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   Old Thread  #587 3 Mar 2014 at 11.25am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #586
My first memory of graham, was around 1961 he lived around the corner from me I really did not know him but had seen him in his car with his family, little did I know it was the beginning of a friendship that lasted fifty one years, I was always out with my fishing rods I would walk down the river Rea, it was only across the fields from where I lived graham must of seen me as he stopped me one day I see you do a bit of fishing yes I replied, I like fishing myself he answered and that was it, he came around to the house this one day not long after I had met him, Pete, I have been told not to knock around with you anymore, why is that then I replied I knew what was coming I had been a bit of a jack the lad poaching and,even fighting, down the fair ground, they said I would get into trouble whos they graham, he would not tell me I suppose most of it is true its up to you mate, so he took no notice and that started our friendship we fished nearly every lake within a ten miles radius some legal some not most lakes were private, then and you could not get permission.

We went to one lake it was a Bird reserve well it still is you could not get permission it was in south Shropshire we only had float rods in those days i still had the tank Aerial rods and the built cane rod the tank Aerials rods did all I asked from float fishing, to ledgering, I never did forget fishing that lake, you no sooner cast out and it was away the fish were mostly common carp, and tench, nothing huge the carp went to around five pounds, we caught loads of tench, to three pounds we ended the day with over two hundred pound of fish, we tried to weight them but I don't know how accurate grahams, spring balance scales were he said they were alright as they had used them at the farm he once worked at. We could not wait to go again and we both were very excited when the weekend came, we had got some big lob worms to try out we both ledgered a bunch it was not long before my rod slammed around I struck and landed a nice carp, weighing six pounds I looked at graham with a big smile on my face, he was also in but it was not a carp when we landed the fish we both stared into the net there lay the biggest eel, I had ever seen when weighed it was just over five pounds, we unhooked it and let it go, we heard a shout and looking we saw two men climbing the fence, I think they're coming to see us said graham, and they were. We stood our ground, the taller of the two said who are you we are fisherman I can see that don't get flippant, with us said the little fat bugger, we are confiscating your rods you should not be here you're poaching. There is no signs saying its private says graham, and while your at it can you swim, the taller one said whats that got to do with it well if you touch those rods you better start learning I nearly fell of my basket laughing, come on Bill, said the taller of the two we will go and ring the secretary, and away they went and so did we. It was not the last visit to this lake over the years and we never saw those pair ever again, thinking back it still leaves a smile on my face. A bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #586 27 Feb 2014 at 12.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #585
Over the years I have met some real funny characters one was a chap named podmore, god he was a good poacher if you asked him to get a water buffalo he would get it which a believe he did for a bet. I only met him a couple of times and he really made me laugh at some of his tales. It's a long time ago so if i am wrong correct me as his family are still alive he once told me that he was about to be arrested and he nailed himself to a tree through his ear which was correct as i can remember a picture in the press he also broke into shrewsbury prison and played father christmas to the inmates there was a picture of the said gentleman on the front page of the paperers but i remember him as i real gentle character now long gone

I have mentioned charlie before in my stories he was another character, if the farmers had any problem with foxes it was charlie they called. He was a very dear friend, when he was in his seventies he could walk up those hills like a mountain goat he would leave men half his age sitting in the heather absolutely buggered and giddy he would shout at them come on you young uns i am sure he had one leg longer than the other god he would go straight up those hills and he never seemed out of breath but he knew the countryside well and all the animals in it. We were together when we found the white fox cubs, they were beautiful one had a black nose, we could not leave them where they were, as they would have been killed by the farmer, we watched them from a few yards away lying in a field of barley we walked over the earth hoping the vixen would move them she did and we never saw them again.

I loved old charlie he had about forty guns in his shoot we were called the paterson hunt, it was formed to shoot foxes, that were troubling the farmers especially at lambing time, they could do the hill farmers a lot of damage taking newly born lambs, i watched one such fox, he was trying to get one from the mother, she had twins, he would separate them she could not protect two, his mate would take the other this happened in hill country a lot we found the remains of seven lambs on one earth, there were two vixens and fourteen cubs in that one earth.

