he first became a young keeper at the age of fourteen and how he lived on the rearing fields in an old shed and looked after the broody hens that were all in , little pens and sitting on the pheasant eggs he was one of the old breed alas they have all gone now, we have only the the memories of these old keepers. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #800 14 Dec 2010 at 3.09pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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A Christmas long ago

It was snowing hard as i made my way to see SAM the old keeper who had befriended myself and my family i suppose i was about twelve years old the year was 1954 i wanted to take a card and thank him for all he had done for myself and the family the air was cold and still as i made my way up the fields the bitter wind had piled the snow into huge drifts you could not see the adjacent hedge rows they were covered in snow which looked more like cotton wool hanging from the sides of the hedges i pulled my coat around me as the wind whistled and bits of snow disappear down my collar of my coat making me shiver. i could see the woods in the distance you could see the smoke rising way above the trees from sam's tiny cottage deep in the woods.

i would get a warm welcome when i arrived and would get a place beside the roaring fire to warm my feet and hands but for now i struggled on the snow was not as bad in the woods. I made my way forward disturbing a squirrel who was grubbing about maybe for acorns that he had buried long ago a pheasant made me jump has he took flight and cleared the tree tops and it still snowed i eventually came into the clearing where Sam's cottage stood and knocked the door hello young un he said come on in. His wife came and gave me a big hug I'm glad yer come Ive got summat for you for Christmas's he gave me this box all wrapped up in brown paper dunna open that till Christmas day he said sit down there by the fire we will have a bite to eat his wife came with a big plate of home made bread with helpings of butter and cheese and big cups of tea, they really did spoil me with there kindness Ive got a couple of birds for you to take home for your parents should keep y filled up over Xmas he said . i have to go out in a minute to check the traps do you want to come did i i had my coat and boots on and we were away up the woods and then into the valley checking the traps he had set for rats stoats and weasels and squirrels any caught he would take home with him and then skin the animals, the pelts were sold to a company called Horace friend he would send dozens of pelts it was the keepers tip, but only got pennies back for all his hard work, but i loved this old man and his way of life . He also fed the birds throwing large quantities of grain onto the strawed rides in the woods there were hundreds of pheasant scratching about in the straw looking for the corn to eat by the time we got back it was nearly dark ill come home with e he said i don't want anything happening to you on the way home falling down or getting lost, ill be alright SAM but he would have none of it and delivered me to my door and after chatting to my mother was away home i was cold and tired but the smell of mother baking kept me awake it was Christmas day tomorrow and it was still snowing but as i felt the warmth of the fire i felt content, what a day i had with my friend SAM. more to come latter
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   Old Thread  #799 13 Dec 2010 at 11.03am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #798
A few years ago it would have been a very busy time of the year we would be out poaching any thing to make a bob or two maybe out at night shooting the humble rabbit or in the woods taking a few pheasants, it all helped ,for the family to have a great Christmas graham and myself and another friend also had turkeys cockerels and ducks to kill and truss we usually had about fifty turkeys and also the same for cockerels it was a long job we would be at it for at least three days feathering trusing the birds then we had to deliver to our customers but at the end of the day we made some serous money which really helped out over Christmas.


