A diary of one man's utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and poverty, starting in August 1947
For three years, I actually took a proper holiday away, fishing with three mates from the Robin Hood Angling Club - Bill Bates, and Jock Kirkpatrick, and Mad Ken.
Here's how they went:
Chapter 37 - The Angling Holidays - Number 2@3 - Bungay, Suffolk
En route to the Inn where we were to stay for the week, we decided, after the second electric fault with the van, to invest in a newer one between us.
Anyway, the RAC got us there... well, to a garage just up the road from the Inn.
In the morning, we fetched the repaired van (£160), and went on a reconnaissance run to suss out the better fisheries available locally to us. After a vote on which to fish that day, we visited the Broads to fish.
It was hot, the boat traffic was horrendous, and I had not had a bite for hours. I decided to try out my new ledger-rod, and set up with a coffin lead, 16 spade-end bronze forged reversed spade-end hook, and baited with pressed bread. Casting in close to the bank, for fear of getting tangled with many boats going up and down the river.
No bites, nothing for another hour - at which point I thought I'd nip along the bank to the other lads to see how they were doing, and ask them if they wanted to move somewhere else.
Bill, catching a few skimmers said he was happy to stay.
Jock, was fast asleep, so I didn't wake him up.
Mad Ken, was going at it like a mad-man, walloping in tons of ground-bait, and loose feed, casting every few minutes. I asked him how he was doing and he said, "Nuffin' yet, but I did have bite abart an hour ago, un I cun see rings ont water, summat big in there!" He did not want to move either.
I returned to my peg, just in time to see a *unt in a punt, going past close to the bank, and he dragged in my rod and tackle as he sped off!
Well pissed off I was then!
The next day, after a night of good company, booze, darts, dominoes, and fish & chips the night before, we went to some gravel pits near Yarmouth to fish.
After several hours of nothing happening, a bailiff collected our monies, and advised me to try sweetcorn on the hook - I did, nothing happened.
Depressed and frustrated, I went to see how the other lads were doing. Bill had some big bream, Mad Ken was into the Tench, and Jock was asleep on the bank. Seeing the good fish that Ken and Bill had caught, renewed my spirits, and I hastily returned to my peg... and sat there for another three hours with nothing happening, until the lads decided they had had enough.
The next day, after a night of good company, booze, darts, dominoes, and fish & chips the night before, we decided to fish the river Waveney, that was stones throw from the inn. It was shallow, fast moving, and full of snags!
I got tangled not surprisingly, and had to bend down, and put a foot in the river to free the hook - as I stood up again, me head made severe contact with a tree trunk. The nurses at the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Accident & Emergency unit were very kind.
The next day, in the afternoon I was released from the hospital.
The next day, after a night of good company, booze, darts, dominoes, and fish & chips the night before, we set out to fish a river near a windmill (can't remember the name).
We parked up, walked over a mill, I went into a field, and settled on the bank to fish in the high winds of the day.
At last I was to catch a few fish, bream, roach, and a jack-pike, and as happy as a lark... until I turned around to mix some more bait, and there, straight in front of me, was the biggest bull I have ever seen. He was stood staring at me, with steam coming out of his nose, not moving at all!
I very slowly and gently packed up my gear, and crept towards the gate in the field... as I started to climb over the gate, the beast sprang into life, snorted, and came for me! I threw my tackle over the gate, and followed it post haste. How the gate did not collapse when the bull ran into it I do not know.
Then I realised I'd taken the wrong gate out of the field, and now faced a marathon walk, carrying all my tackle down to a bridge, and back up the other bank to get to the van.
The next day, after a night of good, booze, darts, dominoes, the lads telling the locals of me escapade with the bull, much hilarious laughter and ribaldry, then fish & chips the night before, we departed the inn, to travel home.
Another lively, but disappointing holiday.