I saw that twice in the years that i knew charlie the other held twelve it was charlie, who started my fascination for foxes, i have watched and took others with me who had never seen a fox or a cub in their life time and they have really enjoyed coming with me . i really get angry with myself that i cannot do it anymore due to my illness but old age does not come by its self, every christmas myself and graham would take charlie around the farms he had helped out over the year, by the time we got to the last one old charlie would be as drunk as a skunk, he could hardly stand graham and i could not stop laughing the tears would run down our faces when we got him home his dear wife would ask us in to have a couple of mince pies and a few glasses of malt, been around your friends have you charlie i dont think you want anymore do you but she was only kidding out of those three good friends i am the only one left they have all past away and most of the farmers charlie visited that night well it is many years ago and you dont realize how fast life goes by. well theres a bit more. more to come latter
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   Old Thread  #585 21 Feb 2014 at 7.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I shall tell you a story about a poacher and a game keeper , i met both in the early seventies they were both hard men and would stand nonsense, i will say no names as the one took his own life due to his wife having an affair, both had done a bit of time in nick but they were both my type old school and knew the woods and fields back to front they both loved wild life, i can't say names so we will give the game keeper a false name Jason the other was phillip who lived on my village i would often see him down the fields with his peregrine falcon and his lurchers he was a nice chap and loved to talk to Graham and myself we would often see him on a friday night at our local pub the fox, he would sell his wares Pheasant, rabbits, partridge, to the locals he had also made his name fighting bare knuckle, he knew i had done my share of poaching and had asked me to accompany him i was very tempted don't go down the big woods i would say the keeper is a bad bugger, he wunna have me he said in a broad shropshire dialect i have handled harder men than him.

Jason was a very hard man we had seen him in action we saw him in the local pub he dropped three men in minutes he was pure evil, but i got on well with him, he was a real old rogue who thought nothing about selling a few of his employes birds to make his wages up, he reared most of the birds himself and would sell a few chicks, i think his employer knew what he got up to but loved him as a keeper, i can honestly say Jason guarded those woods and pheasants with his life, it had got to happen one day they both met up in the woods Phillip had got a few birds and was not going to give them to Jason, Phillip put his bag down and floored Jason up he got took of his jacket and got stuck in god did they fight they were black and blue and both were scratched from the brambles, they fought for two hours and both could hardly stand when they called it a day, from that day on they became the best of friends Jason took him to his cottage and his wife patched them both up the best way she could i saw them after at the local pub the landlord was giving them some strange looks.

A few years latter Jason tried to do his employer by claiming more money than he really wanted he claimed for fifteen beaters when there was only ten, he was sacked and was prosecuted by the police the under keeper had dropped him in it god Jason nearly killed him, and was given three years for his crime poor old Phillip came to a very bad end he shot his birds, dogs, and himself, he was found lying with his beloved lurcher his wife had an affair, he half killed her lover it was all very sad and was really missed by those that knew him,
when we saw Jason again he was no longer a gamekeeper but a man of the cloth we could not believe it no more bad language, no more fighting, he told us he was in prison when he had the call and he had repented for all his bad ways and deeds, as far as i know he is a vicar somewhere in worcestershire well he was the last time i heard of him so if you are reading this Jason god bless my mate. A little more latter
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   Old Thread  #584 14 Feb 2014 at 6.11pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #583
What terrible weather we are having i do hope that skef and Bob from somerset are all right it must be awful to lose all your furniture and your house full of water and there is nothing you can do i watched those in London it must be soul destroying it makes me think of the big winter of 1963, it nearly brought us to our knees but we managed to survive with a little bit of poaching, i had a friend called dug it was just before i met graham, dug had a bit of knowledge about the the wild life, and the countryside we talked about where to go we will have to be careful as there was a number of keepers ,well one thing dug the estate would not doing any shooting for some time but they will still feed the birds, old Evans said they had put down thirty six thousand sounds about right said dug well he has all his friends mostly royal and members of parliament but not this year we will have a few dug he gave a great laugh lets wait and see.

There is only one problem i can see dug is the snow we will get there said dug and we did it took at least three hours to reach the estate and we were both wet from getting through the big snow drifts, we decided to feed the fence line and lie in a ditch we are going to use some fishing line tied to a cane we tied on a small hook and used sultanas as bait with a handful of corn around the fence soon got the birds feeding, infact there were birds everywhere you looked we had one after another dug was kept busy putting birds in the bags pete i will go and see if anyone is about he was back in a few minutes all quite he said, how many have we got as he had dispatched most himself twenty thats enough go and kick a bit of snow over those feather that were scattered about, after he had finished it looked if no one had been there, God the bags were heavy walking through the deep snow our hands were freezing, we had no gloves in those days i used to wear socks as gloves but forgot them call at the miners arms, said dug we will have a pint when we went into the pub the fire was roaring we sat next to the fire god our hands tingled as the circulation came back.