but i loved to be out and about whether it was dark or in the day i loved to ferret the hedge rows graham and his brother one side and myself the other side waiting with the gun for a bolting rabbit we shot hundreds like this and some times we caught or shot so many you could not carry them to the car so we would gut and hang them on the fence and return latter to pick them up we could make good money most were orders we had to fill any left were sold to a dealer in my home town. i would love to be out with the rim-fire rifle at night usually three of us would be together using two rifles and taking it in turns to shoot one would use the lamp while one shot the other would pick up we had some fantastic nights doing this and shot scores of rabbits. Some times not strictly legal as we would poach others land but we got away with it we did have a few escapes where the keeper had realized we were on his patch but we usually got away with it we have actually been lying in thick cover and the keepers have passed us by you could hear them talking also the police have been with them at times, as i said once before i have had a dog stand on top of me when lying in a ditch covered in brambles and listened to the Sgt talking to the keepers i could hardly breath in case i was discovered i suppose i lay there a good half hour listening to them discussing where i might be little did they know i was lying right under there feet, they were exiting times i loved the chase and to outwit the keepers was always a feather in your cap they knew it was us but could never prove it i have hid my gun in many different places and have retrieved it latter when all was quite. Some times i am reminded about my life of long ago by different people that can still remember my exploits i would love to do it all again i was asked the other day would i care to come out shooting one night a few years ago i would not have hesitated but im a bit to long in the tooth now and with my legs could not do the walking and it was all legal as he has permission but when i was younger it was all big estates no way could you get permission so you poached and took the chance. a bit more latter on about my life as jack the lad
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   Old Thread  #798 12 Dec 2010 at 2.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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What a day yesterday . the lakes are still frozen despite the recent thaw we were out on the pheasant shoot when i was standing by the smallest of the lakes i noticed some idiot had walked across the centre of the lake i cant believe how some people play around taking these sort of risks it was an adult by the look of his foot prints, if he had fell through that would have been his end no way would he have got out it certainly was not any one in my syndicate. it could have been some one poaching but i very much doubt that as most poachers know the lay of the land and certainly would not take a stupid chance like that the said lake is quite deep why people take chances i really don't know. But it turned out quite a good day and i saw lots of mallard and teal flying around huge flocks maybe two or three hundred at a time there was a good showing of pheasant but not many shot owing to the lack of guns a few of my syndicate could not make it yesterday so it left us really short but the day was enjoyed by most they will all turn up next week for the Christmas's shoot as its sloe gin all around.

we saw a nice dog fox and i was very pleased to see, him he walked around the side of the lake on the ice and i watched him disappear into cover on the far side i am glad no one shot him as he really looked in good nick his red coat really stood out against the white back ground i think maybe it was the one i saw the other week that i told you all about, i like to see a couple around and would hate to see them all killed but alas he has such a bad reputation that on a good many estates around here he is shot on sight the farmers are none to keen on this old fellow of the woods but i love him and the country side would be a lot poorer without him.

As i stood yesterday i had a big flock of long tailed tits in the trees above me lovely little birds i would say there was a good fifty in the flock all looking for some tit bits to eat to keep them going in this cold weather just of late i have had some big flocks feeding on the nuts in my garden at least they can get a bit of protein down them to help keep them through the winter. By the amount of birds of every kind on the feeding station this morning there must be more hard weather on the way they really are feeding very heavy it is surprising what our little feathered friends can tell you. I had a look at the river severn this morning it is still partly frozen over in places and where it was free of ice all i could see was goo-sanders ,feeding on the small fry they fish all together and on counting them there was at least thirty they certainly want controlling as the amount of fish they eat is immense and those small fish are the future for our rivers the way its going the severn will soon have no fish in it what with all the other predators the problem is unless you are a fisherman no one else cares most people like to see the goo sanders otters and if you mention anything about a cull they are up in arms they really want educating as to the damage they can do . a little story about a chap that lives not far from my house he was always playing hell with my friend Rodger and ourselves for shooting foxes he would say leave them alone they have to live like all other animals but he soon changed when old foxy crept into his garden one night and killed the children's pet rabbits six in all he is now anti fox and cant stand them how people change when things affect them personally. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #797 9 Dec 2010 at 11.31am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #796
Three weeks until Christmas. How it has changed over the years you don't hear the carol singers any more i would love to hear the singing . And watch the local ladies make the wreaths for the local green grocers shop we would as kids collect holly by the bag full and mistletoe growing wild and sell it to the shops it was ways of making a shilling a two. Out side the butchers would hang turkeys chickens pheasants rabbits hairs all for sale and by night most would have been sold it was a wonderful time of year, we would help one another what one had not got, the other did and we would share it out. When i was a bit older my parents never had to worry to much as i have said before i would be up the fields or woods and would bring home a few pheasants and rabbits our neighbors were always grateful i would go up to the plantation and get a Christmas tree i was caught doing this by the local squire and after giving me a good telling off allowed me to take it home and said in future come and see me before you cut anything down. Although the said gentlemen is now long gone i had quite a good relation ship with him he owned a pool on his property and allowed me to fish the place he had lost one off his sons in the war and really treated me well he did have a younger son but i did not meet him until some years latter.

