FL12Sept - Page 203

In Search Of Monster Carp
ince starting these life
history articles back in
2009 with Peter
Springate, Lee Jackson,
Steve Briggs, John Harry
etc, quite a few people
have asked me to do a life history of
my own carp fishing, how I got into
carp fishing and how it all began for
me. I suppose that quite a lot has
been written about my fishing over
the years, having written five books
myself, and there’s obviously quite a
lot of my fishing history in those, but I
wouldn’t think that there are many, if
any, people out there who know how
I got into carp fishing.
I was very lucky as a small child to
have a father who was a keen angler,
and for that matter, a great grandfather who had his own carp lake. Back
in the early 60’s, carp fishing was very
much in its infancy even though
Richard Walker and his pals had been
doing it for a few years, there were
very few carp anglers out there and it
was all very hush-hush and top
My father worked for Vauxhall
Motors in Luton. At that time the car
plant had about 30,000 people working there and Luton was a very affluent part of the country. They had a
huge fishing club with thousands of
members and rented waters, both
rivers and stillwaters, up and down
the country. In later years they were
even able to purchase their own lakes
such as the Stanton Harcourt Carp
Fishery in Oxford, which was purchased in the early 70’s.
My father was very keen on tench
and carp, but tench I suppose were
his real favourites, and the venues
that he took me to at a very early age,
probably only three or four years old,
were the Pool Café at Henlow, which
(Above) Early setup.
(Left) My diary from 1972, full of carp
was owned by his grandfather at the
time, and was a deep clay pit that had
a submerged forest in it. On the opposite side of the road to the Henlow
Royal Airforce base, the airmen used
to use the lake for swimming in the
50’s and 60’s, and the lake had a couple of diving boards on it. Unfortunately in the 60’s a young airman was
drowned having got caught up in all
these old trees that littered the bottom of the lake, and swimming was
prohibited from then on.
There were a stock of carp in the
lake, probably about 20 old warriors,
and quite a few of the well known
carp anglers of the day fished at the
Pool Café, including both Richard
Walker and Jack Hilton. The lake was
known as Maylin’s Pool at the time,
and they wished to keep the venue a
secret, so they came up with the
name Junelin’s because the season
began on the 16th June. Throughout
their early writings, both in the old
Drop Me A Line series in the Angling
Times and in their early books, you
will see references to Junelin’s. This
in fact was my great grandfather’s
lake, the Pool Café, which was purchased by Kevin Maddocks in the mid
80’s and its name changed to Withy
Pool. There’s still a syndicate on the
lake now, which is run by Brenda
Maddocks I believe.
My Vauxhall Angling Club cards from the early seventies, to fish Woburn Sands, Wyboston and Stanton Hardcourt.


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