Where have you two been asked the landlord, or should i not ask after a few long tailed I
uns said dug, you pair of buggers will get caught and have your ass kicked, a couple of the keepers, come in here but i aint seen them since the snows, sell us a few will you how many can you spare ten, if that ok with you ill get the money has your misses got any of those pork pies she makes, yes do you want one there the best pork pies i have ever had, can i have four more to take home she parcelled them up and we made our way home it took about one hour god i was glad to see it, we will have a look at the valley next time they have put a few to covert old Evans says there are birds everywhere you look, ill see you tomorrow dug, here is your share of the money and the birds we still had five each they would keep us in food for a few days we will make our minds tomorrow where we will go next time good night dug i shouted. more latter
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   Old Thread  #583 14 Feb 2014 at 1.47pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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sorry about that i lost all my post ill put it up tomorrow
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   Old Thread  #582 7 Feb 2014 at 2.28pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Come poaching with graham and I to a mountain lake it was the carp we were after plus the beautiful golden orf the pool held two shoals. The carp were quite big i had caught them to over twenty pounds but you were always on edge looking for the farmer or land owner' it was a wonderful place where you could sit and watch the wild life the lake its self was quite stunning with the beautiful lilies there were pinks and whites we fished in the holes between the lilies and caught some impressive fish the hills were covered in heather and gorse a most spectacular sight i said to graham we must find out who owns the lake and the surrounding land.

So the next day saw us going to one of the local farms in the area looking for the owner of the lake' and we struck lucky' i own it said the farmer he was a jolly fellow with a big ruddy face caused by the weather these hills get in winter you could tell he was a hard working chap' what can i help you with he said we wanted to know if we could fish your lake' the answer was a firm no i do not want any one here they bloody netted the place the other night taking a shoal of my golden orf i have had them for years' how did they get in from the bottom gate that leads onto the road they were seen by neibours of ours they had big tanks on the back of a lorry they never got the registration number the police were informed but up to now we have heard nothing we heard his wife shout bill come and get this tray of tea he went in and was about five minutes before he reappeared. You went to school with my wife where craven arms god thats a long time ago i answered it was pete she appeared out of the house god is that you judy'it is' you have not changed a bit where do you work pete tung in cheek i said the police station at shrewsbury' i am not a police man i work for the home office come in said her husband get the glasses out judy and fill them up with cider i looked at graham he knew what was coming where do you work and whats your name i am graham i am a manger at gonsal quarry he seemed impressed we were slowly getting drunk who's driving me well go steady on the way home.


By the way you can fish my lake anytime you want just call at the farm if no one is around put a note through the door. Well we did manage to get home both worse for the ware graham got out and was walking three steps forward and four back his wife appeared not to happy i am sorry enid the farmer gave us to much cider well to cut a storey short he could not get up the stairs he had a few tries but kept falling down we both stood there laughing well thats it for now. more latter this is the first try on my new apple computer .
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   Old Thread  #581 3 Feb 2014 at 10.50am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #580
I am not looking forward to wednesday as it is the funeral of my dear mate graham, I went to our last shoot Saturday another season over. We are all old fogies we have lost two of our members this year I realy don't know if I
shall run it again next year, we have had it for over thirty years its not going to be the same without my mate. I met someone I had not seen for a number years last week and he was on about some woods above clun in south Shropshire, I knew exactly where he was talking about, graham Bernard and myself shot those woods years ago he said were you caught, no said i but we were chased all over south Shropshire, its a long story we were invited to a big hare and fox drive at clun, the chap that ran it looked a bit like joe ninety, We had shot over fifty hairs when we went to another big block of fir trees, it was a huge plantation, joe said they had a lot of trouble with foxes, taking lambs they left graham, Bernard, and your truly, standing on this big earth road, that went up through the plantation after about one hour we heard a bit of shooting then to my amazement this land rover arrived this huge chap got out you could not see his face, through the big beard he was sporting, and in a welsh accent he said you're all pinched for poaching, not us mate I said, the police are on the way he shouted god was he nasty, graham looked at me we will be off then mate no you wont your pinched, you wait here ill go and catch the others like hell we will up the road he went blasting away on his horn.

As soon as he was out of sight we were in our car and away we passed two mini countryman with at least five police men, in god we did not even know are way back home. I managed to get as far as craven arms then rather than go on a 49 to shrewsbury we went through the countryside, to a place called much wenlock, we called at a friends house we told him all that had gone on then from there we made our way to shrewsbury, then home dropping Bernard on the way. Latter that evening I rang a friend who had been on the shoot did they catch you Ray, na not me I hid in the forestry but he caught joe ninety and his mates they took them away to knighton police station.
It was in the paper a few weeks latter they all got fined for trespass, they would get away with it today we were lucky and got away apparently the big chap with the beard was the local game keeper, and he had got quite a reputation for drinking and fighting and such. a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #580 30 Jan 2014 at 11.09am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #577
There are two or three threads on otter running at the same time its realy nothing to do with me but would it not be better if they were all in one thread its definitely frenzies, thread for me as it has become very confusing reading so many different threads on the same subject. When I was a young sprog you were lucky to even see an otter the game keeper and water bailiff and of course the otter hounds saw to that. The river ran just below the school, I would sneak down in my dinner hour taking with me a rod I had hidden a couple of red worms on the hook would soon catch me a couple of nice trout I would take them to a teacher a miss Thomas who gave me sixpence for them. We could cross the river by going over a small white bridge, I went this one day and had a surprise the wind was blowing towards me and as I looked I could see two otter playing a bit further down stream I crept down the field and lay in the undergrowth opposite where they were playing they were chasing one another there was a big boulder the other side I watched as they dragged this trout up and onto the boulder to eat their prey I forgot all about school I was so fascinated by these animals god they were big I saw one or two kills but they always eat what they caught.