it was quite a big shooting estate and the squire was the high sheriff off Shropshire but as i have stated he took a liking to me i fished that pool it was next to his house and i never saw any one else fishing there i would catch the roach and perch on the maggots that i had collected from the local abattoir, i was there one day and this fish jumped out in the pool it really startled me it was a carp and i intended to catch one and i did on float fished bread paste what a time i had trying to land it i had no net in those days sirs wife came at the same time i had it on , ill, go and get john he has a net hanging up in the house, well to cut a long story short down he came with this old net it looked more like a tennis racket but he landed it was only three pounds, but huge to me do you want to take it home he said no ill put it back. its the first time i have seen one caught my ancestors stocked the pool years ago mainly for eating but ill take a photo he came back with this old wooden camera and took a few shots i never did see the photos so perhaps they did not come out i returned the fish and i felt really proud of myself. i was there one day he said young fellow do you want to come shooting well beating i jumped at the chance ill have to come and see your parents first to make sure its OK with them. i was so exited they were all toffs and i could not believe my friend SAM was there the old keeper that had been so good to me and my parents he had shown me so many things. come on young UN he said yer can come with me today ill learn e the ropes and he did i walked through the under growth stick in hand up the pheasant got and you would hear the shots in the distance they collected the pheasants in an old cart pulled by a horse there were hundreds tied together in twos and hung on the side of the cart. at the end of the day sir came to see me and gave me ten bob bloody hell i had never been so rich it was a lot of money to me, SAM also gave me two brace for home would i like to come again i certainly would and snapped his hand off and so it was to be i went every Saturday from then on i had some marvelous days out but I'm afraid i still did a bit of poaching it was in my blood as my ancestors were livers of the the woods and lived on what they caught they were also fighters and would fight for any one who paid the most, money they won the family creast fighting in the holly land . well ill tell you a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #796 8 Dec 2010 at 12.48pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #794
well its very cold here last night was - 10 the poor birds are really struggling to survive in this weather i was down the woods with my syndicate yesterday and we noticed hundreds of pigeon on our the way. Trying to feed on the frozen turnip tops i just hope to god its not going to be another one like we had in the eighties it killed so many pigeon, but a lot of other birds as well the wren blackbirds with lots of other small birds died because of the cold and lack of food, i have got so many on my feeding station gold finches green finches chaffinches sis-kins i have the lot and im feeding them twice daily and they clear it all , so they are starving so i urge every one to put a bit of food out for our feathered friends to insure that they will survive in this terrible weather.

the bye roads are a sheet of ice very bad to drive on i had a look at my beloved river rea and parts are already frozen over, the condover brook i used to poach all those years ago is also starting to get covered in ice i really wonder when it may end. So many of the animals that roam our country side rely on the small streams and rivers to drink the tree branches hang with a frosty covering that glistens in the suns rays the trees of the hedge rows and streams look like bleak statues against the white land scape no animals only tracks can be seen as i stand and watch the crows fly over head making for some woods far away to roast the night away.

the kingfisher in all her glory flashes by the only chance she will get is to catch from the faster water where it has not frozen she may pick a minnow in the swirling water that runs down the centre of the brook, which is incased in ice on either side, as i walk along the heron takes flight he looks like a prehistoric monster against the white back ground he has probably caught his meal for tonight a trout or gray-ling maybe a chub but things will get harder as the days go by and i really hope he survives this bitter weather and does not die.

as evening approaches flocks of field fairs pass over head a few lap wings are also seen where they go i do not know as i enter the woods by climbing the old style the same as i have done many times before, i disturb the fallow deer and i watch as they disappear into the the shadows of the wood leaving there tracks in the snow, it will soon be dark and i must head for home as the warmth of the house beckons me, but first i must call on my freind the farmer and have a cup of tea and talk about things of old that some will never see we were both born in the forties and we both have memories some are good some are not but we love to talk about our lives and what happened long ago more latter
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   Old Thread  #795 7 Dec 2010 at 1.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1000
couldnt he just write a book
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   Old Thread  #794 7 Dec 2010 at 1.13pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #792
April came the next year and i visited the keeper he remembered me but said sorry the boss still does not want any one fishing the lake, it was like some one giving me a kick in the teeth i blurted out then ill bloody poach your lake he smiled and said go a head i wont kick you off, and gave me a wink but just keep an eye out for sir he rarely goes any where near the pool so you should be OK, ill tell my under keepers you will be fishing there pop to my house when you are going and ill come down and see you.

And so it was we really had the run of the place it was a very pretty place i suppose the lake was about ten acres and covered in lilies and bull rushes around the sides at the top end of the lake a small stream ran in and at the bottom was a dam it had been made out of stone many years before and was covered with grass, where daffodils and primroses grew it was absolutely beautiful and we could not wait until the 16 of june to come around we carried on baiting up a little bit often looking back about three times a week and also giving it a good scattering of maize they already knew what the maize was so i had no doubt they would be on it straight away.

The night finally arrived and graham and i set up in the same swim between some rhododendron bushes with two rods apiece i baited both my rods with maize graham was trying meat on one rod maize on the other the keeper called by to see if we were alright, before he went graham was in on the meat and managed to land a nice common of 17 pounds well it was a start and he had the next two all around the same size then it was my turn i managed a nice mirror of 18 pounds then i got broke by a much bigger fish by morning we had caught another two carp the biggest a 22 pounds common, falling to grahams rod , we had also caught some nice tench, i really did not know there were any in the place, the biggest going around six pounds, we had high hopes for the future we had seen much bigger fish showing but now it was time home as we did not want to out stay our welcome we called at the keepers cottage and told him what we had caught and we would be back maybe next Friday he wished us well we could not wait untill the next week end, ill tell you more about this old estate lake latter
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   Old Thread  #793 7 Dec 2010 at 1.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #792
April came the next year and i visited the keeper he remembered me but said sorry the boss still does not want any one fishing the lake, it was like some one giving me a kick in the teeth i blurted out then ill bloody poach your lake he smiled and said go a head i wont kick you off, and gave me a wink but just keep an eye out for sir he rarely goes any where near the pool so you should be OK, ill tell my under keepers you will be fishing there pop to my house when you are going to be there and ill pop down and see you.

And so it was we really had the run of the place it was a very pretty place i suppose the lake was about ten acres and covered in lilies and bull rushes around the sides at the top end of the lake a small stream ran in and at the bottom was a dam it had been made out of stone many years before and was covered with grass, where daffodils and primroses grew it was absolutely beautiful and we could not wait until the 16 of june to come around we carried on baiting up a little bit often looking back about three times a week and also giving it a good scattering of maize they already knew what the maize was so i had no doubt they would be on it straight away.

The night finally arrived and graham and i set up in the same swim between some rhododendron bushes with two rods apiece i baited both my rods with maize graham was trying meat on one rod maize on the other the keeper called by to see if we were alright, before he went graham was in on the meat and managed to land a nice common of 17 pounds well it was a start and he had the next two all around the same size then it was my turn i managed a nice mirror of 18 pounds then i got broke by a much bigger fish by morning we had caught another two carp the biggest a 22 pounds common, falling to grahams rod , we had also caught some nice tench, i really did not know there were any in the place, the biggest going around six pounds, we had high hopes for the future we had seen much bigger fish showing but now it was time home as i did not want the owner to know we had been there we called at the keepers cottage and told him what we had caught and we would be back maybe next Friday he wished us well we could not wait untill the next week end, ill tell you more about this old estate lake latter
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   Old Thread  #792 6 Dec 2010 at 11.06am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #791
We used to fish a lake a few miles from my home i cant name the place as it is now syndicate when i fished the place it was very over grown but it was fringed with lilies and really held some very good fish we first fished the lake in the late seventies middle eighties at that time no one had got permission the land owner would not let any one on the estate although i approached him the answer was always the same no. so we poached the place it was very difficult as it was very much a shooting estate and was very heavily keeper the keeper would walk around the lake with his gun most days so when we fished we were very much on edge and always alert and ready to hide the tackle and run.

we decided the best time to fish was in the evenings maybe night on a Friday as the chances were the keeper would be at the local pub if i remember right the hair rig had just gone public as the lake had not been fished before we started to put a little bait in often a mixture of bread layers mash and maize i bought the maize from a local mill my brother in law was the foremen so i managed to get it a bit cheaper i would soak it a few days then boil it up adding a bit of salt then i would let it stand for a few days it smelt bloody awful but in it would go half a bucket at a time as well as the bread and layers mash. The first night we fished we blanked not a touch we were away before eight as we did not want to be discovered.