When I went to school the next day the headmaster was waiting for me I thought to myself the cane again, where were you yesterday afternoon he said watching some otters, I said he asked me about them then said I suppose you learnt more than you would at school, go and write about them then read it to assembly tomorrow morning and that's what I did. I was awarded with one of those little books the I spy ones about nature, if you saw it in the book you put tick by it I used to carry it in my pocket with a pencil, that was only one side of the otter I was up the river fishing this one Saturday when I heard this unearthly noise I hid my rod and went to investigate, on arriving at the scene it was not a very pretty sight, there were half a dozen men in the water with the dogs, the water was red from the otters blood they held the one above there heads to show all the followers the kill, it was a very small Bitch,i saw the dog dive under the bridge into deeper water he was away I saw him leave the water and run across the field no one saw this only me, come on lads his got away lets see if we can pick him up further down stream it put me off otter hunting I was only young and it did not impress me one bit, but after meeting Sam he taught me differently they were needed to protect the fisheries, I was with Sam this one day and he shot this otter god was it big he was armed with a vicious set of Nashers it was trying to get into the big pheasant pen, i'll take him to the gaffer maybe he will have him set up what do you mean Sam he explained all about taxidermists and how they made their living. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #579 28 Jan 2014 at 11.25am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #578
Thanks kesa appreciated
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   Old Thread  #578 27 Jan 2014 at 5.44pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #572
R. I. P. GRAHAM . And all the very best pete love reading your posts fella you take care.
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   Old Thread  #577 25 Jan 2014 at 12.55pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I write this with a heavy heart many years ago graham and I found a lake in south Shropshire we approached the owner about fishing the place, it was surrounded by trees and a most beautiful place, the owner lived in a black and white house at the very end of the lake,, yes you can have a go she said I have not let anyone fish it before, I know there is Tench in the the lake and some good carp when can we come, next Saturday she answered the year was 1964 the day soon came around talk about being excited we were the only ones on the lake our tackle consisted of a 12 ft float rod each we had recently bought from our local fishing shop. We had decided to float fish we balled a bit of ground bait into our swim which consisted of bread crumbs from our local bakery, mixed with pink sausage rusk, we fished the same swim out we cast it was only three feet deep it was quite windy but our floats remained steady as we were fishing slightly over depth, we did not have to wait long my float lay flat and shot under the surface I struck and was in I said to graham this seems good fish, I played him to our net it was a lovely fish around four pound into the keep net it went it was grahams turn next, he caught a similar fish and that's the way it went all morning the lady owner came down how are you both doing she enquired i'll show you I said and tried to lift the net I had a job so graham gave me a hand how many there she said we don't realy know maybe over a hundred pounds she was so excited,come again anytime she said thank you we answered.

We could not believe we had a lake to ourselves, and that's the way it continued for weeks, we had steadily caught fish over the weeks with bags of fish well over a hundred pounds, we did hook a carp, but it soon broke grahams four pounds line, then one nice morning we were visited by the owner morning peter, morning graham, thought I would come and tell you I shall be letting the water for day tickets the price will be two shillings and sixpence, our hearts nearly broke but the good news was we had not got two pay, but steadily over the weeks more and more anglers appeared I said to graham I wonder how long this will go on people living litter and such one morning she came around a stopped the lot, even us she told us that she had let the lake to the wildlife trust, and bird watchers, and they did not want angling on the water but I think it was the litter being left. We Did fish the lake again a few years latter I got permission for few of our friends to fish for a weekend but it never fished again like it did for us all those years before. Well that's all for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #576 23 Jan 2014 at 3.01pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thank you all for your kind remarks about Graham I realy appreciate them pete
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   Old Thread  #575 20 Jan 2014 at 9.47pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #572
Pete mate. I'm wishing your chin up bud . Happens to the best of them.. and you have so many memories that we all have also enjoyed. Keep enjoying them Pete

Bless ya Pete.

Peter.
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   Old Thread  #574 20 Jan 2014 at 8.34pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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RIP GRAHAM
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   Old Thread  #573 20 Jan 2014 at 8.16pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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So sorry to hear your sad news Pete, a close friend can never be replaced but, you have the memories of all the times you spent together enjoying the countryside, they will last forever

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