The next Friday could not come quick enough we caught nine fish between us the biggest was eighteen pounds plus the smallest twelve but good fish , all caught on hair rigged maize it worked, as i said to graham if it works for the bream it will do for carp as we had caught some very big bream on the bait over the last few months funny really we had not seen any one else using it on any other waters we fished. we slaughtered that lake using it the biggest carp was just over twenty pounds. But we were getting a bit worried about being discovered how on earth can you not leave signs that some one had been fishing the place, we had also caught some very big eels on worm most were between four and five pounds i really loved the place it was in the middle of a wooded valley there were pheasants every where you looked the estate must of put thousands down and i think at the time there was four or five keepers looking after the birds. We did not want to over stay our welcome so come the end of august we decided to pull off the partridge shooting was about to start and we were seening more and more keepers going about there duty feeding the pheasents there was a big pen not far from where we were fishing and i certainly did not want to be caught so we were away hoping to return the following year we caught over 60 carp from that old lake in the time we were there we took the chance and it worked it was good fishing but there was a lot bigger fish in the place than we had caught i really wanted permission i knew the head keeper and decided i would ask him the answer was no if i catch e on there ill shoot yer then he smiled he knew i had been a bit of a jack the lad come un see us after the shooting when april . so can i go please we will see he says i wunner touch your birds i say all he did was laught see y in april. well thats a bit more ill tell you more about that lake latter and what happened the following year
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   Old Thread  #791 5 Dec 2010 at 11.38am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #790
The red fox

A few more stories regarding my favorite animal over the years i have put so much time in studying and watching this beautiful animal i have took many people with me to watch this rogue of the countryside success in watching foxes depends on a number of factors but the most important thing is patience and varies a lot depending on the time of the year , i have observed foxes all times night and day but you must have some knowledge about his way of life also wind direction and the paths he takes, summer is a good time to be out fox watching i have watched them early morning night and day time but they are much more active around late April may June July the vixen is kept very busy feeding the young cubs, by the end of may it become much more difficult to watch and film the cubs in the daytime as they will emerge latter in the evening.

most fox cubs are born in a disused rabbit hole that has been enlarged by the vixen but first lets look at the the environment within the hedge they live in most hedge rows are full of vegetation with a number of plants and insects you have the humble dog rose the hawthorn tree blackberry bushes dock leaves climbing ivy the nettles voles, will burrow in the leaf mold and live in the bank hidden within the vegetation wood mice will clime among the lower branches of the trees the squirrel has his nest high above in the old oak that grows within the hedge row and small birds will nest in the trees shrews are also also seen hurrying along there tunnels in the vegetation also you will see the tunnels of the badger set and the rabbit holes can all be found in the shelter of a country hedge, it supports a number of vegetarians from beetles to the scavenger magpie and they all occupy different positions within the hedge row this is the environment the vixen likes to rear her young. the vixen will also be able to catch and kill a number of ground rearing bird to feed her young the partridge the pheasant the fox will kill any thing which is available it is a blood thirsty killer if he gets to the farmers chicken he does not just kill one but the lot by biting there heads off, if she has cubs she may take two or three she knows how much she and her cubs need to survive he is also a lamb eater and can do severe damage to some of the hill farmers but he is a lovable old fellow and the country side would be a sad place without him, most of what i have written is my own observations i have spent hours following and watching this splendid animal one thing that will kill the fox without man being the culprit is mange a cruel disease where there fur of the coat comes out and is caused by parasites i have seen them completely bald and had severe bleeding on there bodies from scratching i have shot these animals on sight and have buried them immediately, as if a domestic dog gets any where near it can catch this horrible disease.. well that's a bit more about my favorite animal. i know its not fishing i just like to share my experiences of the country side with you all
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   Old Thread  #790 4 Dec 2010 at 5.40pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #789
What a day cold and wet i was with the syndicate the rain came down most of the morning and it was freezing at times but they managed to shoot i got stuck with the car i could not get up the bank to the car park it was a sheet of ice the woods were dank and dark in fact i never saw much wild life at all the peasants did not really want to fly although one or two were shot we called it a day around dinner time i felt really sorry for the few duck i saw they were having a lean time finding food to eat if this weather carries on to long i can see a complete ban on all duck shooting

a few years ago i would have been out and about when it got dark and would be poaching a few birds and such for christmas i have done it in all weathers but did not like the snow as the keeper could tell you had been there foot prints were a give away a few spots of blood it all added up to poachers, and they would be out looking for you so usually when we had those conditions i just stayed at home Another thing was the lack of geese we had some big skeins in the last couple of months but they have now vanished gone to pastures new maybe the availability of food is better, but they will be back. The guns do not usually shoot ground game ie rabbits, but today was an exception and one or two made up the bag they certainly were not wasted and were all taken to be eaten.

The pools were still frozen not a fisherman in sight but if it keeps on raining it wont be long before we see the pike anglers back i was talking to the syndicate leader to day and he said pike up to twenty pounds had been caught but no bigger specimens but they are certainly in the place, he said that quite a few jacks had been caught . they are the future of the sport on this old lake when i was a young man graham and i could catch as many as fifteen on a sunday morning with some very decent fish gracing our nets , they say its not like that any more how things change over the years, i can remember when the pike championships were held on the lake i think that was in the eighties and some reasonable fish were caught . well that's it for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #789 2 Dec 2010 at 12.52pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #788
Snow and more snow the streams are now freezing over all the lakes and pools are frozen and are now covered in snow no fishing only the woods and hedge rows to roam the beech and the oaks stand out like giants with there out stretched branches covered in snow icicles have now formed on the trees and hang like daggers the woods and the meadows are so thick with snow it is like walking through an enchanted world where every thing seems to be suspended in time not a noise do you hear. the winter is upon us early this year the frozen landscape intensifies every colour and shade usually January is the cruelest month one of extreme cold and bitter winds but it has arrived early this year. There is hardly a leaf to be seen only the green of the ivy that stands out in this snowy scene the interior of the woods is a dark and silent place screened from the sunlight the trees are now laid bare not a leaf to be seen only the squirrel's nest high above i wander if he is within deep in slumber or if he is out looking for acorns he has buried to keep him going through the cold months. You find the tracks of other creatures imprinted upon the fallen snow where they have wandered in search of food russet coloured pockets of bracken poke from beneath the snow. the badgers bluish grey fur may be glimpsed in the half light as the evening approaches which blends in with the dismal tones of the wood. looking up grey clouds hang withen the sky and seem to cover the distant hills promising the certainty of more sleet or snow with it will come the icy blast the easterly wind which will penetrate the woods and silence the animals that live withen. As i walk for home i find a five toed claw imprint with a large bar like pad in the snow covered ground left by the badger who traveled to the woods in search of food it tells of his nightly activity he is a wary and cautious animal his only enemy is man he has short power full limbs and you can see where he has tried to dig some poor rabbit from deep within the hedge row he is a sluggish in his pursuit of prey and is now hungry and will eat most things he can get, i find his home excavated in the bank-side of the hedge old bracken lies out side they are meticulously clean and change there soiled bedding regularly and replace it with fresh dried grasss or brackon but where from now i do not know for most is now covered in snow. It is now snowing hard as i make for home the freezing wind blows causing drifts which i stumble throught. Eventualy i reach the car the windscreen frozen solid it wont be long before im home where ill be warm.. a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #788 1 Dec 2010 at 6.39pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #787
quite a few have asked about my stories going into print in the form off a book. well i have now been offered a part in Jason's new book are own milk protein , ken townley has now edited the piece that will appear in the book and jason has told me it will be the first chapter that will appear we are now waiting for big Dave from cumbria to send some photos which he has of me to jason its going to be quite a big chapter he would love to print all my stories but can not do that it really wants another book of my own but the cost is out off my reach as i am now a pensioner, but it is a start i would really like to thank ken for all the hard work he has done on my behalf i owe him he is a top man, and thank every one for continuing to read my stories thanks jason and x pat in poland for having faith in me i think the book will be launched at the brentwood show next year thanks to you all god bless pete
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   Old Thread  #787 30 Nov 2010 at 2.31pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #786
What a wonderful winter wonder land i had a trip down the woods this morning arriving around ten pm what a beautiful place it looked with the snow clinging to the branches like pieces of cotton wool i had arranged to meet one of my syndicate members who does a lot of the feeding for us, it just looked like a winter scene like you see on your xmas cards the two lakes were frozen over the biggest of the two where i watched the skating years ago was frozen and covered in snow i love to track the different animals and its surprising what you see the first i came across was mink not one but two, there was plenty of rabbit prints and as we looked up the ride in the wood a fox shot across and vanished into the trees he was a big dog and looked beautiful against the snowy back ground i said to my mate what ever moved him it certainly was not us. further into the wood by the old beech trees we could see the prints of the badger he had been scratching about at the bottom of the old trees maybe looking for some old nuts that had been buried under the leaves . There was plenty of small birds the robin the wren and we saw the jay flitting across the ride in his spectacular colour and caught sight of a wood pecker it was the great spotted wood pecker we do have the lesser spotted also but it is a much smaller bird we also have the green wood pecker . the pheasants were also in residence you could see were they had been. They have been feeding on the bins quite heavily and a badger had also been after the grain i have known them to push the bins over but this one was to full and heavy so he had to make do with what he could find on the floor, to me they are a majestic animal and i hope they do not get inhilated with the future cull they certainly wont at bomere as most of the farmers do not have cattle only one mr adkins he may apply for a licence to cull as he has had a few problems with the said animal, there were a few signs of foxes so we have more than one i know the one is a very small vixen one of the smallest i have ever seen shes been around for at least three years to my knowledge and i love to catch sight of her and usually see her a couple of times a year when i saw her last year she looked really pulled about so she must of been suckling cubs as they can certainly pull the vixen about but they soon recover i feel very lucky to have the run of the place and really know it back to front and it holds many happy memories from long ago more latter
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   Old Thread  #786 29 Nov 2010 at 6.55pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #784
As i lay in bed last night i could hear a vixen calling for her mate she was of probably down the fields but her call was loud and clear she would almost certainly mating what a noise she was making the night was frosty in fact minus eight but the sound traveled on the stillness of the night a few years ago i would have been out and down those fields hoping to get a closer look although i have shot a great number of foxes i hold this old fellow of the woods and fields close to my heart watching him over many years has given me great pleasure and many others who i have taken with me to watch who other wise would never see a fox .

the fox is Britain's only wild member of the dog family and has inhabited Britain for thousands of years it became a native just after the ice age today it thrives well is commonly found living in sheltered woodland and copses through the country side he is a most beautiful animal with his reddish brown rustic coat he stands approx forteen inchs hight a nd about two feet in lenght and has a distictive white tip at the end of his tail. his name in the country side is renard . The agile fox is one of britains most fastest animals and can reach speeds of forty miles an hour he will eat almost anything rabbits squirrels rats mice pheasents even hedge hogs, but in times of harship frost and long peroids of snow he will raid the farmers yard and will kill any thing that moves he prowles stealthly like a cat and will capitalize on the farmers chickens and ducks but at times he reveals the worst of his nature if he gets in the chicken run will kill every one by biting off there heads and will not stop untill all are dead he is also partial to young lambs in the lambing season espeacaly when they have cubs to feed i have seen the vixen killed and have watched her litter sister keep on feeding the cubs untill they were old enought to look after them selves most of the year they live a solitary life until november when the dog howls a sharp bark in hope that a partner is around when they have mated the off spring will be born in late march in a disused rabbit hole that has been inlarged which is usualy located beneath brackon or brambles they usualy produce between four and six cubs which are born blind this is my obsevation from years of watching this old fellow of the woods and hedge rows i know it has nothing to do with fishing but it has been a great passion of mine for many years i have stated before that i have only seen pure albinos once in my life time pure white with pink eyes and i moved them on i could not bare the thought that they would be hunted and killed by the man with the terriors. but the do have to be controled although i love them they can do lots of damage to the keepers coverts and the farmers at lambing time the country side would be a poor place whithout old renard. more latter
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   Old Thread  #785 29 Nov 2010 at 6.55pm Login so you can post / reply